Time is the one thing that is distributed uniformly across all people in this world! Not all of us are born with the same riches, facilities, opportunities, features, environment and so on. If there is something in the world that unites us all together and keeps all discrimination at bay, it is time. However what makes the difference then? Is it our internal tuning? Is it how we react, is it how we utilize our time, is it how efficient we are, is it how best and how fast we can complete things without compromising on quality? Looks like we are getting somewhere here. Let us see how best we could utilize our time so that we get the best of a situation. We did look through a few management books but finally realized things can be as basic as this
1) Organize the priorities
One of the first things to do is – Make a list! Well I wouldn’t suggest the same, but it does help to know what all are the things that are on the platter. Once we are done with this, we can identify the importance of each of these projects and based on them we realize what needs to be completed and at what time. As always the most urgent project makes the top of the list.
2) Chunking Projects
No matter how complex and big a project sounds, it can always be split into achievable and simpler targets. Once it is chunked, identify the smaller chunks and see which can go together and see if there is a way to combine some of them. For example when I was in for a time crunch, I would combine gymming along with an e book. I would download an audio copy of the book, hit the gym and combine it with listening to the track which would help me complete things faster or when I was watching a cricket match on TV, I would chunk it with something simpler like copying content and making the database; meeting friends over a friendly game (Took both the social and physical sector into account) ; and some more like that. Sometimes even though the bits seem very diverse, it is fascinating how well they gel along.
Procrastination is the thief of time. It so happens that most times I would make the prioritization and realize that somethings were very simple and easy. I would keep them to the end so that I could finish them all fast. But it did something more than that, it started pressurizing me cos I realized there were 2x things to do. I am a smart man, I did know that x things were easy, but even then I didn’t do them – maybe I found them too easy. However I tried the other way round, finished off the easy bits first, made life a little lesser hell. I know the point I am driving here is very small and very easy to overlook it as well. But when I did it, I realized that it is a lot easier to finish things off than procrastinate. It did make sense to a certain extent to do the easy things first. Though it was not the biggest completion or achievement, it still took a lot of things off the list which was a huge load off the back
4) Identify the best working time
For me, it did take a long time to realize that I was at my best at the mornings, the energy was at its best, the efficiency and the way I handled things was much faster than anytime of the day. The noon was one of the most torrid times . Even then, I used to get up at 9 in the morning and be all stressed out about things. Thought I would revamp the schedule a little, realized that the day had a lot more time than it used to. Now I find a little more time to meet people, complete my work and also organize things better. Efficient Work doesn’t necessarily mean spending 10 hrs at office. It means finishing off the work in a much shorter duration so that we have more time for ourselves and for things which are equally if not more important.
5) Take Breaks
All work and no play makes Jack a Dull Boy! It takes me back to the days where I was an engineer at Analog Devices. The most challenging time for me used to be the afternoons, right after lunch! I was a smart man, I used to force myself to work, only to realize that I would be stuck at the same line of code for hours together and the reasons being as small as I had made a spelling error! 😀 . But did try something different, I would do these small naps at the chair, worked like a charm, work started getting completed a little faster than before. The lesson was, there is no point in trying to force ourselves beyond the zone where we aren’t ready. It makes a lot more sense to take the rhythmic breaks and mix it up well. Cos we are not here just to win a trophy, the bigger picture is still us and our well being over everything else. Every other urgency is our perception of it. On the bigger picture,, probably these things and deadlines might not matter at all 🙂