Twenty-four hours just never seem enough anymore. There’s too much to do and too little time to do it. The day isn’t getting any longer, but how you manage your hours can hold the key to your success and satisfaction.
1 Maintain a regular sleep-awake pattern: It is not a good idea to compromise on your sleep. Keep your sleeping and waking hours as constant as possible. Feeling groggy through the day will only make you more inefficient.
2 Learn to prioritise: All tasks are not equally important or equally urgent. Identify and minimise your ‘time wasters’ and focus all your energy on more important tasks.
3 Keep space for the unexpected! No matter how well you feel you have planned your day, the future never fails to surprise one. Make space for last minute contingencies and don’t get bogged down by them.
4 Have an idea about time consumption: Different activities require varying amounts of time and energy to complete. Don’t plan your schedule blindly, give a thought to how much of your time your activities will consume.
5 Do not make a rigid time tables: We all have a tendency to underestimate the time or effort we would need to complete any task. At the same time, we often fail to take into account the possibility of the unexpected. While it’s good to plan, don’t stick to a very rigid time table. Leave scope for some flexibility.
6 Do not multitask: It is a myth that multitasking is a time-saver. Multitasking in fact wastes more time and increases our mistakes. It’s better to focus all your attention on one thing at a time.
7 Always do urgent tasks first: Plan your schedule keeping in mind your respective deadlines for every activity. Always get urgent tasks with nearer deadlines out of the way first.
8 Do not leave things for the eleventh hour: Procrastination is an internal battle that most of us have to fight on a daily basis. Overcoming it requires conscious and deliberate effort. Get your work done as soon as possible; don’t wait for the last minute.
9 Be your own manager: When you have work to do, take matters in your hand. Take the initiative and be responsible for your work; don’t wait for others to give you instructions.
The author is director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare