You can't change the number of hours in a day, but you can fill them more efficiently, with less stress and mental effort. You've likely heard this before, and perhaps your past efforts at time management have been, well, a waste of time. But most people's attempts to increase productivity get derailed by two virtues of modern living: technology and options. Today's onslaught of tech – smartphones, iPads, search engines, social media – is fragmenting our attention spans, gumming our mental gears with useless facts, and turning us into surface-level thinkers. At the same time, all the communication choices we have today – email, IM, text, Skype, or Gmail chat – are thwarting efficiency. But we don't have to give up technology to regain control. "You need to set expectations of yourself and other people," says Daniel Markovitz, a blogger on time management for the 'Harvard Business Review.' "You need to say, 'Here's the Bat Phone number. Use it if there's an emergency. Otherwise, leave me alone to do my job.'" Here, eight ways to manage time.
Develop Google discipline.
Gorging on all the data available today has made us a nation of distracted thinkers. How many times have you searched for an answer online only to find yourself wandering through a hyperlink forest, gobbling up factoids, switching from LinkedIn to Facebook to email? Research shows when people look for an answer on the Web, they visit too many sites when only one or two would do. Limit your searching to what you need for a project. Whenever possible, turn off all other technology, like email and your phone, when completing a project on your computer.
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