Want to structure your day to get more done and be more satisfied with yourself? Then follow these tips.
Problem: I Try to Get Everything Done, but I’m Bad at It
Recognize that you can’t get everything done. There are 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week – time is limited. Desires are limitless, and the modern world offers so many opportunities that it would take several lifetimes to realize half of them. What does all this mean? That you have to make choices. You are the one who chooses how to live your day.
Example: You walk up to the table tennis table in the morning. You have a racket in your hand. And there’s a plan to hit a few specific balls. But suddenly, as if on cue, a lot of balls start flying at you. You try to hit them, but there are a lot of them, and they fly at you. Some you kick, some fly past, some hit you in the forehead. And then suddenly the flow of balls stops: that’s midnight, the day is over.
Balls are the tasks we get thrown at us every day. The big question is, in this turmoil, did you have time to hit the balls that were important to you? In a ball flow situation, it’s hard to choose; it’s easy to make a mistake. So it’s important to control the flow of tasks and your time and be able to prioritize correctly.
Problem: Working at the Computer, I’m Constantly Distracted by Extraneous Information on the Internet
Use apps to concentrate and get rid of workplace clutter and noise.
Examples of effective apps:
- Pomodoro is an app that starts a timer for 25 minutes. During that time, you stay focused and work on the task at hand. You are distracted and rested when the timer goes to zero. During this time, you can chat with pals, play at a 22Bet application, or watch YouTube. After the break, you start a new timer. It’s easy to talk yourself into concentrating and staying focused for just 25 minutes. If that’s not enough or too much for you, you can set your own cutoff time. Also, some apps offer to block notifications on your smartphone so they don’t distract you.
- Evernote or Google keep and other “put off” type apps – you have to install them as a plugin in your browser. The benefit of them is that when you catch yourself being distracted by something online, you immediately stop yourself, click right in your browser on that app icon, and the page is saved so you can go back to it and finish reading. You can stop, go back to work, and then go back and finish reading when you think it’s appropriate. These are controlled distractions, but for this to work, you need to set aside a legitimate time when you can finish reading it and finish it. If you don’t have that time, you’ll continue to be distracted and waste the time you have allotted for basic tasks.
Problem: There Are Many Tasks, It’s Difficult to Choose Among Them, and There Are Overlaps and Violations of Deadlines
Make choices before the start of the day. The best time to plan for tomorrow is tonight. Friday is a good time to plan for the next week. There’s an interesting feature in our thinking: we make more rational decisions in advance. Being in the moment, we choose the paths of least resistance and most enjoyment, the harmful paths.
Example: if you’re deciding in the morning how to start the day, you will choose something pleasant and easy and most likely unhelpful. The likelihood of a useful morning in this case is extremely low. If you plan in the evening, schedule a sequence of actions, then in the morning you will be left with just sequentially performing everything you have prepared for yourself. The likelihood that you will spend a productive morning increases. If you want to make a rational decision and plan the “right” day, plan it in the evening, before the day begins.