Sometimes a good plan isn’t enough to get you through a productive week. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances stretch out your tasks until you have to give up plans and everything falls apart. A little bit of extra work right now can help you get a better grasp on where those extra hours and minutes are really going (And get you on track on how to get those hours backs.)
First off you should try for a week giving projected times (And then afterwards actual times) for each of your planned projects. You may want to plan some buffer room between each task for overlap, but this project is to get a good idea of how long things actually take so you can record the averages at the end of the week.
Another big loss of time are many of the minutes we lose in idle tasks, checking your phone or facebook while at work may only take a moment, but those moments add up over the course of the day and it can be absolutely shocking how much time we lose in little minutes like that. You might want to take time recording how much time you spend doing tasks like normal in your planner, and then try again another day where you run through the same tasks but buckle down.
Time you save from staying dedicated to your work can be invested into proper breaks that allow you to actually refresh. Little facebook breaks help us keep up on news, but don’t do anything to relax our brains, so trimming those out and saving them for later can give you the time to take a few 20 minute breaks during work so you can actually rest and recharge gaining even more efficiency when you hop back to.
Thinking about hard work and buckling down can be a little disheartening, but framing these ideas in investment/returns style helps us see the time wasted as something we can invest into more entertainment when all of our work is all done. While work pays the bills, we all need to treat ourselves at the end of a hard day to keep polished for the daily grind.