Time Management is a huge factor when it comes to Getting Shit Done (capitalised because it’s important). The problem is that the world is very distracting these days, which makes it difficult to stay productive. So what do you do when the work is piling up but there’s just one too many Netflix series to be binged at the same time.
Time Management Tip No. 1
Know how you work best. Do you need everything to be dead silent to get through your ‘to do’ list, or do you need a pumping soundtrack of 80s classics in the background. We’re not here to judge. Once you’ve identified what you need to have in order to be able to work, do yourself a favour and provide it. If you need to move, move. If you need earplugs, get earplugs. It’s worth it in the end.
Time Management Tip No. 2
Set work/break times: Realistically, what we’re saying here is ‘bribe yourself’ if you know a task is going to take an hour, promise yourself you can have twenty minutes off afterwards. It’s better that than sitting and staring at your screen for three hours while you half-work and half-skive. Commit to working flat-out for a period of time, and then being lazy for a little while. Maybe there’ll even be cake. Oh yeah, and buy cake.
Time Management Tip No. 3
Be realistic about how long stuff takes: If you say a task will take half an hour, do you really mean it? Most of us underestimate the length of time it takes to do basically anything. It doesn’t mean you’re underachieving, but you need to be realistic. If you’ve got seven tasks that you estimate will take one hour each, but that you know deep down will take at least two, you don’t have one day’s work on your hands, you have two. That isn’t going to work, and it’s likely to make you panic and procrastinate, so make sure you’re giving yourself the time you actually need to the things you actually need to get done.
Time Management Tip No. 4
Don’t take on too much: In the same vein as being realistic, don’t take on too much work. People will understand if you tell them you’ve got too much on (after all, there’s a reason they’re not doing it all for themselves), but if you just don’t deliver without letting people know why you’re going to start giving a really bad impression.
Time Management Tip No. 5
Don’t struggle if it’s not working: We all have bad days. If you’ve been staring at a screen for ages and not concentrating, sometimes it’s worth stepping away for a while and coming back. Sure, if you leave the office for an hour, people might question it. But if the choice is between refreshing your screen for the rest of the day without getting through any work, or taking an hour out and then coming back and smashing it, we all know which one most people would ultimately prefer. Treat yourself.
Time Management Tip No. 6
If you’ve tried everything and you still find yourself sitting on Youtube and watching old blooper reels, get rid of the internet. There are loads of apps you can use to block time wasting websites (i.e. all of the good ones), and many even offer you the option to block all internet access for a certain length of time. If your phone is the issue, put it in another room. You’ll survive without it for a while, and when you’ve finally finished your task you can use it to let all of your friends know how awesome and productive you are.
These are just a few suggestions which we hope will help you to get shit done when that’s what you need to do. For more help, check out advice from experts on HowNow. What do you do when the tasks are piling up and you need to get through them super-quickly?