Put Your Dead Time To Use!
It’s Friday. How is it that another week has passed by already? Where did all the time go? In this world of deadlines and performance quotas, it’s not how much time you spend, but how you spend the time that matters. Here are 5 tips to achieving maximum efficiency.
Plan for unexpected spare time
Spare time doesn’t have to be dead time. It often seems like successful people have 30 hours in their day but the secret is to put those spare moments to use. Life isn’t predictable. You never know when you might have a spare 15 minutes up your sleeve, but you can stay ahead of the game by anticipating how you’ll use it. Make a list of bite-size tasks that you can knock over. By doing this, you’ll realise that those spare moments can actually add up!
In this competitive age one can feel like there is always more that they could be doing. Indeed, it is true that for the majority of people there is no finite amount of work to be done. You could always proof-read that assignment one more time or dig deeper into that concept. The trick is to list out these tasks in order of importance. You know realistically you won’t be able to complete all of them, but by having a checklist that you can tick off, you’ll never be left wondering what to do next.
Wake up early
Sleeping in is the definition of killing time. The scientific evidence points to extra sleep (past 8-9 hours a night) being detrimental to energy levels. Work out your sweet spot in terms of how many hours to sleep and stick to it. Throw out your alarm clock and buy one without a snooze button, you won’t be needing it.
We have all experienced times when you are sitting on your desk but not actually achieving anything. You’ve spent the last 3 hours reading your textbook. You know your efficiency is dropping but you hold out until you’ve finished the chapter. Stop! This still counts as dead time! Get up, go for a run, grab something to eat, grab someone to talk to. Giving yourself a break not only reduces stress but also means you’ll be a lot more effective when you sit back down.
Last but not least set goals. You need to know what you are working towards. It is easy to get lost in weekly tasks and lose sight of the end game. Not knowing your ultimate goal is the quickest way to kill motivation. Where do you want to be in 5 years? What are you going to do to make it a reality? You can’t plot a path without first knowing the destination.