Organising your work life might seem like a job that involves nothing more than consistently trying to clear your inbox backlog, but what if there is more to it?
The art of time management is actually all about adopting an intelligent mindset that allows you to get more done in less time. It’s about efficiency and understanding your unique cognitive abilities, not about working longer and longer hours with every passing year.
To show you just how you can get more done in less time we’ve put together a few tips used by some of the world’s most productive people.
Think About how Long You Want to Spend at Work
First things first, you need to think about how long you’re willing, prepared, and able to spend at work each day.
The reason for starting here is it’s no use coming up with a dozen new procedures and habits that will allow you to get more done if they also require you to adopt unrealistic working hours. Be honest with yourself and don’t fall victim to the problem of presentism.
There’s nothing to be gained from working for the sake of working, so don’t do it when you don’t have to. It’s about getting more done, not spending longer in the office than anyone else.
Do Your Deep Work First Thing in the Morning
Deep work is a name that’s gaining traction for the tasks that push your cognitive limits. They’re basically analytical and/ or creative tasks. They would include creating a spreadsheet calculator or business plan, but they wouldn’t include answering emails or meeting a client for a sales pitch.
These kinds of tasks require the utmost care and attention, and they can only be completed to a satisfactory level if you give them your full attention. Focus and attention are finite (try working at 3am and you’ll see what we mean) so it makes sense to do your deep work first thing in the morning when you’re fresh and alert.
Hire a Business Coach Who Can Help You See the Bigger Picture
A business coach is a great investment for anyone looking to get more out of the working day and skyrocket their career. By working with someone who will be able to take a step back and see how you operate across days, weeks, and months you’ll reap the benefits of a big picture approach.
And with services like Upskill Coach available, you can find someone who is on the same wavelength easier than ever. Trust their recommendations and be honest with yourself about how strict you’ve been in your attempts to apply them. It will make a world of difference to your output if you build consistent habits and rituals.
Be Flexible about Your Engagements Outside Work
Time management at work is great because it will allow you more time to do the more important things outside of your job. These are the things that you’ll really look back on lovingly as you grow old, so make sure you’re flexible about how you fit them into your routine. It might be an idea if you involve your partner at this point so that you have the benefit of their input when it comes to your time management.
You might find that they really want you around for a certain part of the week, but that you’re free to work longer on other days. Be flexible and open-minded and you’ll be able to have the best of both worlds.
Set Yourself Personal Deadlines to Focus the Mind
Deadlines focus the mind because all of us know that any given job has a nasty habit of expanding to fill the time available. You can stop this from ever happening again with one simple technique. By setting yourself the goal of completing X by Y you can stay ahead of the curve and focus your efforts at the same time.
This is ideal if you want to make the best use of your time and move up the career ladder. It will also mean that you have extra hours every week to spend with the people at home that really matter most to you.
Work Free from Distractions by Putting Your Phone on the Side
Your phone is probably the best tool ever created to grab your attention and distract you right throughout the day. We all fall for it so there’s no shame in admitting that you have the same daily battle with your little digital friend.
There are apps that will lock you out if you use them too much, and there are others that will give you real-time feedback on your activity. These are all okay, to a point.
The most effective thing is to put your phone on silent so it can’t distract, and to also put it out of reach so you’re not tempted to start playing with it. You’ll be amazed at how much more you get done.