Sunday, 29 January 2017

5 Tips to Optimise your Time


Although I've always considered myself as a quite organised person, I've recently had to reassess the way I arrange my life after I realised I kept running after time whilst I had plenty. I have had to find means to optimise my time to do everything I have to do during the day, which both includes finding a way to be more productive and cutting off on useless time-consuming activities. Due to the digital society and speed to which everything goes nowadays it is also essential to find time to relax (for real) and stop feeling constantly breathless. If you're reading this post, chances are you're an organisational freak or someone completely disorganised in need of some tips. Or maybe somewhere in the middle. In any case, I'd thought I share a bit of my experience in terms of organisation with you!

1. TO DO LISTS.

I honestly wonder how I would manage my life without to-do lists. It's the basic element any organised person uses to put their affairs in order. Writing down things you need to remember makes extra brain space available. Whether there are appointments to jot down in your diary, calls to make or anything else (wage war against procrastination), at least every task you need to execute is on paper right before your eyes and enables you to stave off stress.

2. BREAK DOWN YOUR DAY IN SLOTS

Preparing a schedule for the week is the best thing I've done in months, starting with firm resistance to the snooze button in the morning. Outlining what major activities sum up your week and deciding on the amount of time granted to each is a great help on a daily basis. I prepare my schedule every Sunday night for the five following days picking up tasks outlined in my to-do list; the weekend is for spontaneity. I am at home for the moment so I partially devote my mornings to exercise and Italian lessons whereas my afternoons are for studying and blogging. As a result, I know what I have to do straight up and I don't waste precious time thinking what my next task is going to be.

3. SET DAILY ACHIEVABLE OBJECTIVES

After I've defined how I'm going to spend my time, I set myself clear and achievable (not overly ambitious) targets for the day. Doing so enables me to reach for something and simply know when to stop - if for example my language course takes 45mn instead of an hour I'm not going to study an extra lesson, as maybe another task of the day will take me more time than expected. I usually resort to numbers when it comes to objectives without skipping quality. However this system relies on one major point that is flexibility. If I thought I'd need an hour to read two chapters of a study book and in reality need an additional half hour which impinges on another activity of the day, so be it. I'll take it in consideration when doing my next schedule. The challenge here is not to allow yourself to be overwhelmed by stress. In spite of a perfectly up and running schedule I am sometimes a little bit late, but it's okay if it remains occasional - far preferable to rustling up a task.

4. STAY FOCUSED 

Staying focused during long hours can turn out to be quite difficult, yet it is one of the most important thing in terms of time optimisation. Temptations are everywhere - especially social media. I learnt not to waste my time checking my phone every ten minutes to have a look at Instagram or what's happening on Twitter. If I feel the need to switch off the screen and tapping away on the keyboard, I make a cup of tea or read a few pages of a magazine. It radically changed how productive I can be in a day (= when I don't interrupt my work with constant mini phone breaks).

5. LEARN TO UNWIND

Another imperative I learnt recently. At the end of the day I felt I was still able to go on till 10 at night because I liked what I was doing, to the extent I could start feeling guilty of stopping at 7pm. But soon I got extremely tired in comparison with my daily activities and recognized I needed to step down and relax for real, putting aside the work I had done for the day. Body and brain need to let stress out - and this is achieved when refusing to work pointless extra hours to the detriment of mental and physical health.

What are your best tips to keep your life together and make good use of your time? 

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4 comments

  1. Unwinding is really important I completely agree and for me I think I need to start enforcing a cut off time at night time. Sometimes I stay up working till 1am etc but then the next day if I only do an hour or work I'll feel guilty like I'm wasting time so...I definitely need to sort that out.

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

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    1. That's exactly what I mean! We think we're productive when working late but actually it lowers our level our productivity the following day. I'm sure you'll find something very soon x

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  2. Great tips! I definitely need to stop having phone breaks. I end up procrastinating so much and then stress about why I don't get anything done. Definitely think switching off or turning your phone on airplane mode is a good way to stay off it and focus on the tasks you have to do xx

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Plane mode has become a must to be productive in my opinion! x

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