At the start of every year, we’re faced with the possibility of a new chapter. The turning of the calendar page come January 1st has long been a metaphor to turning the page on a new chapter of your own story, and we’ve come to understand that the resolutions we set upon ourselves can act like a table of contents for what’s to come. Each one of these resolutions can bring new adventures, goals, and challenges that you’ll be able to meet in your personal and professional life. Regardless on what you’ve put on this year’s bucket list, managing your time in order to get this stuff done is going to be the top concern for anyone hoping to achieve their goals. While this is true of both your professional and personal goals, the solution to the problem of being more efficient is one that can apply to all aspects of your life.
Finding time to get stuff done means operating at peak efficiency, but doing so for an extended period of time might have averse results in the long term. Delivering great things as fast as humanly possible is a wonderful goal, but if you aren’t careful about carving out time for yourself you risk the chance of derailing your progress through fatigue, burn out, or excess stress. With that in mind, here are three way to manage your time so that being efficient doesn’t make your life unenjoyable. After all, what’s the point of achieving all your goals if you don’t carve out enough time for yourself to sit back and enjoy the spoils of your efforts?
Schedule Your Downtime
Planning to do nothing may seem counter-productive, but consider all of the benefits that come from it. Research has proven that some of our best ideas come from the “idle mind,” a state of thinking that occurs whenever we’re preoccupied with something that doesn’t exactly feel like work. The idle mind is the reason why people get their best ideas in the shower. So while you may be the sort of person whose daily calendar has cascading levels of colour-coded organization, think about leaving some gaps so you can spend your day doing nothing at all. Go for a walk, stare out the window, or meditate at your desk. It can be the recharge time you need for that battery in your back to get back to 100%.
Multi-Task to Stay Excited
Nobody likes staring at a screen for hours at a time Answering Emails. That’s why it’s important to spice up your schedule with some variety, even if it’s something as simple as just you looking at another screen or completing another task. Take a break from answering emails while Checking up on your team’s progress. Take a break from checking your team’s progress while checking the project workflow. Take a break from checking the workflow while answering some emails. Once your routine starts to feel like work in its own right, switch things up again!
Respect Your Own Schedule
The urge to get everything done as fast as possible might propel you to work yourself to the bone, but try to push back on your controlling schedule whenever possible. Deadlines aren’t set in stone, and pushing things back in order to make sure they’re done right will end up reaping its own rewards in the long run. 2017’s achievement as being the safest year for air travel was largely accomplished because mechanics were given more power to say no and to slow things down. For the first time in history, mechanics were given the power to ground an aircraft by themselves for any reason, and cannot be reprimanded or face any repercussions from the airline. So while it may be annoying that a few flights got delayed, in the bigger picture it led to a record year for safety. See the forrest for the trees and go home at 5pm.