Focusing on your career and enriching your personal life can be challenging in today’s busy world, but it is possible!
1. PRIORITIZE YOUR TASKS
Efficiency at work is a trait that I take pride in. I search for the quickest and the smartest ways to finish the tasks. Whenever I am bombarded with serious deadlines, I make it a point to list down all of them. Doing so enables me to examine which task I should prioritize first. For instance, I would rather rearrange my closet at noon than putting my assignment on hold.
Avoid feeling overworked by accepting that you cannot be on top of everything in your life. Hence, you must devote your time and energy into the tasks that will deliver the most beneficial outcomes.
2. MONITOR YOUR TIME
Be honest with yourself. How much time do you spend on things that matter to you? Does your day align with your priorities? Maximize your time by eliminating unnecessary slots (e.g., time spent on worrying about the opinion of others).
After listing down all the tasks that you have to accomplish within the day, assign a time slot for each one. Organizing your timeframe allows you to take breaks in between. Also, it highlights the importance of scheduling your private time. It is not what you think it is! Your private time refers to the opportunity to reduce your stress and to recharge your energy. Whether you want to sip a cup of tea or read a book in solitude, give your own time the same respect as a work meeting. Abide strictly to your schedule…unless there is an emergency!
3. SET A VACATION
In lined with scheduling the flow of your day, you must set a period for sabbatical. At least 14 days off work per year would do. You may think that spending two weeks off is not economical! However, you must focus on its benefits for your holistic wellbeing. Consider an affordable staycation in Singapore or a worthwhile weekend trip in the Southeast Asian countries. Use your paid leaves wisely!
If a vacations sounds a bit far-fetched, set aside at least an hour of each day to focus on yourself. Whether you want to walk your do to the park or to get a Thai massage, it is good to have something to look forward to.
4. DO NOT MULTITASK
Previous studies have shown that multitasking is associated with less productivity. Our brains are essentially “task switching” when we do two or more tasks at a time. The gravity of the situation can be illustrated by imagining your brain as a computer. The more programs you have in operation, the slower it will function overall. Multitasking not only affects the quality of your work, but it can also affect your gray matter volume. This brain component is responsible for memory and decision-making. You may recall juggling two tasks and forgetting some elements in the process.
So, be sure to empty your thoughts when it is time to work. Leave your household chores behind you! Once it is time to go on a romantic date, do not think about the report that you are going to present in the morning. You will be more productive when you are not dividing your attention into small fractions.
5. UNPLUG YOUR DEVICES
How many times have you heard the saying: “LIVE IN THE MOMENT”? This statement has been posted in several of my friend’s social media walls, yet is impact is underrated. We cannot help it! It is easy to feel attached to technology. I once attended my sister’s graduation ceremony. The mother in front of me brought her laptop and hand-phone along. She was shamelessly answering calls and typing away as the students march to the stage. This situation stresses the clash of work and personal life.
The downside of modern technology is that work can follow you wherever you go. Your client may even reach you while you are catching waves in Bali. Robert Brooks, a Psychology professor at Harvard Medical School, says that “phone notifications interrupt your off time and inject an undercurrent of stress in your system”. Shut down your devices upon reaching home. Enjoy interacting with your beloved ones to build an authentic quality time. By not reacting to the updates from work while you are at home, you will develop a stronger habit of resilience. Unless it is an immediate emergency, the job situation can wait.