Time management, is a real challenge. There is a lot of information available on the internet to teach us how to manage time. But most of the time the article itself is so much time consuming that it seems to negate the whole purpose of time management itself. We would like to keep it brief so the attention span of the reader remains constant. Time is to work what oxygen is to the body. Squandering it into unnecessary diversions can act as productivity killer. Let’s examine a few techniques that we can adopt to keep us on track.
Planning a day in advance keeps you organised
Use a proper planner or something like that to keep you on track to plan a day ahead in a coherent manner. Simple planning in head won’t suffice. It has to be properly updated and maintained as task manual for yourself. So you can check your progress.
Start from the most daunting task
There is a famous quote by Mark Twain:
“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
Precisely what it means is execute your most challenging work assignment as the first thing in the morning. You may find yourself short of energy later in the day to handle it more productively. It can be something that was the most time consuming task. So having a feeling that you are done with some hefty portion of your day’s assignment can make you feel relieved. Thus, you feel more energetic and productive for the rest of the day.
Also eating the biggest frog of the two can mean that if you are facing the situation to deal with two assignments that will consume most of your time. Then first get done with the biggest or the lengthy one. But frog doesn’t imply that you ought to do the thing you abhor.
It simply alludes towards the fact that we usually don’t hate the task itself but the time and energy consumption associated with it. So devour it first so you can add some sweet delights to your taste buds in form of lighter tasks for the rest of the day. Especially when you feel least productive.
Time tracking tools: acting as savior for disorganized people
Yes you always felt confused on calculating the time mentally that you spent on various tasks. Knowing how much was consumed in each task? Seem bothersome right. But it’s no longer the case with the advent of Staff time tracking software.
These time management tools help save a lot of time with automated time tracking rather than old redundant ways of writing manually or taking help of a guesswork. You can always know which task consumed most of your time and which one is light one.
Therefore you can always manage accordingly to deliver more in less time. You will feel deterred from wasting time knowing its being tracked. So subscribe to a good time tracking software and get rid of all the trouble of manual time tracking.
Control your social media habits
It doesn’t mean you stop using social media for life. It merely means keeping it away from your work life. Whether you admit it or not its a biggest ever distraction if we want to do anything productive.
A constant urge of checking your messenger or social media accounts can divert your attention from your work even after you turn off the phone. Because the content of your interaction shall keep hovering inside your head. You may find your work boring or lacking vitality. So turn off the Wifi or better keep the phone at a place like locker or something. Where you find it bothersome to go and access.
Learn to say no
Warren Buffet once said,
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
Yes it might happen at workplace that you encounter colleagues trying to overload you. Know that your one straight no can save you from the hassle of wasting your productive time on uncalled for tasks.
Take breaks to refresh yourself
Use Pomodoro technique to take short 5 minute break after every half an hour. And take a longer one after two hours. It can make you fresh in a way you refresh your computer’s screen after every while. Humans inherently seek variety and start feeling bored from monotony of routine. So a tiny break doesn’t hurt and help you recollect energy to resume working. It’s better you spend few minutes in break rather than procrastinating from boredom of routine.
Eisenhower Matrix serves as a beacon of light to keep the useless stuff away
Basically Eisenhower matrix is distributed into four quadrants.
First one is about doing the thing on foremost priority which is both urgent and important. Obviously there are things that you need to execute on time to meet deadlines and they are important too. So keep them on the top.
Second quadrant is there for an important task which isn’t urgent than plan for it. Organize structure on how to deliver it and when. But you are in no hurry for doing it now. So a timely planning shall help when you actually be doing it. But for now just defer and focus on what’s urgent and important both.
Third one asks to delegate task. Well it’s a kind of work which is urgent but not important. Therefore you can always ask a relevant person to do it if you are busy with something urgent/important.
The last quadrant is which is neither important nor urgent just delete it. Throw this task away. It serves no good.
Being busy is a lot easier than being productive. And productivity demands smartly crafted time management techniques. Which if followed religiously, they can help one progress significantly in lesser time.