In today’s interconnected world and with the smartphone’s immediacy of contact, it’s no longer about work-life balance; it’s about work-life harmony. Thus, being able to manage your time directly aﬀects your quality of life. Here are 5 strategies you can use to make the most out of your time.
1. One thing at a time!
Stop trying to multi-task and focus on the single task at hand. If listening to your music while you work makes you want to sing or groove along, you’re already distracted.
A possible alternative could be lyric-free instrumentals such as classical music. There are also plenty of online sources which provide you with white noise options, such as the sound of rain or crashing waves, which drown out background chatter and calm your mind. Weird, but it works!
2. Set task objectives and stick to them
While creating task lists are useful, sticking to them is the crucial part. It is essential to set realistic objectives to prevent yourself from continually pushing unﬁnished work to the next day. If you weren’t able to meet your targets, reﬂect on why. Was it a lack of productivity, discipline, or was it simply too much work? Don’t make unticked checkboxes a habit!
The best time to make your to-do list? The night before or early in the morning before you start your day. These objectives could be for the month, the week or the day, with increasing speciﬁcity.
3. Ask yourself, are you busy, or are you productive?
How can you tell the diﬀerence? While being productive increases satisfaction, being busy overwhelms you and tires out your mind and body. Quantity is not quality. You feel like you’re doing a lot, yet at the end of the day, you don’t feel accomplished or fulﬁlled.
Often, task-switching can give the illusion of productivity but reduces the quality of your work. Increase your focus by engaging in extended periods of uninterrupted work. That means no working during TV commercials or responding to text messages while you work.
Don’t work harder; work smarter.
4. Acknowledge your progress
It is just as important to acknowledge and appreciate the little progress you made. Checking all your emails, clearing your notiﬁcations, decluttering your desk – while it may all be minor tasks, at the end of the day you feel accomplished. This feeling helps to create a sense of fulﬁlment which fuels your productivity and motivates your future achievements.
Remember that gaining sound time-management skills doesn’t just happen overnight. If you weren’t able to spend your time wisely today, reﬂect on where you fell short and work towards giving yourself a fresh start the next day.
5. Plan to rest
Yes, coﬀee works, but regular breaks and a healthy sleep cycle work even better to clear your mind and combat lethargy.
When we don’t have enough allocated downtime, we risk procrastination or worse, burning out. Although we aren’t doing work when we procrastinate, the mind continues to stress as we accumulate anxiety over unﬁnished work.
Even while working, breaks are important to maintain focus. A good rule is allocating yourself short breaks between 90-minute blocks of uninterrupted work. Just as a cluttered environment makes for distractions and increases anxiety, a cluttered work schedule increases stress, and can even reduce the quality of your work.
With these 5 strategies, People Proﬁlers hopes to emphasise the importance of feeling a sense of fulﬁlment about your work. For more work and lifestyle tips, check out our other blog posts here.