A situation faced by all working professionals is that of too much to do and too little time. One can argue that this is a result of extreme stress. The overwhelming nature of what needs accomplished in a single day is mind boggling at times. Lifestyle trends, food habits, work culture have an effect on your work day. If they are not managed well, they can lead to an early burn out. Managed well, the same factors lead to a strong career path.
One of the time tested ways to tackle work plan issues is to PLAN – Prioritize, List, Analyze and Neutralize.
The idea of planning is so old that sometimes we overlook the necessity to do it. Plan your work day to eliminate stress. A conscious effort on your part to take out some time to plan is a healthy work habit. It leads to productivity without risking positivity! After all, what fun is it to work in a stressed out mode that one cannot even enjoy the results of that work. Let’s look into some ways to keep planning going in your favor.
There is a lot that needs to done in a day. Each work day is between eight to ten hours. One needs to make the most of this time frame to ensure a work day is productive and satisfactory. Keeping a daily schedule planner is one way of handling the load of work in a day.
I keep an hourly planner. This makes my work plan for the day simple. Against each hour, I write down what needs to completion. Sometimes a few tasks spill over. Other times, there is time left.
The benefit of hourly planning is that it keeps you focused so you do not lose time on unplanned jobs. You reach your work day goals and avoid stress of pending tasks.
Likewise, its a good idea to prioritize tasks listed for each hour. This planning should involve a bit of both long term and short term work goals. This way, you have a balanced work day. Each work day, adds to your work profile.
Make a list of all the activities to do in a day is a good start to finishing them at the end of the day. The activity of making lists itself should be a compulsory to do in your daily work planner. I recommend a detail oriented approach to making lists because what you write gets done. Make your lists with the following focus:-
When you make a list, be open to the idea of few unplanned tasks creeping into your day. Make the lists for your peace of mind at work. Let them aid your work day.
One of the best things that happen when you maintain an organizer planner is the written record. This becomes your material to analyze your activity vis a vis the time spent.
Documented time helps you identify tasks you can do in lesser time with lesser resources. It can also help you know the tasks where you need more time and more resources. A written work plan helps you see through synergies in complimenting tasks. All these will help magnify the output of your efforts.
Analyze your performance on the basis of written down task lists. it will help you identify your most effective time zones. You can then use this time to work on the most intense activities to avoid cognitive overload.
As the saying goes, all work and no play makes one a dull boy, it is important to work and also take a break. Many times, people are very good at making a list of activities that they forget the need to factor in time for a break. A break works in neutralizing work stress. Build conscious breaks of 10 to 15 minutes after every 2 hours of work time. It maxes your productivity in no time. Use your break time to re energize yourself. Simple muscle exercises, desk exercises, breathing exercises or Prnayama go a long way.
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