Ever feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day?As we progress through our careers, we have more to do but the same amount of time to achieve everything. You end up letting people down, losing track of priorities, and feeling like a disorganized mess that will never get anything done.Unfortunately, we can’t magically create more time in the day.We can, however, work with the time that we already have to find more time to get things done. Here's how you can too.
Ever feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day?
As we progress through our careers, we have more to do but the same amount of time to achieve everything. You end up letting people down, losing track of priorities, and feeling like a disorganized mess that will never get anything done.
Unfortunately, we can’t magically create more time in the day.
We can, however, work with the time that we already have to find more time to get things done.
Micro-moments are often overlooked, but it’s how people like Stephen King manage to read so many books every year.
Micro-moments are the short moments where you’re stood waiting, or doing nothing in particular. Many of us do nothing in these moments. Some of us check our phones.
However, they’re great opportunities to slowly work on our skills. If you have 150 pages to read, and you spend 5 minutes each day waiting in line for your coffee, it will take you a month to read. If you also read while you wait in line for your lunch, and when you’re waiting for the bus home, these moments quickly add up and you can read those 150 pages in no time.
Working on several tasks at once isn’t a good idea. It dilutes your brain’s concentration and means most of its energy is spent switching its attention from one task to another and back again. This leads to simple mistakes that could easily be avoided. It also means it will take you longer to complete everything that you have to do because what you’re working on doesn’t have your full attention.
When you work on one task at a time, you’re much less likely to make simple mistakes and can complete tasks faster.
There are certain tasks – such as ironing or gardening – that are the perfect opportunity to catch up with a podcast or an audiobook. Likewise in the workplace tasks such as filling in social media schedulers could be done alongside catching up with the latest industry news.
The trick is to do two tasks that are completely unrelated, for instance walking and conducting a meeting. Trying to read a book and listen to a podcast at the same time wouldn’t work because they stimulate similar areas of your brain.
Some people are most productive in the morning. Some people are more productive at night. We all have our own rhythms and when we work with them and not against them, we achieve more.
For me, I’m more creative first thing in the morning and last thing at night. That’s when I write first drafts of many of my posts. Late morning and in the afternoon is when my analytical brain kicks in, which is when I do more of my editing and web statistics.
When you burn out, you know it. It becomes increasingly hard to function and it takes all the energy you have just to type your name. It’s therefore important to learn your limits and when you need to take a break, do so. The lower your energy levels are when you start out, the more you’ll drain yourself when you do a task. You’re much better off taking a break before you start to recharge, then allowing yourself to work on the task when you’ve recharged. You’ll be much more productive and able to think clearly than if you’d thrown yourself straight into something you weren’t ready to tackle.
While it’s impossible to create more time in the day, we can easily find more time in the day by taking advantage of micro-moments, listening to our inner rhythms and working on opposite tasks simultaneously.
What are your favorite productivity tips? Let us know over on Twitter (@cronofy).
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