Managing time is a skill that very few people master completely, but these habits might just give you the added edge. By Satyaki Sarkar
Successful people never rest easy on their laurels; they are constantly learning, adapting, and developing to become the best version of themselves. In this scenario, daily habits, especially with regards to time management, can be the different between success and failure. So how do these leaders manage all their duties and responsibilities, while giving their family equal attention, taking vacations, and pursue other interests outside work? Here are some key habits that help.
1. They avoid hoarding
When it comes to things we are passionate about, we all tend to get a little obsessive at times. As a result, we take on a lot more than we can handle, simply because we want to personally ensure that everything is perfect. However, that is a harmful habit as it spreads you too thin to actually give your attention to the things you need to. Delegation becomes key at this point. This also translates into the material space. Sometimes sentimentality causes us to hold on to things we don’t need and won’t use. Successful people know better, and are pragmatic about the need for organisation, so they regularly clean and organise their workspace, disposing of anything they don’t need, and also know which tasks to get involved in, and which ones to delegate. As a result, they do not waste valuable time and are able to concentrate on vital tasks.
2. They practice twofer tasking
In order to efficiently manage your time, you need to know when’s the best time to get a task done without compromising on quality. Those who like to make the most of their time often figure out daily tasks and chores that can be take care of simultaneously. These kind of tasks are called twofers. They take care of necessities/priorities while also managing time. For example, spend time with family and take care of your body by making gym time a family exercise or going swimming together or playing a game of tennis/badminton/squash together. Listen to a podcast or news highlights while getting dressed in the morning. The list is endless and doing so frees up more time in your schedule.
3. They know when to say no
Successful leaders are supposed to be helpful and accommodating, but definitely not at the cost of their work. More often than not leaders take on more than they can handle because they think they should, and also because a boss can’t be seen saying no in the office. What kind of an impression would that give the team? They also find it hard to say no to family as they’re guilty about the amount of time they give to their work. But it is crucial leaders understand that saying no is necessary at times. Assess your responsibilities and duties and see if what is being asked of you fits within your timeframe and work space, and can only be done by you. Understand when to say no to people and tasks. Yes, being helpful is important but so is knowing when to draw the line so that you’re not being taken advantage of or putting yourself in a tough position that impinges on your personal time.
4. They make sure to get enough sleep
The popular glorification of being the first to arrive and the last to leave, being available 24/7, and working through nights is not only wrong, but incredibly harmful to productivity as well. Sleep is the body’s basic need, a time when it recharges and replenishes itself in order to be in peak condition the next day. So pulling all-nighters not only makes you feel sick and sleep deprived, but also reduces the brain’s capacity to focus, making you sluggish and careless. Thus, successful people always ensure their body gets the rest it needs at night so that they are at their best day after day, and can handle the immense stress and pressure that accompanies their jobs.
5. They finish off the difficult tasks first
Often, our tendency is to put off things that seem difficult or time consuming for later, and get done with the easier ones first. This, however, is a bad habit as keeping the difficult tasks for the end puts extra pressure on you and increases your stress levels. Plus, our concentration and attention, as well as our capacity to brainstorm, is at its lowest towards the end of the day. This makes it even more difficult to do that big, important task really well. So keep the first half of your day for tackling challenging tasks and getting done with them, so that they’re off your plate and you do not have to stress about them.
Photograph: Giorgio Montersino/Flickr
Categories: Work Buzz