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Mixing Activities to Improve Time Management

The day escaped me today, and I found myself sitting here at 8pm not having completed everything I wanted to during the day.  I got a lot done, but some of the activities I worked on took longer than expected. Trying to manage my time for the rest of the evening, I was left with a dilemma.

With only an hour or so left before I start winding down for bed, I found myself trying to decide between exercising and doing work on a few other things I wanted to get done today.

The exercise is really important – I’ve been exercising most days for a few months now and feel better than I’ve felt in a long time.  Skipping 1 day turns into 2, which can turn into 3.  Not long after that and a week turns into a month and then it’s not something you do anymore.

The work is important too.  I’ve been gaining good momentum on a couple different projects which can be lost as easily as the momentum needed to keep working out.  Getting these projects completed in a timely manner is pretty important to the business – the sooner they are done, the better.

As I debated in my head which of these activities I was going to do (each would take me about 45 minutes) I thought how I could be more efficient with my time management to get them both done.  Not wanting to cut time off either activity, I couldn’t just “do a little less” on either of them.

Today was leg day which involves some heavy leg lifting and long periods (4-5 minutes) of recovery in between each set.  As I thought through how I could get both things done, I realized I could do most of the work I wanted to do in ~5 minute bursts in between my sets.

Lift for a minute, rest for 5.  While resting, I accomplished 1 of the smaller tasks I had wanted to complete.  Back and forth I went for the hour.  I filled the whole hour, but was able to get all the exercising I wanted done while also completing 10 of the smaller tasks I had wanted to get done as well.

To mix activities, they would need to be complimentary in a way that doesn’t cause conflict.  For example, you couldn’t write emails and build a presentation at the same time.  Likewise if you’re working on something that takes deep concentration or longer periods of time, it wouldn’t be a good candidate to mix either.  Try writing a book in 4-5 minute spurts and it would probably be very painful and/or a terrible book.

Think about activities where you have downtime or waiting periods – weight lifting is a great example since you do an exercise for a minute then need to rest a few minutes before taking on another exercise.  Time periods could be more than 5 minutes as well – any down time where you’re waiting for something, like the end (or sometimes even the middle) of a meeting, waiting 10 minutes for that Uber to show up, or commuting for 20 minutes on public transportation – improve your time management by mixing activities and you’ll boost your productivity and efficiency quite a bit!

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For videos on how to use technology to improve your time management, productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness, visit our partner channel, Beeline Tech Group on Youtube.

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