Spending Our Time Wisely
In today’s society, we are all very deliberate when it comes to spending money. We look for the best deals, we budget, and we ensure we are not wasting anything. However, we don’t often look at the time the same way. Unlike money, though, time can’t be earned back. Summer is often when we notice this lack of time the most. There are so many things you’d like to be doing, whether that is spending time with your kids, traveling, enjoying the sunshine and outdoor activities, etc. But you also have work, meetings, and deadlines that need to be met. Often times, we work so hard to get everything done that we end up exhausting ourselves and not enjoying ourselves.
The key is to work smarter and not harder in order to maximize your productivity and avoid wasting precious time. Listed below are all our best productivity tips to get you back on track and enjoying your summer!
- Make a List: This sounds like a simple step, but creating a to-do list is one of the best ways to keep yourself on track. You can either make a weekly to-do list on Sunday evenings, or make a list every night for what you’d like to accomplish the following day. Remember to break down large projects into smaller tasks and keep all your goals attainable. The more frequently you can check-off your accomplishments, the more motivated and productive you will be.
- Single Task: Building off of the first step of your day, remember to work on one task at a time off of your list. Multi-tasking naturally slows your down, splits your focus and causes you stress. Focus all your attention to one task at a time and you will be surprised at how much you are able to get done! In fact, research shows it can be up to 500% more productive than when you’re trying to do multiple things at once.
- Take Breaks: This may sound counterproductive, but when you are under an extreme amount of stress, frequent breaks help prevent burnout as well as help you maintain your focus and productivity. Research shows that the harder and longer you press yourself to be productive, the less productive overall you’ll be. For the best results, researchers at the University of Melbourne suggest taking active breaks where you move around, stretch or preferably take a short walk out in nature.
- Set Boundaries: Setting boundaries for yourself is one of the best possible ways to help you stay productive. While separating home and work life can be challenging, especially for remote workers, it is crucial that you set aside dedicated time to take care of yourself and your needs, the needs of your family or household, and of course, your professional responsibilities. A great way to help do this is by deciding on expectations and communicating them to others, either at home or in the office.
- Use Technology to Your Advantage: The tools are in our pockets and on our desks to help us; we just have to use them the right way. For example, use your phone to set alarms to remind you to take breaks or pause to eat a healthy lunch. There are even apps you can download to set a work and break routine. You can dig deeper into your phone and computer settings and have “do not disturb” turn on at certain hours to help you avoid checking work emails or Slack notifications after work hours.
- Monitor Your Media Time: After a long day of work, it is easy to choose “relaxing” activities such as scrolling social media or turning on the TV. Try to be conscious of your media use, though, and choose to spend quality time with family, taking up a new hobby, exercising or relaxing with a good book! At the end of the day, you will feel better knowing you didn’t waste precious at home time!