This is near the top of the list when it comes to the skills that we all need to drill in order to be productive, and then prolific.
Even if one does not want to pump out tons of content, the ideal balance would be to maximize the time doing tasks that you truly love, and minimize the time doing tasks that you’d rather not. This brings us to time management itself. We’re only handed so many hours in a day and don’t have any flex on that (if you find a way then please tell me how).
The secret to effectively using your allocated time is to set LIMITS. Most times it’s not a lack of ability that stops us from being efficient, it’s often a lack of limits.
It’s said that the task stretches to the time allocated. You can probably think of a do or die situation when you had to turn in an assignment with a very near deadline and you managed to transform into something else, and magically get the task done. This latent ability is in you, but the main factor is the HARD LIMIT, set by immovable time constraints. The task had a short window, but it also took the extremely high priority spot on your to do list.
From this we can build a system that solves the problem.
FIRST we must decide what tasks are highest priority. This means, you’ll need to make a list of all of the to do items you have. Then decide which task will make the greatest impact. If you can’t choose one then limit it to the top 3.
A side note here, each day you will only tackle a maximum of two major tasks. This gives you ample breathing room.
When you have decided upon your top task, that has the most impact, you will next set a SOLID TIME CONSTRAINT. On top of this, you have the option of setting a consequence for not tackling the task.
This could be handing your friend 100 bucks, and not letting them give it back until the task is done. If you don’t complete the task in the day (or make significant progress) then they keep the money. This is a bit extreme, but sometimes a little motivation helps.
As a time constraint , 2 to 4 hours is a fair time block in most cases.
If you take this into account, and you have two major tasks a day, a solid working day would get you sorted out.
NEXT, you must prepare your work space. This is CRITICAL. Find an ideal working environment. It may require you to turn off your phone and throw it across the room. It may be to turn off your internet connection. It may be to use plugins such as “StayFocused” , an app I recommend, that sets time limits on your web browser for certain sites daily, and will lock you out as your time limit expires. Personally I tend to set aside a specific playlist to listen to when I’m working. Usually instrumentals work better, so that no words cross over into my writing. (I’m currently listening to my own instrumentals from my next album on repeat. I know them well so it’s just background noise to me. )
A secondary option is to pick up some 3M Earmuffs. They dampen sound so they’re useful for locking in focus (Though be careful and stay aware of your surroundings when wearing them) - Providing an affiliate link here for the ones I picked up - https://amzn.to/330G59E
Once your space is prepared and you’re optimized, you can go a step further. On a sheet of paper ( I strongly recommend paper over pc for this), Divide your task time in 15 minute increments. Then set checkpoints for your task in those lines. Set a stopwatch and when you’re working you’ll have steady goals to reach, or race against. It’s like time attack mode in a video game. This has worked plenty of times for me in college when I had to write essays that I would have otherwise put off until the last minute. Being able to burn down a task in a single sitting instead of stretching it over weeks was a godsend.
With these steps your time management should have a significant boost.
1)Sort high priority tasks - limit 2 per day
2)Set a solid time constraint - 2 to 4 hour blocks
3)Prepare your work space - and your task materials
4)Set up your time attack sheet - on paper.
5)GET TO WORK
Hope this has been of help.
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