When I worked from home, it was tempting to wake up 15 minutes before I began working. While it was nice to be able to fall out of bed into my desk, on those days, I began work in a fog. I would remember things I wanted to get done that day, many of which I could have done had I woken up an hour early. Now that I work away from home, I have developed a better routine. For me, waking up an hour and half before I have to be at work has added what feels like hours to my day. I have time to wake up without worry, get through my morning routine, eat breakfast, and even add a few tasks to my morning that I hadn’t been able to do waking up 15 minutes before work started. I’m positive that we all have time during our days that could be found and recovered if our hours were planned more effectively. If you need a few tips and tricks to help you find more time, try these out:
Nightly planning session
When you wake up, have you ever wondered where you are or what day it is? Sometimes that feeling of confusion carries you through your morning. A way to combat this feeling is to wake up knowing what you need to accomplish that day. Mike Vardy
recommends a nightly planning session to help you get on track in the morning. “I give my task manager a good review before hitting the sack for the night. Because my late-night habits often put me at performance par with those who get up a couple of hours before I do, I’m rarely behind in my productivity. The key is to “time shift” so that you’re ahead of the early risers the night before. By planning your day in advance (and even doing some of the tasks the night before), you can go to bed at ease.” Then, when you wake up, you can quickly find your purpose for the day, helping to pull you out of the fog.
Accurate task timing
How long will it take you to complete a task? Break it down into next actions. This will give you a more realistic idea of how big your project is. It’s easy to get an assignment, feel gung-ho about it, dive in, and immediately get overwhelmed. If you take the time to plan ahead and dissect your project, you will be able to tackle it piece by piece, completing it in the amount of time the task actually requires.
Evaluate your time
If you feel like you are wasting too much time during your day, instigate a self-checker. Plan out your day, changing projects each half hour so you can manage yourself. You know what each half hour will look like, and after you complete a segment, you know what you just spent your time doing. At the end of the day, you can look back and see where you stayed on and where you got off track. You can also build breaks in to your day, providing incentive to your wandering mind. “Only 2 more segments until I can take a break.” As you improve at managing time, you can graduate to hour-long segments. We’ve discussed the Pomodoro technique
and Merlin Mann’s (10+2)*5 method
in an earlier post
, and these techniques can also help you stay productive so you can find that little bit of extra time in your day.
Where have you found extra time in your day, and what have you done with it?
Image by digitalart via FreeDigitalPhotos.net