Five Tips to Manage Your Work and Time
There’s a good chance that all of us have come across the phrase “Time is money”. While this statement is debatable, the fact that time is precious is indisputable. All of us have at some point wished for more time for a task or been overwhelmed with long to-do lists. Here are five quick tips that we can apply to improve our time management and work more efficiently:
1. Organise our workspace
Keep as many distractions as possible outside your workspace. At the workplace we can do this by keeping our work areas tidy with just a few personal belongings.When working from home, this can get a little trickier. It might help to designate a specific room or space for work, preferably not a bed or couch. It would be best to have a workplace set-up in a part of the house where you are most likely to be able to get time to yourself.
2. Organise our tasks.
Oftentimes we find ourselves in a pickle when we have way too many things to do and not nearly enough time to get to each task. In such situations, organising tasks by priority and urgency can help . What is important to us depends on our personal goals and targets. One technique that might help with this process is the Eisenhower matrix which is shown below.
Try this! List down all the tasks that you need to get done in the week.
3. Set well-defined targets and time ourselves.
When planning our tasks and goals we sometimes fail to assess how realistic and attainable these targets are. Another common mistake is that we tend to set poorly defined targets. When setting planning our days out it is essential to keep a realistic view of the difficulty of each task and the time it would take to carry out the task. In addition, make sure to schedule breaks, time for self-care and activities that bring you joy. After all, as the saying goes, “ All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.
One way to time ourselves can be to use what is called the Pomodoro technique. In this method usually works during 25 minute intervals. Pick a task that needs to be done, set a timer for 25 minutes and spend this time completely focussed on the task at hand. At the end of 25 minutes, take a short break- stretch, take a few deep breaths, grab a coffee- and then get back to work. At the end of four such intervals schedule a longer 20-30 minute beak.
4. Stay mindful of the time spent on the internet.
We all are guilty of reaching out for our phones when we should be working. In the age of algorithms that are built to ensure that we stay glued to our phones It can be extremely easy for a person to lose their sense of time and fall down the internet rabbit hole. There is always going to be something new on the internet and it is important for us to decide if it is worth our time. It might also help to not use the device we use for work (for most of us this is a laptop) for recreation. App timers can also help with regulating the amount of time we spend on social media.
5. Explore the options available for task organisation.
Most of us have access to some kind of planner or calendar. One could either use a Google calendar which syncs up across multiple devices, or some of us may prefer a more traditional planner. This helps us keep track of our tasks and appointments. A personal favourite is the Forest app. There are also some creative apps which help organise checklists and track progress on tasks.
One thing to keep in mind is that cultivating new habits can take time and it is important that we remain patient through the process of forming new habits. We cannot expect to become better at managing our time overnight. Realistically, what we can do is to start small, think of the little things we can do right now and gradually move on to larger changes. Once we start, it may take time for us to change, but if we don’t start we will never be able to make a change.