“Don’t confuse having a career with having a life.”
Being always busy may seem to be getting you closer to your goals, but is does not necessarily mean that you are effective at doing it. Effectivity and Efficiency are two very different things and the key to sustaining a healthy balanced life is making sure you do your work and other personal errands in the most economical manner possible giving you enough resources and time for yourself.
Below are some techniques to help you manage your time better.
1. Eat and sleep well
To make effective use of your time, you have to have the focus and energy for it. There are a lot of tips and techniques to achieving a healthy lifestyle but the most important thing is you have to have enough sleep everyday. Make a schedule on when you need to wake up and sleep and make sure you stick to that schedule. Avoid eating junk foods and eat more vegetables. Avoid alcoholic drinks and smoking.
2. Plan your day
The first thing you do is list down all the tasks that you need to finish. Also, make sure that you break down larger tasks into smaller tasks to make it more manageable. By having a daily work plan,
Once you have a list of to do’s, you will most likely be overwhelmed by the number of tasks that you think you need to finish. Always remember that you only have a definite number of work hours to spend and that you must make use of those hours efficiently. Only pick the tasks that are urgent, then the ones that are important. For the important, but not urgent, tasks that you wont be able to work on, you can reschedule it to a later date.
4. Set short deadlines
Most of the time, the complexity of a task is relative to the time you allot to it. The shorter the time, the simpler it will seem. Giving yourself very short deadlines even for tasks that seem complex makes you focus due to the time constraint and forces you to see
factors that are essential and important. Remember the time in college when you were procrastinating on a project, and then you
only had a few days to finish it. You crammed and after a one nighter you were able to meet a deadline and even get an A. Well, pretty much the same principle.
Moving your focus from one task to another makes you lose momentum, so it is a good practice to batch your work. Go back to your work plan and group the activities that are similar in nature. Then you can set schedules or deadlines for each of them. For example, checking emails and acting on one as soon as you receive it makes you jump from one focus to another. You can schedule to check your email in the morning, after lunch and before you leave office.
6. Do not work extensively for a full 8 hours.
If you are able to strictly and consistently follow the 5 techniques above, you will be, most likely, producing more than 8 hours worth of work in just half your day. The idea is, once you are done finishing all your important and urgent tasks, is that you spend the rest of shift in doing less urgent, but still important things like reading or learning on how to improve your skills. Think of it as your cool down period after and intensive work out.
7. Find time for yourself
Freeing up time does not mean that much if you do not have anything to do with it. Maybe you can pick up a hobby, or start reading novels or just have a daily workout routine. It does not matter what it is, what matters is you must find it enjoyable and takes your mind off work. By doing this you should be able to gain the momentum and excitement to work again the next day.