Proper goals help you measure your progress - Deepstash

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Time management for students: strategies and tips to build your focus

Proper goals help you measure your progress

Goals work great to get you motivated to do your work, but they don't tell you how you're going to achieve your goals.

Ask yourself what you can do every day that will help you achieve your ultimate goal. If you need to write a 4,000 word essay by the end of the month, set a daily goal of writing 500 words. If you can make consistent progress, you'll hit your goal sooner.

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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.

William Penn

"Time is what we want most, but what we use worst".

William Penn
Time anxiety

Time anxiety is the feeling that you have not done enough to meet your goals or that you're not using the time you do have effectively.

Time anxiety is more than feeling overwhelmed at times - it haunts your days and causes you to procrastinate on essential tasks.

Your relationship with time changes

The irony is the more we focus on the limited time we do have, the more restricted our time feels.

Time had little impact on us as children. We used to spend our days with mostly unstructured games and learning. As we became teenagers, time started to gain importance. As adults, time becomes an essential and scarce resource that we have to attempt to control.

Fighting For Our Focus
Fighting For Our Focus

Scheduling of work falls into two broad categories: Makers and Managers. Most of us are either managing people and projects or making something, like documents, apps or other creat...

Different Jobs See Time Differently
  • Managers can work in time blocks of 30 or 60 minutes, scheduling meetings or sending emails.
  • Makers need almost half a day to get down and create something, requiring an uninterrupted focus mode that is nearly impossible.

What complicates matters is that many managers who are managing the makers think of time as short blocks and try to break the focused time of the makers, requesting them to juggle work or multitask, which kills any productivity or quality with the unending context switching.

Schedules And Productivity

None of us can get creative in short 15-minute bursts of work sandwiched between a mandatory meeting and a sales team call. It is also a myth that people work for 8 to 10 hours a day.

Most people are productive in sporadic periods of time, like 15 minutes, followed by an interruption, then for 20 minutes, followed by a commitment/obligation/meeting and so on.

We need to align our schedules with our goals and create a strategy that helps us focus on deep work.