Five tips for better time management
Do you feel like you’re always on the clock but there aren’t quite enough hours in the day to get everything done on your to-do list? It may be time to reassess your work schedule and incorporate a few new time management strategies into your day. Here are a few ideas to try.
Limit interruptions and distractions
It’s so easy to get sidetracked while you’re doing work. According to a University of California study, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to your task-at-hand after an interruption. After multiple interruptions a day, things can really add up. The Chrome extension Mindful Browsing gives you a polite prompt when you try to access preset sites, like Facebook or YouTube, while Freedom blocks you from accessing certain sites during a preset block of time so that you can focus. You can alter the settings based on what sites distract you most and what you need to do your work.
Try the pomodoro method
This productivity technique was created by Francesco Cirillo as a way to maximize focus and study. Cirillo found that his productivity improved when he spent 25 minutes concentrating on focused work with 5-minute breaks in between. Apparently, the method helps to improve focus for those 25 minutes, since you know you have a break coming up soon, while the rest time allows you to recalibrate. You can use this online Tomato Timer to help you get started on the pomodoro method.
Embracing your own peak productivity time
You might think that waking up at the crack of dawn to power up your laptop is a more virtuous and productive way of working. But if your brain takes a bit more time to wake up, you’ll be working against your own natural body clock. So if you feel like you do your best work in the afternoon or late in the evening, structure your day so that you’re getting errands done or spending time with loved ones earlier, keeping peak productivity time free to get your best work done.
Keep everything organized
When you’re busy, it can be easy to let things like filing, clutter, or even your personal inbox get a bit out of hand. Make a habit of keeping your workspaces clean and organized so that you can find what you need quickly and easily. But resist the urge to use cleaning or decluttering as an excuse not to work, as we’ve all been guilty of in the past. Instead, you can schedule in a few minutes in your day dedicated to tidying or inbox management to get in the habit of ongoing organization.