How to manage your time effectively?

Q: How to manage the working time more effectively during Work From Home? How to improve Work Life Balance? How to find a me time or us time for spending time with Family and Yourself? How to plan the work properly? How to improve the productivity during Work From Home? How to create a boundary between personal and work time in a day?

These are some favourite quotes

Failing to plan is planning to fail

A goal without a plan is just a wish

It’s been a year that we started the Work From Home due to the Covid 19 Pandemic. Last year this time we were on complete lock down and we all forcefully started the Work From Home. We were love to Work From Home once or twice in a week or few days in a month normally. However, this forceful Work From Home caused some issues in most of us.

It affected the normal work life balance. We started spending more time (8 plus hours) at the initial months and we were not feeling a satisfaction on works. It tooks some time to get that adjusted and now (after an year) we are completely comfortable with this Work From Home style.

Personally I went through different online tool for making todos, arranging things, separating personal time out of Work etc. And in this article I would like to share those tips for my readers 🙂

Three key points

  1. Plan your day
  2. Track your day
  3. Analyse the day

Plan your day

Yeah, you should have a proper plan about your day. This you can make anyway. Even in your book, Google calendar todo or any applications that you prefer. But we must have a plan about the day. One more important thing is we need proper priority for all the tasks that we are planning for the day.

To define priority I follow, The Four Quadrants of Time Management. And it’s very effective.

This I am maintaining in Google sheet. We can easily prioritise the tasks by using this method. I am sharing one sample plan from my day here.

By making a plan you can easily define a boundary between your personal and work like. Hence you can improve the Work Life Balance.

It will take some time to get into that track. Once you are in the track it will be easy. This method I am trying from many months and it’s much effective for me. The important thing that you need to keep in you mind is arranging the task with proper priority, otherwise it will keep spilling over to your next days plan. So plan it properly.

Track your day

Yes, no we have planned the day. Making a plan is a good start to your day. However, there are some other things which can change the plan. So we need to track the day as well to improve the quality or success rate of our plan.

For tracking also I tried manly options and ended up with Google sheet :p

In that I divided the with different sections and allocated time. Tasks we can plan and add while planning the day with The Four Quadrants of Time Management method.

Why I started tracking the tasks?

So as we are working from home, we are working along with our family, so we can not work like a Linux container every time. We have to (should to) take care something else (have to go out for some urgent things, some visitors at house, help to kids, anything!!) in between. So we need proper tracking, otherwise we feel like We are spending more time on Work and the tasks (in the todo) are not completing. That make more frustration and will cause issues on Work Life Balance.

This is how I am tracking

Here I actually sub divided the tasks into Study, Personal, Break, Work & Blog / Vlog and allocated time for those (based on some rough calculations). So in the plan tab (column two) you can see the proper plan, however most time we can not follow those time boundaries properly. But by tracking the time you can see the time that you are spending on your planned tasks.

By tracking your time you can easily tweak your performance and this will improve your work and the work life balance.

Analyse the day

Now you planned and executed. Time to Analyse!! With the help of above sheet you can actually analyse the day. Analysing the day is very important. Without analysing the planned day we can get a 100% self satisfaction to plan the next day.

By analysing, you can keep improve the day planning. It’s a cycle. By doing these three thing you can improve the quality a lot. For example you planned and allocated two hours for a tasks and it took three hours. By doing the analysis, you can think more about the actual cause. Like why it took three hours? If it really requires three ours, we had to plan and allocate three hours for that. Or we over spent time for that task, that’s our issue and we need to improve.

Both the way, that is an improvement for us. If the condition one was the true (really requires three hours) we need to improve planning the task. If the second condition was true (over spent) we need to focus on speedup work.

It will take some time to get into the track. By regular practice, you will see the progress on planning and delivering the day successfully.

Summary

Based on some personal and peers experience I tried to add the blog article. You can start using this technique if you are not using any other methods. The main three points that you need to remember is, plan, track and analyse. I hope you enjoyed this. Please let me know if you have any questions and suggestions.

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Arunlal Ashok

Senior Operations Engineer (SRE) at NewFold Digital. Linux lover. Traveller. Father of two princesses.

Always happy for an open discussion! Write to arun ((@)) crybit ((dot)) com.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/arunlal-a-18037773/

2 thoughts on “How to manage your time effectively?

  1. I appreciate the way you have explained everything so well. I was searching for time management tips and came across this beautiful post of yours.I really found this article very satisfying and I suggest everyone should follow these tips and techniques if they really want to do something in life.

  2. I appreciate the way you have explained everything so well. I was searching for time management tips and came across this beautiful post of yours.I really found this article very satisfying and I suggest everyone should follow these tips and techniques if they really want to do something in life.

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