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What To Do When Common Time Management Tricks Don't Work

Write A Stop-Doing List

Remind yourself of items that don’t bring you joy, and contribute very little to your long-term goals.

This way, you’re unlikely to spend a lot of time doing time-sucking, non-rewarding work, freeing you up to do the work that does make you happy in the long run. 

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What To Do When Common Time Management Tricks Don't Work

What To Do When Common Time Management Tricks Don't Work

https://www.fastcompany.com/40527391/what-to-do-when-common-time-management-tricks-dont-work

fastcompany.com

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Key Ideas

Write A Stop-Doing List

Remind yourself of items that don’t bring you joy, and contribute very little to your long-term goals.

This way, you’re unlikely to spend a lot of time doing time-sucking, non-rewarding work, freeing you up to do the work that does make you happy in the long run. 

Schedule Procrastination Breaks

During this allotted break, give yourself permission to do time-wasting activities (social media scrolling included) until you got bored and want to move on to your next task. 

Divide Your Day Into Themes

And if your job isn’t ideal for focusing on one thing per day, you can dedicate your morning to one focus area, your early afternoon to another, and late afternoon to another.

This way, instead of being overly restrictive about finishing a task in that time period, you have the flexibility to do any work that moves you forward in that particular focus area.

Tackling Small Tasks

Do the things that make you feel most accomplished.

You might feel even more productive when you're confident. And you can gain confidence by crossing off the little tasks that are easy to do and take little time.

Focusing On One Task At A Time

Think about how many times you wasted time worrying about something that’s completely unrelated to what you’re working on.

A wandering mind is not always a happy mind. The ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive achievement that comes at an emotional cost.

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By the hour

This works well for the chronic procrastinator: those who say they will do it later and then wonder why it never gets done.

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The Pomodoro Method

Rather than trying to work flat-out, break down your day into a series of work-sprints with a short rest period after each session.

Set a timer for 25 min and focus exclusively on your work for that time, take a 5 min break, and repeat.

Some people find that taking a 5 min break destroys their flow. But it does help to break long complex tasks into a series on manageable sprints.

The 2-minute rule

The 2-minute rule is a strategy for quickly assessing and taking action on small tasks so they don’t take up too much mental energy.

Ask yourself if a task is going to take you 2 minutes or less. If so, just do it.

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Brian Tracy

Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life de..."

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Work Around Your Energy Levels

Productivity is directly related to your energy level.

Find your most productive hours — the time of your peak energy — and schedule Deep Work for those periods. Do low-value and low-energy tasks (also known as shallow work), such as responding to emails or unimportant meetings, in between those hours.

Plan Your Day the Night Before

Before going to bed, spend 5 minutes writing your to-do list for the next day. These tasks should help you move towards your professional and personal goals.

You’ll be better prepared mentally for the challenges ahead before waking up and there won’t be any room for procrastination in the morning. As a result, you’ll work faster and smoother than ever before.

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Failing to Keep a To-Do List

The trick with using To-Do Lists effectively lies in prioritizing the tasks on your list. Many people use an A – F coding system (A for high priority items, F for very low priorities). 

Not Setting Personal Goals

Goals give you a destination and a vision to work toward. When you know where you want to go, you can manage your priorities, time, and resources to get there. Goals also help you decide what's worth spending your time on, and what's just a distraction.

Not Prioritizing

It's essential to learn how to prioritize tasks effectively if you want to manage your time better.

Determine if a task is high-yield and high-priority, or low-value, "fill in" work. You'll manage your time much better during the day if you know the difference.

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Defer

To defer means saying, "Not right now" rather than, "Not ever." This could be a new project you want to com mence in a week or two or it could be van idea you want to reflect on before takin...

Delegate

You might find it disconcerting when the results are somewhat different than when you complete the work yourself.

To delegate effectively, create a playbook breaking down a project or task step-by-step and detailing what the outcome looks like.

Do

Simply put, act on your tasks. The 2-minute rule can help with that:  If you can complete a task in two minutes or less, do it now.

It's amazing what you can accomplish in just 120 seconds: write an email, make a quick phone call, pull a report and so on.

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The time-blocking method

Simply means planning out your day in advance and dedicating specific hours to accomplish specific tasks.

Doing this requires determining in advance what you will accomplish and exactl...

The most important task method (MIT)

Rather than writing out a massive to-do list and trying to get it all done, determine the 1-3 tasks that are absolutely essential and then relentlessly focus on those tasks during the day.

Once you determine your 1-3 most important tasks, they are scheduled first in your day. You then make progress on essential items before you get bombarded by distractions. 

The Pomodoro Technique

Is all about working in short, massively productive, intensely focused bursts, and then giving yourself a brief break:

  • Choose a task
  • Set your timer for 25 minutes
  • Work on the task until the timer ends
  • Take a short break (around 5 minutes)
  • Every 4 Pomodoro sessions, take a longer break (15-30 minutes).

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Time boxing

It is one of the most effective time management tools.

Time boxing is about fixing a time period to work on a task or group of tasks. Instead of working on a task until it’s don...

Dealing with small tasks

Time boxes are a great way to tackle those small but annoying tasks. 

A good strategy for dealing with them is to fix a time period and tackle all of them at one sitting.

Overcome procrastination

If you're procrastinating on a task, don't force yourself to finish it. Just put it in a time box.

Setting a time for it will help you overcome your resistance towards the task and chances are that when the time is up you’ll have built enough momentum to continue working on it much longer.

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Trim the fat

Multitasking and directing your energy to unimportant tasks and activities will overwhelm and prevent you from being productive.

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Measure your results

To assist you with measuring results instead of time, keep done lists to feel more motivated and focused.

Have an attitude adjustment

We are more effective at work when we have a positive attitude. 

good attitude at work will help you set standards for your work and ensure that you're taking responsibility for yourself.

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There is no perfect method for everyone

There is no "one size fits all schedule" for maximum productivity.

Because we all have particular strengths and weaknesses when it comes to time management and productivity, what works...

The Time Blocking Method

It involves planning out your day in advance and dedicating specific hours to accomplish specific tasks. 

It’s important to block out both proactive blocks (when you focus on important tasks) and reactive blocks (when you allow time for requests and interruptions).

The Most Important Task Method (MIT)

Instead of writing a big to-do list and trying to get it all done, determine the 1-3 tasks that are absolutely essential and then focus on those tasks during the day. 

You don’t do anything else until you’ve completed the three essential tasks.

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Goals provide structure to your work

 ... by giving you a prioritized list of things to get done.

They help you to identify your priorities, outline what you want to achieve when you want to ach...

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“By saying no, you are giving yourself the ability and bandwidth to say yes to the things that are more important.”

Matt Mayberry
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“If you often find yourself run down by your daily workload or overwhelmed by the complexity of projects and tasks in your life, it is likely because you have not fully mastered effective time management.”

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Treat tasks individually

What seems like a tangled cloud of open-ended old to-dos is actually a series of independent happenings, which are best treated individually.

Once you’re treating each obligation as s...

The end of anxiety

The moment you start acting on something, you are at the beginning of the end of the anxiety associated with that thing.

Many procrastinators are pessimists and overestimate the difficulty of the task they are avoiding. They think doing it is the hard part. But not doing it is much harder.

Avoiding action
The moment you start avoiding action again, due to fear or aversion, you are re-entering a nonproductive phase. 

Physical action ceases, and pointless overthinking begins.

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