Technology is a double-edged sword which is blurring the line between home and the office. In some ways, this adds more flexibility in terms of how we can all manage our time but it also means more calls, more email and more meetings.
Technology also means that we frequently have to switch between work and life. It’s no longer the case that we switch off from work when we leave the office. Rather, we go home and are constantly switching back and forth between family and work roles, dipping into work-related social media even as we are cooking dinner or having a drink with friends.
Smartphones have really impacted our ability to manage our time. As such, it can be helpful to switch your phone off from time to time. You need to allow yourself some time away from the chaos: the calls, texts, emails and social media alerts. Whether you’re spending a night out with your partner or grabbing lunch with a friend, you don’t need to obsess over work at every moment. If you turn off your device on weekends or the odd evening, you won’t feel the constant need to check on business matters. Working hard is tiring. The demands of the modern working environment can often make you feel that you need to be “always on”.
Time is a limited resource and in order to make the most of your time it is important to manage your energy levels in order to allow your mind and body to perform. No matter how accessible we are to our clients and our work responsibilities, we can’t make more time. As such it is necessary to make the most of our time by being more effective when we are in “working mode” but it is essential that we allow time to replenish our energy. Sleep, exercise, eating properly and having a good social life are essential to success in business. Giving yourself time to recharge ensures that you will be more alert and more effective when you are working.
In order to be more efficient and effective in how you use your time, it is imperative that you create a realistic schedule. You can only do one thing at a time. As such, you should create your to do list in your calendar (Outlook, Google, IOS etc.), allowing enough time to get things done.
It’s also important to build in some flexibility so that you can respond to unexpected demands as and when they arise. Your approach to scheduling should also prioritise and allow time for your health, family and hobbies. After all – we work to live, we don’t live to work!