When you have those mind-numbing tasks – copying numbers into a spreadsheet, creating an expense report, watching paint dry – what do you do with your time? Do you dottily complete the job? Or, do you find a better way to use the time?
Rethink your idea of time management. Don’t allow mindless tasks to waste your day. You might be able to cram an extra hour into your schedule by doing two things at once.
How can you best use this time?
When you have those mind-numbing tasks, look at time management from a different perspective. What else can you do to maximize the time?
Check out an audiobook – Remember the library? If you haven’t been there for a while, they’re one public institution that has upgraded to the 21st century. Now, you don’t even have to visit the library to use their resources. You can go online, borrow an audiobook, download it to your computer, throw it on your MP3 player, and listen to it without leaving the comfort of your pajamas.
Complete some “mandatory” training – If the training is simply a check-in-the-box (and where you really don’t need to pay too close attention), knock that out while doing your other activity. Webcasts and audio classes work best here, of course.
Listen to a podcast – Find something interesting and educational. It will stimulate your brain while the other task is trying to suck it out like a zombie. Mmmm….brains. Maybe the two forces will balance out.
Watch a video – Again, educational in content here, not the fuzzy kitten swatting at a ball of yarn or the cute puppy doing the Macarena.
I usually have two computers going while I am working. One computer has my work, while my other computer has the additional learning opportunities – audiobooks, educational videos, podcasts, or webcast replays. Could I use one computer while working? Probably. But I’m old school like that and prefer separate screens for separate tasks.
If it’s a thinking task, concentrate on thinking. But if it’s a “busy” task that must be completed, look for something else to do simultaneously to help you gain wisdom, be entertained, or meet other requirements. You’ll squeeze more time into your day.
QUESTION FOR YOU –
What will you do during your next mindless task?
SOMETHING FOR YOU –
For the awesome first chapter of the forthcoming book Better than Average: Excelling in a Mediocre World, send an email to me and you score it for free!
Better than Average Guy
Author, Speaker, Consultant
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