Time management is one of those primitive characteristics burned into our DNA , so why haven’t we figured it out yet? The simple answer: Its complicated. Well, if its complicated, then let’s break it down.
Nearly half (46%) of Americans say it can be burdensome to keep track of the volume of information needed.pewresearch.org
How many times do we say the word “time” a day?
According to Dictionary.com the word “time” is one of the top 10 most common nouns. So… maybe we use it more than we think.
It is easy to get swept up by the information current because there is so much out there to wade through, it is more like an ocean of knowledge.
Which reminds me of a funny story…. I went for a picture perfect swim in the ocean one day. Its the one time I felt like a dolphin in my life (if that is even possible) and by the time I was back on the beach I realized the current swept me half a mile down the beach. I was left walking back up the beach…. cold and without a towel.
So what does this all mean? Well, it means that if we are not paying attention to our time, then we may be spending more time to get back to where we need to be.
How to Get Better at Managing Your Time
There are quite a lot of practical and effective steps you can take to better mane your time.
Here are some tips that are sure to up your time management game.
Plan, Plan, and Plan
One of the simplest things you can do is plan out your day or week. Planning your day will give you a bird’s eye view of what requires the most attention.
It will also tell you where you should spend the most amount of time to get the best return. Planning keeps you organized and on track. Set up time boxes of tasks and activities.
If you find yourself always running out of time, you are either spending too much time on small things or not prioritizing. This brings us to the next point.
Let us be honest, not everything is the highest priority. If you think about it, there is technically no way to manage time. Time will go on its own accord. What you can do is just make the best use of the time you have.
If you prioritize your time and efforts to what is most important, you will see an immediate increase in your productivity and get way more done. There is a fine line between being busy and being productive.
You can be more effective. And this habit trains you to be better at doing things that are the most important first and foremost.
Give Yourself Deadlines
Create personal accountability. By giving yourself specific deadlines, you are accountable to yourself to finish the tasks. It will help you be more focused and encourage you to finish the work within the deadlines.
Also, it helps you visualize how long something might take. You can incorporate this stage in the planning stage. While you are planning, you can also allocate realistic deadlines for each task.
Realistic deadlines are key here. People tend to be optimistic when assigning deadlines. Which then leads to unrealistic deadlines. With more time, you will soon get the hang of allocating proper deadlines as you learn how long it takes you to complete certain tasks.
Focus on One Task at a Time
You are better off focusing on one task and doing that one task right instead of dividing up your attention doing multiple things at once.
Many of us may be inclined to multitask. But more often than not, what ends up happening is we tend to just do both tasks mediocrely. Rather than doing multiple things at once, try to focus on doing one thing well.
By doing this, you can finish tasks faster and deliver a better quality of work as well.
Do Not Have Too Much on Your Plate
A great way to manage time and get more things done is just to have fewer things to do. You do not need to say yes to everything that comes your way. I am by no means saying you should not take on responsibilities. But make sure you do not take on too much responsibility.
That will just leave you overwhelmed and unfocused. Rather limit the things you take on your plate. This way, you can focus on the more important responsibilities you have at hand and avoid overwhelming yourself.
Technology is everyone’s friend, if used the right way. It can be a distraction but also be a very powerful tool to get more done. If you can automate certain tasks, then use technology to automate those repetitive tasks.
This frees up headspace and allows you to focus your time and energy on other things.
You can even use time management apps and to-do lists. These apps are great for giving you control and an overview of what required your attention. Also, it is a great way to organize the things you need to do as well.
The best thing is many productivity apps are getting better integrated with the workplace. So, chances are you do not need a major workflow reshuffle to incorporate these apps and tools.
This is a simple yet effective one. Most of us would put off a task and start when the deadlines are nearing. Some teams might even have set dates and times of when they will start a task.
If you can, starting your tasks a bit early then you are required can put you ahead. It is also a great way to get rid of the initial hurdle of starting something. So, if possible, just start doing your tasks early.
Breaks Are Important
Breaks are so important. Working hours without any breaks might seem like a good use of time, but in the long run, it is not worth it. Not taking short breaks will make you tired and decrease your productivity.
This is also a good way to manage stress and stay focused on the task at hand. Avoid bad distractions, though. Do not just browse hours of social media during your breaks.
This might make you lose track of time, and before you know it, you have wasted hours.
What benefits do better Time Management give you?
Many people tend to have a completely different approach to time management. They are more a “go with the flow” kind of person. So instead of actively trying to manage the time they have, they take it in as they go about.
While this may work for some, not everyone can be their best productive selves this way. Better time management brings you a lot of benefits that are just too great to ignore. From improved productivity to reduced stress, there are tons of reasons why you would want to manage time better.
Here are some of the key benefits better time management brings you in your personal and professional life.
Deliver Quality Work in Time
Better time management lets you deliver your work on time. It helps you simply just do better work altogether. If you prioritize your time and manage it properly, you can deliver more consistently better work.
You can focus more and work more precisely. All while being within deadlines. This is great for your professional life as you can be seen as reliable and diligent.
You can tackle procrastination with better time management skills and get in the right mindset for work as well. Of course, you cannot ignore the fact. Time management helps you get your work done on time.
Having allocating specific periods of time for specific tasks, you can prime your brain to focus on the task at hand. Think of it as rewiring your brain for what you want to do.
Us humans are a curious bunch. We will always take the path of least friction. So set time boxes for yourself. If you do that, you can essentially set your brain up for a structured day and be more productive.
You End Up Having More Time for Yourself
Play is just as important as work. Otherwise, everyone runs the risk of burning out. If you get better at time management, you can set aside time for leisure activity and do something you like doing.
Whether it be spending time with your family or binging the latest Netflix show – the choice is yours. A few minutes planning out your day or week now lends you an hour of extra time all to yourself.
We are sure all of us can use some extra time to ourselves in this fast-paced life. You can create a good work-life balance for yourself by getting better at time management.
Time management does not only help you with your professional life and career. It can even improve your personal life and relationships. When you have better time management skills, you can allocate more time to the people that matter in your life. Be it your kids, family, friends, or parents.
You can spend some quality time with the people you love. Make sure to follow through with your schedule and then you will have more time to spend with people around you.
If you are not managing your time properly, it can lead to other health problems, like increased stress and anxiety. If you are diligent with your time management, you can be on top of all your tasks and responsibilities.
This creates a sense of clarity. You will know what you need to do and when—granting you peace of mind and reduced stress. Thus, better time management can be a great way to deal with stress and anxiety.
Better time management increases your window of opportunities at work and in personal development. Being punctual will make you look good and can lead to greater career growth.
Your personal relationships can also flourish since you will have more time to tend to them. Also, if you just want to invest some time into personal development, you can too!
You will have more time to yourself, which you can dedicate to doing things you like and learning new skills.
When you get down to the meat and potatoes, the most important thing to remember is a good time management schedule is crucial to our happiness.
The best thing about time is that anyone can to own it. But if you do not take that initiative to own it, it will own you.
So don’t forget to stay on top of your time management! If you let it slip out of your hands for too long you may find yourself a half a mile down the beach, without a towel.
Are you curious if you are succeeding with your time management? Then shoot me a message to talk about it!