Tips management tips #3
By now, you should know that I am big on time management – and big on boosted productivity. If you’re new to the improved efficiency game, I recommend reading back through Time Management tips #1 and #2 – to help you get the basics in order.
If you’re still here, it means you’re ready to go even bigger and level up your time management skills. Here are my top tips to truly get the most out of not only your workday – but your whole life. It’s precious, you know.
1. Utilise the weekend, just a little bit
I’ve found that it’s amazing how doing just a little bit on weekends can really lessen the workload during the week. I am for 2-4 hours per day. You’ll still leave yourself plenty of free time for activities.
And for those that are screaming ‘family time is more important!’ I agree, but you can’t spend quality time with your family and friends if your focus is elsewhere. Clear the task on your mind and then enjoy the free time. They will enjoy the less stressed version of you anyway.
2. Create organising systems
You may have heard the message that being organised saves tonnes of time. You don’t have to be the most ultra-organised person in the world to implement and use organisational systems.
Personally, I believe that it’s a waste of time organising things. If you need to spend time organising things, then you have too many things. If you need to spend money on organising systems (boxes, shelves, etc) then you have too many things. But I am, in lieu of a better word, a minimalist – and that practice is a little different.
That said, everyone has their own way of doing things. To work on this item, isolate all the spaces in your life that suck time and come up with a way to organise them better. The initial time investment will save you so much in the future. Make sure all items have a place at work and home. Obviously, the less things you have – the easier it is.
3. Cut down electronic clutter
Electronic clutter is just as bad – if not worse – than physical clutter. Managing electronic clutter and Microsoft mayhem is an entire topic of its own! In the meantime, here are a few main ways to decrease your electronic clutter:
- Unsubscribe from email lists if you don’t want to receive their content
- Turn off notifications for things you don’t need to be advised of immediately
- Don’t use your phone reminders for everything, as I guarantee you will just hit ‘done’ and not actually do it. Use if for very important things only.
- At work, tidy your inbox daily. It’s a to-do list of its own. Think of it like being the old paper intray. The only things in there are things not done yet!
“If you need to spend time organising things, then you have too many things. If you need to spend money on organising systems (boxes, shelves, etc) then you have too many things”
4. Do something during waiting time
We tend to have a lot of waiting time in our day-to-day lives. Waiting rooms, school pick-up, queues, kid supervision (the pool for me), sitting on hold with the NBN (don’t get me started) or on the cardio equipment at the gym (kidding – see the previous blog).
Find things to do during this time. I tend to clear junk emails, brainstorm and draft email responses (I don’t send them until I’ve proofread again on my laptop as I have bad eyesight). I jot down my notes and thoughts on Google Keep but transfer data later to where it needs to be if useful. Even things like shopping lists, meal planning, family things that pop into your head, marketing/facebook ideas, tomorrow’s to do etc – will get jotted down during my downtime.
You can increase productivity two-fold by using those pockets of time when you are not resting but essentially waiting for other people to get those little 5-minute tasks done and dusted.
5. Group similar tasks together
Different tasks demand different types of thinking. So, it makes sense to allow your mind to continue to flow with its current state rather than switch unnecessarily to something that’s going to require you to re-orient.
This is when the to-do list comes into play. It’s hard to group tasks together when you have no idea what you need to achieve each day. Go through your list and consider what tasks use similar tools and thought processes, then do them together.
6. Find time for stillness
Too many people don’t find time to just be still. Yet, it’s extraordinary what a stillness practice can do. Discovering time in your life for silence and non-motion reduces anxiety and shows you that there is no need to constantly rush.
I’ll admit – this one is from a book. I have tried many apps and classes, and reaching a personal state of stillness is very tricky for me!
“We get so caught up that we forget to enjoy what we’re doing. Even when we focus on working smarter, we’re still often too focused on getting things done.”
7. One last tip (the best one)
There’s one final tip I want to mention. If you remember one thing from this series – this should be it!
Enjoyment should always be the goal. Work can be play.
We get so caught up that we forget to enjoy what we’re doing. Even when we focus on working smarter, we’re still often too focused on getting things done.
This should never be the only point. Always ask yourself: What can I do to spend more time enjoying what I’m doing?
The goal should be to arrange your commitments in a way that makes you happy to live out your daily life. Yes, that’s right – even while you’re working!
Still have questions?
Perhaps you’d like to know more about this blog’s topic? Or perhaps we impressed you so much with our know-how on this topic, that you’d like to ask us about another accounting related topic?
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