Is 24 hours in a day really enough? Some say it’s plenty of time while others struggle to get tasks completed. I know for myself, I have to push tasks back and learn to manage my time a bit better. When I first started working for Near Me as an intern almost 1 year ago, I found myself quite busy. Balancing being a full-time student, a part-time job, and part-time internship.
I was in for a ride for my last year of college. Once I started to get more comfortable with things, I found I had to change some of my habits to have enough time to balance it all. Here are 5 tips I have learned in the past year that helped me maximize the hours in a day.
Wake up early and sleep early
Sounds easy enough, right? Now, if you have kids this may be much more difficult to do. With so much to do in a day, it’s hard to find the time to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep, let alone even 5-6 hours. We work ourselves so hard that we are defaulted to sacrifice sleep instead of simply working on becoming more efficient throughout the day.
Our mind is a very powerful thing and if you work to establish and adapt to a routine, you’ll be surprised at how much more you can accomplish. For example, if you work the traditional 8-5 schedule. You wake up the same time every morning, get ready for work, and head on over. This M-F routine just becomes second nature and your body gets used to it. You are going through the motions without even thinking about it and the most difficult question is probably “what am I going to eat for breakfast?”
That is what it takes to wake up but also sleep early. Establish a routine of getting to bed by 9PM and waking up by 4AM to get your day started. Don’t think about hitting that snooze button or getting that extra “5 minutes of sleep.” You must discipline your body to get up when that alarm goes off and not create those bad habits.
We pay hundreds of dollars for our cell phone services for a reason! With the advancements in technology, many of us can access our work contents on our phones. If you commute via public transportation and also have to walk to work, use this time to perform simple tasks that can help maximize your time once you actually get into work. This can range from checking and responding to emails, updating social media, or even getting updated on the latests trends.
As for me, it takes me three forms of transportation just to get into work: car, BART, and walking. Anywhere from an hour and half to 2 hours a day each way to commute. That adds up to almost half a work day! Instead of dwelling on how much time is wasted, I simply use that time to get more done and utilize my smartphone to perform those various tasks. The power of technology is incredible and luckily for me, I can access everything online.
We all have multiple tasks to juggle and quite frankly some things have to be pushed aside. It may take days sometimes even weeks before you get the chance to work on it. Stop pushing those small tasks to the bottom of the pile and simply outsource it. Many great services such as @Fiverr or @WriterAccess have evolved to help make our lives easier. Whether it is needing additional blogs for your marketplace, creation of videos for a facebook ad, or even using them solely instead of hiring more employees to keep overall costs down.
Weigh out the cost to benefit ratio to what some of your tasks are. Would it be cheaper to pay someone to do it rather than taking the time to do it yourself and miss out on other work? That is something you need to decide for yourself but for us at Near Me, some things are just simply better outsourced. Let’s face it, we can’t do everything. Put your ego aside as it is beneficial to your overall productivity.
Create a schedule
Google calendar is a great tool for this. Plan out your days or even weeks in advance by creating time blocks on when you will be getting your tasks completed. For example from 8-9 you will check and reply to all emails. After from 9-10 check and reply on social media platforms and then from 12-3 keep for any projects you may have at the time. Now you may say I don’t want to become a robot by doing this but it can actually save you time. Establishing the routine can result in greater efficiency by knowing what needs to be done next when jumping from task to task. It’s simple organization that many of us forget at times.
That may sound counterproductive but taking breaks has shown to improve performance throughout the day. A study from Huffington Post has shown that focus is lost after long periods of time tasks are performed. Your brain simply starts to wander and think about other things instead of what is actually right in front of you. Taking breaks in between projects can help regain focus and avoid burnout. It can be tough, especially if you are putting in 50-60 hour work weeks.
Schedule a time between tasks to take a 5-10 minute break. Get out of your chair and get some fresh air. Taking your mind off of work for a bit to get the blood flowing again. Work often gets stressful, especially if something is not going your way. Getting out can clear your conscious and give you the break you may just need. While it may seem like a waste of time in the beginning, in the long run taking breaks will be highly beneficial. Just be sure to monitor your breaks and not get too distracted that it takes away from your productivity levels.