How often do you complain about the lack of time? Each of us has the same 24 hours to use, but some people are able to complete lots of tasks during the day and still find time to relax whilst others end their day tired and frustrated with a sense of lost time. If you are in the first group – congratulations! Please share with us your secret to effectiveness. However, if you are in the second group – we congratulate you as well because it means you are in the right place. We can help you better your effectiveness thanks to a few simple methods. Bring them into life and enjoy the difference!
1. Start with what’s most important
You can have the best qualifications in your area of expertise and diplomas from the most prestigious universities, but once you’re overtired and stressed you can make yourself ill at most. If you wish to work effectively, take care of elements listed below:
- Healthy food
- Physical activity
- Intellectual entertainment
Thanks to getting a good night’s sleep, eating healthy, staying in shape and entertainment like solving puzzles, or listening to stimulating music you take a good care of your brain – the inner engine which allows you to work more effectively.
2. Prolong your day
Though it sounds impossible you can gain a few hours when you organize your day properly. Catch a rhythm in the morning which will put you in a good mood and motivate you to work:
- In the evening plan a delicious and healthy breakfast and clothes for the next day which will make you feel wonderful.
- In the morning, when the alarm rings, don’t let yourself to take a nap because those are often making people lazy and late. Instead, take three deep breaths and simply get up.
- Look through the window and welcome the new day with a smile. Yes, smile to yourself. It’s guaranteed that you will feel a sudden flow of good energy. It doesn’t matter if it’s sunny, or rainy, or snowy – each day is one of a kind, don’t waste it!
- Exercise! Do the morning stretching, a few pumps, or burpees – it will take you only a short while and provide you with motivation boost!
- Turn on your favourite music which will help you gain energy and do the morning routine faster with a proper rhythm.
If you work better in the mornings, start getting up an hour earlier. You’ll be surprised how much can be done during this extra 60 minutes!
3. Tic-toc… time to stop! The pomodoro technique
This is one of the most famous and one of the simplest method of managing your time. Its name comes from the kitchen timer shaped like a tomato. The technique was established by Francesco Cirillo who believes that constant, long-lasting concentration takes up too much of your energy and at the same time lowers our productivity. So, he proposed working with strictly set time frames, separated by short breaks. Here’s how it works:
- Do a task list for a given day and set priorities.
- Prepare a timer with an alarm or use Tomato-Timer application.
- Work on one task for 25 minutes. If you finish it earlier, you can start doing the next one, but after 25 minutes you have to pause.
- After 25 minutes of work take a 5-minute break to do something completely different, other from your task – it could be walking, dancing, or playing with your cat, whatever you like.
- After the 5-minute break, go back to your task for another 25 minutes. Work in this system for four cycles, then take a 20-30 minute break.
Thanks to this technique you can do more than you would when working all this time with only one pause.
You cannot cheat your brain – if you don’t let it rest, it will slow down. Learn to work effectively in a short 25 minutes and learn to rest effectively – that’s the key to success.
4. Segregate rubbish, i.e. emails… Inbox Zero method
Forbes used to say that besides dogs the trash cans are humans’ best friends. And he was right. How do you feel having over 100 emails in your mailbox and not being able to read them all? You cannot simply delete them all either because some of them might be actually important. Such moments are surely discomforting. The Inbox Zero method brings the solution! It involves emptying your email box regularly according to following criteria:
- Answer now
- Put away
In order to achieve the proper effect, you should keep the above order analyzing each email. How this method helps productivity? Because you never have to analyze the same message twice. Simple. In addition, you have the comfort of being in control.
5. Forget about multitasking. Concentrate
Do you have a lot to do so you try to effectively do few tasks simultaneously? Do you answer emails and talk over the phone at the same time? Do you do your make-up whilst driving? In such situations your brain focuses on two tasks and your attention is divided – jumping from one task to the other. It can lead to nothing good… Various studies show that doing more than one task at a time makes you spend about 50% more time on it in order to complete it well. Moreover, you make 40% more mistakes comparing to fully focusing on one task. Such multitasking causes the secretion of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, and in addition, weakens your memory. You feel overtired and stressed.
Instead of doing few tasks at a time, make a task list keeping your priorities at the top, and complete each task separately giving it your undivided attention. After an intensive day of work, such practice will give you more satisfaction.
6. Take care of your workspace
Get some motivation from the outside. Arrange your workspace so that you feel not only comfortable but also motivated. If you work at your desk, a great alternative to sitting on a chair is an exercise ball. This way you will not only take care of your spine but also gain energy. As research shows, your body position while working affects your sense of courage. When you slouch, unconsciously you become less self-assured. Having an upright, strong and open silhouette makes you take on new challenges more willingly. Additionally, you can surround yourself with designers, motivational gadgets. A sip of tea from a mug with smart slogan may just give you more energy than a strong espresso. A poster on the wall will remind you what’s most important during the work, and huge motivators in the form of small stickers can work wonders anywhere you are. Use as much of such items as you can!
What are your ways to effectively manage time? Share your experiences with others!