Time management is a skill that we all claim to excel at in our resumes.
My working day is set out for maximum efficiency. I know exactly how to order my time to tick off the tasks on my to-do list without setting myself unreasonable goals.
However, once I’m free of my work schedule I’m prone to procrastination. While I value my down time, I know that I have more than enough time to relax. There are definitely pockets of time that I could optimise to my advantage.
As a frequent traveller, the periods of time that I wait to board a flight add up into a considerable chunk. By themselves they are not big enough windows to get any work done, so I’ve identified a few bite-sized ways that I can make this normally inconsequential period benefit my life.
The inspiration for this article was a story about a guy who travelled a lot for work. Every time he was waiting to board a flight, he would write a quick letter to his kids. He had a notebook especially for this purpose, and over the years he amassed a collection of notes that is now cherished by his grown up children.
As someone who is often on the road, I find it difficult to stay connected with the day-today-day lives of those that I love. A quick email to Mum to tell her I’m taking care of myself, or a line or two to my sister to ask about her new job goes a long way towards maintaining these connections.
Plan Your Inflight Schedule
I usually have a plan to get “some work done” during the flight, but I never set goals or allocate my time as I would in the office. I’ve recently started breaking my flight time up into reasonable portions, which include meals, sleep and a cheeky movie break - I can’t resist all inflight entertainment. Working backwards from this allocation allows me to set myself a realistic task list for the plane.
The reason that so many people bang on about meditating is because it’s life changing, and you don’t need an hour in a sacred garden to reap the benefits. Try the Smiling Mind app, a free download that offers five or ten minute guided meditations that you can do anywhere - just make sure you don’t fall asleep and miss your boarding call.
Clear Files From Your Phone
I like to take a million photos when I see something Insta-worthy. Setting aside time to clear these files has ensured that I don’t get the dreaded “capacity full” message when trying to snap a photo of my cute nephew.
Screenshots, downloaded attachments and images auto-saved from social media apps all get binned, leaving me feeling virtuous the way only a clean out can.
Assess Your Goals
I love goal setting workshops and the way they encourage you to dream big. I’m a champ at writing down a long list of lofty life goals, but the daily grind tends to get in the way of consistent progress.
I’ve now stored my goals in Google Keep (best app ever), so it’s constantly on hand. When I have a spare minute I reassess this list, and ask myself what steps I am taking, or I can take, to bring me closer to my bullseyes.