We have 365 days in a year. And when we see a year as it has got 12 months and every month on average has 30 days, it seems like a lot of time. On the other hand, we have got 24 hours on a given day and even if you sleep for 7 hours and spend 2 hours for things that are absolutely necessary for the survival, you have got 15 hours on your hand daily. Multiply it by 365, we have got 5475 hours a year. This might seem like a lot of time, but this is the time span within which you do all your schooling, or job, parties, travel and everything you do in a year. Time management is an absolutely necessary skill.
What is Time Management?
Time management is the way you manage how you spend time on specific activities. Now, every one of us have got 24 hours on a day. While some highest achievers manage their time exceptionally well and get so many things done on a day, some just watch some movies and scroll through social media and one more day gone for them.
Time management is the ability to use your time productively and efficiently. Being busy isn’t the same as being effective. That’s why some people just transform themselves and their lives within a year, while for some its just all the same as previous year. Some of the benefits of proper time management are:
- It reduces your stress level.
- You can get more done in less time and less effort.
- The time you waste become less, which means you get more time for yourself.
- The luck favors the prepared and time management surely opens more opportunities.
- As you get more time to think carefully, it improves your decision making skills.
Here are some of the tips for managing time properly:
1. Find out where you are wasting your time
Before you start managing it, you need to know how it is going. Many of us are prey to time wasters that eat hours of our precious time. Track down your daily activities. Tonight, before going to sleep, list down all the things you did for every hour after you woke up.
Repeat this for a few more days and you will know how are you spending your time on the daily basis. There are also time management apps and browser plugins which might help you out on tracking your time.
Once you know where you are wasting your time, you can find areas to improve.
2. Set a time limit to each task
There could be many instances where you sat down for a task. You thought it would be done within a few hours but it sucked up your whole day. Now, it is okay if the task is absolutely important one. But we tend to spend much time an useless tasks without actually realizing it.
This has also something to do with procrastination. If there is any task you don’t enjoy doing then you may actually prolong the duration of current task so you might not have to do the one you hate. Setting time limit helps you to focus on every necessary task and prioritize them.
3. Prioritize your tasks
Start each day prioritizing the tasks for that day and setting your performance benchmark. You cannot accomplish every thing on a single day and if you always end up doing some non essential work off your To Do list, in the long run, you won’t accomplish anything.
And, it is also necessary to make your To Do list short and meaningful. If you just keep adding everything to the list, looking at the list itself would be exhausting, its a far thing getting those done one by one. It is also very tempting to put the task on the list rather than actually doing it. So, you need to prioritize your task depending upon your goals and your needs.
4. Spend your mornings on the most important things
There is a saying, ” If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. ” The thing here is that in the morning you have high energy and haven’t come past most of the distractions.
So, its best to do the most important things while you are focused and not drained. If you leave the most important or challenging tasks for the later part of the day, the low energy and motivation might make it difficult for you.
Also, finishing something in the morning will give you sense of accomplishment that will keep you motivated throughout the day. So, eat your frogs early in the morning.
5. Start doing Pomodoro to stop Procrastination
This simple, yet highly effective method helps you overcome your lack of motivation by breaking complex tasks into small, manageable blocks. When you see a huge task, your brain feels doing it as a sense of pain and tries to avoids doing it. the Pomodoro Technique recommends that you divide large tasks into 25-minute chunks, with a 5 or 10-minute break between them.
It helps to keep up the spirit and you will get a sense of achievement for finishing a pomodoro. You will also get much done in short span of time. You can actually design your routine as a series of pomodoros if it works out for you. And don’t forget to take breaks, and while on breaks try to do something that don’t take much of your mind usage. You can learn more of Pomodoro technique here.
6. Use the alarm system for time management
The thing you do here is make a list of activities you want to do for a given day on hourly basis, that from this time to that, I will be doing a specific activity. And for next hour, continue the same or some other activity. Better make that list on previous night before sleeping or early in the morning. And then keep the alarm for every next hour. And after every hour, you make the note of whether you actually accomplish the task you were supposed to do or not.
So, even if you were distracted, the alarm will bring you back on the track. You will find out, how tasks are being ticked off the To Do list. Now, it might be harder for some to do it successfully on the starting days. But, with practice and patience, you will make the most out of the given time.