While it seems that everyone could benefit from some extra time, making the most of your time can give the illusion that you have more of it. With fixed daily tasks and spontaneous assignments, late nights can become the norm. But with knowledge about time management, you can maximize the little time you have and get more done. Here are some tips to get you there.

1. Always ask for a deadline.

The word "deadline" sends a lot of us into panic mode, making us recall sleepless nights in the library at college trying to get a paper in on time. But fear not. Much like the words "diet" or "budget," these negatively stigmatized words are actually designed to give you more freedom. A deadline will give you the opportunity to plan how long an assignment will take. If you are not given a deadline, give yourself one so that you will hold yourself accountable. But according to Ty Kiisel at Forbes, "don't make promises you can't keep." Be realistic, and get your work done on time.

2. Overestimate how long a task will take.

Playing it safe is always better than rushing to complete an assignment. Just giving yourself a buffer of five or ten minutes can help you feel more relaxed and ahead of schedule. Working with a clear head will allow you to focus more on the task at hand and less on the ticking clock.

3. Prioritize realistically.

You know this one. Not every task will be of equal importance, so be smart about prioritizing. If you can, plan for more difficult assignments in the beginning of the day when you are fresh and alert, and more rote tasks later on in the day when you'll likely need a break. Kevin Purdy of Fast Company warns against checking your email during the first hour of your day. Instead, do some heavy lifting.

4. Do less tasks per day.

When you have 100 items on your to do list, the chances will be low that you'll get anything done. Give yourself only the tasks that you know you will get done today. Keep it to 5 to 7 items, only. That's about all we can handle. Plus, a to do list that's all checked off is so much nicer than one that still has outstanding items. Here's a great resource to make your to do list!

5. Make an hour-by-hour schedule.

Think back to high school. Every hour of your day was scheduled out by classes, and it worked. Do the same in your work life, but understand that things will be variable. If you have a potential schedule to work from, though, it will be a lot easier to know what you're going to do every day. We like to write it down in a planner, old school, but feel free to use calendar apps if that floats your boat better.

6. Revel in your contingency time.

Remember all that extra time you have because you overestimated the time it takes to do your tasks? Now, use that time as contingency to take care of anything that was unexpected, or just relax!

7. Take frequent breaks to separate activities.

Your breaks are your rewards between completing tasks. Don't think that taking a break will waste time. It will actually help boost your endurance by giving you the chance to recharge and get that circulation going.

You have a lot more time than you think you do, if you use it efficiently. But we won't hold you up anymore. Get back to work!

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Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.

What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.

The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.

There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!

Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.

Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”

While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.

That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying

the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.

This contributes to the pressure employees feel about heading into the office. Remote work may have begun as a safety measure, but it’s now a savings measure for employees around the world.

Bloomberg are offering its US staff a $75 daily commuting stipend that they can spend however they want. And other companies are doing the best they can. This still lends credence to ‘the great resignation.’ Initially starting with the retail, food service, and hospitality sectors which were hard hit during the pandemic, it has since spread to other industries. By September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million resignations.

That’s where the most critical question lies…work from home, work from the office or stick to this new hybrid world culture?

Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."

In the end, does it really matter where we work if efficiency and productivity are great? We’ve proven that companies can trust us to achieve the same results — or better! — and on time with this hybrid model. Employees can be more flexible, which boosts satisfaction, improves both productivity and retention, and improves diversity in the workplace because corporations can hire through the US and indeed all over the world.

We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.

As much as we strive for normalcy, the last two years cannot simply be erased. So instead of wiping out this era, it's time to embrace the change and find the right world culture for you.

What would get you into the office? Free lunch? A gym membership? Permission to hang out with your dog? Some employers are trying just that.

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Did you hear about the Great Resignation? It isn’t over. Just over two years of pandemic living, many offices are finally returning to full-time or hybrid experiences. This is causing employees to totally reconsider their positions.

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