Managing time is one of the most difficult aspects of work-life.
I will not spend much time blabbering about this problem, I hope you know how difficult it is in this ever-distracting world we live in to focus on what’s important in work life.
Between meetings and breaks, before you realize, the day is already over!
All of us have the same 24 hours, we can’t make the sun stay a little longer! 😜 We can’t literally “make time" extra just for you by saying some magic mantra (sorry if I disappointed you 😉).
But, what we can do is reflect how your time is being spent and find ways to use it efficiently.
Let’s head straight into the hypothesis and solutions (2 parts each).
1. The Infinity pool
If you take a 10,000 feet view of Google Play Store/Apple App Store you will find a certain category of apps which for our reference lets call “Infinity Pool Apps”.
These are the kind of apps which have never-ending feeds of content coming in straight into your phone and trying to grab your time! I’m talking about the “Pull to refresh” for infinity pool of content, and nonstop notifications begging for your attention!!
Examples: Email, Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Instagram, Google News, Google App, etc.
Such apps (and app notifications) make you constantly lose focus and time! For your brain, context switching is more expensive than you think! Your productivity decreases exponentially!
Best minds of my generations are trying to figure out how to get people click more ads! — Facebook Employee
2. Busy bandwagon
Most of us use some calendar app at work to manage meeting schedule right?
But take a step back and look closely who puts items on your calendar?
Usually, most of the time Meeting Requests (Calendar Blockers) are sent by someone else and you blindly accept these Meeting Requests!
You are letting other people control your day!
No wonder you were caught up busy unknowingly and couldn’t complete the most important tasks of your day! Before you know, between meetings and coffee breaks, the day is already over!
People sometimes get tricked into thinking “Being Busy” meaning “More Productive”, but fail to realize that the contrary is true!
1. Escape the Infinity Pool:
- If possible, uninstall all the Infinity Pool Apps. (Facebook, Instagram, Google News, etc.)
- If not, then at least remove them from your phone home screen!
- If possible, take it to the next level, Clear your home screen! [Enjoy the blissful wallpaper 😇 ]
- Log out of all Social Media Accounts.
- If you badly miss the “news apps” — Subscribe to a Weekly Magazine of your favorite topic of interest (Movies, Sports, Finance, Stock Markets, Startups, Technology, Cooking, etc.)
- Miss your friends on social media? Dedicate 10-20 mins for social media. (I use FB mostly as a reminder app, only for wishing on Birthdays!)
- Use a wristwatch, so that you stop checking the time on your phone!
The harder you make apps reachable, you trick your brain to use such apps lesser!
2. Drifting Busy Bandwagon Your Way!
When someone says they are busy, it just means they have other priorities! You must learn this “art” too!
- Learn to say “NO” to meeting requests (sometimes at least). Take a call based on its urgency and its impact.
- Choose 1 or 2 tasks which you think will be your “Highlight of the Day”.
- Block Time for your day’s “Highlight” before others block your calendar!
- Let Emails and Messages pile up, learn to stop responding immediately! “Instant Replies” are hazardous to your time (and focus)! Context switching in your brain is expensive (in terms of losing focus)!!
- Batch it up and respond, this allows you to focus for a long stretch of time on your “Highlight of the day” tasks.
Doing more & more is not as important as focusing more on what’s important!
Highly Recommended Reading:
(Book) “Make Time” by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky
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