Time Management

111 STASHED IDEAS

Manage your expectations

We all need uninterrupted work time every day, regardless of our role. Unbroken work makes us more motivated and focused. Yet uninterrupted calendar blocks are hard to design into a schedule.

We can't productively attend to meeting-heavy days while also spending hours on uninterrupted work time. We need to manage our expectations about what we can accomplish.

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@codyb85

Time Management

  • Build a habit. Identify what you need to do to reach your goals. Practise those steps daily.
  • Communicate. Share your intention with your team, so they know when you're available.
  • Assess your work environment. Your teammates have equally important energy management needs. Design your work to meet your expectations and your colleagues' expectations of you.

Accomplishing all your goals without burning out is a skill.

  • Know your internal clock. Your energy levels will change throughout the day. Schedule your focused work for when your energy peaks.
  • Chunk your time. Set time aside for uninterrupted focus time.
  • Get off the grid. Set work apps on Do Not Disturb outside work hours.
  • Rely on peers for accountability.
  • Reflect. At the end of each workday, observe how you spent your time and what you accomplished.

Work is stressful because we don’t want to do it, but have to do it.

We won’t feel so drained and discouraged with our job if we could light up our dull routines with joy, freedom and vitality. It is something that needs to be explored, as everyone cannot leave their jobs and rush to do what they love to do, right away.

Focusing is hard when we are already drained and not having the bandwidth to face anything. We need to recharge our batteries, giving ourselves nourishment and nurturing.

A hot bath, a good sleep, 30 minutes of walking in nature, or a Yoga session can help us get back to work with full life force.

Creating Space For The New

Anyone wanting to start something new, like creating art, authoring a book, volunteering, or building their brand faces the problem of time constraints, unable to accommodate any space in the already busy and overloaded life.

We need to create a structure for all the existing stuff in our lives and then carve out space for the new.

Our existing responsibilities can be overwhelming, the neverending tasks at home and work. This burdens the mind more once it is overdue and we are feeling behind. Creating structure and allotting certain time and days helps us deal with the workload.

We can allot different days for paying our bills, doing grocery shopping, doing administrative work, answering emails, and even allot time for self-care and playtime.

Once we have all our workload listed and scheduled, we can observe the list and our working style to eliminate, join, delegate or simplify certain tasks:

  1. Get out of useless commitments.
  2. Say No to people who ask for obligations and favours that take our time and energy.
  3. Postpone the work that is unnecessary but cannot be avoided.
  4. Cut out all the distractions, like social media and mindless news reading.

Doing so creates space in our lives and o

Once we create structure and start to allow meaningful work to happen, we need to maintain it so that it is not hijacked by seemingly urgent tasks that keep cropping up. One way is to create focus blocks, certain times in the day that are completely allotted to a specific meaningful task, and it is non-negotiable.

When disruptions happen, and they will remember to not get angry, let it go, breathe deeply a few times, and return to the meaningful task with complete focus.

If you run a business, moving to a cheaper country means hiring local experts for less.

With the saving, you could employ people such as domestic help, allowing you to devote the time saved on household tasks to your work.

If you can work remotely from your computer, you can take advantage of living somewhere where the time zone gives you a head start on your clients based on where you are now.

You could also have a few hours each morning to complete other tasks before your clients are ready for their working day.

Moving abroad as a productivity hack

When most people want to improve their productivity, they make small changes, like creating a daily schedule or waking up early. However, you can also increase your productivity by moving abroad.

Moving to a country with a less expensive cost of living can enable you to work less, thereby devoting your spare time to other projects.

Our habits power our daily actions, but we all cannot build the same habits and have to find out what works for us in a scientific manner.

One can use a productivity tracker or simply write a journal tracking the activities, using the following method:

  1. Question what you want to get done.
  2. Research more on the question.
  3. Pick one strategy and create a hypothesis.
  4. Start experimenting while tracking your progress.
  1. Set a limit on the time one has to work on a certain task, creating friction using intervals.
  2. Create a NOT TO DO list of the things you won’t do at all.
  3. Review your priorities on a weekly basis, asking yourself if the task is still important.
  4. Take out the impactful parts of the important tasks and do those first.
  5. Ask someone about how they feel about the prioritization of the tasks.

We all have different Circadian Rhythms that make up our own chronotype, and are at our best if we work according to the same daily energy levels.

Our chronotype determines if we fall in one of the three types: A lark, an owl, or the third bird. Once we find that out, we can work our schedule to be the most productive, creative, motivated and focused.

Working on high-priority tasks can be hard, but it is even harder to stop working on them. One needs a weekly or monthly review and reassessment to check what is important to us and deprioritize certain tasks which are no longer serving one’s best interests.

There are various mental biases like the sunk cost fallacy, the completion bias, or the Zeigarnik effect that our brains can experience, making it hard to deprioritize certain tasks.

As our digital tools can be used anywhere, there are no boundaries between work and the rest of our lives.

We need to set a limit to the amount of digital labour (email, Zoom calls, phone message responses) we keep doing all the time, and focus on people, projects, hobbies, and ways to find meaning and purpose.

Many studies on productivity point out that we are only doing 2.5 to 3 hours of productive work on any given day. While most companies and managers expect the 8 to 9-hour productivity on a daily basis, we need to let go of this 9 to 5 office culture.

We need to build a new schedule that aligns with our body clocks and energy levels to best suit our work and has the work-life balance we always wanted.

  • Just like the birds come out after the storm goes away, one can start to rebuild and refocus on what makes one happy, nurturing one’s creativity.
  • Find something impactful and make it into an anchor task, a pillar by which the rest of the tasks are supported. Try to make it non-negotiable.
  • Helping others is a great way to increase one’s overall happiness and satisfaction levels.
  • Doing work that is directly helpful to others makes you feel positive and passionate.
  • Do what you feel like, even if you just want to watch a movie on a Monday afternoon.
Building Mental Resilience By Using Indifference

There are two main mental biases which add stress to our lives:

  • Time Anxiety: The feeling that we are not utilizing our time in the best way or do not have enough of it.
  • Productivity Shame: The feeling that we are not doing enough, or that our work isn’t being recognized.

Though it seems radical, one can be indifferent and focus on one’s strengths, uncover one’s hidden passions and try to find meaning and purpose in life using self-reflective activities like mediation or journaling.

Setting Big Goals

To achieve sustainable productivity habits, it’s best to build up with easily achievable tasks.

Small chunks of accomplishment will amount to something big eventually.

Being Busy

Many people stay busy because that's the norm for them, and they cannot imagine themselves sitting idly. To avoid the busyness trap:

  • Focus on just doing three important things each day
  • Have a one-hour electronic blackout period
  • Recognize your “bias for action.”
  • Say no to things that do not advance your goals.
  • Have a morning routine where you take time to reflect on how you will organize the day.
Copying successful people

Putting highly successful people on a pedestal can unknowingly hinder our own efforts. We get caught in comparisons and it’s easy to forget that they’ve had and still have their own set of struggles and challenges on their path.

Use highly successful people as inspiration, not idols.

Maximize every moment

Working well is not about maximizing every waking moment of the day, in order to get more done. And the focus on maximizing time may actually diminish our creativity.

Instead, try identifying and focusing on the few hours of the day you are most productive.

Optimizing your Systems

Be selective about the apps and systems you use.

Updating and optimizing our productivity apps and systems makes us feel like we’re accomplishing something. But there's a  catch in this: that “something” is managing our productivity apps and systems, not actually working toward our goals.

Visualizing your goal

Visualization doesn’t inspire us to jump higher, but rather causes us to become complacent. People also become more easily deterred by setbacks because, in our fantasy version, nothing went wrong.

Use your imagination, but realistically. For example, use your imagination for possible challenges and setbacks.

Having a harsh regimen
An uncompromising regimen will not necessarily keep you productive.

Rather than being hard on yourself when you don’t meet your expectations, be more supportive of yourself and understanding of your challenges.

Try changing the way you talk to yourself when you’re trying to build up the motivation to do something. Positive self-talk and self-support will help. 

“For a few people who are successful by developing productive habits, many are unsuccessful in spite of using the same habits.”

Building Willpower

The theory of finite willpower has recently been called into question. Newer research suggests that willpower may be more variable, and based on context and culture. But although willpower is malleable, it’s important not to overdo work at the expense of leisure and relaxation.

Developing small habits, or rituals helps build willpower over time.

Using Rewards

Rewards may work in the short term, but real mastery and success are due to genuine interest, not the lure of rewards.

Cultivate intrinsic motivation. You should be able to enjoy the process with or without any reward.

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