Having not enough time on our hands is a problem for majority of us working for 8 or more hours per day to make a living. We feel drained and often frustrated at the end of a work day because there are other things we would have wanted to do. You want to balance work and life but time seems to run out when you try to juggle everything. There are ways to fix this problem only if you will stick to a schedule and you are willing to let go of some priorities.
1. Stop being a perfectionist
Remember, you are no superhuman. You can’t get everything right the first time and being a perfectionist wouldn’t always make you a smart worker because:
- You spend more time than required on a task
- You procrastinate and wait for the perfect moment. In business, this could spell your doom.
- You miss the big picture while being focused on the small things.
What to do: Focus on small achievements. Go by a step-by-step process to finish a big goal.
2. Tasks becoming too routine? Automate them
We are living in the world where many things in our environment are either remote controlled or automated. Automation tools free up your time from mundane tasks so you can work on more important things. Remember, time is gold not only for the money but also for time well spent with things and people that matters most.
3. Use data to backup decisions
Keep a log of anything that is important to you. In an office setting, archived files or data help in making business decisions without spending too much time backtracking events. We learn from the past and that’s what data is for.
4. Match tasks to time of the day
Divide your day to 3 categories:
- A = your highest energy time. This will count you coming to work fresh and ready to start the day.
- B = this will be your average energy time. This usually starts after lunch till noon.
- C = your dull energy time just a few hours before end of work shift.
With these 3 energy categories in mind those projects needing all your focus should be done in the mornings and mundane tasks fall in the afternoon. This way, you will be able to maximize your energy and productivity to appropriate projects needing all your attention.
5. Use the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a strategy of working with time and not against it. This is a revolutionary time management system and is deceptively easy to do. You are made to immerse yourself to work for 25 minutes straight. Then take a 5 minutes break. Stretch, make some coffee, walk around, etc. When 5 minutes is up, work again for 25 minutes and so on and so forth. This technique helps to eliminate burnout and manage distractions.
6. Always remember the Pareto Principle
20% of the effort produce 80% of the results; however,20% of the results consumes 80% of the effort.
So say “no” to tasks that bring low or almost zero results. Don’t work harder, work smarter. Focus on efforts that will result 80% of results and forgo the rest. This will help you prioritize to what needs to be done asap.
7. No man is an island
There is a reason the corporate world has departments and teams function as a whole to get things done. You don’t know everything and you need to understand when to let someone, who can do a better job take over some of your tasks. This will free up your time to work on more important priorities than trying to figure something out for yourself. This is how the world works and the reason businesses happen.
8. Avoid these at all costs!
- Don't skip breakfast.
- Not setting concrete goals either for a workday, a month , a year. Your work will not result to anything otherwise.
- Setting unrealistic goals. Especially if you are starting new out of your comfort zone. Everything goes through a process may it be for study or a gradual progression to success. Success doesn’t happen overnight.
- Neglecting health. What’s the use of working hard if you don’t have the stamina to do so.
- Not enough hours of sleep. Never underestimate the power of sleep. Sleep rejuvenates the mind and body to tackle on any challenge the next day.
You are just one person and you need to realize which tasks require most of your attention and which you can delegate to others. The path to a successful work and life balance is to know your limits and to understand you are not expected to accomplish everything on your own. This way, you will be able to manage your time and energy and do other things you want to do.