How to manage multiple things simply?
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“You don’t need a new plan for next year. You need a commitment.”
- Seth Godin, American author
You are working from home, completing assignments, but you also want to read that book, exercise every day, and you also want to learn a new skill etc. How do we have multiple checklists, calendars etc. but we fail to get things done? Why do we know so much about time management but we still fail to manage our time effectively? How are we always in a hurry yet never on time? This is because we think if we completed our tasks faster, we would have more time. But time cannot be managed, it flows whether one likes it or not. So, what do we do to create more time? Here are some simple ways to manage multiple things.
“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”
- Dale Carnegie, American writer
Scan your to-do list to find tasks that you don’t need to do, tasks that don’t need your efforts, time and energy. They may be the tasks that you can do in your free time or tasks for which you can create a process that saves you time (automating your tasks). Identify what you don’t need to do to know what you need to do.
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
- Bruce Lee, actor
There are a lot of tasks that you don’t need to do yourself, which you can assign to someone else. A tip from my experience: Please learn to trust the person you are delegating the task to. Even if they won’t be able to do it as well as you can do it, think of two possibilities: Maybe the task doesn’t need to be done “perfectly” OR they will learn to do it with time, just like you did.
Multi-tasking is a big “NO”
“To do two things at once is to do neither.”
- Publius Syrus
Sounds counterproductive? It is not. To give your 100% to all the tasks, you need to focus at only one thing at a time. It is a game of attention, the lesser things you have in hand at a single time, the more attention you can give to each one of them and the better results you will get. So, try to inculcate the habit of doing only one thing at a single time. It is also called “blocking out time” for a single task at some places on the Internet.
Learn to say No
“Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.”
- Josh Billings
It is natural for you to want to help out your friends and other teammates when they ask. But one cannot fill a cup that is already full, right? Empty your cup first before you help other people empty theirs.
Get rid of those distractions
“An addiction to distraction is the end of your creative production.”
- Robin Sharma
I don’t think this point need to be explained. You have e-mails, app notifications and the single device that can help you manage things is also the biggest distracter – your Smartphone. How to avoid distractions? You may ask. I suggest learning to “ignore” things when you are focussed on completing one single thing. As I already mentioned, focussing on only one thing at a time is something that one needs to practice. You may want to set up a fixed amount of time to focus. Most optimal practices suggest 25 minutes of full focus with a break of 5 minutes.
"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
- George Bernard Shaw
If you are handling multiple projects, keep your team in loop about the progress you have made in your task, and they have made in their tasks. Communicate frequently and communicate enough to keep everyone’s head clear, including yourself about your tasks. Also, communicate with yourself to track your progress in the multiple things you are doing, to see how far you have come on each path that you are following.
“Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.”
- Barbara Hemphill via SimpleWorks Organizing
Last, but definitely not the least, staying organized by prioritizing your tasks, making to-do lists, etc. will help you in managing multiple things at once. It’s not only about organizing your tasks, but also your working space and the space you are living in. “A sorted mind works properly in a sorted space”. ~Amrita Mishra
Managing multiple things is a skill that takes consistent practice, like any other skill. These were a few simple ways that I found effective. You have to find out what works for you and go for it. Hope these little tips help you manage your tasks well. Have a happy time. 😊