8 Proven Tips for Effective Time Management
Have you heard of famous sayings - Time is money, The best gift you can give to someone is your time because it is irreplaceable, The time is what we want most, but use the worst,
It’s not about having the time it’s about making time, and so on. Time is something that money cannot buy. Hence it is crucial to utilize the time wisely. Here are the eight extremely helpful ways to maximize time.
Set the goals
Knowing what exactly we have to do is half the work done. Imagine if you are walking on a road and don’t know where you have to go, then there is a high possibility that you will keep on walking and may not reach anywhere. Not knowing what we want to do may lead to a waste of time. Hence, setting a goal is crucial. For example, I want to lose 3 kg weight this month. To achieve this goal, I can schedule a time for exercise and healthy food preparation during the day. We can set the plans for the long term as well as for the short term.
2. Divide and specify the actions
After setting a goal, planning the actions to fulfil it might make us procrastinate to start the work. Conditioning of our brain forces us to perform easy and small tasks and delay complex and time-consuming tasks. Hence, overlooking the layout to achieve our goals can be frightening. However, if we divide the plan into small pieces of work, then it will piece of cake on your plate. To achieve long-term or big goals, they need to split into small objectives. For a goal that requires a year, then it should divide into monthly and weekly milestones. Reaching milestones keeps us motivated and evokes a sense of fulfilment. For example, if you aim to reduce your weight up to 10 kg, then you can divide it into milestones of 3 kg per month. Once you break down the goal, you can plan exercise five times a week and decide on the meals according to the stipulated calorie intake.
3. Make a TO-DO list
Having a to-do list ready with us saves lots of energy. Otherwise, we spend too many calories and time figuring out what to do today and where to start. Also, scratching the items from the list provides us with a sense of achievement. Likewise, we can also track the progress of our work. Preparing a to-do list the night before helps us kick-start our mornings without any confusion. Now, while making a to-do list, remember to keep it achievable. If we write dozens of tasks on paper and there is no time to complete them, it discourages us from developing the habit. It might make us happy when we scratch off some tasks from the list. However, it doesn’t mean any significant work is done. Hence, it is essential to add crucial tasks only. To make the list concise, write only three important tasks under personal and professional headings.
“The Rule of Three is a way to help me prioritize and focus where to spend my time, energy, and attention with skill.” — J. D. Meier (Book -Getting Results the Agile Way: A Personal Results System for Work and Life)
Once you complete three crucial tasks on the list, you can add three more tasks as per the priority. The Eisenhower Matrix is a simple decision-making tool that helps you make the distinction between tasks that are important, not important, urgent, and not urgent.
Further readings to make an effective to-do list.
4. Choose the priority
Often, when we have too many things on our plate, it becomes difficult to decide where to start. In such cases, we initiate many projects together but fail to finish them. Divided attention and entertaining all the disturbances keep us busy and reduce our productivity. For example, opening and spending a few minutes on each email that pops up on the screen or any notification on the phone, and sometimes random talks from the people around you. Any aimless gatherings or TV shows prohibit us from working on our dream projects. Also, if we do not divide the to-do list according to priority, then there is a high chance that we might miss out on the most valuable tasks.
5. Provide the time slot for each task
If we keep four hours to complete a task, we need four or more hours to finish the work. It means, if we know that we have much time to finish any work, we start procrastinating. Also, there is the possibility that the speed of working on the assignments can be slower than usual. On the other hand, if we know we have only four hours to work on the task, we pull up our socks and try to finish it within time. Calculating the time for each chore makes our to-do list realistic. Also, knowing the exact number of tasks and the time required for the completion of the duties makes us mentally prepared for the day. While managing the time slots for daily work do not forget to keep time for breaks. Breaks for tea, checking phone and reverting to calls and messages, meal breaks, exercise, and any stress-relieving activity.
6. Choose a time when you are highly energetic
We all are miraculously unique individuals. Hence, we have our individualistic preference for time to perform a variety of work. Some people may feel active as soon as they get up. However, few people may feel energetic in the evening or at night. We all know the time when we feel energetic and can finish tedious work. To improve productivity, we can assign highly skilled work during our high-energy time and automated work during the lethargic hours. For example, if you want to write a blog or study any subject, then that should be done when your mind feels fresh. It reduces the time required to complete the task. On the other hand, responding to messages or calls or meeting people can be done when your mind is exhausted. Meeting friends or talking to your family can freshen up your mind.
7. Avoid Distraction
Any kind of distraction can increase the required time to finish any task. Our mobile phones are one of the biggest distractions nowadays. While doing any work, if we check our phone every time it beeps then, we lose lots of time to regain concentration. Also, it breaks the chain of thoughts which affects the quality of the work. Hence, it is crucial to keep all distractions away during the assigned time for completing the task. All the distractions can be easily dealt with if we gave a time slot to distractions as well. For example, if we give 2–3 time slots of 10 minutes for cell phone checking, half an hour for watching a series, the time slot to meet people etc., and if we stick to the provided time then, the distractions can be easily avoided. Once in a while, binge-watching series, and spending extra time with your loved ones are always welcome. However, productivity is a compound effect of your daily routine. Weekends and periodic intervals do not affect productivity. However, weekly or monthly breaks from the routine boost productivity.
8. Stop Procrastinating
Often we get motivated by watching a motivational video or reading a book, but then we procrastinate the action. On the 1st of January, we make resolutions and set goals to achieve by the end of the year. However, we keep delaying the start. Many times procrastination comes from fear of imperfection, the level of difficulty of the task, and confusion about things we want. However, practice makes us perfect. Unless and until we start working on it, we will never understand the actual difficulty of the task. Initiating the work on our goals makes us aware of whether we are passionate about it or accomplishing it because others are doing it. Also, we all need to remember that failure means we have figured out what is not working, and the next step is trying another path to see if it’s working. If we fail to take steps out of fear of failure, then we are also failing to take steps towards success.
I hope you find these tricks helpful to understand What is Time Management? Why Time Management is an Important Tool? How to Manage Time? etc. Let us know your views and experience in the comments below.
Until next time Rewrite your Mind & Relive your Life. Thank You.
About the Author:
Dr Priyanka Mohol [BHMS, PGDEMS & CC, DDHN, MPH (Scotland)]
Public Health Consultant & Community Nutrition Specialist