If you often find yourself running out of time to do the things you want to do, or even those you have to do, you’re suffering the effects of poor time management.
Not managing your time well will ultimate in a number of unachieved goals.
People who say that twenty fours are not enough for a day are simply lying.
The importance of time management cannot be stressed enough. It goes hand in hand with productivity.
If you manage the twenty-four hours you well, you’ll be able to make enough time for everything, and surprisingly, a surplus of time too.
Mastering your time is actually mastering your life.
Not being able to do so, will result in poor performance, and the failure to achieve your goals.
Good time management comes with prioritizing well.
In a typical busy day, you most probably won’t spend the whole day without eating, would you?
Sooner or later, the hunger is bound to strike, and you will eat.
Hunger is a physical need, and when you’re hungry, eating becomes a priority, so we put aside everything else to make time for it.
The same goes for prioritizing all of your other tasks. You need to feel a pressing need to do them and then organize your time accordingly.
These are some of the best, tried and tested tips for effective time management; try to plan your schedule accordingly to see a marked change in your productivity.
1. Make a plan for yourself
The biggest rookie mistake in managing a schedule is when you don’t have a plan at all, and do whatever comes to your mind at the moment.
If you want to manage your time well, you need to have proper planning beforehand.
A good idea would be to make weekly schedules and go over what you are going to do each day of the week.
When you make a plan, be realistic.
Don’t set a plan that’s hard to follow.
You know your limits and boundaries, and don’t push yourself too far, too fast.
Take baby steps, and eventually, you’ll be able to erase those boundaries.
2. Take a break from social media and devices
Even amidst all that “I don’t have time talk” you always spend time on your phone.
The thing about these devices is that once you sit staring at a screen, scrolling through miles and miles of information of which only one percent is probably actually useful for you, we don’t realize how quickly time passes.
You sit down, phone in hand, and when you get up again, it feels like just ten minutes, but actually, it’s been an hour!
There are so many productive things you could do in all that time.
Always place a limit on the time you spend on such activities.
3. Mark your tasks into categories
There are two ways you can categorize all the work you have to do: by their urgency or productivity and by whether you like them or not.
Based on these criteria, you can make three categories to sort everything you have to do.
The first group would include all those things that need to be done urgently or all those highly productive tasks that you actually want to do.
This would be an urgent report that you have to complete by tomorrow or a new work project for which you have to plan.
Anything that would make you more productive at work, bring in more sales, all can be included in this group.
The second group includes tasks that you may not be very interested in doing but you have to do anyway.
This group varies from administrative work around your office to daily chores around your house.
The third group includes those things that you love doing, but are not urgent at all.
This is where you put in all your hobbies and interests, your social media time and so on.
4. Practice immense discipline
No one can control you other than yourself.
All these plans that you make, all the schedules you prepare are useless if you don’t actually work according to them.
For that, you need to discipline yourself.
When it’s your bedtime, fight that feeling to go through your phone again, because you know you’ll stay up for another hour.
Practicing discipline doesn’t mean only being hard on yourself.
You can also reward yourself with some time off in between.
5. Group your tasks when you work on them
When you set on completing a set of tasks for a day group them into batches based on their similarity.
This will help you to concentrate continuously.
If you schedule dissimilar tasks together, it will split your attention and it will take you extra time to get back on track.
So do all the similar activities together.
6. Learn to say No
You might want to be really helpful, but sometimes you’ve got to say no.
If someone asks you for a not-so-important favor that messes up your entire schedule, you’ll have to say no to them.
If you can move around a few things to make time for it, that’s good.
But if not, try to turn them down politely, and make them understand.
7. The right composition
We talked about categorizing our tasks into three groups.
The best possible combination of these tasks would help make a productive and stress-free day.
It would be to give more importance to the first group tasks, while also enough making time for second group tasks.
Although the tasks in the third group are not as important, they are necessary to stress busters, so you have to make time for them, but don’t devote a lot of your time there.
So a typical day would have fifty percent of group one, thirty percent of group two and twenty percent of group three.
This is just a vague estimate and it will change based on the nature of your tasks.
8. Early to rise
If you wake up earlier, you actually increase the length of the day.
Waking up early can add on a lot of time into your days.
Try to get into the habit of rising early. This is not a change you can bring about very easily.
Make small changes in your sleeping habits first, and then, gradually, you can become an early riser.
9. Everyone has the best time
Everyone has a part of the day when they are most productive.
It may be in the morning when they are fresh and pumped with energy.
Some people find it best to work at night when it’s quiet and peaceful.
For some, it may even be in the afternoon.
Find out what time works best for you, and during what part of the day you are most productive.
Allocate your work according to this.
Your best time is when you would want to do most of your group one and group two tasks.
10. It’s okay to go off-schedule
But if by some twist of fate you happen to go off the schedule, it doesn’t mean your whole week is ruined.
You just need to make space by moving around a few things, say by cutting down the time on your group three activities.
Don’t take it as an excuse to stray away from the plan
Know that you are the master of your time, and nobody else is controlling it.
If you can manage your time well, you are sure to be successful.
But don’t think that all of this will happen overnight.
It will take you some time to get used to it and fit into the schedules and plans.
When you work hard, don’t forget to reward yourself for the work you have done.