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Rethinking Your Working Rhythm
As we are all working more virtually as part of the new normal, there is an opportunity to rethink how to organize your day to help boost your energy levels and creativity.
Good time management is about having a good day: one where you feel you’ve been effective, efficient, made a difference, and achieved what you set out to do.
In one survey, 51% of respondents admitted to having at least one bad day at work a week. The main reasons were feeling unappreciated and having an unrealistic workload.
So what is a good day? In the same survey, 63% said it was the feeling they’d done their work well, and 46% said it was meeting their targets.
So great time managers are not only more successful and more productive, but they also feel a greater sense of satisfaction at the end of each day. Being more efficient with our time also gives us more time to spend on the things we enjoy most and with the people we love. We, therefore, need to program our mindset to be more productive and purposeful by focusing our time, attention, and energy on the right activities doing them at the right time and in the right way.
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As more and more people are working remotely and without the usual change of physical context between home and work life, boundaries can become blurred, energy levels can dip, and roles and priorities can become confused. Put all of these factors together, and the likely result is a decrease in productivity and motivation.
It’s often useful to stop and rethink your working rhythm and how best to structure your time to maintain momentum, creativity, and efficiency. Most people have a natural rhythm when they do their most focused work, when they prefer to have meetings, and when they are able to make space for creative thinking and forward planning.
It may take some experimentation to discover what works best for each person. The daily demands of work and other people’s timetables and expectations may not always align with individual preferences; but it’s helpful to have a general sense of the daily and weekly rhythm that most supports your energy, interests, and goals – with the expectation that your routine will need to be adapted, adjusted and amended as necessary.
There is no one right formula to having a great day, but getting into the right mindset and doing some mental preparation can really help. Don’t just drift into each day, start by defining a clear intent for what you aim to achieve, and a set of priorities aligned to that. To make this positive intention even stronger you also need to align your attitude: set aside unhelpful assumptions, check what negative expectations you are carrying, and reframe your mindset to be more constructive and positive. Start the day in a bad mood and there’s every chance you’ll go on to notice every potential source of aggravation - while ignoring a lot of the good stuff around you.
Getting into the right daily rhythm can create both the order and flexibility you need for your work and time to flow in harmony.
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