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4 steps to manage time in a strategic way

Every day we are targeted by so many inputs and it is increasingly difficult to keep the concentration, especially in the workplace. Let’s try to think of how many times you have been interrupted while working from calls, new mail notifications from different social networks, new messages and urgent requests.

The decline of multitasking?

Until recently, the so-called multitasking (ie the ability to deal with more things at the same time) was celebrated and hoped, today there are more and more studies that consider it ineffective and even harmful. In this regard, here is an interesting article by NeU Nuovo e Utile.

In the light of these studies, our brain does not appear to be multitasking: you can not think and perform two or more tasks simultaneously. What we really do is switching (ie move from one activity to another), thinking and developing an action at a time.
This can lead to confusion, poor concentration, low quality of work.

How to organize your time in 4 steps

If multitasking is then dispersive and expensive in terms of time and psychological well-being, here we find solace in the so-called chunking.
Don’t fear, the word may be strange, but its meaning is not complex at all. In a nutshell, it means dividing the workday into fragments (chunk = piece) or blocks of activities grouped and focus for a certain period of time only on those activities, thus allowing the achievement of higher productivity.

In practice, here are four steps to follow for better time management:

  1. Identify the activities to be carried out, distinguishing those priority or urgent (eg meeting, building a strategy, revisions of expiring contracts) from the routine ones (eg: check e-mails, calls).
  2. Calculate the time you need to perform these tasks without interruption.
  3. Check the agenda and identify the time intervals suitable for the activities to be performed, thus composing a real work planning.
  4. Work without distractions, following the scheduled timetable. At the end of the chunk you can still decide whether to continue or complete the task at a later time.

More planned management of time, more productivity

Clearly this methodology is not fixed and untouchable, it can be modified if new needs arise. The important thing is to stick to it as much as possible, in order to discipline themselves and be more productive.

In this regard, it has been calculated that if you are in the multitasking (or switching) mode”, the time required for the brain to reset itself and focus on another task is about 20 minutes.
Instead, if you plan your time you can avoid these abrupt changes in direction, gaining in performance (and serenity).

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