When it comes to time management, we’re fed the same advice over and over again. Even worse, it's suggested that there’s a one-size-fits-all time management strategy. As a result, we blindly follow these time management tips that aren’t always effective, which causes stress and decreased productivity.
Find your own style of work.
Carson Tate, the author of the “Work Simply” strategy, recommends finding your own-personal-productivity style. You can then adjust your work style and find the right tools to fit your style. Tate says that there are four major styles:
- Prioritizers. They want fact-based analysis and debate. They’re also goal-oriented, consistent, and decisive.
- Planners. They thrive on details, as well as schedules and action plans.
- Arrangers. They want to be appreciated, and they love acknowledgment. They also like discussing questions and concerns.
- Visualizers. They are innovative and open-minded. But, they’re not fans of excessive details.
Schedule around your energy levels and not your time.
We all have different times of the day when we have the most energy and concentration. For some of us, that could be the first thing in the morning. For others, however, it could be mid-morning or early afternoon.
However, there are some ways that you can gain energy when you feel fatigued:
- Get more than 7 hours of sleep each night.
- Eat nutritious foods and exercise to get the blood pumping.
- Disconnect and unplug so that you can rest and recharge.
- Lighten your cognitive load by making fewer decisions. For example, delegate and automate tedious tasks.
- Set realistic goals instead of wearing yourself thin, trying to achieve the impossible.
If you need help with prioritizing your work, Kayla Sloan in an article for Calendar has the following ideas you could try:
- Start with a task list and then order them. “Assign numbers to each item listed starting with the most pressing duties first,” adds Sloan. “Conversely, the bottom of your list should include items that are less pressing or could be done another day.”
- Everything is not a crisis. Stop that fearful, wearing thinking. Even if everything on your list is of equal importance, it doesn’t mean every task has to be all have to be done right now. Begin with the ones that will prevent a potential crisis.
- Use a calendar app. You could schedule everything on your list into your calendar and then set reminders so that you won't forget.
- Don’t take on other’s priorities. Protect your time and only accept time requests if you have the availability or it’s helping you move closer to your goals.