As you begin 2016, and survey your never ending to-do list, you may want to take a step back and gather your thoughts before heading off into a frantic rush through the year. One Scientific American writer, Sunny Sea Gold, shares her experiences of doing just that and how it helped her better organise her time. Here are four strategies that you can quickly adopt to help you decide what time management techniques to choose.
- First on the list, and probably one of the most written and talked about phenomenons, is meditating mindfully. Now before you read past this, all Sunny suggests doing is each morning simply spending about 10 minutes breathing deeply and saying something like “Breathe in calm, breathe out anxiety.” Just doing this seems to have helped her feel grounded and less frantic.
- Decide why you procrastinate? We all do it and for different reasons. Sunny highlights the research that has been done to ascertain the different types of procrastinators we are. She quotes Srini Pillay, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Taking time to understand why you procrastinate can help you to begin to address the causes.
- Be grateful for what you have. The research that Sunny writes about in her post shows that the more you choose to focus on the positives in your life the more proactive you are likely to be with your plans.
- Pomodoro – no, not tomato, pomodoro. Try a popular technique developed by productivity consultant Francesco Cirillo. Sunny sets out the basics for readers to try:
- set a timer and work for 25 minutes straight, without any interruptions or distractions.
- take a five-minute break
- after four cycles, take a longer, 15- to 20-minute break
- repeat until your task is finished.
To summarise the simple steps you can take to begin your approach to managing your time better are:
- take just 10 minutes each morning breathing deeply and saying “in with calm and out with stress”
- understand why you procrastinate
- focus on the things you are thankful for
- approach tasks in a timed fashion
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