And then it is already mid May! What happened to your New Year’s resolutions? The goals set after the first quarter? Time is evasive and time thieves set up in a lot of different forms. The moment we step out of bed, technology is competing for our attention. Every app and new gadget is created with the goal to disrupt and draw us back in. The most valuable asset of all: our time.
This created a market for ironically new applications such as “Freedom”, “Mute” and “Moment” helping to block disruptions. Some track smartphone usage and celebrate the offline time, some help you schedule social media engagement. Besides limiting and controlling smartphone usage, what else can you do to stay focused and productive at work?
I came across several articles with great tips on how to protect your precious time reserve for the tasks most important to you.
These days they say that being offline, having tech-free hours, is the new luxury. From your work life, to your personal life. Have you ever tried, or denied, to change your digital habits?
You can often predict which meetings will be unproductive from the moment you receive the invitation. There’s the “team update” where you spend two hours listening to a rundown of how everyone spent their week, or the “planning meeting” where you hash out picayune details that should have been handled elsewhere, or the “brainstorming session” where extroverts shout out random ideas.
Is there someone on your team who seems unusually productive? Someone who gets a huge amount done — without working longer hours? How do they do it? That’s what their coworkers usually wonder. We wanted to know too.
The to-do list can be an indispensable tool when used to mindfully manage your time. But used indiscriminately, you become its servant. The first step in making your list work for you is to be clear on what job you’re “hiring” it to do. Most of us fail to do this, and so our lists are crammed with urgent priorities we must get done immediately (send revised slides to client), important tasks we’re afraid of forgetting because they have no specific due date (book a vacation), and basic tasks that we add to the list because it makes us feel good to check something off (order more pens — done!). Then day after day, we check off the basic items, get the urgent things done (which we probably would have done even were they not on a list) and procrastinate on the other items.
Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash
BONUS: How a handful of tech companies control billions of minds every day
A handful of people working at a handful of tech companies steer the thoughts of billions of people every day, says design thinker Tristan Harris. From Facebook notifications to Snapstreaks to YouTube autoplays, they're all competing for one thing: your attention. Harris shares how these companies prey on our psychology for their own profit and calls for a design renaissance in which our tech instead encourages us to live out the timeline we want.
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As busy professionals, our schedules are often filled to the brim with meetings and tasks to complete. We can get so caught up with work that we might even forget our all-important lunch and power through dinner as well. Alas, we can only do so much given the 24 hours we have in a day. While time management is vital, being productive is another matter in its entirety.Enter time batching.