Most nights when my head finally hits the pillow thinking about the tasks for the next day or in some cases the ones that had been designated by myself for completion in the previous 24 hours that were not accomplished. Whether that be finalizing a report at the office, throwing in the load of laundry that desperately needs to be done or even typing the articles for the week.
I think most would agree that time management is a struggle that everyone battles at least on occasion. I have been researching tools for dealing with this challenge. Many resources are available but here are some of my favorite tips from refinethemind.com. Some of the items seem like a no brainer and others caused me to rethink my practices.
- Complete the most important tasks first - Each day identify 2 or 3 tasks that are critical and complete those first.
- Sleep at least 7-8 hours a day – Don’t underestimate the value of sleep, it is necessary for the body and mind to function optimally. (this is the most difficult one for me, I tend to be a burn the midnight oil kind of person)
- Don’t allow unimportant details to drag you down – Getting caught up in every little detail can cause a halt in the progress of accomplishing the main goal. Push through with major points and revisit smaller details later. (for the other perfectionists out there that can relate to being bogged down by overthinking every scenario and miniscule element, think broad strokes and keeping pushing through)
- Turn tasks into habits – Something that needs to be done regularly, do it even when it is not required to be done, this will help cultivate a habit that will come naturally and with less effort.
- Leave buffer between tasks – Don’t rush from task to task, allow downtime for the brain to then refocus and be motivated at tackling the next item on the agenda.
- Don’t think about your entire to-do list – Concentrate on the one task at a time. BREATHE. (I am a fervent list writer, especially to-do lists, and honestly looking at the list can be daunting, this tip has helped change my perspective and ultimately made me more productive)
- Exercise and eat healthy – Always good advice however making the time doesn’t always seem feasible. The benefits that include increased energy levels and improved focus are well worth fitting it into the schedule.
- Lock yourself in – Sometimes the only way to get something done is to shut the door and just get it done without interruptions. Recognize this and act accordingly when necessary.
The most valuable tip in my opinion is that enjoyment should always be the goal. Don’t get so caught up in routine that pleasure is lost. Don’t be too focused on just getting things done. The goal should be to arrange commitments in a way that allow for happiness in every aspect of daily life, even while working, and always making time for the especially important things in life that don’t actually have a deadline.
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important”. –Stephen Covey
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