Instead of relying on a tool with all the bells and whistles, find out where you’re struggling and what’s essential for you.
For example, if scheduling is taking you away from product development, then you could use a scheduling tool that uses machine learning to automate most of your scheduling needs. If you’re wasting too much time on email, then consider using a tool to help tame your inbox.
Time management is only useful when you’re aware of your limitations and don't let the system dictate your entire life.
In other words, when you don’t tread lightly (especially at first), time management can add more stress to your life.
When you set a time limit on certain things that have to be done, this can motivate you to get get them down within that period. However, sometimes it’s just not possible, and you have underestimated the actual time this task takes you to complete.
Track your time for a couple of weeks. Jot down your daily activities and calculate how long each will take and see if you are realistic.
... instead of task management.
Task management is more effective than time management because these tasks come with clear limits which make them easier to manage. You know when you’ve started work on a project -- and you know when you’ve completed the job. It’s one limited thing at a time.
Just because you get a bunch done doesn’t mean your time was spent or focused where you would be making the best progress.
To be the most effective -- don’t pick the "low-hanging fruit," meaning the easiest. Devote your energy to your most important priorities which work will provide you with the most production.
If you get up early -- you can't stay up all night. You have to have a bedtime schedule -- and stick with the routine.
If you’re not a morning person, then don’t force yourself to change. Instead, base your schedule around your specific ultradian rhythms.
Thanks to Parkinson’s Law, if we have availability in our schedule, then we’re going to fill it up. You may have cranked out your most important tasks for the day, but, now you’re just going to add even more items to your calendar or to-do list so that there aren’t any blank spaces.
Follow the 80/20 productivity rule. Instead of loading up on even more work, use those open slots to meditate, daydream, or add flexibility to your schedule.
There’s a misconception that if you get as much work done as quickly as possible, you’ll be more effective and productive. This notion that you've done more only works temporarily before you burn yourself out.
Working through lunch, putting in 60-hour workweeks, and never taking a vacation will only go so far. You need to pace yourself and take breaks to rest and recharge.
It’s okay to waste time now and then. That doesn’t mean binge-watching Netflix.
Instead of working all day -- take some time to read, listen to a podcast, exercise, or catch-up with an old friend or colleague. It may sound counterproductive. But, wasting time can be an asset preventing burn out.
Start saying “no” more often. If you say “yes” to every request of your time, you’re not only spreading yourself too thin -- allowing other people’s priorities to get ahead of your own.
Set boundaries on when it’s time to work and when it’s not. If you already have plans, don’t try to commit to something else in addition to what’s already in your calendar.
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