For many of us, if we could have one super power, it would be the ability to control time–mostly because we feel we never have enough to do what we need and want to do. If you fall into that category, you’re in good company, especially considering in the last 20 years, leisure time has gone down by 33 percent and working time has increased by 15 percent. Fortunately, a little time-management strategizing can help you feel more in control of your day and thus more productive, letting you balance the scales better between work and play.
- How does it help? First, you need to understand the difference between clock time and real time. Real time consists of thoughts, conversations and actions. You get to control those and figure out how much time you choose to spend on each, to some extent. Knowing you have that control puts you in a position of power to use the time to its best advantage. Even if you know you have a meeting from 1-2 p.m., the way you utilize the time allows you to get the most out of it. Write down all thoughts, conversations and activities for a week to see where and how you spend the majority of your time. This helps you really see where you put most of your minutes.
- Start your day intentionally. Each day before you jump into your work or activities, take a few minutes to write down what you want to achieve that day and what you have to get done. Keep the list relatively short (aim for three to five items) and consider only the top priorities for that day. Anything else can go on a separate list (“Tomorrow,” by a certain date, etc.). Revisit that list halfway through the day to see how you’ve progressed and whether you need to make adjustments. This should only take five minutes each time, but it will save you hours in the long run.
- Give yourself the clearest route to success. In other words, do what you can to minimize interruptions from other human beings, technology (i.e., mute your social media notifications!) and your own procrastination. Set a (loud) timer for breaks so you don’t get lost in your five-minute break for 45 minutes. If necessary, install blockers on certain websites (e.g., StayFocusd) that will shut them down after a certain amount of time. And focus on one task at a time rather than attempting to multitask by setting aside blocks of time for certain necessities such as returning emails or calls and planning work at your desk.
Fortunately, a little planning can go a long way. Take the time now to plan your day and prioritize and you’ll find yourself far more able to find that work-life balance. Taking control of how you spend your time may feel like a super power after all. If you want more ideas for health and wellness, contact the medical staffing experts at Medical Professionals today.