My last post talked about the infinite possibilities of recreational and leisure activities one could indulge in with a 6 hour work day, and even as you begin to ask, “Hey there! Whoever heard of anyone finishing all their work within 6 hour-?” let me stop you right there. It is possible, and here are the steps you need to follow to implement a routine that will allow you to complete all your work in 6 hours and maintain a healthy work-life balance, if such first world concepts do in fact appeal to you. Below I have mentioned some time management tips for you.
1. Are you really ready for it?
Back in the institute, I remember the post above resonating quite a bit with my own emotions. The only thing that has changed between then and now is that the ‘Good grade’ text has been replaced with ‘Achieving greater efficiency at work’. Getting 9 hours for oneself after work (assuming 6 hours of work and 7 hours of sleep) is tough work, and one would really need to put their noses to the grindstone and make sacrifices (not of the Aztec kind, don’t worry) to be able to achieve it. The question is, are you absolutely sure of your decision? If yes, you can go on with the rest of the steps and develop your time management skills.
2. Kill the ‘Late Latif’ gene
In a country where the concepts of Indian Standard Time (meetings, get-togethers, events and such like always beginning at a time later than scheduled) and VIP time (where the guest of honour/chief guest always arrives at a destination at least 1-2 hours after the commencement of the event, the axiom being that the number of hours you are late is directly proportional to the Importance Quotient (IQ) of the guest) are known across the entire subcontinent, it is a bit disconcerting to shrug off the inherited mentality. One doesn’t realize the detrimental effect such a mentality could have on someone, in the pursuit of a purely ephemeral feeling of being both a part of the crowd as well as standing out distinctly, that is not only short-lived but also hinders your growth. It is best to nip the ‘Late Latif’ gene and begin things on a high note right from the morning. This is one of the time management tool you can apply in your daily routine.
2. Don’t compare apples and oranges
It isn’t really motivating to see a coworker lazying about while you make supreme sacrifices to get your stuff done. Agreed, the nature of work might be quite different from that of your coworkers. The trick is to strategise and implement and keep testing ways to find the almost perfect methodology (because let’s face it, nothing can be 100% perfect in life – not love, not happiness, not the percentage of germs that get exterminated from your mouth when you use Pepsodent) that works for your job role.
3. Hatch the conspiracy
Pick out a time in your entire day to time management strategies – what are the things that you absolutely need to do? Neil Patel recommends doing this every night for the next day, as well as to make sure that the tasks that you have decided are actually doable within a fixed time limit. Always target the tougher ones earlier, since one’s ability to tackle mind numbing decisions lessens as the day progresses. You could also experiment with dividing tasks into the ‘interesting’ pile and the ‘shitty’ piles, with both of them interspersing each other to give you an ideal mix. Also decide the time you would allot for the completion of each of these tasks, then ensure that they add up to the upper limit of 6 hours and try to achieve them. Tools like Wunderlist,Trello, Asana etc. would be especially helpful for you in this regard.
4. Set success metrics and achieve
The next thing to improve your time management skills would be to (surprise, surprise) follow the schedule to the hilt after you have set it up. Your goal should be to minimise the hours assigned as you progress and become more productive by the day. This will not be easy. You run the risk of overshooting your target hours and becoming demotivated as the week progresses. However, the eye should always be as they say, like that of Arjuna, focusing on the fish’s eye and on the long term goal if one is to be successful, and the sooner we start following Mahabharata’s teachings, which according to Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma should be a compulsory part of a school curriculum, the better.
5. Cut the clutter
The workplace is filled with diversions of various kinds – coworkers coming to you with stories about their inconsequential lives, unnecessary meetings, a loud guffaw in some corner of the office over some barely funny joke which everyone in the vicinity then wishes to hear, glancing every now and then at your office crush to see with whom they are flirting with at the moment and then feeling bad about it the entire day, being ushered by multiple groups outside for a smoke break, watching the remaining few minutes of a TV series that you couldn’t watch due to bad WiFi connectivity earlier, social media frolicking, fidgeting around with objects kept on your desk – the list is endless. Eliminate all the noise. Plug in your headphones with Rahman or Reshammiya (or whatever gets you in the working mode really, although I would like to make it clear that I am severely judging you in case of the latter) playing in the background and do whatever it takes to cut the clutter and get shit done. This helps in sticking to your time management stratergies.
6. Reward yourself
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and since dullness will not exactly help you achieve that glowing image of a supremely efficient as well as a popular professional, you need to take some time out for building a good rapport with your team members as well as have a bit of a break between stretches of gruelling work. This could be in the form of having small chit chats with some coworkers discussing highlights from the football match day before (which you were able to watch at night thanks to your decision of making your working life more productive), ordering your favourite food for lunch, having meetings to sort out long pending tasks with other employees and such like. After all, who wants to become Utpal Dutt from Golmaal in this famous interview scene?
Yup, that’s it. Apologies for not having built a timetable infographic replete with slots for loo breaks in between, as I believe a lot of it depends on what your job role and designation is.
Do let me know if you think finishing all your office ordeals within 6 hours is just not possible in your line of work, in the comments section below!
For any hiring requirements, please visit the Aasaanjobs website.