Time flies, regardless if you do something meaningful, or not.
You need to understand, that a mental shift is needed.
It is your day. One day of your life. You have to drive it. If not, somebody else will.
It is fairly easy to be efficient, and cross off clear items from your todo list when you have specific, clear items on your todo list. The fun begins, when your list is a collection of more vague, longer-term, higher-level items, and it is nobody there, who organizes that for you, or creates a priority for you.
It is your list. It is your day.
Here are a couple of steps. If you do these every day, your day will not be wasted.
– In the morning ALWAYS start with creating a map of your day.
– Define, understand your availability – how much time you have today, in what slots
– What are the possible activities for today? What is the ENTIRE list of activities?
– Define, understand priorities.
– What is your MUST HAVE list? What is mandatory to happen today.
– Estimate these items, and schedule them is possible.
– What is NICE TO HAVE list? What would be nice to happen today?
– Have a high-level time estimate for these.
– Group the Nice to have items if possible, schedule them for your available time slots.
– Try to maintain empty slots on your calendar. Unscheduled items with high priorities will appear. If no such items appear, fill this time with Nice to happen items, or relax.
– if these items do not fill your calendar, you have to have prepared and prioritized a list of Strategic items, or Ongoing items, which do not have to happen today, but progress has to be made.
When you pick your activities, keep in mind:
– What is the business value that this item is bringing?
– Can I delegate it? If yes, delegate it.
– Is this the best use of my time?
– If somebody else should be doing this, or I am cleaning after somebody else, how am I making sure that this will not happen again?
About the strategic/ongoing items:
– Define what is the purpose
– What is the business value
– What is the timeline
– What are the smaller individual steps
– When you work on this, always define for that day a time-box for it.