Time is of the essence, right? Nine times out of 10, we feel as though there isn’t enough of it in our work day. Tasks accumulate, time shrinks, and anxiety levels rise. Although we can’t physically “buy” more time like purchasing a bag of apples at the grocery store, we can learn tricks to manage it better. So when we strap down and focus less on clock time and more on real time (when stuff actually happens) something magical can happen — a more productive work day.
Here are a few techniques that can help you become a master of your own time, especially during working hours:
1. Work intensely in short bursts.
Any gym trainer will tell you that short bursts of exercise are better than exercising nonstop. That well-known phrase “interval training” is also the motto when it comes to tackling your work day. So erase the idea that the more time we spend at work, the more we will get done. In fact, the opposite is true. Try focusing on one at task a time and giving that task the full attention it deserves in short periods of time. You’ll be amazed at how much progress you can make when you are completely focused on one thing.
2. Organize in your own way.
Just like one size doesn’t fit all, one working style won’t work for everyone. Some people prefer to organize on their smartphone, while others prefer an old fashioned calendar. Take the time to experiment and find which method works best for you. Entrepreneur shares five awesome productivity tools that businesses can incorporate to better utilize their time. The overall key is to find the best method that keeps you organized and diligently stick to it.
3. Schedule time for interruptions.
Remember office hours at college when the professor blocked off a chunk of time to dedicate to students’ questions, comments, or concerns? Office hours were in a sense a time for planned interruptions for the professor. At work, it can be very beneficial to plan for time to be pulled away from what you’re doing. If you schedule time for distractions, the less time you will be distracted when buckling down on a task. Let’s all be like our college professor and adopt the “office hour” strategy!
4. Take 30 minutes to plan your day.
Rushing into your day without a proper plan is like eating too much ice cream straight from the container, instead of taking the time to scoop a reasonable amount. Before the day has the opportunity to stray away from you, take the first 30 minutes to “scoop your ice cream” and prioritize your agenda for the day. As crazy as it sounds, the most important time of your day is the time you schedule to schedule time.
Being a master of your time is all about planning, protecting, and leveraging your days. Adopting habits like the ones detailed above can go a long way in saving the working day and surging your own productivity.
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