Have you ever wondered how some people are able to achieve a lot in 24 hrs and you are there just wondering how it is night time already. and you seem not to have gotten anything done despite your best efforts?
Or are you one who feels 24 hrs just isn’t enough and so you end up not having anytime to rest at all, because you have a million and one task yet to be completed?
One can be very busy and yet with nothing to show for it. Click To Tweet
I wrote the outline for this post, but before I could get around to developing it, I happened to have a talk with friend who ironically seemed to also be struggling with time. We both echoed the same sentiment, 24 hrs can sometimes seem not enough, lots to do and we still value our sleep.
The truth is that 24 hrs a day is just enough, what you need, is to make some significant changes to your daily habits and develop proper time management habits. So the big question is how do we accomplish more in less time?
We all have been given the same amount of time each day, what we do and how we manage it, is up to us. Be you a student, a worker, a houseparent, an entrepreneur, etc, you need to know how to properly manage your time.
One important factor that differentiates us all in the results we get is our habits.
What is Time management?
Time management is simply being able to plan and make use of the time you have efficiently. It is less about effort and more about planning.
It is about spending your time on what really does matter. Time is money, what are you using your time for?
Benefits of properly managing your time
- It helps you avoid overworking yourself.
- You end up doing a lot more within the time you have, that means increased productivity.
- You have ample time to rest. Our brain needs rest. Our minds need to rest and recharge for maximum productivity. When you are not able to manage your time wisely, you end up putting undue pressure on your brain.
- You are less stressed. When you manage your time properly, even when you work, you are not stressed. This way, you are able to enjoy the work you are doing.
- Little effort yields great rewards. Who does not want to work less and yield more, I know I do. The way I see it, is that because you are not consistently under stress, your brain is able to function at its best. A Proper functioning relaxed brain equals great ideas.
- You are able to make better healthy choices. Because your choices are not made under duress, you are not being rushed, you can think things through and make better choices.
TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR PRODUCTIVITY THAT ACTUALLY WORK
#1 Start your day early
Sleep is great but not too much of it.
To maximize your time, you need to start your day early.
At the end of each day, ask yourself what you want to accomplish at the end of the next day. That way you have something motivating you to jump out of bed early. Begin with the end in mind.
#2 Use your calendar to schedule /track/block time
Track how you actually use your time.
You can't mange what you can't measure- Peter Drucker. Click To Tweet
When you know what is actually taking up all of your time, then you can analyse what needs to go and what needs to stay. You can use your calendar to block your time.
Be aware of the things you need to get done and the time it will require to get it done, using your calendar. E.g, Write a blog post – 1 hour, check my email – 10 minutes, feed my soul – I hour, etc
There are people that plan their time down to every single minute, and they swear by it, that they have more focused and productive.
You don’t have to start as rigid as that (Planning down to the minutes), you can start with periods, but if you feel you are up for it from the get go, then go for it. It is important to note that, you have to be truly honest with yourself, because in time management, it is not a one size fits all approach. Plan and schedule according to your needs.
Not everything needs your attention. So set out your priorities. Note what is more important and complete them first.
Your priorities will most likely be linked to your purpose, what you want to achieve, that way those things that do not serve in getting you closer to your goal can be ignored.
Note those tasks that will make you use up more brain power and task that can be done leisurely.
Use those tasks that can be done leisurely to relax.
E.g, writing a report and folding laundry are both task that can make up your to-do list, but they do not require the same level of concentration.
#4 Cut out people distractions
Before you pick up that phone to call that person, ask yourself if it is really worth the time you have to spend.
Time is precious and it should only be used on people that are indeed important and add value.
Ask yourself what they are contributing to your life and how you are contributing to their day when you make that call. Ask yourself what value that call will add to yours and theirs.
By all means make time for friends and family, but let it be to add value and not for mindless gossip that do nothing for your productivity, well-being and mental health.
#5 Minimize interaction with your phone
As someone who spends more time working on my own, I find I have to be more accountable with the time I spend on my phone to be productive. I could spend time mindlessly scrolling over the same thing on my phone.
Since I made the decision to put it down and sometimes even switch it off, my productivity levels has increased.
The problem for me was that I also use my phone to work, but I have since found a way to switch off connectivity to certain apps at times when I rather not be on them or allow myself get distracted by them. The Do not disturb tab, is also a life saver.
Also, its best to only keep apps on your phone that add value to you, and delete apps that steal your time based on your priorities.
#6 Avoid multitasking
Most times we believe we are saving time by carrying out multiple task at once, but in truth we are being counter productive.
I use to be one of those, who felt that doing a million things at a time saves time.
But Multitasking actually decreases your efficiency, and can decrease the quality of your work output.
It can take you 50% more time to finally complete all those task at once, than when you focused on each task individually.
#7 Clean up as you go
You take the plate you have just used to the kitchen, but instead of washing it immediately, you leave it in the sink.
Then you get back to whatever it is that you were doing. The best way to save time, is to just wash that plate immediately. There is no perfect time to do it as now.
Because from one plate, it becomes a whole pile, then you spend more time sorting and eventually washing up when the sink is full, or if you are like me getting freaked out for a full 5 seconds that the sink is full.
You check your email and see a mail you would definitely not be needing later, but you leave it there, and then you find out later that you have a 1000 useless mails that needs to be deleted.
You would be saving time and being more productive if you just delete on the go.
All the above tips are habits that can be imbibed.
For any habit to be sustained though, it requires consistency and discipline. To be able to make these time managements tips a part of your lifestyle and second nature to you, they have to be done every single day.