If you’ve ever found yourself at the end of a weekend with no idea how the time flew, fear not – the answer lies in the deceptively simple art of time management. Here are a few ways you can both free up time and use it more productively, so you can spend that weekend guilt-free.
1. Prioritise your tasks
When you’re thinking of your ‘to do’ list either at work or home, it helps to list different tasks in order of importance and time sensitivity. Being able to get the big things out of the way (preparing for that all-important presentation) will leave you with ample time to take care of the smaller tasks (perfecting that lasagna recipe), without you feeling stressed or worried about last minute work.
2. Resist the urge to multitask
When you have a lot on your plate, it feels necessary to bounce between tasks to try and get them all done simultaneously. More often than not, this results in sub-par work or repair tasks that would never have existed in the first place if you’d devoted time to focusing more narrowly on one or two tasks. Do it once and do it well!
3. Group similar tasks together
Resisting multitasking doesn’t mean you need to compromise on speed – some experts recommend grouping tasks by type, so that your brain doesn’t have to switch between different kinds of thinking. For example, finishing tasks that require writing first and formatting various presentations later can help accelerate productivity.
4. Eliminate time-wasters
We’ve all been down a social media rabbit hole when trying to find that one person we knew from high-school (or was it college? No, work?). Though it is important to take breaks for your productivity, the wild and wonderful nature of the internet means that you lose your time before you realise it. Being conscious of how you spend your time is key – apps like Freedom, SelfControl, or Focus help those of us who need a friendly push to stay off YouTube after that fifth cat video.
5. Take breaks
Most research points to the efficacy of the ‘Pomodoro Technique’ when it comes to productivity. The method involves 25-30 minute work periods, followed by 5 minutes breaks. One of the key elements of managing your time is to resist overwhelming yourself with the amount of work you have to do, so ensure you make time for rest and allow yourself to be as productive as possible.