People often think that 24 hours is not enough to do everything they need to get done within a day. While it’s true that there are plenty of things that a mere mortal won’t be able to accomplish in just a single day, there are several strategies that you can use to make the most of the time available to you. Making a habit of these practices will allow you to maximize your time and effort so that you can slowly and surely work your way into achieving your goals at home, in the workplace, and in the other aspects of your life.
Prepare Tomorrow’s Outfit and Essentials Today
Having way too many options in front of you can be paralyzing, and you don’t want to start your morning debating whetheryou’ll go with one outfit over another—especially not when you’re running a bit behind your schedule.
Instead of choosing your clothes on the day itself, why not make the decision the night before and save “future you” from having to worry about an early morning dilemma? You can even go a step further and prepare your work outfits at the start of every week. In addition to helping you exercise your planning skills, deciding what you’ll wear a week ahead can also alert you to the fact that you need to shop hosiery, tights, or other accessories to complete your work attire. Talk about efficiency!
Build and Establish a Morning Ritual
Following a morning routine can help you set yourself up for success. Establishing a set of activities to accomplish every morning is key to slowly easing your brain into work mode. At the same time, it limits the effect of all the background activities and concerns that won’t help you accomplish your goals for the day.
Perhaps you can wake up earlier and include a short workout or meditation session in your morning routine. This can be followed by breakfast, a quick shower, and then plopping in front of your dedicated workspace with a cup of tea or coffee. Doing these things in order can help you transition to work mode and retain your focus better as you go about your tasks.
Map Out Your Priorities and Activities
The night before or first thing in the morning, you’ll want to find out exactly what it is you’re expected to do at home and in the office. Listing them down on your calendar or planner at the start or end of every day will prevent you from falling into the habit of jumping from one task to another. You could make organization fun by adding a few inspiring planner stickers. By knowing exactly what needs to be done exactly when it needs to be done, you’re giving yourself the time and space to focus on and finish a specific task, goal, or activity.
Eliminate Distractions in Your Work Area
A tidy workplace is not just for show; it can also affect the way you work. While it’s true that some people have working styles that pair well with a cluttered environment, many others can feel distracted and a little too stressed out when their workstations have way too many trinkets and tools that don’t necessarily affect their current assignment.
As such, make it a habit to clean up your physical and digital workspace when you have free time, or add a short cleanup schedule to your daily agenda. After a general cleaning session, you can keep your desk or office tidy by putting things back to where they belong every day.
Familiarize Yourself with Pareto’s Principle
Named after the philosopher and economist Vilfredo Pareto,Pareto’s principle states that 80 percent of outcomes are the result of 20 percent of causes or 20 percent of input results in 80percent of the output.
When approaching a project that requires multiple steps, such as planning an event, try to identify the tasks and activities that have the greatest impact on the final product. This will help you determine which steps are critical to the completion of the project and should be placed at the top of your priority list.
Use the Pomodoro Method to Maximize Time
The Pomodoro method is another technique that you can use to help yourself focus and break down large tasks into small, achievable ones. All you need for this technique is a timer.
For starters, you can set the timer on your phone to 15 minutes. You’ll focus on nothing but a particular task until the time is up. Follow this with a timed 5-minute break, then another 15-minute work session. After 4 work and break sessions, give yourself a 20-minute break, then repeat the process over again. It’s also an effective technique for minimizing procrastination.
Schedule Regular Breaks and Self-care Sessions
To be able to do your best at home and in the office, you need to be in tip-top condition. This means that you need to pay attention to your health and wellness, especially if you feel that your current preoccupation is exposing you to plenty of stressors.
When the going gets tough, listen to your body and give yourself a break. Better yet, make it a habit to take regular breaks so that you can stay on top of your stress levels and get a good idea of how you’re feeling and performing. Taking a break after completing a task is also a great way to clear your mind and give yourself room to think about your next event or activity.
Making a habit of these 7 practices is not something that you can accomplish in a day, and that’s perfectly fine. You can start slowly and adopt habits that seem more doable than the others at first. Then, try to incorporate a few more time management strategies once the new habits that you were adopting havebecome second nature to you.
Little by little, you’ll find yourself to be more in control of your time. This, then, will make it easier for you to use your time to your advantage and not feel like your calendar is dictating how you’ll spend your days and weeks.