A few weeks ago, we talked about setting routines in place to help make our lives easier. While some may object that making a routine sounds a lot more like bondage than freedom, I have found them useful, especially in maximizing the use of my time. Like you, I lead a busy life, and I am generally on the move. Sometimes, the hours feel as if they slip away before I even have the chance to accomplish what I initially set out to do. And then I find myself trying to borrow, or steal time from one set of activities, to get another done. But, sadly, we usually end up giving only a partial effort to either.
For me, the day starts the night before. I know what I am going to wear, and if all those things are ready to throw on. I have written out my major tasks- a talk to give, a blog post (or two) to write. And make sure that I have the information, papers, slides, whatever is needed, in my bag or ready to be picked up on my way out.
In order to begin making better choices, whether it is for work, or hobbies, or spending time with those you love, I believe that you have to take an active stance against procrastination and many of those time-sucking habits.
Each morning, I make a conscious effort to wake up early. I eat breakfast and take care of the personal projects that must be done before getting ready for work.
Maintaining a routine in the morning can help you maximize your productivity because, for most people, that is when their energy is at its peak.
While at work, try focusing on a single task at a time. Most people believe that they can multitask well. But, experiment after experiment has shown that for most of us, only partial and sequential attention is given to a series of tasks. And, none of the tasks are done well. Multitasking decreases your productivity and your ability to focus well.
Instead, try designating a specific amount of time for things like browsing the web. When your time is up, you are done for the day or for the session. Avoid becoming a slave to your computer or all the other time wasters that have crept into our lives.
Dedicate the time that you have been able to “save” to more fulfilling activities, such as spending time with your family and seeing some of your friends face-to-face rather than on their Facebook page. Nothing is more fulfilling than intimate gatherings with my loved ones!
Routines work well if you plan them out and implement them!
The familiarity of routine allows you to maximize your efficiency, saves you from wasting mental energy, and helps you feel more at ease when conquering your hectic schedule.
Questions to ask yourself:
1. Do I sabotage my routine by devoting too much time to simple tasks?
2. What changes do I need to make in order to achieve a better work-life balance?
3. Will outsourcing certain tasks minimize my stress level?