Everyone struggles with time management. Even those you see holding top positions in big companies or your favourite motivational speaker, sometimes find it hard to spend the 24 hours they have effectively. Either way, this should never be an excuse as to why the day ends without you doing anything productive. You need proper time management for your business, school life, workplace, and family time. Well, you can’t stop time or make it run faster. What you can do is to adjust yourself so that time doesn’t catch up with you before you can do anything substantial. That’s what we call time management. So, how do you manage your time? Here are 7 tips and strategies from time management experts to help you out.
1. Time Tracking
One of the best ways of managing your time effectively is to understand how you use it. You need to know how much time you’re spending on particular tasks. Tracking your time improves your self-awareness. This way, you know when a task is taking more time than it should, understand those unimportant activities that are draining your time, and lay down important patterns for finishing your essential tasks.
Time tracking has been made easy by the automatic time tracking tools that you can download on your mobile apps for Android. Use these time tools to make your work easy by recording every minute spent. You can set the time to start and stop at a given interval so that you don’t overspend the time you use on a particular task. These tools will capture every detail of your work, and you won’t have to waste a single second tracking your time manually.
2. Say No to Procrastination
Procrastination is the biggest enemy to productivity and will often get in the way of how you spend your time. Beating this starts by identifying precisely what’s the cause and working towards tackling it. There are several reasons why people procrastinate and end up missing deadlines on essential tasks.
One way of beating procrastination is listing down the projects you need to finish in a week, a month, or even on a daily basis. Try to get yourself more organised and address the psychological reasons behind your procrastination. Yes! Postponing most of your tasks is attached to your emotions, and that’s what you need to work on.
If you’ve spent your time learning how to manage time, you’ve probably come across setting priorities as a great time management strategy. Prioritising your tasks starts with planning your day in advance and having a clear insight into the things you need to do.
Have your goals clearly defined with a proper plan on how and when you should achieve them? Say no to anything that may get on the way of achieving your goals. Distractors are common, but you don’t allow them to mess up your life. Consider putting your most urgent and important tasks on top of your list so that you don’t have to struggle with them at the last minute.
4. Time Block Your Work
Time blocking is one of the best time management strategies that will help you achieve your workplace productivity and overall success in life. When you time block, you will learn how to manage your work so that one task does not eat up your entire day. This way, you will also see no need to multitask and end up achieving nothing at the end of the day.
To do this, you need to assign every task a time block and ensure you finish it within that time. This will help you focus on a single task at a time and avoid the temptation of multitasking. Make sure you understand how long every task is going to take so that you don’t block a shorter time or too much time for it. Your time block should be flexible enough. Have breaks in between to make your brain relax and focus when you resume.
5. Stay Away from Distractors
Disruptions are common in any workplace, and sometimes you won’t even realise it until it has eaten most of your time. Moreover, as many of us have been forced to work from home, we’re facing new distractions. These have upset any longstanding time management strategies and require new techniques. One of the most common distractors is electronic devices, such as our phones. Social media has been one of the common threats to productivity. If you can’t stay for one hour without checking your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram notifications, then you have a lot to do for your productivity.
You don’t need to check every notification that pops up on your phone. Give those distractors your break time. Don’t let them come in between you and your time management skills. If most of the distractions come from your friends, you can tell them not to distract you when you’re busy. Ignore those phone calls by putting your phone on silent mode. Set time to check emails, make calls and log in to your social media sites.
6. Take Breaks
Don’t ignore the power of breaks in your time management journey. If you know how to plan yourself and prioritise, you won’t view taking breaks between your schedules as a waste of time. As they say, ‘all work without play makes Jack a dull boy.’ Keep this saying somewhere in your brain so that you don’t forget about it even when you’re pressured to finish certain tasks.
Working continuously without taking breaks might see you accomplishing a lot within a short time. However, this will not be the case in the long run as your brain will tire, and you won’t be able to do much afterwards. Furthermore, over the long-term, this is not a sustainable strategy and may well lead to burnout. Your brain needs to refresh and focus, and it is possible only if you give it time to relax. You can go out, listen to your favourite music, take a snack, or play online games if you love such types of games. Once your brain relaxes and feels refreshed, you will come back motivated and boost your productivity levels.
7. Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself
Spending days without sleep simply because you need to accomplish your goals or finish a particular task is one of the poorest time management strategies you can ever employ. A goodnight’s sleep improves your productivity levels. You wake up motivated, energised, and focused.
You also need to eat well so that you have the energy required to accomplish your tasks. Make time in your schedule to exercise to be active physically and psychologically. You won’t accomplish much in your workplace if you’re unhealthy, tired, or malnourished. Don’t skip meals; avoid staying up late, and exercise for your mental well-being and productivity.
Mastering time management strategies are not something you’re going to do within a day. Take your time to incorporate all these techniques in your life, and with time, you will get used to everything. Don’t start pressuring yourself immediately when you finish reading this. Take everything easy, and they’ll all fall into place.
If you feel like there is an important technique we haven’t mentioned here, please share it with us. Let us know those time management tips that have worked for you.