In today’s fast paced world, faster is considered better, so we are always on the run to meet our deadlines and get all things on our to-do list done today. Alas! Reality kicks you hard in the shins at the end of day and you wonder how you could have not completed all the tasks despite having an arsenal of to-do list and calendar apps. Well, check your browser history and you might have spent a bit way too much watching cat videos or liking your friend’s latest profile pic. So we give you some tips to manage your day better.
1. Don’t do anything
Yeah, you read it right. Recently I came across a quote by Albert Einstein that goes like, “If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” Sounds simple yet not many of us do this. Whenever we are faced with a problem, our reptilian brain kicks into a “fight or flight mode” and we jump headlong to tackle the problem even before analysing what it is. If you constantly find yourself in fire-fighting mode in such situations, try to talk to brisk walk near your office or better yet break into a run. Then observe that once you cool off, your brain is much relaxed and you can think clearly. If you are an indoor-sy type, then try to meditate or just sit with your eyes closed in your desk for a couple of minutes before you proceed.
2. Switch off the internet when you don’t need it
Computers and mobiles were built to help humans work more efficiently but then came the Internet and the incessant need to check our emails every few seconds. The problem is that there is way too much distraction on the internet and it requires the focus of a Zen master to focus on only what you want to do. To add to the information overload, almost every mobile app begs for your attention by notifying who liked you comment, who visited where and ate what! Despite how useful the Internet may be, sometimes you just need to pull the plug – I mean literally the plug of your WiFi router when you don’t need an Internet connection and put your phone in silent mode too. Let there be peace.
3. Treat yourself to short breaks occasionally
It is time to revisit the good old school days ; we had a specific subject for a particular period of time each day and those awesome ‘mini-breaks’ when a teacher left the classroom and the teacher for the next class is yet to come. Treat your day like that. Schedule your work in time chunks (of an hour or so) and allow yourself a short 5-10 minute break as a ‘reward’ before you take on the next task. Use this time to catch up with your colleagues or the latest movie gossip. Just make sure you set a timer before you begin the break so that you don’t get carried away and crib later.
4. Recognise when to give up
All of us come across situations where no matter what you do, nothing seems to be working. The failure adds to your mental stress, brings down your self-confidence and you are not able to concentrate on other tasks either. It is hard-wired in our brains to keep trying until we succeed. While this is true in most cases, you need to know when to give up at times. If in spite of all your best efforts you feel like you have hit a roadblock, then put that task on hold and pick up something that you feel can do it easily, restoring your self confidence. Live today, so you can fight tomorrow.
5. Understand your mistakes and correct them
Mistakes are an important step in learning but if you keep repeating the same mistake then you will be forever stuck in the same place. When you make a mistake, take some time off to cool down and understand what went wrong. Jot down the mistakes you have done till now and see if you can identify any pattern. Are you making the same mistakes again or have you made any progress, how you have corrected your mistakes in the previous attempts; were they effective and how can they be made better. When attempting to solve a problem, do not begin from scratch each time, instead iterate and improve to do it quicker.
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