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Guest Blog - Time Management by Alice Dartnell
Simple time management techniques to boost productivity and positivity this winter
With the day times getting shorter, the nights getting darker more quickly and the weather turning colder, it’s easy to let our productivity and positivity slip in the winter months. So here are a few simple hacks to boost your productivity and positivity this winter by time management expert and life coach Alice Dartnell.
Break it down
With a lot on your to-do list, and big goals you want to achieve (from redecorating your living room to securing funding for your start up, it can quickly become overwhelming, which dents our productivity and positive vibes. The key to tackling anything is to break it down! Look at the overall end goal or desire and chunk it down into manageable bite-sized pieces. Having something more manageable to tackle will help with your time management and boost your “I can do this” attitude.
Work in short, sharp bursts
When you’ve got a lot to do, or perhaps when you are working on a big project, it is easy to feel like the only way to tackle it is to trudge through the tasks and work non-stop. However, as the day or the task goes on, your concentration levels will dip and you’ll start to feel fatigued, make mistakes or your productivity will decline especially during the darker colder winter days. The key to keeping your productivity and mood up throughout the day is by working in short, sharp bursts. This keeps focus and interest high.
I am a big believer in your health and wellbeing playing a significant part in your time management, as your energy levels will dictate your productivity and positivity. Keep your energy up by staying hydrated throughout the day (did you know your body is mostly made up of water so this is important even in winter?) and by snacking healthily too. Be careful of the sugar-laden snacks as this will only cause your energy to dip one the sugar high has worn off. Snack on something like a tasty Bounce Protein ball – sweet, delicious and it will help you sustain your energy to keep your productivity high! Perfect.
Block out time
If you wait until you “find the time” for something, you never will. You’ll always feel busy so instead you have to make the time, whether that is making time for more exercise, your coursework studies, time with the family, to take Spanish lessons or working on your side hustle. Get your diary out and block out time for the things you want to do. Putting it in your diary like you would an appointment is a powerful way to stick to making the time for things that matter.
In an ideal world, life would run like clockwork – there would never be any traffic, meetings would never overrun, there would be no long queues at the super market and our cupboards would always be fully stocked with delicious Bounce Balls. Unfortunately, this isn’t how it goes, so make sure you add in “buffer time” into your time management and diary. Running from task to task, appointment to appointment is likely to leave your flustered which will only spoil your productivity and positivity. Make sure you leave enough time in your day for commuting/traffic, de-icing the car in winter, don’t put meetings in back to back, give yourself enough time to get the kids ready for school, don’t leave getting work done up until the deadline etc.
Turn off the distractions
Did you know that studies show that it takes almost 23 minutes for the brain to refocus back to what it was doing after a distraction? So the time lost to the distraction (the phone call, replying to the text, your colleague interrupting you) isn’t the real time loss… it’s the refocusing back to what you are doing which is where the real time is lost! If you want to boost productivity and positivity, then do what you can to minimise your distractions. For example, turn your phone on silent, tell your colleagues you’re working on a project for the next hour, turn your back to the dirty dishes or hide the TV remote. Whatever you need to do, do it!
Written by Alice Dartnell, life and success coach.