If you’re working for yourself, your time is the most important thing you have. With it, you can build a business, raise a family and accomplish your personal goals. With it, you can also do the same thing – but in a video game.
Here are some basic time management tips:
1. Use the Pomodoro technique – alternate between mindful and mindless tasks
It’s been written about before, but the Pomodoro time management system is one of the best ways to keep yourself on schedule.
It says that you should work for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. If you work for 8 hours a day, you can schedule these 30-minute blocks quite easily into your schedule.
The key is to spend your 5-minute break wisely. I like to get up and stretch, drink some water, maybe run a load of laundry. Pick something mindless – believe it or not, your brain needs a break as much as your body does. Doing something that doesn’t require thought gives your mind the chance to think through the problems that you’ve been struggling with and to come up with new solutions.
2. The thing you have to do takes up the amount of time you give yourself to do it
They say that if you give yourself a day to accomplish something, it’ll take a day to do it. If you give yourself an hour, that’s how long it’ll take.
It’s like volume – it fills the container of whatever it’s in. You have to be aware that just because you have two hours to write a blog post, does not mean that you should spend two hours on that task.
You’ll be much more productive and efficient if you accomplish your work in the least amount of time needed to do it. Try setting a timer on your phone and only giving yourself the bare minimum needed to complete a project. Over time you’ll find that you’re working faster and more efficient than you could have dreamed of.
3. Give yourself a stop time
It might seem fun to work all day on your business. You now have the freedom to work as little – or as much – as you like. But being a slave to your work is not the key to a successful, long-term business. You will get burnt out, your work will suffer and you’ll lose any reason you had for being an entrepreneur in the first place.
Find a reason to stop working.
Whether it’s picking up your kids from school, taking the dog on its afternoon walk or making dinner, you need something concrete that signals that it’s time for you to end the day. Turn off the laptop, set your email notifications off and start to wind down.
This can be a great time to work out or go for a walk – exercise can clear your head and take away any stress that’s lingering from your day.