Time is something which never feels to be sufficient. If you could relate to this then you seriously need some time management tips.
Time management is one of those most essential life skills which each person should know and practice exhaustively. It is the key ingredient in every successful person’s story. The iconic statement of Benjamin Franklin, ” The lost time is never found again”, is in itself an epitome of the significance of time management and the crucial role that it could play in one’s life.
So, in this post we would be looking at some of the most useful time management tips which have been endorsed and practiced by the most successful people around the globe. But before we start let’s just quickly take a look as to what time management means.
What is Time Management?
Time management simply means planning and organizing all your day to day activities well in advance so that you know what to do and when to do. So planning is the key element in time management.
So to manage your time well, you must first set some goals that you want to achieve along with the duration which you feel would be sufficient to complete it. Once you are done with it, you can draw up a structured plan to achieve the same. Don’t worry I would discuss this in detail later in this post.
Benefits of Time Management
Time management has a lot of direct and a lot more indirect benefits. It may help you to achieve all your targets, be more productive and even get time to relax.
- Ample Time
More time is the most direct and yet the most beneficial advantage of time management. Good Time management helps you to save some time here and there which eventually consolidates to a good enough time duration. So, if manage your time well, you would be done when others are still working and will get much more time for other activities and even for leisure.
- Increased Productivity
Another benefit of managing your time is that your productivity increases manifold. You would yourself realise that you are able to work much more and complete tasks much faster than earlier. This is because time management helps you to prepare yourself in advance about the task you would be doing and so you don’t need to think about it let alone convince yourself about doing it.
- Better Opportunities
Good time management gives you more opportunities as you don’t waste your time on trivial things. This is one such quality which on the checklist of every company’s recruitment criteria.
Time Management coupled with some other essential skills can do wonders in your life. It can take you to unimaginable heights. To know about other essential skills you need to strive, read our post on ‘Best Skills to Learn‘.
Tips for Time Management
Tip #1: Start with Auditing your Current Time Usage
First things first: start analyzing your current time usage pattern and find out where you spend your time. before you create any plan or schedule, it is important to first asses yourself and know where you currently stand.
Observe your activities for one day. Give different time-productivity-result rating to your different tasks to know whether you are really utilizing your time or not and to create a plan accordingly.
Once you are done with this little exercise, give time to sort your activities into useful and not no useful categories. After this you can move on the next tip.
Tip #2: Create a Dynamic Work list with Achievable Goals
Enlisting your work in a To-Do list is extremely esssential. However, you must be mindful of the fact that your To-do list must be really achievable. This means that the work which plan to do should be capable of being done at the available time duration.
Being realistic is quite necessary for managing your time. You can’t just jot down a never ending list of work and hope to achieve them with time management. You must realize that no matter how well you manage your time there is just 24 hours in a day and so you just can’t complete a months work in a single day.
The next important factor to consider while preparing your To-Do list is that you must have some flexibility in your schedule. You never know when an emergency might happen and having a very rigid plan can trouble you in such case when you are not able to execute all what you have planned. So have room for such situations and craete a dynamic work list with numerous time slots for different works and some back up time in case you need it.
Tip #3: Start your Day with the most important tasks
Instill the habit of doing the most interesting and the most energy draining work at the very beginning of the day. This will help you to focus your energy on the most productive and important work and you would be able to achieve better results.
Scientific studies suggest that when you start your day you are most energetic and concentrated and hence all those activities which you take up at the beginning have much more chances of being a success.
Also, it is manageable to put in efforts in some less engaging and light work when you are tired or when your energy has declined than doing humongous task in the same position.
Tip #4: Avoid Procrastination
It is easy to get started but to keep the ball rolling you must put in a lot of efforts. Most people are succesful in implementing the first three tips but fail miserably in this fourth one. And why not, it is perhaps the biggest challenge one faces in life.
If you really want to succeed and manage your time well then ‘DO NOT PROCRASTINATE’. Be determined to achieve what ever you have planned to do and work in that direction.
Well, I know its not easy to break the vicious cycle of procrastination but there are certain which you can at least apply to begin with.
- Give Yourself incentives to do work
- Motivate yourself regularly and think of the end results when you feel like giving
- Praise yourself whenever you complete any of your planned tasks
- Don’t forget to criticize yourself whenever you are not able to do work
Once you start doing all these minor things you would gradually see the change in yourself. When you mastered this, you are good to go to the next tip.
Tip #5: Have Short and Regular Breaks in your Day
Always take some short breaks periodically so as to relax and plan your further actions. Most people make this mistake of not taking breaks, working continuously and ending up in forfeiting most of their work as a result of over straining.
Remember, you are not a machine programmed to do some mechanical task, you have to brainstorm a lot and so you do need breaks. Keep your breaks short and place them strategically between work that are very exhausting. This will give you time to re-energize and get prepared for your work ahead and at the same time won’t hamper your flow.
But don’t take too long breaks that you become lazy and the ultimately resort to relaxing and chilling instead of working. This will entirely ruin all your efforts. So be mindful of this.
Tip #6: Review Your Day
This is important. This is the part where most people falter. They forget to review their day asses mistakes. You must take out at least 15-20 minutes at the end of the day, evaluating your day’s performance and working out plans for coping up any loophole tat might still be there.
Time management is something which you learn as you practice and so reviewing is crucial. If you think that you fell short somewhere, take a note of it and plan to overcome it. Also, this is the best time to plan your next day so do that.
Tip #7: Practice Practice Practice!!
Time management like any other technical or life skill requires consistency in terms of efforts and practice. Remember habits take time to from but once you are successful in making time management a habit you will already be thriving towards in greatness.
You might think of giving it up or even start viewing it as a wasteful activity but this is the trick which the brain plays on you. Whenever, you do something out of your comfort zone you brain will put immense efforts to make you give it up. But your determination must be so strong as to beat your brain.
Once Time management and planning becomes a part of your routine you would always be in the comfort zone because no task would be as big as to stress you or trouble you.
Habits take time and so will time management. So keep going, you will have to plan and then change as per the circumstances, so always be flexible. You might face some problems initially but once you master the art of time management , nothing would be impossible for you. But One thing that I can assure is that when you will get through the process, you will be a much better person.