No better way to start simple than to just leave early wherever you go- school, work, or breakfast. While traffic is a main obstacle to overcome here, you are also compensating for any other unexpected event. With this simple tip, not only will you arrive at work on time, you are also avoiding that “rushed” feeling and anxiety. Leaving early allows you to exterminate that ferocious road rage, and it gives you time to collect your thoughts before your day.
Make use of spare time
So, I leave early, and guess what? I get to work super early and the boredom is killing me! This is the perfect opportunity to make use of dead time. These time frames are normally not enough to get huge assignments or projects accomplished; however, they may be enough to get the little things out of the way. The same goes for waiting in a long line. Bring a book wherever you go; make phone calls; check emails; study flashcards. Note, this is NOT the opportunity to sit in your car playing Angry birds or words with friends.
Look at your watch
Notice, I said “watch.” What do watches have that most current phones don’t have? I’ll tell you one thing, they don’t have wasteful time-consuming apps! Frequently, look at your watch to keep track of time (unbelievable, right?). The purpose here is to keep a small mental tab on your progress. If you haven’t gotten anything done after one hour, it’s time to move on. Even better, get a watch with a ‘timer’ or ‘stopwatch’ feature. This may be tacky, but if you are really stringent about saving time, visually seeing those seconds fly by will motivate you to stay focused. Time yourself to really see where your time goes.
Keep a time journal
What better way to keep track of something than to write it down? If you want to save your time down to the second, it is not good to rely on your mental power. It will be too overwhelming. Also, when you write things down, it tends to ‘stick’ better with the person. The more you record how long it takes do something, the better you can estimate how to portion your day. Hopefully, the statement, “Yes, I did work on this project for 4 hours” will not mean “Yes, I started the project 4 hours ago but I also browsed the internet, walked bought to the vending machine, ran into a friend that I haven’t seen in a while, and chatted an hour away.”
Figure out your optimal work flow
Learn to recognize when you are most productive and focused. Do you feel energized or motivated to the point where you don’t want to take a break or when you don’t feel fatigued? Is there a point in the day where you are not distracted? Finally, are you an early bird or a night owl? Physiologically and mentally, do you work better at night? Or in the morning? Or some time in between? There are benefits to each, but finding out your optimal work flow is something you have to assess yourself.