How To Manage Time Effectively and Productively

I have a question. Have you ever been drowned with the tasks so easy yet you are not in the mood to finish them? That is actually a normal reaction to finishing the job for the day, especially now that everything is done at home. While we are behaving ourselves at home to flatten the curve, our jobs working-from-home is at stake knowing there are more disturbances at home than in our respective workplace. While you can manage your time at work because your boss and your colleagues are around, it is way difficult at home. With the demands from kids, noise from your neighbors, and the rest that we can all mention. These are the things which can affect our Time in accomplishing our tasks.

Time Management is the key to efficient working. If you can manage your time well and organize your tasks accordingly, you will most likely finish all the needed tasks for the day.

I made this article to help you cope with handling tasks and finishing them on time, more importantly beating the deadlines. There are a lot of creative processes for you to manage your time more effectively, though I can also say that 24 hours is not enough for a working person like us. But if you can manage time and organize your assignments properly, 24 hours is an extra.

With great demands from work, working smart can lead you to productive and efficient results. So here are a few tips which I can share with you in order for you to make adjustments and finally move around your clock systematically.

Plan ahead

Are you familiar with the 80-20 rule? This is actually 80% outcomes – 20% inputs – for business strategy. This can also be applied in planning your tasks ahead. With 80% planning, you will only be needing 20% effort or execution.

Strategically, a lot of people already have benefited this rule. Especially in work accomplishments and submissions of outputs by beating deadlines. So instead of making too many excuses about how come you were not able to submit your assignments on time, plan ahead on what you are going to do the next day. So you can have a basis on what to finish for the day.

Set Priorities

Label all your tasks by organizing everything. In our daily routine nowadays, include the household chores that you have. Avoid unnecessary chores when you are already working with your assignments. Make your priorities, become your priorities.

There should not be a mix of everything. Accomplish each assignment one-by-one so you can have a focus on what has to be done first. If you were able to plan ahead, you have your list of priorities. Determine the items of greater importance, so when your boss would have to insert another important thing to do which is not included in your list, you will still be able to cope with the tasks on your list. Remember, when it comes to our work everything is urgent for the boss. So you should be keen on all the tasks you organized on your to-do-list.

Eliminate the unnecessary

This one is unavoidable especially right now. Our current situation, staying at home and still doing our job is hard to blend. While being at home means, being with your loved ones and those you wanted to share all your memories with, it is also undeniably at home where you can have a lot of distractions while working.

How will you eliminate the unnecessary distractions?

First, you have to avoid engaging too much on social media. A simple scrolling on your phone can lead to more scrolls which can eat up your time minute by minute until you will realize you have been scrolling for over an hour already.

Set your time in doing household chores. Disseminate the chores to the people who are also at home. Same as being in the office, make your 8-hour full-time work be only divided by short snacking and personal necessity time, and lunchtime. Other than that, let the chores in your house be done outside your working time. That’s how you should eliminate your unavoidable chores. Bear in mind that you are a working person, and there is a boss or a client or a teammate waiting for your output. Don’t make excuses.

Visualize your progress

In all the tasks which you need to give focus on, visualize your progress by setting up a time tracker. You may also jot down in your to-do-list how much you could spend in a certain assignment or you may set an alarm so there will be something to remind you that your time is up and you need to cope.

Scheduling and robust reporting can really take you to better accomplishments. Establishing a time tracker for yourself will be a perfect guide so you can prevent dragging tasks especially your time.

Avoid delays and excuses

There should always be a workflow which you are to follow. It is by dividing your tasks by BIG and IMPORTANT ones with SMALL ones. Big projects, for example, are of course need focus. So make sure that if you ever have to switch from big to small ones or vice versa, do not break your focus. Stick to your to-do-list and go on.

Avoid complicating things in your job by making excuses. Professionals don’t do that unless necessary like in the case of emergencies. And always remember that multitasking is part of a professional’s daily routine, so there might be an instant shift from important tasks you already set to another more important one. It is unavoidable and is something we professionals should adapt.

Organize your workstation

Part on how to manage your time is the organization of the workstation. An organized workstation prevents further delays. Make a harmonious relationship with your workstation and treat it as your pet or your favorite place. Taking care of your gadgets, your tables, chairs, laptops, pens, papers etc and placing them orderly where you can access them right away, and avoid time dragging.

Make sure to also clean-up your mess after work so when you get back, you just have to focus on your next tasks and not cleaning before processing your work which can eat up another part of your time.

Declutter. It is necessary for your physical and mental health.

Take short breaks

A simple power nap, breathing, coffee break, or snack time are also part of how to manage your time. These can enhance power in your brain. Thus, it can keep you on track. So never forget to take short breaks. Getting drowned with your work can slow you down. You will ruin your planned hours for the day. Like instead of working 8 hours or less, you will extend a little late because your body and your brain are not engaging perfectly well anymore.

So breathe.

Set your own deadline

While your client or your boss has given you deadlines, you can set ahead for yourself. It is also a great way to manage your time and control procrastination. It can also help you have ample time to review all the accomplished assignments before submission.

Determine your body clock

While other freelancers with flexible timetables are more of this advantage, as a normal working with a fixed time you can also determine this one by adjusting your sleeping habit. Schedules give our days structure and a timetable to revolve around.

Our bodies have natural rhythms that influence our ability to focus and produce so you need to pay attention to your body clock as well. There are people who are nocturnal and there are also others who are early birds. The key is to match your highest priority work to your most productive hours of the day. Set your tasks at the time where you are most alert.

If you are familiar with the 90-minute cycle, you are sure to have a productive day. Our body naturally works in cycles of 90 minutes. During these cycles, we can get engaged and drive more focus on our tasks. This is followed by lower frequency brain activity for about 20 minutes when we can feel “brain fog” or blackout and may have a harder time concentrating. If you could memorize your brain activities and harness this natural cycle by working in 90-minute increments, and give yourself a break in between, you can have your best results without harming your body by swimming on your workloads.

Avoid mental fatigue

Anyone who has mental fatigue can never ever accomplish anything even if he/she has already been setting up priorities and has planned ahead. When you feel mental fatigue setting in, try stepping away from your desk for a few minutes. Do some stretching, going for a walk or spending a few minutes outside enjoying nature. Nature, especially anything green can help you boost your brain from getting used up for the day. Keeping your eyes away from the monitor once in a while allows your brain to refresh and restore your motivation.

Live your life accordingly

Exercise often. No excuses. There are a lot of ways to do it. May it be cooking, small walks, small talks, standing, playing with your kids, eating with your family or just simply moving your head to avoid muscle and mental stress.

Any form of exercise improves our mood and reduces feelings of stress and anxiety. Always take a break.

By having all these tips inside your pocket, I am sure you are guaranteed to become a productive person who can work efficiently all working-day.

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