It might seem like there’s plenty of time to spare these days, but life doesn’t just grind to a halt. Despite quarantine, despite spending less time outdoors, you’re still having to work and find a way to socialize, at the very least.
But people planning Zoom birthdays, or weddings, or even traveling for work, are finding that multitasking is harder than ever. With so many things turned upside down these days, it’s hard to remember things. The days blur together, weeks fly by, and boom… you’re late.
The good news is that there are plenty of tips you could be taking advantage of right now. Let’s take a look at a few:
Your phone, tablet and computer all have an alarm function. That’s right, even your computer, whether you use PC or Mac. So why not use it wisely? For example, if you have a weekly task that takes place every Monday, set a recurring alarm for it.
Sure, you could use the Reminder app instead, and call it a day, but there’s one flaw: It’s not as loud of a notification. When an alarm goes off, you pay attention to it. In fact, a little panic might set in. That sense of urgency should help you get the task done.
Keep your calendar open (and use it)
Most devices these days come with a calendar app, and even if they don’t, they typically have a calendar app available in the app store. And if you haven’t been using it at all, then your whole life is about to change.
First off, keep it open somewhere you spend most of your time, especially for work. Usually, that’s your computer.
Then, make sure you add events to it. Zoom meetings, virtual dates, work meetings, etc. This will help you track the things you have coming up, so if you’re ever feeling out of touch with the world, one look will calm you down.
Finally, add in small things you want to get done, like exercise days, or weekly meal prepping. Seeing it on the calendar will keep these habits structured, so you’re never overwhelmed.
Categorize your tasks (EOD, EOW & Backlog)
Here’s a tip used by entrepreneurs and business executives alike — organize your tasks into three categories: end of day, end of week, and backlog. The idea is simple. There are things, urgent tasks, that need to get done right away. There are those that take time but will benefit from being turned in by the end of the week. And finally, there’s all the stuff you might not get to for a while, and that’s just fine. No pressure.
Doing this streamlines your to-do list in a flash. Rather than seeing 50 things to get done and feeling overwhelmed, you only see maybe five things upfront. Anything else you get done after that is a bonus.
Work in blocks of time
Working in blocks of time means working from, say 1-2 in the afternoon, before taking a break. Scheduled breaks give you something to “work toward,” and make it seem like a reward when you finally get there. It’s a great motivator.
Not to mention, when you do this, you’re not overdoing it on work. Without breaks, you’re likely running yourself into the ground, and wrapping up the workday feeling drained, tired, and uncharged.
Write lists, place them somewhere visible
Lists are lifesavers. They break down information and provide a nice one-stop solution for all things reminders. As a bonus, you can place them anywhere — your fridge, computer, notebook, phone, tablet, or even a memo board in your office, if you have one.
Next time you make a list, remember to be as detailed as you can. Everything you need and want to get done should be added. Pair it with the three-category tip above, and you’re all set to go.
— By Jennifer Mendez
Jennifer Mendez is a content creator and Lynnwood resident who specializes in copy, graphic design and photography for her clients. Whenever she’s not creating something, she’s exploring new places to eat in the area.