Making your time more efficient
Rumour has it we have the same number of hours in the day as Mark Zuckerberg– go figure. One thing’s for sure, a man of such success is likely clued up on efficient time-management, but are you?
In a recent study 39% of small business owners work over 60 hours per week, no one is surprised, the grind is real. But maximizing those hours can be the difference in how quickly you can achieve your goals.
The reality is, the more efficient you are the quicker you can reach your goals. So, below we’ve listed some valuable insights in to getting the most out of your working day.
An obvious one, and yet…
The average adult should have 7-9 hours of sleep per night, and in doing so, you are more likely to have:
• Increased cognitive & memory
• Better judgement & decision making
• Easier problem solving
• More creative & focussed
• Decreased chance of burnout
As for the morning fog, make sure you are setting your alarm in keeping with your sleep cycles. Try to time it so that when you wake up, you’re coming to the end of a 90-minute cycle, this way you’re more likely to wake up feeling refreshed and well rested.
Plan your day beforehand
Spending 10-12 minutes planning your day the day before can save you at least 2 hours of wasted time in the day and also ensure that the most important things get done first.
Planning your day, the night before will make you more likely to pick the important tasks that need to be completed, as your mind is more relaxed, and you know that you have a long rest before having to do it.
To do list: ABC method
Applying the ABC method to your to-do list will help you prioritise your tasks, ensuring the most important will always be done first.
A tasks are defined as the most important, the tasks you MUST do that day and will make the most difference. Failing to complete these tasks will give you serious consequences.
B tasks are tasks you should do, failing to do so will have mild consequences. Someone may be unhappy or inconvenienced if you don’t do it.
Rule: you should never start on ‘B’ tasks when there are ‘A’ tasks outstanding.
C tasks are the least important. They can still be part of your to-do list but don’t necessarily have consequences if they’re left undone or are time sensitive.
Only begin ‘C’ tasks once ‘A’ and ‘B’ are completed.
Although it may seem counteractive, taking breaks does make you more efficient. Following our bodies natural rhythm, working for 90 minutes then having a 20-minute break is found to be the most effective, resulting in increased productivity, creative thinking and faster problem solving. If 90 minutes is a bit too long, another alternative is working for 55 minutes and having 5 minutes break. Work out what works best for you. During your break, try and get outside, move your body and increase blood flow, otherwise you can try breathwork and or meditation to clear the mind. Experts nag us about this for a reason.
There is no such thing. There’s just switching in between tasks.
Productivity can drop as much as 40% when we try to do two or more tasks at once. It also increases stress, shortens your attention span and more mistakes will be made. It will also end up taking you longer, so, cut out the multitasking and focus on the task at hand.
It takes a whopping 23 minutes to truly return our focus back from a distraction as if it had never happened. Imagine if that’s happening multiple times a day… Minimise the opportunity for distraction, and if this means putting headphones in and not playing music for the sake of peace and quiet, so be it. Switch the phone to ‘don’t disturb’ and if you’re worried about missing something important, you can change the settings so that only certain people can get in contact.
Choose when in the day your most productive
You’ve probably heard the phrase Night Owl/Early Bird…
From a working perspective, this determines the time of day you are most alert and able to concentrate. Organising your day with this in mind, can increase your productivity by 500%! On average, a person only has 3 truly productive hours out of the day and for most people, they’re usually in the morning.
Once you know, try to fill these hours with you’re a tasks or big projects. The hours you’re less productive could be spent on emails and meetings that don’t require as much brain power. The least productive hour falls (on average) around 3 pm, so be sure to schedule a break around then!
Aside from anything else, this is arguably the most valuable in time management.
This breaks down your regular weekly tasks to the nearest 15 minutes (or at least ours does) and means that you’re less likely to waste precious time on trivial matter. However, you won’t stick to it unless it’s realistic, so please do give yourself enough time to complete each task.
Once you’ve set it up, transfer it over to your calendar and stick to it as much as possible…Don’t check your emails unless it’s the allotted time for, and definitely, don’t skip your breaks!
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