Feeling too busy all of the time is no fun. How do we best respond to having too much to do and not enough time to do it all?
One useful strategy is to keep track – using some kind of recording system – of where your time is going. For a certain amount of time – we recommend a few weeks to get a complete picture – make a note of what you are doing every 30 minutes or so. You might want to use a spreadsheet or a diary, or simply, a notebook or note in your phone. With every activity, also make a note of whether you feel energised by that activity, or depleted.
At the end of whatever time period you decide on, bring all the notes together and play detective. Where is the bulk of your time going? What activities or people suck the most time? Which of these activities is most energising for you? Which ones are the most depleting?
Then give yourself some time to reflect on what you can change. Is it possible to arrange your days differently so you can spend more time on activities that lift your energy levels and less on those that deplete them?
With depleting activities that you can’t change – can you do these faster or do them less often? Could you shift your schedule so you engage in energising activities before and after the depleting ones?
We encourage you to experiment and try out options to see what works best for you.
This can also be a useful exercise to share with your team and compare notes together. Team members may be able to exchange tasks to make it possible for everyone to have more energy enhancing tasks, or to share the depleting tasks more evenly.