Have you noticed how time flies when you're on vacation and drag when you're at work? We all know how relative time is, and how it passes depends on the tasks and the situation you're in. The goal is to have more things done in less amount of time, but that's not always realistic. Sometimes procrastination kicks in, especially when the tasks seem too "gargantuan". The tendency is for you to put it off until the last minute. And when everything's piled up, that's when you realize you should have spent more time doing the difficult stuff first.
To avoid feeling the guilt, here are four proven tips to help you manage your time better.
1. Truthful Goal-setting
Set realistic and achievable goals. Filling out a long line of tasks in our to-do list only increases anxiety. Trim down the 5 most important things you need to do first thing in the morning. It is the best time as self-control is at its peak. Rank them according to worth. Set the schedule, duration and place. Establishing clear goals will increase your focus and eventually, success.
2. Mindful Organizing
Getting swamped with all the distractions of the day can cause us to miss out on important tasks. First things first, organize your thoughts. Put it in your calendar to remind you of what to focus on. Next, do away all sources of distractions, including phones and the internet. Emails will eat up your allotted time for a task. Schedule a specific time for your emails and social media. This will help you create the habit of achieving duties as scheduled.
3. Cherish Quick Breaks
A refreshed mind is the key to a well-renewed concentration. But we often bargain breaks to extend work, thinking our tasks will get done faster if we don't stop. In reality, skipping breaks does more damage. Your brain needs some rest so it could recharge. Giving your brain some time to wander helps clear it out and lets you be more productive. Schedule breaks every two hours so you don't have to miss one. Do not compromise an opportunity to release toxic energy.
4. Seek the positive.
Sometimes we beat ourselves senseless if some things go our way. If for any reason, you still didn’t yield the perfect results, let it go. There's always the chance to do better tomorrow. What matters most are the lessons you've learned and the change that comes along with it. Instead of nursing regret, affirm yourself that you made it almost perfect. Positive affirmations give your motivation to do your other tasks better. It also helps train your brain to think better and feel good enough to tackle any challenge that comes along.
A well-maintained schedule balances the important things in life and career goals. Keeping all your priorities in order increases your self-esteem and helps you be more productive. When you get all the hard stuff done, it frees your time. It makes you more efficient, thus increasing opportunities for professional advancement.
Herlene Somook is a creative entrepreneur based in Manila, Philippines. A graduate of AB Psychology, she was a Kumon Reading teacher for five years before jumping ship to the Business Process Outsourcing industry. She has been a digital nomad and freelance writer for a little over two years, and enjoys reading bedtime stories to her bouncing toddler.
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