RED ALERT! (This is a TimeWasting-free Zone!)
From TV and your make-up routine to online message checking, here is how to put a lid on those distractions
There’s no denying that we’re all swamped these days. But that’s not necessarily bad. Studies say we’re actually happier when busy. The problem is, experts say we’re useless at managing time, and end up feeling stressed as a result. That’s why we called in the pros to teach us the best tips for getting on top of things. Here, they share their secrets to taking back your time...
Tweak Your TV Time
You start watching an old episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S and, hours later you’re still there. If the TV stops you from getting things done, Timothy Ferris, time-management guru and author of The 4-Hour Workweek, suggests watching just DVDs for a week with a limit of one per day.
Ignore The Beep
Being a slave to your inbox’s message alert is a huge productivity killer, says Timothy, so try fixing a time in a day when you will check your e-mail and stick to it, even if you are tempted. If you struggle to stay on top of your inbox, Laura Vanderkam, author of 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, suggests you turn off your e-mail alert and set a halfhourly calendar reminder so you can tackle your work in 30-minute segments.
Limit Your Browsing
A major time drain? Surfing the Internet, says Timothy. Most of us will go online to check one thing, and end up browsing for an hour. Try rescuetime.com, which will monitor how long you spend browsing certain sites, give you a heads-up when you’ve been on for one too long, and even block ‘distracting’ pages.
Make Use Of f Wasted Hours
There are little chunks of time, like commuting, when you’re actually doing very little. So utilise these times to free yourself up later on, or turn them into enjoyable personal time you feel you’re missing out on, says Laura.
Be A Clock Watcher
A lot of us work late because we don’t set time to wrap things up, says productivity consultant David Allen, author of Getting Things Done. Knowing you have to leave at a set hour forces you to focus. Make a pact with a friend that a few days a week you’ll go to a gym class together after work. If you don’t make it, you have to pay her ` 500.
Get ready in a flash
A minute or two here; 30 seconds there— it all adds up. Have your bikini and armpits waxed once a month instead of shaving them. Also, throw out stuff in your make- up bag that you don’t use so you can find the things you need more quickly.
Find any weak spots
Just as food diaries help see what you’re eating, writing down what you do for a day helps you locate things that sap time, says Laura. Once you ID the problems, use these tips to help with those areas.
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