10 Things That You Can Do to Manage Your Time Effectively
It can fly without wings and it is free but priceless. Time has long been considered the most precious thing, more than gold or money because time is the one thing that you can never get back once it’s lost. Managing time effectively has long eluded many- even seasoned professionals have struggled with bad time management. Time can slip away from us when we need it the most, making us feel like there is so much to do but oh so little time!If you always find yourself pressed for time, then without further ado, let’s find out the 10 things you can do to take charge of the ever-fleeting time!
1) Slow Down
Looking at the hands of a clock ticking away when you have a pile of work to get done can be quite stressful. But you can take charge of your busy day by slowing down. Mindfulness is the state of mind where you are completely in the present, giving room for your thoughts and feelings to be non-judgemental towards any given situation. Practice mindfulness and be aware of your presence. Waking up early also helps you to get more done without rushing things.
Planning everything ahead of time is an essential part of being successful in whatever you do. You may be someone who is an early riser but going ahead without a proper plan for the day is like sailing without a compass! If you want to make the most of your time doing useful things rather than loafing around with no purpose, then plan your day, your week, and even your weekends! Make a to-do list if necessary to keep yourself on track. And if it helps, George Patton has something to say about making a successful plan,
“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.”
Make it a point to do the first things first. Prioritizing your tasks for the day can help you get to the important stuff first and you end up getting more done when you allocate critical tasks to those parts of the day when you are the most productive- which is usually the morning hours for most people. Instead of mentally calculating what needs to be done for the day, making a priority-based to-do list can help you manage your time effectively.
4) Be Wise
Setting a time frame for each and every task on your list is a great way to get your mind focussed on what needs to be done and how quickly it needs to be done. Assess your productivity at the end of each day. If you find yourself checking out most of the tasks on your list, then it’s important to stay on track and keep up with the habit. If you find yourself procrastinating, tell yourself that lost time can never be found again. Motivate yourself to keep going even if things don’t end up as planned.
5) Divide and Conquer
Big, long-term goals can look like unconquerable mountains when you approach it without a working plan. Breaking down a goal into smaller, achievable tasks can help you manage the goal and stay committed. When you take up a complex project, it is important to break it up into smaller chunks; each time you accomplish the smaller task, you can be sure that you are one step closer to accomplishing the goal.
6) Reduce Distractions
Anything that slows your progress or keeps you from finishing your tasks on time should be avoided. If you are serious about managing your time effectively, reduce time spent on futile activities- such as dilly-dallying on social media. If you find yourself craving distractions just to blow off some steam, take a short walk, read a book, or just close your eyes for a while. You’ll feel more focused and clear-headed when you are back.
7) Avoid Multi-tasking
Surprisingly, multi-tasking never works most of the time. As it turns out, humans cannot multitask but only switch between tasks, which doesn’t help much when you are trying to get your tasks completed on time. Moreover, it is also known to kill productivity. ‘Multi-tasking leads to as much as a 40% drop in productivity, increased stress, and a 10% drop in IQ,’ according to a recent Harvard Business Review post. You can accomplish more tasks quickly by focussing on one task at a time and setting strict deadlines to meet the goals.
8) Use Help
Delegating low-priority tasks that don’t require your immediate attention to others (at the office, it could be your subordinates while at home, it could be hiring a laundry service to wash your clothes) is a great way to save time and focus on high priority tasks. Taking advantage of time management apps like MyLifeOrganized, Focus Booster, Evernote, Rememberthemilk, etc., can help you keep up with your daily schedule and manage your time effectively without a hitch.
When it’s time to hit the sack, hit it! Nothing can replace a good night’s sleep. Good time management includes taking good care of your body and your mind so that you are ready to tackle the next day with renewed focus and strength. Taking short breaks between tasks also helps improve your overall productivity.
10) Get it Done!
Sooner or later, everybody feels the stress that comes along with work at some point in their life. It may be tempting to go cold turkey when something doesn’t work out as planned, but these are the moments you need to be wary of. When you hit a roadblock, keep your chin up and move on to the next task in your list instead of banging your head against a wall. Being a perfectionist can also adversely affect managing your time effectively.
Zig Ziglar once said, “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” It is important to respect the time given to all of us and utilize it consciously. Optimize your time by spending it wisely every single day and never forget that the clock is always ticking!