Saturday, December 29, 2018

Time management is something we all try to nail down to ensure our success. Effective time management is the first thing considered when trying to improve our performance in the workplace, and it seems like we constantly weigh how to best incorporate time management practices into our daily lives. However, according to several studies highlighted in the Harvard Business Review, we could be getting it all wrong.

Laura Vanderkam hosted a TED Talk where she explains her own take on time management. She writes about the subject for a living, and she wants everyone to gain control over our free time again. This does not make her innocent to ever being late, though. In fact, she was once late to her own speech on time management. She doesn't believe that time management comes from finding extra time in the day and has looked at successful people's schedules to find that, 

"We cannot make more time, but time will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it."

Another time management fault is feeling like we have too much to do. Too much to do, not enough time. This is a perpetual problem for a lot of people, but it seems to be especially pronounced during the holidays. With holiday events, shopping, travel, family visiting … things tend to pile on top of our already busy lives.
But no matter what time of year it is, the problem is the same: our list of tasks is never ending, and our days are too short. How can we deal with this in a sane way?

Eliminate the Unnecessary
Whether you struggle to find time professionally or personally, eliminating the "unnecessary" in life goes a long way in making you more productive. Anything that prevents you from reaching your goals needs to be restructured or cut away completely. If your goal is to do one thing, but you find yourself wrapped up in another, figure out a way to prioritize your day around your goal. The stricter you define "necessary" and "unnecessary" in your life, the more perspective you will have on how to prioritize your goals.

Multitasking is a talent that not all of us possess. Realizing whether you are the type of person that can do it or not is important. If you’re able to multitask, great. If you’re not, then don’t bother trying. Many people make themselves less effective by trying to multitask when they simply can’t do it. This leads to multiple projects being started and none of them being finished, sloppy work, and discouragement. 
If you are not a multi-tasker, this next point will be tremendously helpful for you:
Plan Your Work
If you go into work every day having no idea what you want to accomplish, then guess what? You’ll probably accomplish nothing. Set aside ten to fifteen minutes before work and either write down or mentally plan what you want to accomplish. One you've picked your tasks, set aside everything else for now. You can't do it all now, so be here with the task you've chosen. Set an intention for task: who are you doing this for, and why? Set a simple intention: I am writing this article to help my readers who are struggling. 
After recognizing your intention for the task, let that intention move you as you focus on the task. Be present with the task, noticing how your body feels as you do the task, letting yourself melt into the doing of it, pouring yourself into it as fully as you can. Remember your intention, then let yourself be fully immersed in the task. 
Reduce Interruptions
Reduce the number of interruptions in your life. Realistically, you can’t reduce the number of things that are going to interrupt you, but you can alter the fashion in which you deal with them. If I am working on something important and one of my employees comes to me with something that I know can be dealt with at a later time, guess what? That’s exactly what I do. A perfectly acceptable response is, 
“Sure, we can get to that, but let me finish what I am doing right now and then we’ll take care of it.”
Manage your energy
Finally, much like the world's actual energy crisis, we face individual energy crises of our own when we spread ourselves too thin without taking a time out for self-care and renewal.  Actions you may think are streamlining your day so you can spend more time getting things done are all contributing to your energy deficit and eventually negatively impacting your professional performance. Actions such as skipping breakfast, sharing positive interactions with others, engaging in purposeful activities outside of work, and neglecting your daily water intake all pull from your daily energy bank. Prioritize and manage what you will and will not allow to drain your energy.
To combat this, you need daily self-care rituals for building and renewing physical energy, like healthy eating and proper sleep. Find time for at least one thing that will contribute to renewing your phsysical energy, such as drinking an extra glass of water three times throughout the day, or clearing your schedule for yoga or meditating to free your mind. This will help the time you do commit to work will be more energized and better spent, providing you with a more sustainable path to success and steering clear of burnout.

You Might Also Like