13 Jul Organizing Your Life
Whether you are a stay at home mom, a busy executive, or a weary student, keeping a schedule is the way to go to ensure that goals are met, account for important tasks, and, most importantly, knowing how much time is being spent in completing these goals.
Keeping a schedule is essential to being organized, to staying on top of tasks that will impress teachers and your boss, and to a good night’s sleep. There’s no need to be tossing and turning, wondering whether an email was sent out to that important client or not, worrying about your financial situation, or stressing about school.
Scheduling allows you to balance your efforts. If you’re spending an inordinate amount of time on a task that should only take half that time, it might be an indication that you’re not truly motivated or that you’re doing something wrong. If you notice that you have a tendency to check Facebook every five minutes instead of working on a client presentation, it’s time to make a change in your schedule. Do the same work at a more ideal time, and install an application like “Self-Control” to your desktop to temporarily block Facebook. Whether you’re trying to ace a final exam or presentation, putting in the dedicated hours necessary to achieve a desired result can be done.
It’s also important to know yourself. What time do you work best at? Are you a morning person? You can take advantage of setting a morning-heavy schedule. Or are you an afternoon person that might benefit from a 3pm coffee break? Of course, depending on the job or occupation, it’s not possible to work when you’re most productive. The lighting of the work environment that you work in can also affect your mood and productivity. Some work best in a dark environment with just enough background noise, such as a coffee shop, while others prefer lots of space and lots of light. Figure out what works best for you.
Here are some tips to incorporate into your daily routine and help you organize and schedule better.
1. Make full use of a program’s “reminder” settings.
Few people can store all meetings and to “to-do” lists in their heads successfully. Having an alert can help keep you on track and remind you of what you need to do.
On the other hand, you may find that alerts can be distracting—for example, when you’re in the middle of writing a brilliant report and an email alert pops up. If you’re the type of person who has a need to check every notification instantly, changing your email alert set-up might be just what you need. Studies show that after an immediate distraction, a “brain drain” phenomenon is experienced, which makes it harder to get your mindset back to work again.
2. For social media addicts, if you find that you’re not able to prevent yourself from checking Facebook every few minutes, there is help available.
Rather than removing social media from your life, various programs are available that allow users to get their life back in control. One of these apps, Self-Control, allows users to customize and set aside an allotted period of time by which these apps or website are not accessible, allowing you to concentrate on a specific project without distractions. It’s astounding the amount of time spent on these sites, so much that it definitely jeopardizes the work flow, especially if you’re in the middle of project. It’s very easy to say to yourself, “I’ll just take a quick look” and, the next thing you know, you’re commenting on the latest viral video of a walking bear, reading a Buzzfeed post, or otherwise wasting your time with other nonsense (albeit entertaining nonsense).
3. If you’re interested in having a running log of the actual time spent on your computer, Tracktime is for you.
It provides an audit of time spent surfing on the internet to the hours spent on an email client. The downside: for Mac only.
These are only a few of the many options made available to maximize productivity and scheduling. Some basic tips include taking a few minutes stroll outside to stretch your legs, drinking plenty of water, or closing your eyes for a minute or two for a micro-nap. All are beneficial to your overall health, and, in turn, your productivity.
To reiterate, only you can find a plan that will work for you. Finding said plan will take a lot of time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end, because, once you find a plan, you’re basically set for life. So look into yourself and find what you need.
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