Work Smarter Not Harder: Time Management Tips
Do you have enough time each day to get everything done? Or do you feel as if you’re on a hamster wheel, and nothing’s getting done? We understand!
There’s a common saying that goes “work smarter, not harder.” This means that we should find ways to optimise our time so we can get things done. However, this isn’t always easy especially if we don’t have a time management plan for each day we work. Without a plan, you end up on that hamster wheel not being effective, overworked, exhausted, frustrated.
If you’d like to turn things around and become more productive, there are things you can do. We’ve put together a list of tips to get you started on a time management plan.
1). Take Care of Yourself
Many people have the mistaken belief that time is their most valuable resource. However, that’s simply not the case. You are your most value resource and you need to take care of yourself in order to be at peak productivity.
What happens when you don’t take care of yourself? You don’t get enough sleep, you eat unhealthy foods, don’t get enough exercise, or time to relax. What does this lead to? An exhausted, stressed body that’s prone to getting sick.
Instead, begin your time management plan by committing to self-care. This means make sure your house is a healthy place to be. Take a 15-minute break after working an hour or more. When you take a break, get up and move away from your desk and computer. Try to get outside and breathe in some fresh air. Try taking a 15-minute walk. That’s enough to get you energised.
And remember to eat a balanced, healthy diet, then aim to get enough quality sleep each night. When you’re finished working each day, turn off the computer and devices. Unwind by spending time with family, working on a hobby, and more.
2). Work/Life Balance
Achieving the right balance between work and life can also be challenging. If you’re working from home, it may be time to consider making the move to a serviced office that’s not far from home. It will also be easier to leave work at the office and switch into family-mode or finding time for yourself.
Constant working it harmful to your physical and mental health.
3). Create To-Do Lists
Many people hate the idea of a to-do list. That because a to-do list feels like a burden of waiting chores, past-due projects, and more. What could be worse than a to-do list? Not having one.
Instead, view a to-list as a way to better manage your time. Instead of allowing chores and projects to configure your time, plan them in advance. Break each task into small, more manageable pieces that are spread out across the day or week. This way, nothing falls in between the cracks, and you’ll be able to meet deadlines much easier. Plus, you won’t feel like your work is controlling you. You will be in control.
4). Avoid Multitasking
Are you proud to be a multitasker? If so, you’re not alone. Many people claim to be successful at multitasking, but then fail to accomplish their tasks. What’s more, their work may be filled with mistakes and errors that require them to revise and rework tasks and projects. If that’s not wasting time, then what is?
What is it you think you’re getting done as you multitask? Be sure to really analyse this. Now, take a look at what you really accomplished. Oops.
If you’d like to get more done, then you’ll need to stop multitasking. Instead, you’ll need to commit to tackling one task at a time. To do this you’ll need to stay in the present moment, rather than letting your mind run to other thoughts, tasks, and more. Focus on your to-list and stay in the moment.
5). Keep Your Office Clean & Mind Focused
As mentioned in the previous tip, it’s important to keep your mind focused on the tasks at hand right now. While focusing on your to-do list can help, having a clean and tidy office is another way to get more done.
Studies have shown that a messy work environment and a messy desk can be distracting. For instance, what happens when you need to find those important papers? Do you know right where they are, or do you have to dig through piles of papers, folders, and old takeout containers? Chances are that after digging you may still not be able to find those papers. This leads to frustration, stress, and more.
Instead, keep your office and desk clean and tidy. This means putting everything away, throwing out the trash on your desk and on the shelves, and more. Once you have everything put away, then give the area a thorough cleaning. That means dusting surfaces, cleaning devices, and vacuuming or sweeping the floor. When you’re finished, you’ll have a sense of satisfaction, and may even find the stress levels have gone down.
Now that everything’s cleaned up and put way, you’ll need to keep it that way. Just a little bit of effort to clean up and put away every day is all that’s needed to keep your desk and office clean.
6). Schedule Meetings & Calls
Nothing is worse than having to take an important call right when you need to be focusing on a task. Rather than taking random calls or meetings, why not schedule them in advance?
Another great idea is to keep your phone or other devices off when you need to concentrate. People will be able to leave messages, which you’ll have time to check once tasks are completed
It’s even possible to schedule time for responding to emails and calls, so you don’t worry about missing anything important.
These are all tips you can use to start working on a time management plan. Not only will you leave that exhausting hamster wheel behind, but you’ll be also getting a whole lot more done.
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