Work smart not hard with these 20 tips

Here are 20 time management tips to make these short winter days seem longer and more worth-while:

1. Complete most important tasks first.

This is the golden rule of time management. Each day, identify the two or three tasks that are the most crucial to complete, and do those first.

2. Learn to say “no”.

Making a lot of time commitments can teach us how to juggle various engagements and manage our time. However, at some point you need to learn to decline opportunities. Your objective should be to take on only those commitments that you know you have time for and that you truly care about.

3. Devote your entire focus to the task at hand.

Close out all other browser windows, put your phone away. Find a quiet place to work, or listen to some music if that helps you.

Concentrate on this one task. Immerse yourself in it.

4. Sleep at least 7-8 hours.

Some people think sacrificing sleep is a good way to hack productivity and wring a couple extra hours out of the day. This is not the case.

Most need 7-8 hours of sleep for their bodies and minds to function optimally. You know if you’re getting enough. Listen to your body, and don’t underestimate the value of sleep.

 

5. Get an early start.

Nearly all of us are plagued by the impulse to procrastinate. It seems so easy, and you always manage to get it done eventually, so why not?

However, it’s so much nicer and less stressful to get an earlier start on something. It isn’t that difficult either, if you just decide firmly to do it.

6. Don’t allow unimportant details to drag you down.

We often allow projects to take much, much longer than they should by getting too hung up on small details.

You’re much better off pressing onward, getting the bulk completed, and revising things afterward.

7. Set a time limit in which to complete a task.

Instead of just sitting down to work on a project and thinking, “I’m going to be here until this is done,” try thinking, “I’m going to work on this for three hours”. The time constraint will push you to focus and be more efficient, even if you end up having to go back and add a bit more later.

8. Be conscientious of the amount of TV/Internet/gaming time.

Time spent browsing Instagram, Twitter, gaming or watching TV or movies can be one of the biggest drains on productivity. Become more aware of how much time you spend on these activities.

 

9. Leave a buffer-time between tasks.

Allowing ourselves down-time between tasks can be a breath of fresh air for our brains. While taking a break, go for a short walk, meditate or perform some other mind-clearing exercise.

10. Don’t think of the totality of your to-do list.

At this point in time, all you can do is focus on the one task before you. This one, single, solitary task. One step at a time. Breathe.

11. Do less.

Slow down, notice what needs to be done, and concentrate on those things. Do less things that create more value, rather than more things that are mostly empty.

12. Exercise and eat healthy food.

Numerous studies have linked a healthy lifestyle with work productivity. Similar to getting enough sleep, exercising and eating healthily boost energy levels, clear your mind, and allow you to focus more easily.

 

13. Utilise weekends, just a little bit.

I’ve found that it’s amazing how doing just a little bit on weekends can really lessen the workload during the week. Aim for 2-4 hours per day. You’ll still leave yourself plenty of free time for activities or to relax.

14. Create organising systems.

Being organised saves tons of time. Create a filing system for documents. Make sure all items have a place to be stored in your dwelling. Unsubscribe from e-mail lists if you don’t want to receive their content.

15.  Lock yourself in.

No distractions, no excuses.

16. Do something during waiting time.

We spend a lot of our day waiting, and then rushing, and then waiting again. Find things to do during this time.

 

17. Commit to your plan to do something.

Be committed. Be professional about it, and follow through. A firm will to accomplish what you decide to accomplish will take you anywhere.

18. Batch related tasks together.

Different tasks demand different types of thinking, so it makes sense to allow your mind to continue to flow with its current zone rather than switching unnecessarily to something that’s going to require you to re-orient.

19. Eliminate the non-essential.

Our lives are full of excess. When we can identify that excess and remove it, we become more and more in touch with what is significant and what deserves our time.

20. Find time for stillness.

In our go, go, go world, too many people don’t find time to just be still. Yet, it’s extraordinary what a stillness practice can do. Discovering time in your life for silence and non-motion reduces anxiety and shows you that there is no need to constantly rush.

Read the full story on The Creativity Post

 

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(Comments posted on this issue may be used for publication in the Sun)

  AUTHOR
Holly Konig
Journalist

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