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How to organize your work day

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Can not keep up with the flow of work? Do not know how to prioritize your own tasks? Drown in the deadlines? All fault is the wrong distribution of working time. How to restore performance and control, told the portal Quartz at work. Edition of AIN.UA results in an adaptive translation of this material.

Most working days begin with the right intentions, energy charging, an ambitious task list and a completely controlled flow of letters. But the order comes to an end, when there are meetings, messages and contacts with colleagues. In the end, all plans are ruined, and you go home tired and defeated.

But do not despair. This vicious circle can be destroyed by prioritizing, focusing and betting on one's own inexhaustible resource (although sometimes it does not seem so) - energy. Below is listed all that you need to know about structuring the work during the day.

Choose what you really need to work on

There is a simple matrix 2 * 2, named after US President Dwight Eisenhower, which will help you correctly prioritize. Once the politician said that he always has two types of problems - urgent and important. Urgent - are not important, but important ones are never urgent.

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Most likely, when making up a todo-list, you also divide your business into "urgent" and "important." The Eisenhower Matrix will help you figure out the difference between them. It consists of four cells and two axes - "urgency" and "importance." It's enough to spend just a few minutes and categorize each of your tasks to understand what activities you're wasting your time for.

Urgent, but not important tasks, as a rule, are a source of concern. They consist of messages from colleagues, invitations to meetings and responses to FYI messages. These tasks make us constantly in the "answer mode". In addition, they distract from the most important - important, but not urgent tasks. The latter do not have clear deadlines and, in the case, for example, with managers, include work on strategic ideas, long-term planning, investing in talent or creating a brand. Can you imagine the consequences of delaying such cases?

Allocate time for in-depth work

Venture capitalist Sam Altman calls the hype around the digital world - "one of the greatest mental health crises of our time". We test smartphones on 150 times a day and, according to the computer science professor Cal Newport, this significantly reduces the ability to clear and creative thinking.

Newport believes that the ability to focus on in-depth work is the intensive execution of tasks per unit of time. He cites one of the tactics of Professor Adam Grant of the University of Pennsylvania, consisting in performing complex but important intellectual work for a long, uninterrupted period of time. For Grant, this means dedicating the fall semester to teaching, and spring and summer to research.

If your work does not allow you to spend maximum time on certain tasks, do not be discouraged. Newport recommends the introduction of "fixed productivity", which will allow a clear, balanced schedule of work and leisure. This means, including, and the lack of work after 17:30. If this approach does not work, you can turn to the light version of the in-depth work - the Pomodoro method, which includes a sequence of several 25-minute periods of hard work separated from each other by rest time.

Keep track of how much time you spend on meetings

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Paul Graham, the founder of the start-up incubator Y Combinator, distinguishes between two types of schedules - the schedule of the maker and manager. If during the day you alternate meetings, conferences and answers to letters, then, most likely, live according to the schedule of the manager. They usually organize their day by the hour. "Creators", which include writers, programmers and artists, divide the work into long, uninterrupted stretches of time. As a rule, schedules of both types of employees intersect at meetings. And each of them must understand the consequences of such meetings. Even a short meeting can force you to postpone an ambitious project for later. Therefore, when planning a regular meeting, be sure to ask yourself about its necessity.

Focus on your hidden resource - energy

A little good news - there is a new approach to time management, which recommends focusing on your own energy. Unlike time, which has the property of ending, energy can be replenished.

The fundamentals of this method are described in Tony Schwartz and Jim Loer's book The Power of Full Participation. They consist in the fact that you can get maximum productivity from your staff only by strengthening and replenishing your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energy. So, physical energy can be replenished by organizing, for example, fitness classes. Replenishment of emotional energy lies in helping in the fight against stress, and mental - in working with long-term tasks. As for the spiritual component, people receive this energy when they see the meaning in what they are doing. They are better focused and demonstrate perseverance.

Eat a "frog"

Have you ever faced the terrible tasks that are constantly present in the todo list and hang over the employee, depriving him of productivity and productivity? It is these tasks that are called frogs. And they need to try to "eat" as quickly as possible.

The habit of immediately solving such problems will help to feel like a winner at the very beginning of the working day, to receive a charge of energy and the necessary impulse. Having swallowed the "frog", immediately go to the rest of the tasks and take on the most significant of them right now.

Tips for creating an ideal working day

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1. The day began yesterday ...

Powerful statement: the morning begins yesterday.

So, according to this rule, it will be difficult to concentrate in the morning: what you need, what not to do today; but it is much easier to single out 3 important cases on the eve of the evening, which you will be engaged in during the working hours of the next day. Here, it is better to prepare (collect material, schedule the next day, etc.), again, in the evening.

2. Easy workout

I do not know how to do strength training in the morning. In my opinion, the body has not yet woken up, but here it is: press, run, box ...

Easy walk in the open air, light stretch marks, yoga for beginners, gymnastics of Hermes Trismegistus. Remember the warm-up from the fizra at school.

3. Morning shower

Take for the rule - to wake up with a shower. This is a great tool that you can do to make your work day perfect. Many people say that a person does not benefit from washing every day, but if you just rinse yourself with cool water (or you can resist contrast shower), this procedure will only improve your state of health, lead quickly to a ton of better energy.

4. At one time - one thing

Do not spray yourself alone with anything. Ie, if you are engaged in this business - try to only deal with them in the allotted hour. If you are tired of it, you can (and need to) switch to another business, which, again, only deal with them, without being distracted from the sides.

The best way to get tired is to become multi-tasked, trying to do both in one hour. Unfortunately, it is necessary to carry out an amendment to human capabilities, they - alas, do not have to multitask.

5. The Pareto Act

"20% of efforts give 80% of the result, and the remaining 80% of efforts - only 20% of the result"

Your task from your list of work cases is to allocate the very 20% of cases that will give the lion's share of the result. And to be engaged first of all only by them. That is perfectly combined with the point above (at one time - one thing).

6. Down with the distraction

Did you pass special training courses for psycho stability in crisis situations? No. Then down with all the stimuli - distractions.

Your workplace should be as quiet as possible, the only person on it that can produce sounds and other actions is you. Take this as a rule. Of course, in some working environments it is difficult to achieve this, but always strive for this.

7. Be professional in YOUR business

Ideal working day will not be ideal if you are doing someone else's work, in which you are complete: either zero or amateur.

Choose only what you are clearly versed in or want to excel. The rest - trust other professionals, configure them for the perfect working day. Delegate, empower, puzzle ...

8. Take breaks

And it is useful to rest like this - for a short period to drastically change the type of activity. If your work is sedentary - walk around, run, shake, shake your limbs. If on the contrary, physical - read that smart or not.

Through what interval to relax? Depends on the work. You can choose tomato time (25/5), you can, like in school (45/15, 50/10), like ..., (the first figure is work, the second is rest), pick up individually, experiment.

9. To be grateful

It is difficult to occupy the case to which you feel disgusted. Is not it? Entering the working day, be grateful for your work. For what it would not be - it feeds you, clothes, entertains, introduces and allows you to communicate, takes a third of your life.

10. Working - Play

Imagine that work is a game. Sometimes in it you achieve not the results that you would like, but sometimes you achieve good goals. At the same time, do not take it very seriously.

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