Finding time to do your work effectively can feel like an impossible feat, but it’s something most people have trouble doing at least once in their lives!
By now, you’ve probably heard about the importance of managing your time as a business owner or professional. There are many benefits to being more organized with how you spend your time, not just for yourself, but also for your career.
In this article, we will discuss some easy ways to improve your time management skills and reap the rewards.
Work on your task durations
The second major thing that time management apps do to increase productivity is ask you how long it will take to complete a task. Most good time tracking software automatically update this information as you work, so there’s no need to input this data yourself unless you want to.
By incorporating smart timers into your daily routine, your app can figure out what tasks take longer than expected and adjust its timing accordingly. For example, if you have a job interview at 10 AM tomorrow, your app may suggest you start practicing for it earlier so you are not too rushed.
It also helps to know when you should stop working on a project! Many times, people get distracted or feel compelled to keep working even though the task has been completed. By offering an “exit timer” (like saying you must leave the office by 5 PM every day), your app can help you focus more on important projects while still keeping track of what you were doing.
Multitasking is not good
We’ve all done it at some time — we start working on one thing, then something else needs our attention so we switch to that new activity, and before you know it, hours have passed and nothing got finished.
This happens because of what psychologists call task conflict. When you try to do two or more things at once, your brain can only pay full attention to one thing at a time. It has to choose between focusing on each task or directing its energy towards another area.
When it does the second thing overpaying attention to it may feel like your mind has to work twice as hard, but in fact you get less out of it than if you had just focused on the first. This is why people who talk on the phone while driving are dangerous – they’re trying to handle multiple tasks with limited success.
Hold off on distractions
A lot of people start their day with the intention to do some work, but then they get distracted by something new.
They might check messages, look up information for projects that have been piling up, or pick up the phone to talk to a friend.
All of these things are okay, unless you’ve set an appointment at a certain time and need to meet for it. Then, waiting until later is not possible because you wasted time doing other things.
You can easily prevent this from happening by setting aside specific times for tasks. This way, you will know when you should be working on something and what else you should be doing.
If you find yourself still wanting to do those things, then try limiting your daily activities to just so many hours. You could devote the rest of the time to more productive uses like studying, working, or talking to friends.
Do the hard work
A lot of people believe that being more productive means doing what you have to do immediately, without any delay. This is not true productivity, it’s just busyness.
Busyness is good for your health – we need time off to recover from all the working we did before. But there are times when you must hold yourself accountable and create deadlines for yourself or things will never get done.
Having such deadlines can be very motivating because you’ll be forced to focus only on the tasks that matter most.
But in order to achieve your goals, you first have to set them. If you don’t, someone else will! And they might not always stick until you do.
That’s why it’s important to know how much time you should allocate to each task at every stage, but also make sure you’re leaving enough time to follow up and finish everything.
A few years ago, I was talking to one of my best friends about how I was struggling to find time to do things. She told me her biggest tip for staying productive is to take breaks.
She said that when she feels tired or overwhelmed, she takes a break. She calls this a “break” though it might not feel like that.
It could be taking a short walk down the corridor or going out for a coffee with someone you talk to every day. It could be having a quick chat with your roommate or housemate. It could be doing something fun such as watching a movie or reading a book.
Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you don’t stay too long away from work.