Have you ever wondered how some people get so much done in so little time? Well, they certainly don’t have any magic trick up their sleeve. They simply practice effective time-management. It is the single most important skill that determines the level of success you can achieve. Effectively managing time is an art that helps you strike the perfect work-life balance. If you have time on your side, you certainly can achieve any goal you may set. Here are some tips to help you tame time.
When you arrange your tasks according to importance, you give yourself a roadmap on how to proceed. You will also have a better understanding of what to expect after completing each task. Needless to say, that you must begin with the most important task that you can think of.
Once you complete it, you will have improved self-confidence. It will be an impetus for you to dive into the rest of the day’s activity. As the day progresses, you will be able to fade into lesser important tasks, that will not be requiring your utmost concentration.
2. Follow a routine
If you set up a routine, you can be assured you will have time for each of your tasks. More importantly, you will feel more organized and in control of situations.
Try to adopt healthy and constructive habits as a part of your daily routine. Charles Duhig in his book The Power Of Habit advocates embracing of healthy habits to systematically incorporate positivity.
Start each day by looking at yourself in the mirror, while you tell yourself, “I can do it as I believe in myself”. Throughout the day, as you keep on accomplishing each of your tasks, keep ticking your to-do-list on Trello and remember to pat your back.
3. Improve work quality
You must have heard the principle of working smarter and not harder. So, instead of working for long stretches, take short breaks. Time your breaks after you finish one activity and before you begin the next. Be careful to not upset your continuity.
A study shows you should only work 52 minutes at a stretch and rest for 17 minutes before the next task. Scientists believe it increases your productivity significantly.
Indulge in activities that you really enjoy doing during your break but do not take up activities that may demand too much of your concentration or energy. Plunge right back to work with a fresh approach.
4. Learn to overlook
More often than not there are many unimportant facets that do not require much attention, yet you may engage in them. It simply leads you to end up losing time. Try to identify the time eating detail that doesn’t require your attention and forget about it. Make it a point to not waste your precious time over it. So, once you have concluded that something is not that important, let it go.
If you find yourself losing on time without any significant work getting done, you should know that it is time to de-clutter your mind.
Make it a point to meditate regularly. Also, you should eat healthy so that you may never feel disoriented. Exercise a little, catch up with a family member or a friend, it will get you rejuvenated and give you a jumpstart even in the middle of the day. Go for that long overdue vacation, make an appointment at a spa, or go play some sport, even if it is gully cricket that makes you happy.
6. Say no to distractions
We all are a bit addicted to social media. Spending time on social media or even gaming from time to time. It actually drains you of energy and makes you lose precious time. So make sure when you are working, you turn off all the notifications for your social media and also practice to stay away from your beloved Xbox. Do not engage in checking scores for the on-going match. Remember to give your full concentration to the task at hand.
7. Set time-limit
You should always plan your tasks ahead. Before bed-time or early morning, it is an ideal time for planning and setting up schedules. While planning your task, set a time limit for each task. It will help you to set a goal and you will use time better.
8. Stop procrastinating
It is extremely common to feel overwhelmed if you find yourself stuck between piles of incomplete tasks. Even if you have too many things left unattended, remind yourself that you are committed to your goals. Take a deep breath and set about to finish the incomplete tasks. Never leave a task for later.
9. Waiting time
A significant share of time in a day is spent or rather wasted on waiting for something to happen. We wait for the traffic to move, we wait for food to be delivered, and we wait for all sorts of things.
In order to be at your productive best, utilize the waiting time well. Catch up on reading or going through the instructions in a manual you have been putting away or a pending coursework that you may have. Plan your waiting time according to your current needs or goals.
10. One thing at a time
In your daily routine, set some time specific tasks. For instance, instead of answering emails all day long, keep a time aside to go through all your emails. Similarly, take and make calls at a certain fixed time. You should pace all your tasks well. So, if you have a buffer between your tasks, just in case you could not complete one task at hand, use the buffer time effectively before going on to the next task and complete the one at hand.
11. Identify your strength and weakness
If you are a morning person, try to finish all important tasks as early as possible. If there is a task you have been fearing to attend to, take help. Look into your work pattern. Pay attention to what keeps you going and what stops you. Work on your weakness and keep building your strengths.
Hold on to your perfectionist self. Try to limit your controlling behavior. Delegate tasks wholeheartedly. Do not interfere or poke into how it is being done by someone you have delegated it to. Review the completed task if you must but steer clear of becoming an active participant in the course of the delegated task. Remember the purpose of delegation is to reduce your workload, so do not take in additional burden.
13. Maximum yielding task
When we plan our tasks, we try to get as many tasks as we can get done at the earliest. But instead of planning how many tasks we get done, it is wiser to select tasks, that have the most impact or result. Devote your time accordingly. When you sit to plan your tasks, keep the Pareto Principle in mind. According to it, 80% result comes from 20% effort put in.
14. Use an organizer
That calendar or organizer sitting on your phone actually has some wonderful uses. It can give you time-to-time reminders to help you finish your tasks. You can also use apps like online calendar, workflow, Any.do , etc.
15. Know your limits
Always take into account your personal limits. Do as much as you can and if asked to do more beyond what you can achieve, simply put your foot down. Say, no, if you have to but do not doubt your capacity. Remember you should take up only as much as you can handle
Once you start incorporating these tips on a regular basis, you will be surprised to find how much more productive you can be. These simple tips will give you back control over not just time but your life. You will notice that you have become less hard-pressed for time and more settled in.