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Maintaining a Schedule Can Help You Live Longer

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Maintaining Schedule Help Live Longer

Some may go on and on about how a schedule of activities or routines inhibits creativity or spontaneity. Of course, there may be a situation or two where that would be true — however, there are other situations in which this is not the case. Maintaining a schedule frees up time for your creative ventures.

People who do not adhere to a schedule, are more likely to skip appointments, postpone necessary work, live or work in an unorganized environment, and haphazardly finish projects if they finish at all.

It’s a recipe for catastrophe in every sense of the word. So how do you plan for uncertain times?

If you want to be successful, you must recognize the importance of having a schedule – one that sets dates and times that will allow you to arrive on time, finish the duties at hand, and prepare for extra successes.

The Best Way to Get Started With a Schedule

So, what is the best way to get started with a schedule? One of the most important things you can do is ask crucial questions. It is to ensure that you fully comprehend the timetable given to you.

For some individuals, keeping a timetable is as easy as checking off the items on a to-do list as they come across them on their computer. On the other hand, others may find that more specifics allow them to simplify a timetable or completely integrate a calendar into other parts of their lives.

Asking which activities on the schedule are the top priorities or which items on the plan may be postponed or swapped with other things are examples of questions you would ask.

Track Your Time — do Some Research

After completing your research, you may find that you need to change certain aspects of your life. You may find there is no link to your work or school schedule. As you would expect, not all of these activities are time-suckers; instead, they merely need a reorganization of your time.

Taking a two-hour lunch break, for example, may need to be shortened to one hour or half an hour to complete other tasks on your to-do list within that period.

If your goal is to spend the early Saturday morning hours with research at the library it may be necessary to shift your shopping habits to Sunday nights if you have been used to doing it on Saturday mornings. And remember that not all timetables are etched in stone. For example, you may change your schedule to accommodate new jobs or projects that need more or less time to complete than initially planned.

Following your experience, a few well-placed questions, and some minor rearranging, you will have a timetable that you can safely follow—knowing that your new schedule will lead you to achieve the essential tasks vital to your life. Much less effort has to be expended when you make a reasonable plan for your essential work.

The times, they are a-changin.’

Yes, the times change. Our schedules reflect this volatility — or they should. But sometimes, we keep our heads in the sand. Like the ostrich, we do not wish to see what’s happening around us, and we may try to duck out on reality. With careful observation, you’ll be able to see what types of procrastination are interrupting your schedule. Don’t be one that refuses to schedule in needed changes in your life. Go ahead and admit that your time management skills need a little refurbishing and just do it.

Being Flexible is Not the Same as Being Careless

When scheduling conflicts arise, as they will, a quick response is usually best. However, hemming, hawing, and beating around the bush is an excellent way of alienating others. Instead, be decisive with what commitments you say you will make, then stick with your decision. Opportunity melts like frost, and, especially as an entrepreneur — you have to take the reins and move quickly.

The most significant fatality to time management success is being noncommittal and deciding not to decide. After all, who looks back with pride at all the appointments they didn’t keep — and the decisions that were put off? There never seems like enough time, but actions that were never planned won’t be something you are proud of in the future.

It’s all in the timing

Professional comics say it’s all in the timing and point to the times to speed up and when to slow down. When the comedians hold a pause or stomp the punchline at the right moment — it’s magical. Timing can basically be applied in the same way for business leaders and organization managers. Timing is everything.

The Bible intones “there is a time and season for everything.’” So it is in business — there’s a time to start — and a time to end. A time to let go. A time to meet — and a time to lock the door and go over the audit yourself.

The trick is to know when to do what. And that trick is simple. Psychology Today has a great time management test. IF you follow basic time management principles, you can adapt to your particular circumstances. And IF you take advantage of the latest time management technology and theory, you will be a lot further ahead than if you don’t.

Basics of Time Management and Living Longer and Peacefully

Every MBA course offers dozens of classes on how to untangle the basics of time management.

Nobody has an easy schedule. Nobody. Not the janitor. Or the CEO. Not even the poet in her ivory tower. But once you learn to dance to the tune that time plays for you, life becomes more bearable and more your own.

Some say that minutes are hard cider, hours champagne, and days become flagons of the finest mead. Just ask those who seem to have nothing to do. An accident? Nope. They have come to grips with their time and they wrestle it to the ground.

If you plan correctly and make time yours — you’ll come out on top. You shouldn’t dream of doing anything less!

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In 2022, Time Management in the Workplace will be Critical.

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2022 Time Management Workplace Critical

Working professionals can’t get enough of the All You Wanted To Know About Time movement. So let’s go over the significance of workplace time management.

How much scheduling software do you use? Or want to use? Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned pro, you’ll always need an extra hour to complete your to-do list. It’s tough to keep track of every minute of your day, mainly when there are so many distractions. Since childhood, our parents and instructors have taught us to budget our time and money.

Let’s have a look at what time management is before we get into its importance:

First, what is the definition of time management?

Work smarter rather than harder. Time management is the activity of planning and exerting deliberate control over the time spent on specific tasks. It’s a balancing act of several factors that help boost productivity and achieve a better work-life balance.

Improving your work time management helps you improve your performance and reach your objectives with less effort and more effective tactics. Failure to manage time or poor time management abilities at work, on the other hand, may lead to:

  • Appointments and deadlines that you did not meet.
  • Lack of attention and procrastination.
  • Professionalism is lacking.
  • Workflow inefficiency and poor job quality
  • Unwanted anxiety
  • Professional reputation is poor.
  • Strained workplace interactions
  • Financial repercussions
  • Unbalanced work and personal life

Workplace advantages of time management

There are several benefits to being able to manage your time well. Time management may help you in your work life in the following ways:

Complete projects on schedule with proper time management

It is more probable that workers will do tasks on schedule if you give them a certain amount of time to finish them. It also helps you handle your job in the most effective manner possible.

As a result of completing activities within a certain period, you train your brain to adhere to a framework and finish the tasks within that time limit. Therefore, if you have successfully managed your time, you will complete your job on schedule.

Produce high-quality work with good time management

You are required to offer work of a specific quality and level as a devoted employee. One may deliver a higher quality of work by properly using time and prioritizing duties. Prioritization aids in focusing on critical tasks by placing them at the top of the priority list, allowing you to devote your whole attention and concentration to them. As a result, the work’s quality has improved.

More efficiency and productivity are earmarks of proper time management

As a working professional, it’s no secret that good time management skills help you be more productive and efficient. These abilities may assist you in completing chores as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality.

When you’re focusing on unnecessary things, your total productivity suffers. In other words, strong time management skills allow you to complete both vital and urgent jobs on time.

Manage your time well, and you’ll be one of your team’s most productive members.

There will be a lot less procrastinating with time management working for you

“I’ll do it later” is an excuse that we’ve all used at some point. However, time management isn’t only about getting more done in less time; it’s also about reducing the desire to put off and procrastinate on vital chores.

As a creator, leader, or employee, you may work smarter rather than harder by using appropriate time management techniques. It immediately prevents procrastination by ensuring that you know the things added to your to-do list. You also know when you want to complete them.

Less worry and stress

Employees might get overwhelmed when they have too much work on their plates. This might hurt your productivity as well as your general health. Excessive stress and hypertension may cause heart disease, depression, obesity, and other health problems. We can eliminate unneeded stress and anxiety in our lives if we know what to do.

A higher standard of living

Practical time management skills may enhance your life outside the workplace and your working life. When you have your business life under control, you have more time to concentrate on your personal life and relationships.

Knowing that your responsibilities and activities are on schedule can help you relax in your personal life. As a result, your quality of life increases instantly, as you feel calmer and less worried.

More prospects and advancement in your career

Being on time with your job will help you be more productive. Consequently, it will help you build a positive reputation at work. Managers and supervisors love to see that you consistently finish things on schedule. It may open the door to more excellent prospects for advancement at work.

More leisure and recreation time

When was the last time you took some time for yourself and did something you enjoyed?

Fortunately, proper time management allows you to have more free time throughout the day. As a result, you are free to engage in the leisure and recreational activities that bring you joy.

Finally, by working bright all day and receiving a reward of your choosing, you may achieve the ideal balance. Remember, for every tick; there must be a tock.

Image Credit: Ono Kosuki; Pexels; Thank you!

The Debate is Over – Yes You Need a Calendar

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you need a calendar

First, there are many reasons you need a calendar. For example, while you’re enjoying your Sunday, you’re planning your week since the weekend is over. Suddenly, there are a million racing thoughts going through your head.

On Monday night, your kids have a soccer game. There’s a meeting with your team on Tuesday morning. Wednesday? There’s a project deadline, along with a dentist appointment. On Thursday, there’s lunch with an investor and parent-teacher conferences. So even though you’re exhausted by Friday, you need to review progress reports and schedule dinner reservations for the weekend.

Take a moment to breathe. Everything is going to be alright.

Our calendars are constantly filled with meetings, events, special occasions, assignments, and tests, even before the week has begun. Therefore, keeping your schedule organized is essential to your success when pursuing your goals. And the simplest, most effective, and inexpensive way to achieve this is by utilizing a calendar.

In short, regardless of whether you use a paper-and-pen notebook or an online calendar, there’s no debate about it. You need a Calendar. Period.

Promotes accountability.

“Did you know that writing down your goals will make you 1.4 times more likely to succeed?” asks Howie Jones in a previous Calendar. “One reason for this is because writing lets your brain know what to focus on.” As a result, it becomes easier to remember.

Moreover, writing clarifies your goals and limits exceptions. “Also, written goals serve as constant reminders, lets you review your progress, and gives you the satisfaction of crossing items off your to-do list,” he adds.

What if you aren’t using a daily planner or wall calendar? Even though adding entries to your online Calendar may not be effective, it still helps you to schedule a specific meeting or doctor’s appointment. As well as giving you the chance to meet up with friends or accomplish particular tasks on your to-do list, it allows you to carve out time for family time.

Additionally, with an online calendar or app, you can set reminders. As a result, this will ensure that you won’t run late for a meeting, miss a deadline, or show up late to your kid’s soccer game.

And, speaking of accountability, with a calendar, you’ll finally achieve your goals. This is clutch since about 70 percent of people don’t reach their goals. But, how can a calendar help you reach your goals? While you can set realistic deadlines for mico-goals instead of setting ambitious and vague goals that take you longer to complete than anticipated. Additionally, you can use your Calendar to track your progress so that you’ll remain motivated.

Helps with prioritizing.

I get it. You have a never-ending list of tasks you need to get to. But, here’s the thing. Not every item on your to-do list is a priority.

Putting items on your Calendar allows us to choose which tasks are essential and which are not. By filtering out the unnecessary, we can make room for the important stuff.

But don’t just take my word for it. According to experts like Daniel Markovitz and Kevin Kruse, you should live by your Calendar instead of making lists. To them, lists give us too many options and fail to provide context, making it difficult to tell what is urgent and what is essential. They also don’t take time into account. And, lists can sway from tacking more challenging and complex tasks.

Aids in record keeping.

It’s also useful to maintain an up-to-date calendar for finding information about past events. Knowing when certain things, such as oil changes, quarterly reviews, doctor’s appointments, pet grooming, annual conferences, ensure that you won’t overlook them. It can also remind you of your child’s school schedule or keep track of your habits.

As if that weren’t enough, you could review past events to know when to book a team meeting, who to invite, and what should be discussed. You may even refer to your Calendar if there are any issues like billing disagreements or getting audited.

And, most importantly, at least for me, this can help you plan out your year in advance. That may sound excessive. But, I firmly believe that this is the key to time management.

Addresses procrastination.

Are you prone to procrastination? For some, this might motivate them to kick it into high gear. However, procrastination can halt productivity, impede innovation, limit opportunities, and strain relationships. And it can also cause anxiety and depression.

Will a calendar alone completely absolve you of procrastination? Most likely not. Nonetheless, having a specific date and time set aside for our tasks gives us a sense of urgency.

What’s more, this motivates us to get to work on time by eliminating excuses. For example, if you must complete a task by noon, then you can politely decline your co-worker’s invitation to join them for a mid-morning coffee break.

Provides structure.

Most of us thrive when we have a structured routine. And that’s precisely what Calendar provides us. For example;

  • Begin your day with a ritual. Get in the habit of waking up early and starting your day on the right foot by establishing a morning routine. Exercise, clearing out your inbox, reading, and planning your day are all excellent ideas for a morning ritual.
  • You should eat frogs in the morning. Not literally. Your “frog” is actually your most important task of the day. According to studies, our alertness and concentration are at their peak two hours after we wake up. Therefore, your morning should be used to tackle your main priority for the day.
  • Make the most of your afternoons by performing soft tasks and doing physical activities. Throughout the day, our energy levels decrease. Because of this, you should spend your afternoons on physical activities, meetings, and organizing your emails instead of working on tasks that require a lot of mental energy.
  • Take advantage of your commute by brainstorming. Chances are, you’ll be exhausted at the end of the workday. However, since you are less likely to be able to make connections in your brain, this is an excellent time to come up with new ideas.
  • Spend your evenings relaxing. The best way to recharge for the day ahead is to relax after dinner. The best ways to spend your evenings are to go for a walk, read, meditate, write, and check your Calendar.

Of course, you can use your Calendar to schedule breaks and fun activities to help you unwind and recharge.

Protects your mental and physical health.

By noting due dates, tasks, and special events on your Calendar, you will be able to free your mind from clutter. In addition, your Calendar is a good place to keep track of things, as you frequently check it. In turn, this can reduce stress and anxiety.

A calendar also “helps your physical health by helping you track things like diet and exercise,” writes Barbara Markway, Ph.D. for Psychology Today. Also, “you can schedule regular doctor and dentist appointments, and make sure you are getting enough fresh air and vitamin D by scheduling days spent outdoors.”

Prevents conflicts and establishes boundaries.

We all know how frustrating it is when we accept an invitation to an event, only to find out that we already have obligations during that time. Or the feeling of embarrassment we feel when we’ve double-booked ourselves into a corner. In either situation, someone will feel let down, which may also harm your reputation.

Calendars let you see what commitments you have and when you are available. It is easier to plan events or other special occasions when you know your availability. And more importantly, a calendar can assist you in setting boundaries so that you aren’t overextending yourself.

Image Credit: William Mattey; Pexels; Thank you!

The Debate is Over – Yes You Need a Calendar was originally published on Calendar by John Hall.

Is There an Ideal Meeting Time?

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Ideal Meeting Time

Are you encountering meeting mortification? There are ways to tweak your meeting time to make a meeting marvelous — or at least productive and bearable.

When it comes to efficiency and productivity — time is everything.

When it comes to meetings, the one thing you’ll want in every meeting is efficiency. Of course, it’s necessary to handle your meetings in a professional manner, but the time you hold it is almost as crucial to success.

When is the optimum time to schedule a meeting?

Let’s look into the ideal time and day for a meeting for your company. The general consensus is that the best time of day for meetings in business is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

If a typical workday lasts from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., the day is divided into two halves. The schedule is basically the same in every office.

Earlier in the day, 9 –10 a.m.

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Lunchtime; 12–1 p.m. – Lunch break

Afternoon; 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Afternoon/Evening — late afternoon/early evening; 4 p.m. and forward

This leaves you with five-time periods to choose from.

So, seeing this schedule at a glance — what are the advantages and disadvantages of each timeframe?

The early bird

Early in the A.M. — Having a meeting first thing at first light might be beneficial if you want to be quick. Power people and very busy CEOs often want this time for their meetings. A fast 15-minute stand-up meeting or a quick check-in is best done early in the morning.

On the other hand, early morning meetings should be avoided for some types of employees, such as graveyard employees, since those workers may still be tired. In addition, you don’t want to spend time repeating yourself or waiting for someone to return from the coffee machine.

Teach your employees to prepare the day before

Meetings at the start of the day require employees to prepare the day before or arrive early. As most tech businesses get going early — you can teach your employees to better navigate this world by showing them how to set plans and goals — prepare the night before.

If you have given leeway during covid for your staff to start at various times of the day, getting everyone in the same room at the same time to start the meeting might be challenging. Get everyone back on the same schedule, if you can, for success.

Many employers have found that mid-morning meetings are more productive since the change from home to the office. In addition, if you use mid-morning meetings, often employees have had time to settle in, and they aren’t in the flow yet. In this case — mid-morning meetings tend to be more productive. Around 10 or 11 a.m., flexibility also seems to increase.

Some workers don’t want to spend time in a meeting shortly before lunch because they believe you will drag on and they’ll be late for lunch plans. So always start and end meetings on time.

How about a lunch meeting?

Lunchtime/Lunch break: Meeting timings are often influenced by mealtimes, so grabbing and paying for your employees’ lunch can be a great week to connect. If you’re holding a conference during a meal, plan on supplying the food — and let that be known.

Employees will feel more productive and invigorated if they are given some beverages or little snacks, even if it isn’t a full dinner. Still, a lunch meeting with great food can also go under the team-building budget for your dollars. In addition, these meetings bring your team closer together as they talk with each other before and after the meeting.

Afternoon: Employees are generally lethargic soon after lunch, but by three p.m., the energy picks up. I used to have a boss that always said, “Every person caffeinated, and we’ll meet in the conference room in twenty minutes.”

The vote by workers is that they are far more inclined to accept meetings after three p.m. than early morning. As a result, they’ll be more enthusiastic and have had more time to think about and prepare for the pow-wow.

A three p.m. meeting allows you and your colleagues more breathing space than a nine a.m. conference, which you must attend as soon as you get to work. Note though that for your three p.m. meetings — most of the day is passed, so your participants leave straight after the meeting.

This meeting is not for you if you have a team that works late and gets a lot done.

Never too late for a meeting

Late Afternoon/Evening Meetings: During late afternoon or evening conferences, workers may watch the clock tick and wonder when the day will conclude. If the purpose of your meeting is to increase employee passion for something, the enthusiasm will fade as the person approaches the conclusion of their workday.

Following an examination of the five time blocks in a research done by Keith Harris of WhenIsGood.com, — he said that he discovered the ideal time for a conference seemed to be about three p.m. (afternoon), even if you live in the metaverse.

By three p.m., employees have completed most of their tasks, had a meal, and regained their energy.

Three p.m. is break time. Everyone knows that. So offer snacks and beverages if you’re meeting at that time. Otherwise, food is a distraction.

Monday is the best day of the week for a conference type meeting

Let’s move on to the best day of the week to have a meeting now that we’ve discussed the optimum time. Because workers may utilize personal or vacation days to have a three-day weekend, Mondays and Fridays are typically the least productive days for holding meetings.

On Monday, employees are often still in a weekend mood and ready to leave the workplace on Friday. Yet, you must consider that sometimes your Monday meetings get your team all there and revved up for work. If planned correctly (not last-minute role call), this MO can be motivational and productive.

Days and daze

Some offices claim that conferences should be held in the middle three days of the workweek to maximize productivity and participation. However, the most significant days for conferences are the middle three of the week, and the afternoon is the optimum time for a meeting.

So, when is the best time to conduct a conference throughout the week?

According to a recent survey conducted by the meeting scheduling service WhenIsGood — the optimal time for most of their workers and respondents is Tuesday at three p.m.

While Tuesday was the favorite day in that study — it may not be for you. So if you have a real go-getter team that isn’t afraid to talk meetings and productivity — send out a survey.

Choose the day that resonates most with you and your staff, no matter what your preconceived notions turn out to be.

Image Credit: Christina Morillo; Pexels; Thank you!

Is There an Ideal Meeting Time? was originally published on Calendar by Choncé Maddox.

A Beginner’s Guide to Intuitive Calendar Management

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Calendar Management

Entrepreneurs and business professionals have a lot on their plates. There are forms to sign, meetings to attend, and a work-life balance that’s always teetering on edge. But, while the focus of business is almost always money at the end of the day, the real currency for businesspersons is time. The adage “time is money” is more true today than ever before.

If you can genuinely harness your time, there’s almost nothing you can’t accomplish. However, mastering time management is easier said than done. A lot of effort is required to manage time effectively, as well as a solid desire to structure your life and business with extra precision.

To satisfy the time management needs of every person possible, the calendar in its physical and digital forms was made. By learning better calendar management, you can make huge strides forward in your personal time management. Here is a beginner’s guide to help you get started:

Aim for Purpose and Results

When it comes to time management, everything you do should be intentional. Don’t just fill your calendar for the sake of looking busy. You will find a lot more success by aiming for a specific purpose and focusing on results.

One way to ensure that your scheduling remains intentional is to follow a tried-and-true planning method from a time management expert. For example, the Rapid Planning Method from renowned motivational speaker Tony Robbins is crafted with intentional time management in mind.

Use an Organizational System

Once you have a good idea of how you want to use your calendar to improve time management, you need to keep it nice. If you purchase a three-ring binder but fail to follow an organizational pattern, you’re not going to get much value out of it. However, if you’re utilizing a system by using things such as tabs and dividers, you’ll find the binder to be quite useful.

Your online calendar of choice will have various options and features you can use to stay organized. One of the most common and effective options available is color-coding. This will change how your events appear based on how you want to organize them. For example, you can match work events with your company’s logo to easily differentiate them from the rest of your schedule.

The great thing about online calendars is that they are highly flexible. You can use your own combination of color-coding and organize in a way that works specifically for you. Key points to remember are not doing too much and using a practical and memorable system. Too many colors can be challenging to keep track of.

Take Advantage of Recurring Events

As you’re setting up your calendar, note any repeat events you see. For example, you might have a team huddle every Monday morning or attend a spin class on Friday nights. Instead of manually inputting every single one of these events into your calendar, you can take advantage of recurring events.

When you set a recurring event, it pops up in your calendar at an automatic interval. This can be done for monthly, weekly, or even daily activities. This will save you a lot of time when planning out your schedule, as you don’t have to input the same event over and over again manually. This also will ensure that you never accidentally miss an event because you didn’t happen to add it to your calendar once.

Recurring events are also helpful for scheduling routines. You don’t always need to put a morning routine into your calendar, but doing so for a few weeks can help you adapt to a new schedule. For instance, if you’re moving from day shifts to night shifts, you might want to plan out the specifics in your calendar with recurring events until you’re used to the new schedule.

Learn How to Batch

At this point, you should have most of your calendar squared away. You can now start working on fine-tuning your calendar to make it work even better for you. One such thing you can learn to tune up your calendar is how to batch tasks. This will condense your calendar, making it appear less cluttered while still getting just as much done.

Most people batch tasks by starting with a to-do list. This is separate from the schedule that ends up in their calendar. Once you create a to-do list, you can organize each task by function and priority. This will give you batches of tasks that can be added to larger time blocks in your calendar instead of individual pieces that have you bouncing all over the place.

Don’t Forget Buffer Time

If you’re still concerned about how to fit everything into your busy schedule without overlapping, be sure not to forget about buffer time. Adding buffer time to all of your events can be a daily life saver. More often than not, you’ll be glad you included buffer time even if you didn’t need it.

Always leave some amount of time in between your meetings and events. For example, if you have back-to-back meetings, you might try and schedule them on the hour to fit them nicely into your calendar. Including 15 minutes of buffer time in between meetings will protect you if one meeting happens to run long and threatens to make you late for the next.

If you don’t need to use the buffer time, you can always have a backup plan for how you can use that time. For example, you can do some bonus prep as you move on to your next meeting, take care of some emails, or outline your next blog post. Of course, none of these tasks are urgent, but you might as well take advantage of any opportunities you find.

Who knew that something as simple as a Calendar could be used for so much. Simply using a calendar regularly is already a step in the right direction. Add these details along the way, and time management will begin to come naturally to you, and there won’t be anything you can’t achieve.

Image Credit: cottonbro; Pexels; Thank you! 

Get More Done with the DRY Principle

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Get More Done Dry Principle

Take a minute and think about your everyday tasks. I’m sure that many of them are likely to be repetitive and time-consuming — whether you’re working in an office or from home. But, is there a way to reduce this workload to get more done so that you’ll be productive instead of being busy?

Thankfully, there are several strategies you can try in order to get more done. Examples include the Eisenhower Matrix or the Pareto Principle. But, have you tried the DRY Principle?

What is DRY, and How Does it Work?

Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas, in their book The Pragmatic Programmer, coined the phrase “don’t repeat yourself” in 1999. They describe DRY as “Every piece of knowledge must have a single, unambiguous, authoritative representation within a system.”

In software engineering, DRY is a technique for reducing repetition in code. Coders streamline coding using a single, reusable source, aka “snippet,” whenever appropriate. Hence, the name, don’t repeat yourself.

As well as saving time, writing the same thing multiple times means that there is less room for human error. After all, if you make a mistake once, you’ll probably make it twice. Plus, if you decide to make any changes, you only have to do this one time.

The bottom line is that less code is good. It saves time and energy. It’s much easier to maintain. And, it also reduces the likelihood of bugs.

While the DRY Principle originally applied to software development, it can be adopted into other facets in order to get more done. For example, on a daily basis, how many emails do you send and receive? Essentially, you’re recreating the same structure with slightly different wording with each email. And, when you’re calendar is already booked, this can be very tedious.

DRY requires that you take note of all your actions throughout the day, one at a time. You can include tasks that are within the following categories in order to meet this requirement:

  • Unplanned events, such as a phone call from a client or urgent text from a colleague.
  • Monthly and yearly obligations, like annual reports and one-on-one meetings with team members.
  • Everyday routines and your top priorities.

Once you’ve compiled this list, you can determine which ones apply to the DRY Principle. From there, take note of how repetitive, time-consuming, and intimidating each one is, and mark them down. If the top candidates are DRY Principle qualifiers, you can automate as many of these as possible.

In some cases, you will not be able to automate all the duties. However, you can streamline certain parts to help you get more done.

Where Are You Repeating Yourself?

Have you ever used a system like Getting Things Done (GTD)? If so, the DRY Principle should be easy to understand as both follow a similar process. DRY, however, aims to avoid redundant processes.

To get started, keep a daily journal for at least a week. Then, you should track your time for a more accurate picture for a month or so. This allows you to take note of your routine tasks. But, this should also help you identify less frequent occurrences as well.

Here are some pointers you can use while tracking your time.

  • Add unplanned or unscheduled tasks, like responding to a client’s email.
  • Keep track of monthly and annual tasks. Examples of these are quarterly reports, audits, invoicing, and tech maintenance.
  • Ask others what their routine tasks are to fill in any gaps.

Hopefully, you now have a bird’s-eye view of your tasks. Next, you need to decide which tasks are best suited to DRY.

You can do this using whatever tools you rely on to track your tasks. For example, you can create tags or labels for each category in your to-do list or time-tracking app. The categories can then be added as columns in a spreadsheet. Or, you can go old school and write them down with a pen and paper.

To make this process easier, hone in on the corresponding categories;

  • Pain points. These would be the activities that you dread so much that they cause you to procrastinate
  • Bottlenecks. Which tasks are bogging down the rest of your day?
  • Tasks that require a lot of time. Review your time-tracking results and determine which tasks consume most of your time.
  • Work that repeats itself. Which tasks do you find yourself doing over and over?

As a result of categorizing your tasks, you can now identify which tasks are suitable for DRY. DRY is most likely to benefit tasks with a repetitive nature. You can eliminate repetitive tasks from your list if they aren’t essential so that you can focus on what’s important.

Create Templates

After discovering where you’re repeating yourself, you can now find ways to eliminate them so you can get more done. And, perhaps the most accessible place to start is through templates.

In most cases, templates are blank documents that need to be filled in. You can either create one from scratch or download a premade online. Regardless, templates will save you time since you’re no longer constantly creating emails, invoices, or calendars every day.

Generally speaking, templates are most needed in the following areas:

  • Emails. Office workers receive an average of 121 emails each day. As a result, there’s a possibility you’re sending the same emails repeatedly. You can create your own template by removing all the personal information and saving it for later use.
  • Internal communications. Examine your most recent communications and search for patterns. Even a minimal template can ease your stress and save you time.
  • External documents. Contracts, proposals, invoices all seem to look the same. However, when you remove the information specific to your clients and partners, you’ll have a template to use, and you can customize it as needed.
  • Presentations. Prepare a presentation template if you deliver more than one presentation a year. Then, regardless of how different each presentation appears, the basic structure can remain the same.

One more thing with templates. You should consider them as non-static documents. You should, therefore, update the template if you notice that you’re always making the same changes.

Automate Routine Tasks

During the course of your workday, you perform several repetitive tasks. But, what business tasks should you consider automating?

For starters, scheduling appointments. It’s easy to schedule appointments with calendar apps. You can send your calendar via email or link it to your website. You can now show others your availability so they can select a time and date that works for them. Once chosen, the event will be automatically added to schedules for all attendees.

Sorting and responding to emails, posting to social media, and filling out online forms can also be automated. This is also true for proposals, invoicing, customer service, and data backup.

You may only have to spend a couple of minutes on each task. But they add up quickly and divert your attention.

Follow the 30x Rule

Until now, we’ve only discussed the many ways you can leverage tools and messages to save time. However, DRY can also be useful in your daily activities.

“Most managers would think it’s crazy to spend 2.5 hours training someone to do a 5-minute task because they think ‘it would just be faster to do it myself,” notes Management consultant Rory Vaden. “That is because most managers are stuck in classic ‘urgency’ thinking of only evaluating their tasks inside of the construct of one day.”

“In which case, it never makes sense to spend 2.5 hours training someone to do a task that they could do themselves in just 5 minutes,” says Vaden.

According to Vaden, you should allocate 30X that amount of time to train others for any task that can be delegated and repeated. For example, a five-minute task delegated and trained for 2.5 hours will save you 1100 minutes (over 18 hours! ), according to the 30-X rule.

Mathematically speaking, it’s Total Task Time (5 minutes 250 working days) – Training Time (5 minutes).

It’s All About Staying DRY

Because all these processes are getting done in the background, you will have more free time because you won’t need to perform repetitive tasks manually. So when it comes to time management, the DRY Principle is an effective tool to experiment with.

By maximizing your output now, you will have more time to spend on the things that matter most in the future. And, to get started, take a look at your current workload, and see if there is anything you can automate under the DRY Principle.

Image Credit: Enikő Tóth; Pexels; Thanks!

5 Easy Ways to Be on Schedule for Your Appointments in the Winter

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Appointments in the Winter

Planning and scheduling your appointments in the winter can be a distinct challenge. It can be hard to stay motivated when all you want to do is curl up by the fire. Travel may also be difficult. Road conditions can certainly throw a wrench into your plans by extending travel time or even causing events to be canceled.

Some people live in areas that rarely see snow or even freezing temperatures. Life goes on as normal for this demographic. But if you’re among those who have to brave the cold each winter, there are a few extra things you’ll have to do to make your schedule work. To ensure you’re always on time for your planned appointments during the harshest of winters, use these five strategies:

1. Connect an Online Calendar

If you struggle with being tardy to appointments, you need to log onto an online calendar. You can use a simple app on your phone that will forever change how you look at time management. In many cases, you can even connect this online calendar with your appointment bookings for instant synchronization.

With your appointment booking in your calendar, you can plan more strategically to make it to your events on time. If you have a meeting or obligation that ends right before your appointment is supposed to start, you’re more likely to end up running late.

2. Opt for Appointment Reminders

If the business in question offers appointment reminders, you should seriously consider signing up for them. Rain, snow, or shine, appointment reminders are a great way to make sure you arrive at your appointments on schedule. Businesses using online appointment software can send you reminders in a variety of ways.

For starters, online appointment software enables automated reminders that can be sent at the most optimal times for every booking. You can receive these reminders in an email, over text, or even with a robocall. You can often select how to receive your reminders according to your personal preference.

3. Check the Weather

Staying on top of the weather forecast will help you stay on time for your winter appointments. By checking the weather for the upcoming week, you can plan short-range appointments for the sunniest days when the roads are most likely to be clear.

Sometimes all it takes is looking at the 24-hour forecast to pick the right appointment time. It might snow one night, but be warm and sunny the next day, which will melt all the snow and ice away by mid-afternoon. Plan ahead to account for possible weather delays, especially if you don’t want to drive in rain or snow. Booking on good-weather days can help you remain punctual for appointments in the winter.

4. Prepare Your Transportation in Advance

On a day when winter conditions aren’t in your favor, the best course of action is to prepare your method of transportation well in advance. Whether you’ll be taking a car or public transportation to your next appointment, you can plan for it ahead of time. If you are taking a bus, subway, or train, check the departure and arrival schedules beforehand, as they are subject to change. Additionally, if you’re using a rideshare, pay attention to times when surge pricing is in effect so you can avoid those times.

If you are driving, start your car early on the day of your appointment. Letting it run for five minutes or so will warm up the interior so you’re not miserable. It will also get the inner workings of your car running smoothly for safe travels. This is especially important if you park outdoors. The heat from a warmed car will help melt any snow and ice that might obscure your vision while driving, making it easier to scrape off.

You should engage in other forms of preparation even earlier. For example, shop early for good snow tires. They will help you travel safely to your appointments in the winter, even during moderate snowfall. If you wait until the peak of winter to make the switch, you run the risk of getting stuck in the snow at an inopportune time. You could even spend a bunch of additional money if winter tire prices increase due to heightened demand.

5. Call Ahead on Snow Days

If the snow piled up the night before your appointment, give the business a call as soon as they open. This gives you an opportunity to ask whether they still plan on being open and serving customers that day. If they’re closed due to weather, you can reschedule your appointment. If the business has confirmed that it will be open, you can take advantage of your early travel preparations to get there safely.

Another possible scenario is that the business has decided to remain open but will allow customers to reschedule their appointments free of charge. If you’re concerned about traveling in snowy conditions, you can change your own booking without incurring the normal cancellation fee.

Alternatively, you might brave the snow if the bookings before and after yours have been canceled or rescheduled. You’ll have the comfort of knowing you can take your time traveling to the appointment without causing your service provider to get off track.

If you stay on top of things, no winter can slow you down. You’ll be able to stay on schedule during one of the most challenging times of the year.

Image Credit: SHVETS Production; Pexels; Thanks!

Time is All We Have

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Time is All We Have

When we say time is all we have, we’re not just talking about showing up to work on time every day all year long. Punctuality really means getting to work ahead of time.

Punctuality, or being on time, is essential for workplace efficiency (and especially job interviews), but it might be even more critical for your personal branding.

“You can set your clock by him (or her)” is a phrase not heard much anymore. But it is still one of the most valuable compliments an employee can be paid. With modern technology like smartphones and GPS, it ought to be a no-brainer to make it to scheduled appointments on time. Yet so often, managers complain of workers who are still an ‘a day late and a dollar short.’

With this in mind, here are five compelling reasons why timeliness is a vital soft skill to strive towards.

Punctuality equals time equals efficiency.

Few things scream “disorganized,” like being late all of the time.
While being chaotic in social settings may appear eccentric and odd, it is terrible news in the business.

Employers want to know that their employees are productive, and wasting time looking for files, tracking down client notes, or looking for a missing invoice costs the organization money.
Being organized makes it much simpler to accomplish projects, arrive at meetings, and fulfill client needs every time.

You’re on time: so you’re a trustworthy coworker and employee.

When it comes to job advancement, your personal reputation is valuable.
When your coworkers think you’re on time, they’re more inclined to include you in new and exciting tasks.

After all, no one wants to entrust a crucial project to someone who is prone to miss deadlines.

You improve the image of your organization.

It’s a safe assumption that your boss values timeliness.
Customers quickly lose faith in organizations that do not regularly deliver on time in today’s competitive industry.

Whatever position you play in the supply chain, sticking to a schedule helps maintain your company’s excellent image, which is a benefit for its success – and your involvement in it.

Punctuality demonstrates professionalism and detail-oriented thinking.

Let’s face it: storming into a meeting room five minutes late with papers flying and a sweaty brow isn’t a good image.
Furthermore, you are denying yourself the opportunity to test out beneficial techniques.

Whether it’s a client meeting, a team debrief, or a staff training session, being on time allows you to double-check that you have everything you need (iPad, pencils, agenda, etc.) and go over your notes.
It’s also an opportunity to figure out the optimum sitting location for you – one that allows you to maintain eye contact with the primary speaker while also maximizing your personal visibility so you can make a meaningful contribution.
It’s difficult to be seen as a serious contributor when you’re locked in the back of a conference room, bobbing and weaving amongst coworkers simply to see what’s going on because you arrived late.

Being on time implies you’ll have all of the knowledge you need to finish a project.
Even being a few minutes late to a meeting might result in you missing out on essential data that provide the groundwork for the remainder of the conversation.

You hold your coworkers in high regard.

Few things are more aggravating than having your own fine work sabotaged by a colleague’s tardiness.

With good reason, teamwork is a fundamental driver of modern organizations. Being on time is the fuel that runs the machine. Moreover, workplaces are interconnected; when everyone completes duties on schedule, workflows smoothly across the company.

A snag in one location, on the other hand, slows down the entire line, causing everyone else to suffer.
Setting a deadline for yourself to complete your part of the process on time indicates your respect for your coworkers’ ability to fulfill their own deadlines.

Simple strategies to incorporate timeliness into your personal brand

There are several solutions available to help you reach your aim of timeliness. Here are just a few to consider:

  • A simple written diary note or an alert on your smartphone or computer may serve as a handy reminder of scheduled appointments, phone calls, and deadlines.
  • Use a time management tool like Remember the Milk or Time Doctor to keep track of your tasks.
  • Also, avoid attempting to outwit the clock.
  • Learn exactly how long a task, a meeting, or a phone conversation will take — and manage your time better.
  • Setting unreasonable, strict deadlines will almost always result in you falling behind.
  • Allow for unforeseen disruptions by allowing some wiggle room.

These tips might assist you in maintaining your timeliness without being concerned about falling behind schedule.

Image Credit: DS Stories; Pexels; Thanks!

12 Time Management Errors That Will Sink You in 2022

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12 Time Management Errors That Will Sink You in 2022

Is time management a recurring goal or resolution that you make year after year? Well, you’re not alone. But, unfortunately, it’s been found that a staggering 82% of people don’t have a time management system. And, in my opinion, that can only lead to chaos.

Thankfully, this is the time of the year to rectify this problem. But, the key is to eliminate time management errors, such as the following 12 mistakes that will sink you in 2022.

1. Falling into the time management trap.

“Time management promises us that if we become more efficient, we can make space to accommodate all of our to-dos comfortably,” writes Dane Jensen for HBR. “And yet, time management is like digging a hole at the beach: the bigger the hole, the more water that rushes in to fill it.” After all, with so many demands, blocking out an hour for downtime in your calendar “is akin to setting off a signal flare announcing your capacity.”

As a result, you tackle a new project, assist someone else with their priorities, or commit to unnecessary meetings.

“This is not to say that time management has no value,” adds Jensen. “Productivity is important. But in a world where burnout is running rampant, we also need strategies for eliminating volume instead of simply accommodating it.”

So, how can we avoid the time management trap? Give the following three strategies a test drive.

Reduce the volume of tasks.

Obvious? Sure. But, a lot of us struggle with this nonetheless.

It’s recommended that you merge your calendar and to-do list to have a complete view of your commitments. Then, if you’re already booked, either decline time requests, delegate or outsource them, or reschedule them when you have availability.

Replace decisions with principles.

Too many decisions can lead to cognitive overload. As a result, you’ll feel overwhelmed and more likely to make errors. To prevent this, establish principles like “No Meeting Wednesdays” or wearing the same outfit daily ala Steve Jobs.

Use structure, not willpower, to minimize distractions.

We waste a lot of time on distractions like email or social media. Use structure to your advantage rather than draining your energy fighting against these distractions.

For example, blocking certain apps and websites when you need to focus on your most important task. Or, check your inbox and social accounts at determined intervals, such as first thing in the morning, after lunch, and before the end of the workday.

2. Not setting personal goals.

“Personal goal setting is essential to managing your time well,” states the Mind Tools Content Team. Why? “Because goals give you a destination and vision to work toward.”

“When you know where you want to go, you can manage your priorities, time, and resources to get there,” they add. “Goals also help you decide what’s worth spending your time on and what’s just a distraction.”

That’s all well and good. But, how can you actually achieve your goals? Well, here are six strategies that Angela Ruth recommends in a previous Calendar piece;

  • Take action right now. Don’t wait until the New Year, or the perfect time, for that matter, to get the ball moving. It won’t be easy, but you’ll “never achieve your goals if you fail to take action,” says Angela.
  • Consider your skills and adjust your plan accordingly. Then, for larger goals, break them down into more manageable chunks. From there, “think about what it’s going to take to accomplish each one of those tasks,” Ruth adds. “This includes looking inwardly and considering your talents and expertise,” as well as admitting your weaknesses.
  • Delegate tasks. Behind every successful individual is a team that complimented their skillsets and gave support when needed.
  • Write down a plan of action. “An action plan is a basic roadmap that you can follow that will get you to your goal,” states Angela. “This is extremely important as it will ensure you won’t miss any major steps along the way.”
  • Make sure that everything is measurable. Not only will this keep you accountable, but it will also help you track your progress.
  • Create accountability and hold yourself to it. At the get-go, you need to define your responsibilities and make them crystal clear so that you’ll follow through.

3. Making everything a top priority.

You’re undoubtedly an essential person with more than your fair share of responsibilities. But, and I can’t stress this enough, not everything is a top priority.

“Instead of believing that everything needs to be done right now, determine which actions indeed are your priorities,” advises Calendar co-founder John Hall. “Ideally, these should be the tasks that move you closer to achieving your goals.” You could also take into account “urgency, due dates, ROI, or the consequences of not completing the task or project.”

Do you still have trouble prioritizing? “Try using a priorities matrix, such as the popular Eisenhower Matrix,” suggests John. “Here, you would list all of your tasks into a four-quadrant box.” After that, you would organize them in the following ways.

  • Urgent and important. These should be considered your top priorities and deserve your attention first.
  • Important, but not urgent. Schedule these tasks when you have the time.
  • Urgent, but not important. These tasks should probably be delegated or outsourced to someone else.
  • Neither urgent nor important. Remove these items from both your to-do list and calendar entirely.

4. Fighting against your circadian rhythms.

If you’ve ever searched for time management tips, I’m positive that you’ve been told to wake up earlier. After all, the most successful people in the world, from Tim Cook to Dwayne “The Rock Johnson,” follow this practice. But, unfortunately, while I get why this could work, it can be counterproductive.

For instance, if you’re an early bird, this makes a ton of sense. You’re less likely to get distracted by waking up before everyone else. But, more importantly, this allows you to work during your prime biological time.

However, this may not be effective if you’re a night owl. Why? Because instead of working with your internal clock, aka your circadian rhythm, you’re going against the grain.

To put this another way, if you’re at peak productivity in the morning, then, by all means, wake up earlier. But, if the opposite is true, don’t force yourself to wake up at three or four in the morning.

5. Using the wrong equipment and methods.

“Everything from desks to chairs matters when you’re trying to achieve a goal,” notes the folks over at Autonomous. “Something like the SmartDesk 4 and the ErgoChair 2 can significantly help you work more productively in the office than some of their counterparts.”

I can personally vouch for the SmartDesk 4 and its excellent sit-stand function. While standing up has been found to increase productivity and combat a sedentary lifestyle, you can take a seat when you need a breather.

In addition to the wrong equipment, you may also be using improper time management methods. For example, the Pomodoro Technique is a popular and effective way to manage your time and encourage breaks. But, some feel this is too restrictive and prefer an attentive like the Flowtime Technique.

6. Being busy, not present.

“Are there obligations that must be met?” asks Deanna Ritchie, Editor-in-Chief at Calendar. “Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean you have to be doing something constantly.”

“It’s been found that being a member of ‘the cult of busy’ creates a chronic stress response in your body and mind.” Eventually, you could experience “symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, headaches, and gastrointestinal discomforts,” she adds. “You’re also asking for possible cardiac issues as well.”

“But, it’s not merely our physical well-being that we’re putting in harm’s way,” Deanna says. “There’s also a link between stress and depression.” Furthermore, this can put a strain on relationships and hinder your performance.

Specifically, when you’re busy, you miss out on new opportunities and aren’t working to your full potential. Additionally, this prevents you from effectively prioritizing your time, neglecting self-care, and failing to set boundaries.

How can you leave the cult of busy? By focusing on the present by;

  • Don’t ignore the past or future. Instead, allocate specific periods to plan and worry.
  • Do less. I’ve already alluded to this above. Try using the Eisenhower mentioned above Matrix to simplify your to-do lists.
  • Consider the opportunity cost. For example, before accepting a meeting invite, ask yourself if it’s genuinely worth the two hours of your time.
  • Let go of the narrative so that you can focus. Instead, acknowledge what’s holding you back, such as fear. Then, even if valid, imagine them as a soap bubble so that you can pop them.
  • Bring more mindfulness into your life. Make this a part of your daily life by visualizing your goals, practicing gratitude, and going for walks without your phone.
  • Stop overscheduling yourself. “If you’re not saying ‘HELL YEAH!’ about something, say ‘no,’” recommends Derek Sivers.

7. Undervaluing the time something will take to finish.

“Overachievers are especially guilty of this time-management sin,” writes Lisa Evans in Fast Company. “Thinking something will only take a few minutes, and it ends up eating up a half-hour is a common pitfall of A-type overachievers who never want to turn down an opportunity but don’t calculate how much of their time that opportunity will eat up.”

How can you avoid this? Productivity coach Kimberly Medlock suggests writing down how long each task on your to-do list will take to complete.

“If a task takes 25 or 30 minutes, it should be scheduled on your calendar,” adds Evans. “Another trick is to double the amount of time you think each task will take.” So that you anticipate a task taking you a half-hour, you should block out an hour to play it safe.

You should also map out your day either the night before or first thing in the morning. “Every 10 minutes you spend on planning saves you an hour in execution,” says Toggl CEO Alari Aho. I’ll go more detail into this in a minute, but just make sure to leave some white space in your calendar so that it’s flexible.

8. Skipping breaks.

I get it. You’ve got a million things to do and only a finite amount of time to get them done. But, even though it sounds counterintuitive, you can’t afford to skip breaks.

There’s no shortage of evidence on why breaks are so beneficial. But, the main consensus is that breaks give you the chance to reset mentally. As a result, you’ll feel less stressed and have the energy to make it through the workday.

More specifically, frequent breaks have prevented decision fatigue, restored long-term goals motivation, and sparked an “Aha” moment. Best of all? These can be microbreaks, like going for a 10-minute after completing a to-do list item.

9. Wasting time searching for documents and items.

In all honesty, this has long been a problem in the workplace. For instance, an IDC white paper published in 2012 found that information workers and IT professionals spent an average of 4.5 hours per week looking for paper documents. Similar studies show that the average office worker wastes 50 minutes a day trying to locate misplaced files and items.

The obvious solution, in my opinion, is to keep your workspace clean and organized. It doesn’t have to Mr. Clean levels of cleanliness. But, you should give everything a home and return these items to where they belong after you’ve used them. I usually do this on Friday afternoons before calling it a week.

You could also go digital and move relevant paper documents to the cloud. But, this also presents a findability issue and information overload and multitasking. For example, it’s been reported that “54% of US office professionals surveyed agreed that they spend more time searching for documents and files they need than responding to emails and messages.”

To get around this, you could turn to a unified search solution.

Elastic describes this as “a single search bar for your most-critical content — a one-stop answer shop if you will. With unified search, you can search across all your productivity, collaboration, and storage tools all in one place.” And, ideally, this solution should be;

  • Relevant. “Top-ranked content is surfaced across all the indexed sources, in a single, unified set of results.”
  • Personalized. Since everyone uses different tools, they should be customized based on the user’s preferences.
  • Secure. The solution offers security features like encryption and proper authorization to prevent cyberattacks.
  • Scalable. “A solution that seamlessly scales provides versatility and peace of mind as your search needs grow.”

10. Rigid planning.

Perhaps one of the most significant debates this side of Star Wars or Star Trek or who’s the best Chris in the MCU, is scheduling your time or going with the flow.

Here’s the thing. It’s a balancing act.

Scheduling your priorities, for example, is a must if you want to protect your valuable time. If you don’t, you might end up spending your time and energy on less important tasks. In turn, you could fall behind on deadlines or fail to reach your goals.

Having too much free time can also be detrimental. As mentioned earlier, you need to have some sort of idea of where you’re going and how to get there.

If your schedule is too rigid, then you don’t have the wiggle room and flexibility to address emergencies or unavoidable interruptions. Or, maybe you got a late start to your day because you were procrastinating. If you don’t have free blocks of time in your schedule, then you can’t adjust your plans accordingly.

11. Taking the “ready, aim, fire” approach.

“Always adopt the mindset of ‘ready, fire and aim’ instead of ‘ready, aim and fire’ approach,” writes Shawn Lim over Lifehack. “Always remember that no one is perfect in this world.” And, more importantly, we learn best from our failures and mistakes.

“You don’t have to understand every detail to start,” adds Lim. “You can start right away and figure the rest of the details which you don’t know.” After all, as long as you’re in motion, you’ll “have the edge over people who are always thinking but are not doing anything.”

At the same time, this doesn’t mean you can toss planning and brainstorming by the wayside. Instead, getting started should always be one of your top strategies.

12. Not relieving stress.

Physician and neuroscientist Paul MacLean developed the famous triune brain theory in the 1960s. While his theory has been revised, it mainly argues that we all have three brains.

“The most ancient structure is the reptilian brain, so named because it is made up of the stem and cerebellum,” explains David Hassell, CEO of 15Five. “These structures also appear in reptiles, animals that lack the more developed brain components described below.” Its purpose is to keep us protected as it regulates our heart rate and breathing.

The limbic brain is the next structure. The limbic brain is shared by all mammals “is where emotions, memories, and aggression live,” adds Hassell. It also “controls much of our behavior.”

“When we worry about our social lives and relationships, we recede into our limbic brains,” he explains.

“Finally, we humans and other primates have a specialized structure called the neo-cortex,” says Hassell. Also known as the frontal lobe, it’s “responsible for language and abstract and creative thinking.”

How does this impact time management? “When people feel unsafe at work, their more primitive brain structures are activated, and they can’t access their frontal lobes to innovate,” clarifies Hassell.

Additionally, fear “will trigger their brains to start producing adrenaline and cortisol, and their creative minds will shut down.” In short, stress management and time management go hand-in-hand.

You can use proven techniques like guided meditation and deep breathing exercises to relieve stress. Other suggestions would be physical activity and productively venting to others. Also, create a stress-free work environment by personalizing your workspace and avoiding toxic co-workers.

Work Less Because It’s Done and Play More in 2022

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Work Less Because It’s Done and Play More in 2022

You may have seen folks around you who get everything done and then some. How do they get so much done so fast?

Time management is the answer.

Time management is the art of organizing and allocating minutes, getting things done. This maximizes productivity and achieves goals. Time management improves job performance and life satisfaction while reducing stress. High achievers don’t just happen. Rather, they’ve honed the talents required to achieve more in less time.

Productivity is a skill.

It’s an acquired talent that everyone must learn. However, it is feasible (and simple) to learn time management. There are several tools, strategies, and approaches available to assist you. We’ve rounded together our finest 32 day-saving ideas.

Planning Your Time to be Done Faster

Planned calendar management will help you build solid habits, get things done and increase your chances of success.

1. Conduct a time audit.

First things first: figure out where you spend your time. Often, what you believe is taking up your time isn’t. Humans are lousy at estimating task duration. Let’s say you need to send a 300-word email. Think: “Emailing is easy. It should just take 5 minutes.” Proofreading, checking language choice, and identifying email addresses are all duties that might add to the task’s duration. Your 5-minute email may take you 20 minutes, 500% longer than expected with such changes.

Assume you have the same issue with numerous tasks. A balanced workload will inevitably turn into a hectic to-do list during the day. You need to know what you can do and what is genuinely eating up your minutes. That’s why a time audit is useful. The most straightforward approach to undertake a time audit is using calendar tracking software. Many firms provide free software, but Toggl Track is the easiest, with applications for all devices.

Track your activities for a week to get an accurate time utilization picture. Then, examine the reports at the end of the week and analyze the time you spend on various chores. With this data, you can quickly improve. For example, you may waste time in useless meetings or busywork.

Now you can see how you spend your time and prepare accordingly.

So here’s the next piece of advice.

Tip #2: Set realistic goals and prioritize and be done.

Time management won’t assist you if you have too much to do. After doing a time audit, you’ll know if you need to manage your time better or if you have too much on your plate.

For attainable goals, skip to suggestion 3.

If you feel overwhelmed, create an Eisenhower matrix or use the 4 Ds of time management: Do, Defer, Delegate, and Delete. Your duties are divided into four categories into both methods:

Do: Important and urgent tasks.

Defer: Important yet non-urgent tasks.

Delegate: Urgent but unimportant tasks.

Delete: Non-urgent or non-critical tasks.

These methods will help you decide what jobs to prioritize, schedule, delegate, or remove. They should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.

Tip #3: Make a daily management strategy.

You can do this in the morning or at the end of the day. Creating a daily to-do list is one of those time slots. Keep your to-do list simple. The sight of half-completed lists is discouraging.

Even in personal productivity, it’s preferable to under-promise and over-deliver. Write your list as though you’ve already finished it. Submit Report to Project Manager instead of “Submit Report to Project Manager.”

This tiny method will give you an extra push of desire to finish your duties.

Tip #4: Sunday planning management

A strategy will help you focus on your critical goals during the workweek. It also enables you to move from weekend mode to “work mode” on Monday morning. First, spend a few minutes on Sunday planning your entire week. Then, break down weekly goals into daily chores to increase achievement.

You’ll be able to see your daily tasks at a glance. Schedule low-priority work for Fridays and other low-energy days. The week’s energy and creative levels change. Finish creative projects on Tuesday and Wednesday. Plan meetings for Thursday, when your team’s energy drops. Plan and network on Fridays and Mondays.

Personal productivity has hundreds of variations. Because everyone works differently, experimenting with these time management techniques will help you find the ideal strategy for you.

Tip #5: Finish your most critical and time-consuming activities first thing.

The first few hours of work are usually the most fruitful. This is because you can focus better while your brain isn’t completely awake.

They have less energy for daydreaming and other duties. So, preferably, do your most intellectually demanding responsibilities first thing in the morning.

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