Designing a Flexible ScheduleApril 22, 2019May 25, 2019 - by Helen - Leave a Comment Hardly had I stopped working in office as a manager and switched to my own small business when I encountered the problem of time management. To my astonishment, now I didn’t have to come to office at 9 am and to have a break during the day. Everything changed. There were no restricting rules anymore. I had accustomed to hour-by-hour structure but now I was left with a lot of free time. However, this extra time didn’t mean less work, instead, my last company required doing much work and implementing more complex skills. It is quite common today that people are changing their habitual standard working hours for a flexible schedule offering to manage your work time on your own. This article provides some tips on how to make your flexible schedule well-structured. Reflect on the Big Picture Whatever a profession, having an alluring goal will keep you making progress. Do you want to know why? The thing is that alluring goals are attractive by nature. The only thought about them will make you go the extra mile. The goal gives a decisive impetus to you. So, think about it every day to make sure you are closer to achieving it. Facing burnout symptoms means that you are doing nothing about your goal, or that it is no longer important for you. If that’s the case, it’s better focusing on what really drives you. Know Your Motives Motive is a key factor in achieving a goal. Stop doing what you don’t want in order to get what you want. Imagine vividly what you want to achieve and why you need it. This will help you to move forward. Being able to formulate your motivation will make you strong during bad days. In fact, I want you to reflect on some motivating factors which produce your ‘why’. Does it respond to your big goal? To gain the biggest success apply this motivation technique any time you think about your goals. Get Specific with Your Tasks When you have numerous tasks to accomplish, you start procrastinating. How is it going? You start making excuses. For example, you see that you ran out of working hours today and that’s why promise yourself to start doing the tasks tomorrow. However, you know that tomorrow won’t help. The most effective advice here is to split tasks into some smaller items. You may limit yourself with 15 minutes tasks, so that you will have time to finish them till the end of the day. Besides, it is a good rule to make an illustrative list and cross the tasks off after completing them. Time-Blocking When you work flexible hours, time is your value. There is a system of time blocks that can help you to maximize your productivity. It is a great opportunity to make the most of your working day. The principle is simple: each task should be done in a fixed time. As for me, I take a list of paper and write down strategically important tasks necessary to achieve the goal. Then I take another one and put here tasks that are of importance but can be done later. Afterwards, I block out time for key tasks and stay focused completing them. Of course, I leave some time to alerts and distraction. Finally, I let my colleagues know when I am available and switch off my phone. Easy. Find Your Rhythm Do you know about the power of daily rhythms? Our body clock usually tells us the time when we should wake up, take a meal or go to sleep. So, our day is divided into patterns. It is a certain technique that can also be applied to our daily routine. Sometimes we work really hard and don’t notice our body’s signs. Trying to do everything at once and without rest we are subject to exhaustion. But what if we complete our tasks in a lightning speed and at the same time keep the body and mind fresh? Is it possible? In fact, I use a special technique which allows for fast working during some fixed period. Let’s say, it is 25 minutes. I stay deeply focused during this time. And then I have a rest pause of 5 minutes when I let myself be distracted. Remember, that nothing is allowed during the focus phase: no snacks, mobile phone, social media, etc. You may use a timer on your phone to help yourself. So, try to follow this regime to gain much productivity. Stay Busy When I have too much empty space in my schedule, I usually try to busy myself with additional tasks or some side projects. Why so? The thing is that I prefer to take over my free time when I know that there might be obstacles. Besides, I am good at preparing my day beforehand if I know it’s important. Considering all these things, I may proceed from one task to another without waste of time on thinking what is next to do. If you are in my shoes trying to structure your flexible schedule, you might have some additional time to spend. It is better to avoid this time starting some new project that will keep you busy. The project can refer to your job or just be a challenge to upgrade you. I recommend to focus yourself on self-development. Recharge Your Batteries When you work under flexible schedule and structure your daily routine on your own, it becomes especially hard to leave some time for rest. No doubt breaks at work result in higher productivity because you aren’t sleepy, full of energy and enthusiastic. So, try to take several breaks during working day. You may take a short walk and breathe fresh air or eat some nutritious snacks. Anything you like, but don’t forget to fuel your body and mind. Make It a Habit It may seem that these tips are a bit difficult to implement. However, productivity leads to personal success. Try to make these tips a habit, or at least several of them if some are hard to stick to. You may start adopting them step by step. And as soon as they become a part of your work flow, you will notice how they change your physical and moral state. Of course, it takes time to make a habit. But I believe that a reward goes after small things.