If you save 30 minutes a day, you will get 15 hours after just a month. It’s a day that can be saved for yourself to go out of town or take up something else that you never have enough time to accomplish.
The rules of saving time are simple. The only difficulty is to begin to use them every day.
1. A difficult job should be done in the morning
It is not necessary to get up at five in the morning and go about solving the problem without drinking a morning cup of coffee. The scientists from the University of Michigan have found that an adult person shows the best mental activity between 9 and 11 am, and then the activity decreases. So at nine in the morning you’d better deal with the tasks that require much effort. Checking the e-mail and doing various trivia can be left for the afternoon.
2. Create groups of related tasks
Your brain has to adjust to another activity when you take up a different task. It takes about 20 minutes. Group related tasks not to waste time for switching. For example, if you need to reply to a letter, respond immediately to a few more letters; you will do this faster.
3. Keep your mail under control
It is better not to use mail until dinner. But if you know that you should get something important in the morning, regarding the tasks that you have planned, save a little time to check the mail in the morning, then at lunch, and in the evening. Just do not read and do not respond to the letters, which do not require your immediate reply.
4. Make up a plan
We have already written about it a million times. Our friends still include so few of those who make up at least some plan for the day… Do you plan your goals and tasks?
It is best to plan the next day in the evening, then in the morning you will be involved in the work right away without wasting your time.
5. Get rid of distractions
Of course, you cannot ignore the office staff and personal distractions all day long, but at least turn off the phone, close all extra tabs in the browser and try to retire to a separate room, closing the door behind you for at least half an hour.
Does it happen that you come to the office on the weekend to work productively in silence for at least half an hour? This time can be saved for having a rest, if you find an opportunity to stay alone during the working hours.
6. Clean and organize your workspace
Your table can be perfectly clean, but it does not increase your productivity. A clean working place does not interfere with your work; at the same time, all the necessary things are always at hand: gadgets, notebooks, pens, and battery chargers. The same applies to work programs and folders on your computer. Everything should be in its proper place, working correctly and opening quickly. Any desired document, image or folder should be found instantly.
7. Do not waste your time
While traveling in public transport, standing in a traffic jam or in a queue, do not use social networks. Check your mail, plan the next day, read a book, which has long been delayed. If you suspect that you will have free time to check your mail in the evening, do not do it in the office – you can finish more important things there.
8. Avoid unnecessary tasks
Think about how much you are doing just because of some obligation or not being able to say “no.” On a Sunday morning, you go to help your colleague with the purchase of a wardrobe, attend a master class in cooking cupcakes, help your friend to choose the wallpaper, or agree to organize a party in the office on Friday. If your business brings no pleasure, think whether you should be involved in it. The world will not change if you refuse, will it?
9. Do not cook every day
If you cook every night, you deprive yourself not only of an hour or two needed to cook food. During the day, your brain is overloaded with thinking what to cook. And still sometimes you rush to the store to buy extra products.
At the weekend, food can be cooked and frozen for almost a week. Even a healthy breakfast can be prepared for five weekdays in advance, and your morning preparation for the job will be calmer.
10. Find some time for sports
Not having time for sports is an excuse. You never have an extra hour, unless you plan it specifically. Find some time to take a walk for at least five or six kilometers a day. It takes only an hour, but you will start to think better. If you have a flexible lunch break, take a walk or go to the gym at this time, and you will get rid of the afternoon sleepiness.
11. Cope with all the small general tasks at once
All the planned small tasks should better be done at once. Let’s say you need to buy some products, drive to the car service to check your car, and visit your grandmother. Choose the day when this can be done. The total time you need to spend is less that the time you need for these things if you divide them for a few days.
12. Resist the multitasking myths
It seems so cool to do several things at once. You are so swift and prolific and yet have enough time. No. Our brain can only focus on one task. Accomplish one task quickly and then move on to another one. It is much more effective than trying to focus on four tasks simultaneously.
13. Automation is worth admiring
Automatic payments for the Internet, the phone, and other conveniences will unload your brain. These moments will not disturb you. Set the mail filters in a proper way to receive as little distracting spam as possible. Much can be automated to preserve energy for more important things.
14. Get ready in the evening
This is a great habit that many of us were taught to develop at school. What a pity that we have forgotten about it over time. But if you collect a bag for the gym, iron clothes for the next day, cook dinner and put it in a container in the fridge the day before, you will experience less fuss in the morning. By the way, you will avoid all possible troubles as well. For example, you will not discover that there is a stain on your shirt and that you do not have a fresh one just 15 minutes before leaving the house.
15. Turn off the screens
The light coming from the TV, smartphone, and laptop screens prevents the production of melatonin. So it’s a very bad idea to read or watch something on the phone before bedtime or fall asleep with a working TV-set. The sleep quality will deteriorate, and you will wake up exhausted in the morning; you will find it much harder to think and will spend more time on simple tasks. Put all the gadgets aside and meditate before bedtime instead.
Which of these rules do you use? Tell us about your time management techniques.