Those of you who are familiar with Christian Benedict will know that we’re all about helping our customers avoid spending time on the mundane so they can spend it on what matters. Building on this theme we’re using this post to explore other tried and tested ways of managing your time more wisely.
Approach tasks appropriately
Deal with tasks in a manner appropriate to their size. You need to treat smaller, achievable tasks differently to those that are more complex and time consuming.
With smaller tasks don’t switch between multiple tasks, but instead focus on finishing them one by one. You need to focus on something to get it done and constantly switching simply prevents your mind from achieving that focus. As a bonus, by completing smaller tasks you’ll gain a sense of achievement, preparing you well for bigger tasks.
When dealing with more complex and time consuming problems, the opposite approach is best. Spend a certain period of time working on the problem in hand and then take a break for a few minutes, before returning to it. This short pause allows you to break up the task into far more manageable chunks. In the breaks do something totally different. For example go and get a coffee or clear a couple of e-mails (though don’t get overly distracted by those messages – mark as unread and come back to them if necessary).
Stop looking at your phone
Whether at work, commuting or on the sofa try not to mindlessly surf the internet on your phone or tablet. In his book, Hooked: How to build Habit-Forming Products, Nir Eyal points out that social networks and similar applications are designed to make you habitually (literally) waste your time using their services. By not doing so you will regain a significant portion of your time.
To achieve this make a few changes. Firstly, change the notification settings for all your apps so that they can’t pester you. Then change how often your phone ‘fetches’ new data. ‘Fetching’ data means essentially pulling information down from the server and limiting how often this occurs will give you peace, while also reducing battery and data usage. Finally, limit how often you physically check your e-mail. If you’re not in work do it no more than once every 24 hours. If you are in work experiment with periods of an hour or more, unless you’re the boss in which case make it known internally what you’re doing and only check twice a day.
Cutting out exercise because you don’t have enough time, is a sure fire way to increase your stress levels. However, that doesn’t means you can’t be efficient in how you exercise.
One means of exercising efficiently is to adopt the ‘high intensity interval training’ or ‘HIIT’ method. HIIT is a form of interval training involving short periods of intense exercise interwoven with short periods of recovery. This method of exercising has a low time requirement, but also is effective. As the personal trainer and nutritionist, Si Edwards, explains ‘research suggests HIIT is one of the fastest and most time efficient ways of burning fat, while also stimulating more muscle than traditional types of steady cardio’. However, we note HIIT should be adopted in tandem with other forms of exercise so that it doesn’t become boring or a chore.
Another way of using time well is during your commute. Provided you live in proximity to your work try running, walking or cycling to work. This will reduce the time you need to spend in the gym and, depending on where you live, may even reduce your commute time. If you live too far from work, consider breaking up your journey (e.g. bike to your train station instead of driving there or walk from a car park further from your office).
Practice makes perfect
So there you have it. If you can adopt these changes you should become more efficient with your time and productive. Don’t try and do it all at once as habits and behaviours will take time to change and don’t use the above techniques to squeese in more and more (don’t get stressed about it). Instead, take small steps and gently alter how you do things. Of course if you want an immediate fix we have a few recommendations on how you can save time buying your shirts…
Thanks again for dropping by and reading this blog and have a good bank holiday.
All the best,