Don’t Let Your Free Time Trap You!

Thanks to a certain deadly virus ravaging our nation, most of us are flush with more free time than we’ve ever had (or wanted!). On the surface, this might make you think that tasks and errands are easier than ever to complete.

However, the truth of the matter is that without a schedule to follow most of us, will spend the majority of that time glued to our La-Z-Boys rather than learning to code, finishing that screenplay, or (god forbid, right?) doing our jobs from home.

There are many different ways to manage your time, but, as with everything, some are better than others. We’re going to share our five favorite time management techniques and methods to help keep you on track.

1. Timeboxing

As much as we want this to refer to an awesome sci-fi version of the classic sport, we’re talking about the next best thing – a time management technique! Timeboxing is fairly straightforward. Let’s say you have free time from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and you want to clean up around the house, finish a report for your job, and play that new video game you bought. You would then divide your available time among the three tasks.

As with anything, there is some nuance to this method. As fun as it would be, it wouldn’t make much sense to devote 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM to playing your video game, leaving you only a couple hours to do the more important tasks.

You Could Even Set Aside Time For Actual Boxing Using Timeboxing!

Time Management 2 1

You could use the 10:00 AM to noon block to get your house chores out of the way. After tiring yourself from that, take an hour to eat lunch. You could then devote the final 1:00 PM to 6:00 block to both your report and your gaming desires. When you finish your report, you can feel free to spend the rest of your block on the least important task. Seems pretty simple, but it’s more effective than you might realize!

2. Eat That Frog

This one is a little unconventional. Your first step is to drive to a pet store, purchase a frog, and then cook it. Here at Qbitt, we recommend using a slow cooker or outdoor grill.

What’s that? Oh, the other “Eat That Frog” method? Whoops! Hopefully you didn’t stop reading at the end of the last paragraph!

eat that frog technique

“No, you don’t have to eat me.”

In all seriousness, this method is derived from a lesser-known Mark Twain quote: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day”. That is to say, the frog is your most difficult and tedious task, and probably the one you’ll want to put off the most.

Still, it will eventually have to get done, and finishing it first will make the future tasks less intimidating. Having the worst behind you can be the wind in your sails you need to get through your day.

3. Use Tools – Don’t Do It Alone

We get it. You’re smart. While that’s great, that doesn’t mean you can do everything on your own. Trying to manage a schedule entirely in your head is doable, but, like trying to scale a mountain without any climbing gear, is far from the best way to go about it.

We live in the future. The smartphone is perhaps the most incredible invention in the history of the human species – so use it! While we could spend all day telling you why Qbitt is a fantastic (and free!) way to manage your time, we get that we’re not the only game in town. Take some time to do some research on some time management apps and develop a system that works for you.

4. Set Specific Goals

As much as we might like to think we’re perfectly rational, logical creatures, many aspects of human nature are inherently irrational and emotional – and that’s okay! You don’t need to be Spock to get your ish done.

Like all the rest, this technique is flexible. Maybe for one task, you tell yourself you need it done before lunch – and for your other task, tell yourself that, no matter what, you are going to start it at 2:00 PM sharp.

These little start times might seem arbitrary, but they can be big Time Management 1 1motivators. The biggest sticking point with this method is having the motivation and self-control to actually start and finish those tasks. If this is something you struggle with, consider melding this method with the next one!

5. Give Yourself Rewards

We’re all familiar with dog treats. If Rover does something good, he gets positive reinforcement, usually in the form of food. Most people are generally a bit more complicated than your average canine, but that reward center resides in both species’ brains.

This technique is great when you’re not sure how long a difficult task will take and you have plenty of free time to do it. Let’s say you have a full day to write a blog post about, say, scheduling techniques. You can divide the task into chunks like researching, outlining, and writing.

reward yourself

Sure, your reward could be actual dog treats. We won’t judge.

Rewards Are Great, But Don’t Overdo It.

Take as much time as you need to do all the necessary research and then give yourself a reward when you complete it. Watch an episode of Tiger King while eating a tasty snack. You deserve it! Afterwards, begin the next task, outlining in this case, and repeat.

The idea here is that instead of just working non-stop and/or not providing yourself with a reward, you will ultimately be less efficient than if you were to provide yourself with some me-time.

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