Get More Done in the Same Time
A few tips on how to get more time out of the day. It does not matter who you are or what you are doing, there are techniques to getting that bit extra done. There are hard and easy ways to do this. Some are simple and some are more complex.
Everyone can learn them, and learn them quickly.
Fill those precious hours of the day with less stress.
The first thing to do is avoid multitasking simple tasks. By mixing tasks, even simple ones you will overload your conscious mind with too many details and stress builds up. Stress and conscious overload lead to a slowing down and mistakes made.
Our conscious brains can hold about 2 to 9 things simultaneously. 5 to 7 is more the norm.
So focus totally on the one thing. Complete it and then start the next. It is faster, more efficient and reduces stress.
Break Complex Tasks Down
Break complex tasks down into smaller, achievable, conceivable ones. Each smaller block is then treated as per a simple task.
Take small 2 minute breaks. Even a 2 or 3 minute break, make a coffee, look out the window, and wash your face. This gives your brain a space to continue processing without stacking up more tasks. You will return to the work fresher, more motivated and complete things faster.
Is Your Brain in Control?
Often we humans let our bodies dictate our actions.
Have you ever woken to the alarm and felt warm and sleepy and mumbled “Just another 5 minutes?” that 5 minutes turns into 10 etc. and then you are late and stressed or annoyed.
Did you really need that extra 5 minutes? Probably not. You can train yourself to get out of bed as soon as you wake up, feel good and get on with the day and feel good about it. You, that is your brain, has conquered your body.
Develop good habits by practicing being in charge of your body.
When researching or looking things up, limit yourself to 2 or 3 sources. Often we get tempted into following links until an hour has gone by looking up the power of windmills. It can be easy to lose the thread of a thought if we saturate our brains with interesting information that is not related to our original task.
Remember the conscious can only hold 5 to 7 things in it’s attention.
Use Time, Do Not let it Use You
When planning activities, allocate time to complete tasks. Writing a list of urgent things to do is good but if you have 12 hours of urgent things you are likely to get overloaded before you have completed them. Be practical, build in breaks and allow “slippage” for things which may take longer then you planned.
We have natural biological rhythms and need a break every 90 minutes or so. You will work harder faster and more efficiently with breaks built in to your plan.
Before email, in the days of “snail mail”, things were not so urgent or demanding of our time.
Few mobile calls and emails are so urgent that they cannot wait 90 minutes. Let yourself have the time and space to focus on a main activity until it is completed.
Organise and plan activities by time. Estimate how much and allocate time with breaks in between. At least every 90 minutes.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Prepare today for tomorrow. Have tomorrows activities sketched out with time allocations. Consider your email breaks and how you will break down the more complicated tasks.
The brain is wonderful assistant and can solve all sorts of problems while you sleep. I am not suggesting you worry about tomorrow as you drift off into the land of nod, just plan tomorrows activities. You will wake up refreshed and less stressed because you KNOW what you will be doing and when your breaks are going to be.
Be general if you are asking your mind to sort a problem out. Sometimes it will surprise you with remarkable, off the wall, solutions that you would never have thought of.
You Have the Best Personal Assistant
Treat your mind as an assistant who can and will do whatever you instruct it to. It can control your body and help you to function best. People function best when they can assimilate and assess well. That is a state of relaxation and calm.
Final 2 Tips
There are undoubtedly 2 things which will always help you to get more done in less time. They are more long term. Remember, you have only this life:
- Look after your body. It is the physical thing that carries you around 24 hours a day. Get fit and eat sensibly. A car does not function well if neglected. It is the same for your body.
- Get enough sleep. Plan sleep-time. You will work more efficiently and more calmly if you are well rested. A Bonus is it will help to keep you looking younger. If you struggle getting sufficient sleep, consider taking meditation classes. A 10 minute meditation is considered to be equivalent to a 50 minute sleep.
Good luck with your progress with Father Time.
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