Here are a few more suggestions to my last post on making your time work better for you.
Clear your workspace. If you’re at a desk or workstation, clear your desk of all unnecessary papers and other distractions. Close all the applications and files that are running on your computer except the one you are working on.
Work for 50 minutes. Focus entirely on one project for 50 minutes, and remain seated while doing it. Don’t get distracted by anything else – email, phone, or grabbing a cup of coffee. Then when you’ve completed the task allow for a 10 minute or 20 minute break depending on the intensity of the project. This break could be work related, but if it is make sure it’s something unrelated to what you had been doing.
Pomodoro technique. If you have writing to do, this technique is very effective. Using a timer, write intensely for 25 minutes and keep writing without pausing until your timer goes off. Then take a 5 minute break and continue with several more 25 minute sessions as necessary. Take longer breaks after several Pomodoros in succession. Do not edit while doing this – just write. You will edit later. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish and it will probably be better written than you could imagine.
Don’t Check Email So Often. Many time experts argue that you should only check email a few times a day, preferably twice and schedule it for certain times of the day.
You may be familiar with the time saving technique of handling a piece of paper only once. You might try doing the same with your emails where possible. Read, respond and delete. Don’t mark any of these emails “unread.”
And probably one of the most effective time savers is to turn off those distracting email notifications that pop up on your screen every time you get an email. This will help you focus on the current task at hand and get it completed more efficiently.
- If you are up against a deadline and need concentrated study, put your phone on zero rings, ignore your email, and your social media channels unless of course they are crucial to what you are working on. Don’t allow any interruptions unless they are an emergency or require immediate human response.
Bogged down by perfectionism? Details are important, but maybe you are putting too much emphasis on them.
Try aiming at getting it 90 to 95% right. You know that being perfect is impossible anyway, so don’t expect it. Trying to get that 100% may cost you twice as much in time. I’m not advocating deliberately having 5 -10% errors, but recognizing the diminishing returns that come from trying to get that last bit perfect.
Take time to reward yourself. Build little rewards into your day that you can enjoy after and between tasks look at this web-site. And they don’t have to be big, the smaller ones are better in fact. A short break for a cup of coffee, a quick chat with a colleague, a healthy snack, or a walk around the block can be all that’s needed to energize your day. Larger rewards usually take too much time away from your work.
The idea here is to train your mind to accept rewards that keep you energized and positive to accomplish all those tasks in your busy day.
Do you have any useful time management techniques that help you? As always, I look forward to your comments.