How to do more in less time?
Time is a precious commodity for everyone no matter how rich or poor you are. There are only 24 hours in a day, and we spend 8 of those sleeping.
The remaining 16 are crucial in which we’ve to do everything. So, time’s limited and things are unlimited.
This raises a big question. How to reconcile so much with so little time? The key is to trick your mind! It’s the mind that tracks the time and keeps you at work.
So, let’s look at some of the best ways to trick and train your mind to do more in less time.
Here is how to do more in less time.
#1. Estimate the Right Time For the Things to do
Find out how much time you’d ideally require to do a particular task. Don’t overestimate your capabilities thinking, “Well this is nothing. I’ll complete it by lunch.” That’s where you’ll waste your time in frustration and regret not having completed your work in the time “you” thought is the ideal time.
Instead, rightly estimate the time that a work deserves.
Contrarily, don’t overestimate the complexity of a task. If it takes you 30 minutes to do it, don’t plan for 40 minutes. That’s where you’ll ensure every minute counts.
Once you’ve rightly estimated the timings, you can focus all your energy into finding the equilibrium between your task and time. Initially, you may make mistakes in allocating time to a certain task. However, if you track the actual time required to complete the task, you will become more precise over time.
#2. Make a To-do List but Keep it Precise
You can’t memorise everything. It’s humanly impossible. If you try to, you will spend half the day trying to remember things you have to do.
This will not just drain your energy but also eat up your time. Instead, prepare a to-do list so that you’ll know exactly what needs your attention.
However, while adding items to your list, exercise caution not to mix unimportant things with the most important ones.
Don’t include things like washing your car in the same list as sending an invoice to your client. You can make a separate list for things like car washing but give priority to adding only important things like sending an invoice or an email to your main to-do list.
Keep it precise so that you can feel positive when you tick off one item after another. This will encourage you to work more optimally with the motive to strike off every item from the list.
#3. Plan your Schedule
Don’t just make a to-do list. Assign a specific time to each item. And, ensure that the thing is done in the assigned time.
Preparing a schedule informs you exactly what you’ve to do and the time when you’ve to start it and finish it.
There’s an important part of preparing a schedule. Keep it flexible by adding buffer time slots between each of the tasks. This way you’ll ensure that if a task overruns its schedule, you won’t be stressed and the next task can begin at the allotted time. Also, you will get the required break.
Additionally, keep time for mundane or otherwise seemingly unimportant things. You might not think checking emails needs an addition to your schedule, but it’s something that’s critical and can’t be avoided. Use the buffer time for it or if these types of tasks take a lot of your time, make them a part of the schedule. If you don’t do that you will never be able to do more in less time.
#4. Keep the Toughest Thing at the Top of the Schedule
If an item on your schedule is scary or you think it’s your worst nightmare, do it upfront. Don’t procrastinate what’s difficult but unavoidable. Eat the frog in the morning! Nothing can be worse than that.
But once you’ve been through with it, there’s nothing much to worry, and you can focus on other tasks.
However, if you plan the most difficult thing for the end of the day or the next day, it’ll linger in your head and make you lose all your vital strength by the time you tend to it. In the meantime, it’ll ruin your day and rest of the things.
#5. Plan your Day in Advance
Prepare a plan including the to-do list and schedule a day in advance. This will allow you sufficient time to think and prioritize.
Further, it’ll also enable you to choose the things you need to do yourself or delegate it to someone else. The other person might not be able to do it if you assign them the task at the 11th hour.
#6. Keep Distractions at Bay
Put all your WhatsApp groups on silent except for those that are important for your work. Uninstall Facebook from your mobile phone or at least turn off the notifications.
Disconnect everything that can break your concentration. Don’t even check the emails randomly. Do it only between the tasks or at the allotted time.
And, most importantly, keep your phone on silent mode.
#7. Track the Time
To ensure that you complete a 30-minute task in 30 minutes, keep track of time. You can place a stopwatch on your desk or an alarm that will go off 10 minutes before the scheduled completion time.
Alternately, there are numerous applications that you can install on your mobile or computer, which perform similar functions as stated above.
It will keep your mind focused on work.
#8. Plan Work and Break Schedules
We’re humans, and unlike computers, we need breaks. Plan your time slots in a manner that after every 25 minutes of work you take a 5 minutes break or after each 50-minute timeslot take a 10 minutes break.
This will clear your mind, allow you to rest or stretch your muscles, and freshen your mind to focus back on work. Leaving you with the ability to do more in less time.
#9. Don’t let Yourself Think There’s too Much Time
So what if your presentation is two weeks away? It could be the turning point of your career and is therefore, currently the most important thing in your life. Start working on it as soon as you can even if for a few minutes every day. Time flies and before you know your presentation is just a day away.
#10. Focus on Important not Urgent
Always do important things first. There might be things that are urgent but not important. Don’t do those urgent-unimportant tasks at the cost of the important tasks.
There’s also one more trick you can use here. If there’re two things to do, one is important, and the other is urgent plus important, management experts would say do the one which is urgent plus important. But, if you do the other task (only important not urgent), you’ll force yourself to do both the tasks in less time.
#11. Train Your Mind to Focus for 15 Minutes
It takes 15 minutes for the human mind to get completely focused on a task. Beyond it, it goes to an auto-pilot mode where it doesn’t deviate much to other things even if you take a break.
Athletes call it getting into the zone. So, learn to focus your mind for the first 15 minutes, and before you know, you’d have completed your task much before the scheduled deadline.
Following the above methods can trick your mind and let you tame it to get more juice out of your day. The only thing that you need to do is to maintain consistency. Don’t give up before you master the art of manipulating your brain and managing time.