We all have busy days to juggle around with. Sometimes it gets hard to decide when to do what. You don’t want to be late for the party because you started working on your presentation later than you should have. Hence, time management is a skill that exists to save us from situations like this.
Managing time can be challenging. We have so much to do in a day, right? How to manage your time to go to work, attend meetings, do grocery shopping, and finish an assignment all on the same day?
Let me tell you, if done right, all of this can be done well within the time limit by creating an efficient schedule. Read more below!
How to Manage Your Time?
To manage time, we need to know what’s important to us. Then, accordingly, we’ll set up a system that allows us to do all our tasks efficiently in a minimal frame. Bringing order to your activities with the help of time management is an exercise. Check out some tips on how to do it below.
Make a List
The first and most crucial step to managing time is listing down all the chores you have to do. It’s basically a to-do list. While making a weekly schedule, think about the stuff you need to get done by the end of the week. Write them down. Do the same, whether it’s a day-to-day basis schedule or monthly.
It will be a great trouble if you don’t list down all your errands, to be honest. Keeping it all in your head, you can forget easily. One work will take more time, and you will not remember to make space for the other. It’s a lot of struggle. But, having a to-do list makes everything easy and perfect.
Oh, and make sure you make it a day or two earlier. This is just in case you have to add something new to it that you forgot about.
Whether it be your personal life or professional, setting priorities straight is always essential to maintain a balance. It helps us highlight important things. In terms of time management as well, you need to learn how to prioritize. Making a list is not enough if the most urgent thing you have to do is at the bottom of it.
Hence, categorize your list. Put the work that needs to be done as soon as possible at the top. This way, you’ll be done with the most urgent stuff by the beginning of the day. Similarly, the list would go on from most important to least as you keep ticking them off one by one.
Rather than wasting time on insignificant matters, prioritizing makes us cater to what’s actually important. We learn to arrange a time frame for tasks that need to be done right away.
Now, this is kind of like the third step of the plan- brainstorm critically about your schedule. Think about how much time each chore will take. If it’s a meeting, try to set a probable duration till which you think it would go on. In the same way, try to make up a time slot for each thing on your to-do list.
By creating these slots, you’re one step ahead of building your tentative schedule. You will know how much time each of the tasks occupies. This way, you can draw a schematic of how your day will go. Moreover, it will benefit you in arranging your schedule in terms of both duration and priority.
For example, let’s say going to the doctor could take around 2-3 hours, but you already have another appointment set at that time. Therefore, thanks to the pre-planning, you already know you could be late. Hence, you can re-schedule one of your appointments beforehand so that they don’t clash.
Create a PROPER Schedule
A proper schedule here means a written-down schedule.
Most of the time, we end up creating a timetable within our minds and think to ourselves, “Oh, I’ll get it done!” But through this, what actually happens is- we forget. Not writing down our schedule puts less importance on the work, and it’s a given that we’ll forget about it.
There are chances of other events happening in between. So, it is imperative that we do not get distracted and emphasize our plan for the day. Only that way, we’ll be able to manage time properly.
Besides, many applications on the internet will help you create a timetable. You can customize it the way you like, and they can also support you in maintaining it. Some apps can ring alarms when it’s time for you to do a specific task. But if you don’t like all these technicalities, simply use pen and paper to make the table.
Don’t Waste Time
In the 21st century, there are a million ways through which you can get distracted. “Oh, a new show is coming out on the TV!” or “Let me just watch one video on YouTube!”- these are some common scenarios we go through every day. But we all know how that one video can turn into ten.
The most harmful and common way to get distracted in the current times is our phone. All those notifications from Instagram and Snapchat are literally like a black hole that sucks us inside it for hours.
Losing track of time is nothing complicated. There are also other distraction sources, like, let’s say, a friend came over, or you got distracted while daydreaming.
To stay on a timetable, you must avoid all these things. Distraction wastes your time, and you end up missing out on important work. That’s how most of us lose time. If you manage to focus, you can pay attention to your work and get it done as quickly as possible. So, have that willpower to concentrate correctly.
Use External Resources
Distraction brings me to my next point, which is using technology to good use.
Like I said before, to manage time, you can take help from various apps like TickTick or Google Calendar. You can customize your schedule there to stay on track. But for ensuring proper time management, keeping focus is very significant as well.
I know I said not to use your phones while working in my last point. But if you put it to good use, be my guest! There are several apps currently that bring out the good from technology. They restrict the use of time-consuming apps to keep us focused.
One such example is an app called Dewo. You can use it as your schedule maker as well as a focus keeper. It blocks notifications from selected apps like Instagram, Facebook, etc., while you work. In this way, letting social media grab your attention can be avoided.
Sometimes you can have too much on your shoulders. You might get overloaded at work. Nobody can do it all at once. That’s why you better learn to delegate. It doesn’t mean you’re running away from your tasks but sharing them.
Overdoing does not bring in high-quality work. Instead, if you share the responsibilities, you get the time to meet all your goals. So, share your workload with people you trust. As a result, you don’t have to struggle to manage time if you have too much on your plate.
Even though sometimes we think we can handle several things simultaneously- in reality, it’s impossible. Multitasking might make us look like superman, but we’ll just be running around like headless chickens in a comical sense. Research has found out that multitasking can reduce our productivity by at least 40% from usual.
If we try to do several things at once, there’s a high chance that we will get tired quickly. We’ll lose the motivation to move on to the next chore. Besides, if we fail to finish the job on time, it’ll take over the time slot of the next thing on the agenda and mess up the full schedule.
That’s why always try to do one thing at a time. This way, you can work feeling relaxed with no pressure.
Keep Enough Time in Hands
A pro tip for time management is: always have flexibility on your schedule. It’s very much possible that when you’re doing one assignment, a sudden errand comes up in between, and you have to rush down to the store.
But keeping a window of extra time in your hands can easily make you run that errand and come back to finish on time.
Having additional time in hands can never do any harm. Besides, we don’t always have the same enthusiasm to work. Sometimes, we might be in a very productive mood, and sometimes not. But this also directly affects our work speed.
So, always keep more than enough time in your hands to complete a task. As a result, you can go at your own pace without worrying about going overtime.
Utilize Your Free Time
You can only practice time management if you spread out the work. Piling up all the chores only to do them at their designated time is a foolish move. Instead, release the pressure off of your shoulders. Do some of the work in your free time and tick them off. Have a loosen-up schedule instead of a packed one.
But I’m not telling you to ruin your breaks completely by working throughout it. Because having free time is essential as well. Your brain NEEDS that rest! But try to do some of the small chores if you get the time. Let’s say you can finish a few of the paperwork that needs to be done over the week during the weekend.
Creating sudden time scopes like this helps us have a light schedule ahead. It also gives us the time to do things we’d enjoy.
When you have a lot to do up your sleeves, you must start early. It will help you have an organized day, and you can get enough time to complete each work.
On the other hand, if you start your day late, you’ll have to be on the run the whole period with getting little to no time for yourself. Your outcome will not be up to the mark as well.
Therefore, it is best if you start your day early in the morning. That way, you will have an ample amount of time to finish up your tasks. Sometimes it will be done earlier than expected as well. You’ll have the rest of the day to take a break and relax.
Take Care of Your Health
They’re right when they say that health is wealth. Eating healthy and exercising are extremely important. These two things keep your body in excellent physical and mental condition.
There’s no way you can be active if your body is not fit for it. Time management can only be done if you’re ready to be on the run, both physically and mentally.
That’s why always eat nutritious food. Try to exercise if possible. People don’t notice this enough, but you must take care of your mental health as well. Staying mentally healthy brings physical wellbeing. We feel productive only when our brain is up for it.
Time management is not something you can learn in one day. You’ll get the hang of how to manage your time eventually. But to learn this skill, if I had to choose the best tip from above, I’d select making a proper written down schedule! The rest of it kind of comes along the way if you have this one.
If you succeed in creating a timetable for yourself and stick it on the refrigerator door, nobody can stop you from maintaining it. You’ll constantly get reminded that you have a schedule to run on. It will also help you have a punctual and uniform lifestyle.