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Are you getting exhausted during work on a daily basis, even if you don’t seem to have a particularly busy day? Have you ever wondered why that might be? Let us tell you a secret – it’s all down to managing your tasks and your time the best way possible. The goal of self-management is to find your own best qualities, so you can live your life at peak efficiency!
Self-Management – A Short Introduction
Self-management is the ability to schedule our daily lives to fit our preferences in the most optimal and effective way possible. Whether it’s about jobs, family affairs or relationships, this skill is invaluable to have. It makes life seem much smoother and definitely less stressful when you learn to schedule your time well!
Don’t worry if you feel like you’re lacking in this department – anyone can master it at any stage in their lives. All it takes is a little practice and everything will fit into place like a puzzle. Let us guide you through the best tips about this topic, so you can start employing them today!
Techniques To Gain Control Of Your Life
We’ve defined what self-management is, now it’s time to learn more about how to approach this subject on a deeper level. There are a few pointers that can help you start your journey towards managing yourself, such as:
- Always have a plan Form a plan each day about what to achieve and stick to it! It doesn’t matter how small you start, it will feel like an accomplishment.
- Keep your schedule as clear as possible Try to avoid becoming overly busy. Picking up too many things on the side can prevent you from reaching your goals.
- It’s not supposed to be a chore This subject is very similar to adopting a healthier lifestyle – it should become a habit, and not something you’re forcing on yourself.
Making a list about what seems right or wrong with your current schedule will help to eliminate problematic tasks or shift them around. Start by taking notes while you’re observing yourself on a normal day!
The GTD Framework
The GTD framework is a time management system created by David Allen, who wrote the best selling book called Getting Things Done. The main idea of this method is to record all of your tasks externally, instead of trying to remember them. Thus, you’ll be free to concentrate on how to achieve results and save yourself a lot of trouble when it comes to memorizing things.
There are five steps to the GTD framework:
- Capture Make sure you take note of every assignment you have.
- Clarify Sort through all your tasks to determine what’s urgent and what can be postponed or removed from your to-do list altogether.
- Organize Assign priorities, categories, and due dates, if possible to each and every task.
- Reflect Revise your list to see where to begin. It should be pretty straightforward from this point!
- Engage Pick your most important task and get to work!
Try The Pomodoro Technique For More Focus
The Pomodoro technique‘s name comes from a tomato-shaped kitchen timer that the method’s inventor, Francesco Cirillo used during his university studies. The main idea of his technique is that you’re supposed to spend 25 minutes of full concentration on a single task, divided by 5-minute breaks. After four sessions, a longer break of 30 minutes is allowed.
An interruption-free environment is recommended if you want to try out this technique. Try to separate yourself and your work from any distractions. The point is to enter into a flow state, which is aided by the act of winding the timer and its sounds, signaling work time and break time as well.
Explore The Eisenhower Method To Set Priorities
The Eisenhower Decision Matrix is a task evaluation method that helps you identify and categorize assignments according to their levels of importance and urgency. This method is crucial when it comes to deciding which tasks must be handled immediately, and which can be postponed.
There are four categories to fit your tasks in, according to the method:
- Do: Important/Urgent – these tasks require your full attention as soon as possible.
- Decide: Important/Not Urgent – these tasks can be scheduled and worked on at a later time, but still require your attention.
- Delegate: Not Important/Urgent – these tasks can be assigned to someone else.
- Delete: Not important/Not-Urgent – these tasks can be eliminated altogether from your schedule.
The technique itself has other benefits, such as discovering the source of your stress and frustration when it comes to handling workloads. You might find yourself feeling burnt out if you are prone to working constantly on important and urgent tasks. On the other hand, postponing important tasks for the sake of menial ones might signify that you’re afraid of taking up responsibility.
Learn To Say No When It’s Needed
The pressure of constantly having to outdo ourselves is everywhere. This is the reason why it can be hard to say no to coworkers when they approach you with additional tasks, even though your hands might be full. While it might seem impolite to say a straight-up ‘no’, you can ask for some time when it comes to deciding where to fit in extra work alongside your own.
Practicing this type of self-evaluation will boost your confidence and help you out professionally in the long run. No one is benefitting from rushed tasks or half-done projects and your colleagues will surely see the reasoning behind your actions as well.
Everything Is A Work In Progress
Becoming self-sufficient in this sense doesn’t happen overnight. It’s all about taking small steps, appreciating yourself for your efforts and learning from your mistakes. You might discover that you need to try out multiple ways to approach this subject before finding the right one for you! It will feel very rewarding, once everything clicks into place and you’ll be a master at self-management.
Keep reading to find out more about how to prevent stress when it comes to working from home or what to do to boost your focus when you need it the most!
Make Space For Yourself
Setting up a corner in your home that’s going to be your designated spot for work is similar to personalizing your office desk! It provides the right mindset to start a task when you sit down, as well as leaving that space will feel like taking a break.
Pick a quiet location in the house and try to clear anything that might be distracting for you from that area. If you find that this home office setup is not your style, don’t be afraid to experiment with taking your laptop out into the garden, if the weather’s nice. Try to avoid working on top of the bed or near the kitchen – you should be resting in the former, while the latter is a recipe for disaster when it comes to interruptions!
Avoid The Burnout
Multitasking is a big no-no when it comes to managing your time. You might think it’s beneficial to do 10 things at once, but in reality, this prevents you from becoming more efficient with your time. Try and see for yourself, how stressful it can become to navigate between tasks, however small they seem!
You need discipline for a home office job to avoid letting it get out of hand and to save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run. Make sure to pinpoint important tasks and start working on them one by one. You’ll feel much more relaxed and accomplished at the end of the day!
Find Your Own Pace
Some people find it easy to work for hours on end, while others need breaks more often. You can experiment with working at a different time of day, instead of the standard 9 to 5 timeframe. It’s not just about the hours spent working, after all. As long as you accomplish the task you’ve set out to do, it’s all good.
If you feel like something’s taking too long, or you have trouble concentrating on a task, it’s time to take a break. Put it aside and try to do some housework for a bit, or even a light exercise for 15 minutes.
Boost Your Concentration
Aside from checklists and changing your approach to self-management, you can employ other tools that can help you accomplish tasks easier. Listening to music geared towards concentration helps to remove distractions, especially if you’re using headphones. Creating a peaceful atmosphere around your workspace in the form of scents, natural light, and comfortable seating makes a huge difference.
Of course, caffeine is a well-known productivity booster, but you don’t hate to opt for coffee all the time – certain tea types are just as good, if not better to help you out while you’re working. Green tea contains a concentration-boosting chemical compound called EGCG, for example!
Delegate And Outsource
There’s no shame in admitting the need for help when it comes to having huge workloads. In an office setting, working in teams makes it easier to distribute tasks efficiently, and asking for help whenever necessary.
Comparing this to working from home, you can easily outsource household chores to your family members when you’re swamped with work. Loading the washing machine, doing the dishes leftover from lunch or even taking the trash out can help a lot. The more efficient this becomes, the sooner you can sit down and relax together!
Try To Better Your Sleep Schedule
We all need some form of energy to function, and one of the ways of getting it is through a good night’s rest. You must spend enough time sleeping to be able to perform your best at work.
Correcting erratic sleeping patterns will surely help you in the long run – if you’re a night owl, try waking up a bit early each day to be able to go to sleep sooner. If you’re working from home and you feel like you need a power nap during the day, go for it! Set an alarm so that you don’t oversleep – 30 minutes to an hour is a good time for a midday siesta.
A prize at the end of a tough assignment is a great motivator. Whether it’s a delicious donut or a well-deserved bubble bath, it will surely get you to focus on a task that much more efficiently. Start small by setting up a timeframe and reward yourself with something that compares to the amount of effort you put in, working your way up to longer periods of activity for bigger rewards – you can even set a timer. If you’re working from home, you can involve family members as well, just to make things more fun!
We’re All Human
Just remember – it’s okay to lose momentum sometimes. Life is tough, and we all have good and bad days, too. Don’t be too hard on yourself, even if you happen to be a perfectionist to the core. If you are working from home, take a day off and think things through. It’s a learning curve, finding out what works best for you!
We hope you enjoyed this article – if you did, make sure to share it with someone who might benefit from these tips as well!