You will have to take care of the stability yourself. At first glance, it may seem that working in a flexible schedule is the ultimate dream. But in reality, an unpredictable schedule often turns into stress.‘I felt vulnerable’:
Therefore, it is essential to draw up an adequate schedule for you and find life hacks to help you feel calm and confident. Here are some ideas on how to do it.
Maneuver and switch
But do it smartly. Working in multitasking mode is tempting, but in reality, it does not increase productivity but, on the contrary, only drains you.
Trying to switch from one activity to another quickly, we are only wasting time and energy. After you’ve been distracted by a new notification, for example, you will, on average, need this Is Nuts: It Takes Nearly 30 Minutes to Refocus After You Get Distracted 23 minutes to concentrate on the same thing again.
But still, switching between tasks can be used effectively, and here’s when to do it.
- Suppose the case can be completed within the next 15 minutes. For example, a customer urgently asks to make changes to the project or answer some questions. Does this task take at least 20-30 minutes? Keep focusing on your current work.
- Suppose the task can be transferred to the background. While you are uploading a video to the hosting or waiting for the photos to be processed, you can check your mail, write a story on a social network, or reply to messages. In this case, you are not distracted but compensate for a small “downtime.”
- Suppose two cases involve different processes. For example, one requires the work of the mind, the other – hands. While you are shopping, cleaning houses, or doing any other mechanical work that does not require mental exertion, listening to a useful audiobook is quite possible.
Find the “core” in your graph.
Even in the most chaotic schedule, there is likely to be stability. For example, you go to group gym classes, English lessons, or a manicure on some days. And in others, you go to the office for a planning meeting or meet with a regular client.
Let these things, clearly tied to a certain time, become a kind of core around which you will build the rest of the schedule.
All you have to do is fill in the gaps with more flexible tasks – and now you have a routine, and not just a chaotic pile of tasks.
This will give you a sense of certainty and stability. Plus, with a more or less constant schedule, you will get more done and spend less time trying to navigate a lot of messy tasks.
Flexible tasks, including personal ones, can also become an important part of the schedule. And if you combine them into groups and tie them to a specific time of day, they will turn into rituals. For example, a morning ritual can consist of exercise, meditation, diary – as in the acclaimed book by Hal Elrod, ” Magic of the Morning. “ And in the evening, you can add reading, eye exercises, a bath with aromatic oils, facial treatments, and so on.
Rituals help structure the day, divide it into blocks, bring a sense of stability, and tune in to work. And they also improve why routines are good for your healthy sleep.
Maintain a working spirit
For those who work outside the home, this is easier: the office’s very atmosphere or study is conducive to work. It can be tough for freelancers and remote workers to tune in to the task. There is always a temptation to lie on the couch for a couple of days, or, conversely, forget to “leave” work and relieve tension.
To prevent this from happening, try to separate work and household chores.
For example, deal with work issues only until a certain hour and on certain days – as it would be with a fixed schedule. And be sure to set aside a work area at home: sitting on the sofa where you usually watch Netflix, it won’t be easy to tune in to the business.
Sleep during the day
Especially if, due to an unstable schedule, you do not get enough sleep at night. A short nap – from 10 to 90 minutes – refreshes, helps to restore strength, energizes. The duration of such rest will have to be determined on your own, starting from your own feelings.
Place a red arrow when you wake up and see where the yellow and blue circles intersect. This will be the ideal time for naps. For example, if you wake up at 7 am, the best time to nap is 2 pm.
And in general: do not forget to rest and take breaks every 25-45 minutes. Otherwise, you risk losing concentration, and work will be unproductive.
Keep personal affairs a priority.
Under a normal schedule, work takes a strictly allotted time for it – for example, from 10:00 to 18:00. And when the schedule is unstable, it strives to absorb 16 hours a day. If not all, 24. And personal affairs and projects are often put on the back burner with the clause “I’ll do it when I’m done with work.” But that happy moment never comes.
So try to act on the contrary. First of all, devote time to personal matters – sports, self-education, creativity, or blogging. And only then proceed to the main tasks. So you will learn to do the same job in less time and get rid of the feeling that life is passing by you, and you do not have time to do what is important to you.
Adapted and translated by The Cop Cart Staff
Sources: Life hacker