5 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 felt like we were in over our heads with overwhelming to-do lists and schedules with very little space for anything but work. Here are five quick tips that we can apply in such situations to help us work more efficiently:
1. Organise our workspace: It is important to maintain as distraction-free a workspace as we can. At the workplace, we can do this by keeping our work areas tidy with maybe a few personal belongings. While at home, this may be trickier. It might help to designate a specific space for work, preferably not a bed or couch. Preferably a study table where one can minimize the presence of other objects that are not necessary for work.
2. Organise our tasks: Has it ever seemed like we have way too many things to do and not nearly enough time to do these. What might help is to prioritize these tasks. We could either arrange them according to urgency or importance. 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.
Listing down the tasks that we can think of and then sorting them into boxes as shown here.
3. Set well-defined Targets and Time: When planning how to go about tasks and dividing our time among them, it can help to set goals that are well-defined and achievable. Keep a realistic view of the difficulty of each task and the time it would take to carry out the task. Besides, make sure to schedule breaks and time for self-care and activities that bring you joy. The saying “ All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” applies to people of all ages. One way to time ourselves can be to use what is called the Pomodoro technique, In this method one would usually work in 25-minute intervals. You pick a task you want to carry out, set a timer for 25 minutes and then immerse yourself in the task, At the end of 25 minutes, you 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. Keep a check on the time we spend with the media: We all are guilty of reaching out for our phones when we should be working. It can also be extremely easy for a person to lose their sense of time when scrolling through the internet. There is always going to be something new on the internet, what is important is 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. We can also use app timers to help us regulate the time we spend on social media.
5. Explore the options available in the form of Apps and Calendars: 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 favorite is the Forest app. Some creative apps help organize checklists and track progress on tasks.
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