Feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? It might sound strange, but you might want to slow your pace. When we try to operate at warp speed, we sometimes make more mistakes and often feel more stress. Check out these tips to make the most of your time without pushing yourself too hard.
1. Log your time. Take a week to track how you spend most of your time at home and at work. In particular, pay attention to time spent on social media and recreational screen time such as video games, TV and web video. The average Facebook user spends 20 minutes per day on the site. That can add up. At work, look at how much of your time is focused on dealing with email vs. getting things done.
2. Set limits. Once you know where you’re spending your time, set limits for yourself. Look for apps that can let you set time limits for certain online activities. Or just use a timer to limit time writing emails or using social media.
3. Make clear goals. Give yourself an easy way to set and track goals and tasks. Whether you have an online planner or just a written to-do list, update it every day.
4. Use your calendar. Whenever you take on a new project, try to think right away about how long it will take and when you can spend that time. If you use a calendar like Outlook, schedule time to work on projects in advance.
5. Be mindful. Practicing mindfulness can help you become more aware of how you are spending your time. And some research shows mindfulness can actually extend your perception of time as it passes.
6. Learn to say no. For some of us, this can be really hard. If you care about your job, you want to please your co-workers and managers. So pushing back about a task can be difficult. But if a project or task is going to really overextend you, it’s worth having a conversation with your manager about your time. Likewise, in your personal life consider your time before committing to projects.
7. Find your focus. Interruptions can disrupt your concentration. When you really need to concentrate on something, try to get yourself away from distractions, turn off any notifications and put away your phone.
8. Ask for help. This can be another hard one for certain people. But sometimes a task or project might be easier for someone else at a given time. If you’re asking for help, be respectful and if possible offer to reciprocate if you can.
NIH, The effect of mindfulness meditation on time perception https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23778017 (Accessed 2/14/2018)
“Where do the hours go?” by Amy Novotny, American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2013/03/hours.aspx (Accessed 12/12/2017)
Social Networking Sites and Addiction: Ten Lessons Learned, by Daria J. Kuss and Mark D. Griffiths; National Institutes of Health (NIH) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5369147/ (Accessed 12/12/2017)