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

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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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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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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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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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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