how to make your time work for you

Kylie Aloi is a Lifestyle Coach and one of AMICA’s regular contributors. Today she shares on how to make the most of your time…

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Work is something that no matter our age or status we all have to do in one way or another. As a child you may have completed chores and school work, once you hit your teenage years you can add a casual job to that list as well. Then as you become an adult the list quadruples, and that’s without kids!

So if we all have work to do, every day, then what is the best way that we can go about utilizing our time wisely?

I think this is an important question. Not only because we shouldn’t be wasting the precious time we do have, but I know I would personally rather do better work in less time that average work over a longer period.

I also think it is important as there are mundane tasks, that to be honest we all just need to get through and have them over and done with! For me, all forms of cleaning (except hanging out washing) come under this category. I can appreciate a clean space like the next person but I just don’t find the process of getting it clean satisfying. This poses somewhat of a problem.

To get the (frustrating) task of cleaning out of the way, I started a system to help me through. Only to discover I was onto something that actually tunes into more how us humans should be working all the time!

What I started doing was giving myself a time limit, I would work either half an hour to an hour and then I would reward myself. I might sit and do some reading, have a cup of tea or my personal favourite listen to some music and move around.

Whilst reading Brigid Shulte’s insightful book, Overwhelmed, I discovered what was in fact happening by allowing myself to only work in short bursts. Terry Monaghan, Executive Coach and founder of Time Triage, stated quite clearly that “Your brain can stay focused on anything, even an unpleasant task, if it knows it will last only thirty minutes”.

This is due to what the author of The way we are working isn’t working, Tony Swartz’s has uncovered on how we operate at our optimum level. We do this by what he refers to as pulsing. We “are designed to pulse, to alternate between spending and recovering energy”. This occurs for all parts of the body. Every mechanism happens in a well-coordinated rhythm, such as: sleeping, digestion, heartbeat, brain function and even breathing. We all know what happens when these rhythms get out of sync, they wreak havoc in our bodies.

Working and completing tasks is no different. Without the ability to pulse throughout the day we are actually stopping our brains from “deactivating and reactivating [which] actually makes it pay better attention”.

That is why advertisers have been able to cash in the 3pm slump for so long. Once it hits that part of the afternoon we are craving to break the monotony of our day, no matter how much we love our work. That being said don’t cave into the ads we are bombarded with and do it with sugary treats either, as that creates its own set of issues.

It was so heart-warming when I read this part of Brigid’s book. Even though what I was doing initially felt a little bit childish, for the simple fact that I had to reward myself for doing “adult work”, I was relieved to know that it was actually working.

So I continue to work like this when it comes to cleaning and in other aspects of my life, but especially when it comes to my blog. I had long known since being a student that I am a morning person and certainly cannot stay up and do all-nighters when it comes to my writing. I can however wake up at 5:30 and happily start writing. For the most part I do work better when there is a deadline but I try and tune into when I feel creative and inspired to write.

That doesn’t mean I don’t write at all at times but I focus on what I feel like writing at that particular moment, sometimes when I have time to write I feel more of a pull to research a topic and I’ll focus my energy on that area for a while. I also work well with music playing softly in the background.

I think finding these elements of how you personally work best, whilst working intensely for short bursts really is the way we should all be using our time. Especially as so many of us are now solopreneurs or are working in small businesses, I think we need to throw out the traditional 9-5 corporate way of doing things.

There are so many things we should be incorporating in our day, why not do it without so much stress from time pressure.

I would love to know if you too pulse throughout the day x

Kylie Aloi is a passionate Lifestyle Coach. She loves nothing more than guiding women to make positive changes in their professional and personal lives. Kylie wants to see more women designing a life that is right for them. She has grown up working in a small family business and has completed a Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management) and a Certificate IV Workplace and Business Coaching. Her life would be incomplete without meaningful connections, copious cups of tea, lists and conversations that are almost always food related.

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