(Effective tips to strategize your time)
-Dr. Subra Mukherjee-
Often the relationship between productivity and amount of time spent at work is misunderstood. We all have been made to believe since our childhood in some way or the other way that “MORE WORK EQUALS MORE PRODUCTIVITY” and “SUCCESS AT WORK EQUALS TO WELLBEING”.
Today with so much of tools and techniques, advancements in automation industry, and easy accessibility to information technology, the perspective of WELL BEING has largely become objective, which in turn has led to a major disruption in overall well- being of the society. Stressed adults, confused youths, kids with ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) are issues that’s all over the place.
In 2011, the UN recognized well-being as a fundamental human goal and a universal human aspiration. A study made in 20191 from data collected from four countries (Canada, Columbia, Japan and Poland) which occupy different positions in ranking of personal life satisfaction, it was reported that irrespective of cultural context, family well-being is valued over personal well-being and thereby suggested that policy makers and scientists may need to pay more attention to family well-being than they currently do. The quality of family relationships such as marital, intergenerational, sibling ties have a large impact on the quality of life and overall wellbeing of an individual in particular and the society at large.
Well this is not just another blog on stating the issues of our generation or dissecting how fragmented we have become as a society. Rather I would like to share 5 effective Tips that would allow you to utilize your time effectively and in turn experience a greater sense of satisfaction while having more time to relax and spend quality time with friends and family.
- 1. Know your Flow state – Popularized by positive psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jeanne Nakamura, flow state describesa feeling where, under the right conditions, you become fully immersed in whatever you are doing. Once you enter that state, productivity is just a byproduct.So, with proper introspection and practice, one can find their flow state, and once found whether it’s a major business meeting or doing dishes at home, all work becomes a joyful experience and the feeling of work stress is altogether gone.
- Avoid Multitasking – The 90/90/1 Rule
Another problem with the millennials is the want to do too many tasks at the same. While on the surface it may seem to be very efficient way of doing things but in reality it is not so. In order to achieve maximum productivity in less amount of time, one must remain fully and pitilessly focused on the work at hand.
For this one can adopt the 90/90/1 Rule given by Robin Sharma. He is considered to be one of the world’s premier speakers on leadership and Personal Mastery.
He says: “For the next 90 days, your first 90 minutes at work, make it focused on your single most important project. I’ll repeat that again. For the next 90 days, the first 90 minutes of your work day, focus monomaniacally on your single most valuable project. I call it your game-changing move. It might be creating a new piece of code that will revolutionize the marketplace. It might be a new product that, when you launch it, will fill a need within your industry that no peer is currently providing. I don’t know what your game-changing move is, but this is your poetry. This is your magnum opus for the next 90 days”.3
- Learn the Art of delegating tasks efficiently
Another problem we all face is taking up too many tasks and trying to do all of them singlehandedly. While this is a big NO-NO if you want to utilize your time effectively and lead a stress free life. Learn the art of delegation. Devote your time and energy to things that you like to do or you are expert at doing and try to delegate the other tasks.
For example if you are a business owner, you can spend more time on growing the business and profitability while delegating tasks like report preparations, market study, etc., to third party. The same applies for day to day life also. For example dropping your spouse to office could be a quality use of time while delegating tasks like grocery shopping to some stores which offer home delivery.
- The 5-minute Rule
There are tasks like replying to a mail or online payment of bills or decluttering your workspace, making a call to wish your friend on anniversary or birthday, etc., which takes a very little of our time but we tend to procrastinate and pile them up until they become a headache. So in 5 minute rule, any such tasks which take a very little of our time (< 5min) should be done immediately without any procrastination. This not only saves our time but also gives a sense of contentment.
- STRICT No to distractions
The biggest hindrance to enter the ‘flow state’ and or to follow the ‘90/90/1’ rule is DISTRACTION. With the mobile beeping with notifications and our already cluttered mind, our brains have been trained to become distracted. To use time productively, one must minimize distractions. This could be both at work and during family time. For e.g., when we are out for a family dinner, checking social media on phone constantly only deteriorates the experience of being together. Similarly taking extra-long recreational breaks discussing social issues with colleagues during work hour is a mere waste of time.
When we utilize our time efficiently we have more time to spend on our hobbies, more time for family and more time for community and it is only then there comes a deep sense of contentment and wellbeing.