After a long day at work you come home and feel drained, but at the same time don’t feel like your day was productive. How so? Probably you spent most of your time focusing on unrelated tasks, procrastinating and getting distracted by outside noise. Don’t worry that happens to most of us more than you could think.
But then you see people who use every single minute in a day, they finish all the tasks, spend time with family and friends, and at the end of the day still have time to pursue their hobbies. Sounds like they are heroes, but that is just thanks to great time management. This is crucial in today’s fast-paced world, as it helps us to eliminate unnecessary activities and concentrate on important and urgent tasks.
Time management does not only help to achieve daily job assignments but also allows you to spend more time working on your skills and hobbies. Of course, it is essential for your employer as well, as stated in New York Post, an average employee spends around 5 hours per week on their phone, it’s not counting the time spent on chatting with colleagues or taking longer lunch breaks. It might seem pretty harmless, however, after adding up hours consumed procrastinating, it shows that that time cost about $15.5 billion per week to the US economy.
Sounds quite unfortunate, yet it can be avoided with proper time management. There are proven ways how to take time into your hands and make the most of it. And if you’re still wondering, here are a few tips on how to successfully manage your time:
Time Management Tips:
Eliminate outside distractions
Did you know that a glance at your phone, or answering a colleague might take you around 25 minutes to go back to your assignment? Then think how many distractions do you face during the whole work day. It does not only waste valuable time but also damages the quality of your work. So, how to get rid of outside distractions? First of all, try to notice them, because most of the time we can’t even recognize the disturbance. Every time you check your phone or gaze out of a window track it and count the time spent on useless activities. To make it easier, try using time management apps like RescueTime, Focus Booster, Toggl. You will be surprised how much time you have been wasting instead of spending it to improve yourself or enjoy the company of family and friends.
It is a proven fact, that if you plan your day the night before, it will be easier to work on it the next day. Before sleeping your mind already starts working on the tasks you planned, hence it makes you more motivated and ready to perform, also it excludes unnecessary clutter in the morning. However, you don’t have to plan every second in a day, instead, mark the most important and urgent tasks and stay flexible for the unexpected ones. It is essential to measure your assignments, thus you could concentrate on the most important ones the first thing in the morning.
Stop hitting a snooze button
Instead of sleeping extra 30 minutes, try waking up early and hitting a gym. And I know, it sounds like a cliché in every tips’ article, however, working out in the morning does not only help you to wake up and start your day fresh, but also increases your metabolic rate, and accelerates a blood circulation in your brain which means higher overall work-efficiency.
Breaks might increase your productivity and work performance, nevertheless, you have to remember that not all breaks count as a rest for your mind. Gossiping with a colleague, or scrolling your news feed won’t refresh your performance. But you can always go out for a walk, meditate or help a coworker with a different task. These kinds of pauses during the day help you to avoid overworking fatigue and perform better later on.
A famous break taking technique called Pomodoro Technique; it was created by Francesco Cirillo. The main idea behind this trick is to work according to a simple kitchen timer: come up with a task, set a timer and work without any distractions for 25 minutes. After this period take a short 1–3 minutes break and start working intensely again for another 25 minutes. After four periods take a longer 20–30 minutes break. It is proven that this technique keeps your mind active and helps to avoid boredom.
Look for inspiration
It’s easy to lose motivation and come back to the old habits of procrastination, and it’s normal. But don’t forget that you can always look for inspiration, many career consultants and life couches suggest finding a mentor who could lead you through those uncertainty periods. It is useful to have someone who can help go back on track and advise you when needed. But if you don’t have a mentor, there are other effective ways to boost your motivation; try watching TED talks, reading biographies of people that inspire you, and talking with colleagues who are enthusiastic about their job and life.
As time management might seem easy at first, it requires time and effort to form a functioning habit system. Forming habits takes some dedication, therefore, if you want it to be easier take note:
Avoid multitasking — multitasking distracts you from one task to another, which diminishes work efficiency. Additionally, it is almost impossible to multitask efficiently, because our brain is wired as a mono-thinking mechanism. So, it is better to devote your time to one task at the time and finish it before taking another one.
Declutter noise — noise at work environment is one of the biggest distractions, however, as it’s a co-working space and everyone needs to communicate, it’s hard to control it. Sound-proof headphones might help, or listening to focus music, also try classical music, it does not only help to concentrate but also improves your performance.
Time management is a crucial part of daily life, especially, if you want to achieve goals and go a step further with your career. Yet, it requires effort and discipline, therefore try going slow at first and see how it starts changing your life. And to make it easier try the tips above!
Also, don’t forget to comment and tell us what techniques help you to be more organized and follow up with daily tasks!