Time management has become an issue which is growing more important, as society moves on. It requires us to make the most of the 24 hours we have every day, by efficiently doing everything we plan to do. However, as easy as this might sound, it takes a lot of effort to manage to get your tasks done and to also have energy for your other responsibilities in life. It takes both skills on how to better manage your time and realistic standards when it comes to how much we can do.
We have precious little time to sort out our daily tasks, and we don’t have a lot of time to read up on time management techniques so that’s why we’ve put together this short guide on how to make the most of the 24 hours you have, with something extra on top.
What is needed in time management?
Organizing your time is something you can easily do with some quick tips and a lot of patience. Even though it might look a bit overwhelming at first, as you will need to put order in your activities and prioritize the ones important to you, and once you get used to it, it will become easier and easier each time.
When you start prioritizing your activities, it is worth taking into consideration the fact that it might not always be possible to meet your own expectations.
For instance, if you allocate one hour for an activity that is dependent on other factors, which might take more time to finish, it might be the case that you will need to extend the time for this particular activity. When this happens, you do not need to worry. Not estimating the correct time for an activity might happen, however, you will soon get used to finding better times and knowing your routine ever better.
Now that you have understood that sometimes dependencies are out of your control, but that some things still remain yours to deal with let’s look at my top 10 tips to get your time management under control.
1. Setting goals
This might be difficult at first, however in this phase it is really important to know yourself and be realistic. For example, if you need to deliver a paper within 2 weeks, don’t leave it on the last minute. Make sure to start your project 2 weeks before the deadline and set every day small goals; in the first day, it can be reading an article to help you understand the task, in the second day, you can draft a title, and so on.
2. Setting Personal Deadlines
Deadlines can sound unimportant, as for most projects you will already have a deadline. However, setting your own deadline – before the “official” deadline – will help you split your work load into small tasks and assignments that will allow you to understand it and not feel like you are running out of time. Planning is key!
3. Make Sure Everything Is To Hand
Whether it’s a calendar, a to-do list in a notebook or an application like Keep or Evernote, make sure you can easily access it. Whether you are at home or out and about on your laptop or phone make sure your chosen calendar and note-taking tools will work if you’re not connected to the internet. If that’s an issue then you’re definitely better with a paper-based solution.
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4. Don’t overload your to-do list
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy! Make sure to find time for relaxation, so you can liberate your mind from stress and focus on something you really enjoy doing.
5. Eliminate distractions
You might think that a distraction will help you regain focus on your task but they are the number one enemy of good time management. We are all tempted to either scroll through Facebook or text someone, however, it is important that you shut down all those, so you can focus on your task specifically.
6. Don’t forget to take breaks
You can’t sit at your desk for an extended period of time. Breaks are important to rest your mind and let new information sink in.
7. Delegate someone
Don’t think you have to do everything yourself! If a task can be done by someone else, let them do it, that allows you to focus on what really matters.
8. Be flexible
Not everything goes to plan all of the time. It can happen that something does not come out as expected and you don’t manage to finish in time, which is the reason why it is always better to take extra time for finishing a task.
9. Be positive
Everything can be solved with a positive and can-do attitude!
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10. Reward yourself
After every task you managed to complete successfully, don’t forget to always reward yourself.
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All in all, time management can be easily handled if you start off with a positive attitude and the tips above, which will help you find the balance between time and the activities you want to get done. Another important advice to keep in mind is that it might happen to not be successful from the first attempt – however, don’t be let down, as next time you will surely do better!