Spending most of your time indoors without natural light has an adverse effect on your productivity and creativity. This is an unwanted consequence of lockdown for those of us working from home. Instead, finding a way to manage your time can get you on the right track.
Find What Suits You
The variety of time management techniques can make finding the best one time-consuming. So here are a few you can try out:
The Pomodoro Technique is popular and for good reason. The technique is working for 25 minutes with 5-minute intervals between. In every 4th interval, you take a 15 to 20-minute break. The concept can seem a little cumbersome at first as it means keeping track on your day but the results are worth it. By working in short spurts, you’re more likely to stay focused. It's easier to avoid the distractions when you haven't been staring at a computer screen or your desk for four straight hours.
The Eisenhower Matrix is great for getting a handle on the important tasks. By listing your tasks and dividing them into four categories, you’re able to prioritise and delegate as it best suits you. This technique is great for getting you to actually consider what’s important. Note: be careful to not fall into the trap of prioritising unimportant tasks just because they’re urgent!
Time Blocking is the most familiar time management technique. Plan out a list of the tasks you want to do and then prioritise them. You block off time for each task and schedule the higher priority tasks for when you’ll be most productive. If time blocking sounds like it’s for you, it’s important to try and remain flexible. It can sometimes be hard to manage disruptions. You can ease this by scheduling frequent breaks that give you some more wiggle room.
The 10-Minute Rule is super easy and lets you check in on yourself. You simply work on a task for 10 minutes and when the time is up, decide whether you want to keep going for another 10 minutes. Although the frequent breaks can get distracting, this technique is great for breaking your duties up into manageable chunks.
Most importantly, don’t forget to schedule in unscheduled time. Spend time watching the opera or playing computer games that remind you of your youth. You’re not a machine and you can't spend every waking hour completing a project.
Taking breaks lets you reset and relax your mind so you can get more done when you’re working. Pushing through when your mind is wandering won’t get you anywhere so make sure you stretch your legs and grab a tea.
Remember that effective time management is about scheduling time to suit you. So don’t get disheartened if you fall a little behind schedule. Tomorrow is a new day with a fresh scheduling canvas.
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