When we feel stressed, depressed or anxious it can be very difficult to organise our time effectively in order to get things done. Here are five time management tips which may help.
The 5 minute rule
This rule is for when you are in the thick of a low mood or depressive episode. Often the hardest thing about achieving a task when we feel this low is simply getting started. The 5 minute rule works like this – Even if you absolutely, completely and totally do not want to do anything, tell yourself you’re going to work at your task for 5 minutes. If you still feel you can’t face it, you can stop and try again later however the simple act of beginning your task will help spur you to continue.
The 10 minute break
No matter what you are doing within your day, it is advisable to take a ten minute break from your activity every hour. Go outside, get some fresh air or make a drink and take a walk around the office. Sitting still for long periods of time will make you feel tired and lethargic so make sure you take a regular break to refresh yourself.
The 30 minute task
Sometimes we have so many tasks to complete that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and let things slide. If you’ve got several things which need your attention, commit half an hour to each one and circulate throughout the day. Be strict about switching every 30 minutes – if you haven’t finished a task, you can always come back to it later. By working on each item in turn, you’ll be less likely to procrastinate and to make the most of each timeslot.
The 4 – 5 hour day
Always plan to do around 4 to 5 hours of real work in a day. Even in the average 9-5 workday, it’s unrealistic to think you will be working for all of that time. Meetings, breaks and plain old procrastination will likely get in the way. 4 to 5 hours is more than reasonable and allows you to let yourself off the hook if you’re feeling worn out.
The 6 – 8 hour rest
It’s very important to get at least 6 – 8 hours of sleep every night in order to function properly during the day. When we feel tired it’s much more difficult for us to manage our time effectively and to complete our tasks to the best of our ability. Going to bed earlier may help or make a commitment to switch off your laptop at least one hour before hitting the hay. This will help you to unwind and forget about work for a while in order to get some healthy, rejuvenating rest.
What time management strategies work for you? We’d like to hear from you…