The definition of the word “time management” is “controlling your time.” All you have left are 24 hours at the end of the day. Experts advise that at least six to nine of these be spent sleeping. Meals are prepared and eaten over the course of a few hours. Include the three to four-hour trip, the time spent stalled in traffic, and any other minor unforeseen difficulties. You only have 10 to 12 hours left, and perhaps even less. You have to do your work-related responsibilities, study, take care of a hobby, take care of yourself, socialise, and spend time with your family during this period. Events and noteworthy occasions are an entirely different matter.
1. Know how you’re spending your time
When productivity is calculated based on output over a predetermined time frame, lost time might translate into lost money. Similar to making a budget, you need to keep track of what you actually do with your time to identify any activities or routines that are preventing you from achieving your objectives. Check the time first. According to the categories you create, time-tracking software like RescueTime can show you how many hours a day you spend productively compared to how much time you spend on unrelated activities like social media browsing or shopping.
2. Track your time spent
You become more conscious of how you spend your time once you start tracking it. To ensure that you complete a work within a specific amount of time, such as 30 minutes or an hour, you may, for instance, establish a straightforward countdown timer. You may find that the time crunch helps you to concentrate and work more quickly.
3. Stick to a daily schedule
I have eight hours to perform XYZ, but go beyond that. Make a daily schedule with time slots designated for various chores. The secret to success is to stay committed. Set up realistic timetables. The “planning fallacy,” a phenomena where people overestimate their ability to complete tasks, leads to unduly optimistic delivery forecasts. To ensure that the entire schedule is maintained even if one activity exceeds the allotted time, include time buffers between them. Give everything your full attention. Avoid slipping off to websites unrelated to work (or doing anything else you aren’t supposed to be doing) during working hours. Close all the browser tabs marked “for later.” Until it’s time for a scheduled break, turn off your phone or put it away.
4. Set up deadlines
Set a reasonable timeline and stick to it when you have a task to do. Setting a deadline and posting it close to your desk on a sticky note may be beneficial. You will have a visual cue for staying on target thanks to this. In order to finish all the chores that can get in the way, try to set the deadline for a few days before the task is due. Set a challenging goal for yourself, complete it by the deadline, and treat yourself.
To-do lists can save your productivity. But if you’re not careful, they might grow to such a size and extent that you have no idea where to begin. The Eisenhower Matrix, a tool, can assist you in setting priorities based on importance and urgency. With the use of this decision matrix, you can segment your list into:
– Act right away: Important projects with deadlines, or projects you put off so long they are past due,
– Set a later date: important projects with no set due date
– Delegate: Work that can be done by someone else.
– Delete: Tasks that are unnecessary for achieving your objectives or carrying out your assignment.
6. Deal with stress wisely
When we accept more work than we are capable of doing, stress frequently results. As a result, we start to feel weary, which can reduce our productivity. According to certain research, stress can alter the anatomical makeup of many areas of the brain and has a wide range of negative consequences on the human neurological system. Chronic stress may result in brain shrinkage and loss of weight. The secret to reducing your stress response is to figure out what works for you. Try a few breathing exercises if you don’t have time for anything else. These take only a few minutes to complete and have been shown to reduce the hormones that cause stress.
7. Tackle the most difficult task first
Whether it’s a phone call, a favour from a coworker, or that stack of dirty dishes, distractions happen to all of us. Before you know it, the day is passed. Time to “eat that frog” now. For those who delay frequently or have problems avoiding distractions, Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog productivity technique is effective. It suggests starting with the work that is the biggest, trickiest, and most crucial—the one you’re most inclined to put off for later. Once you’ve “devoured that frog,” only then should you move on.
8. Avoid multitasking
Young people participated in four studies in 2001 by Joshua Rubinstein, Jeffrey Evans, and David Meyer, in which they alternated between activities like categorising geometric objects and solving math questions. The participants lost time on each activity when they switched between them. The majority of us believe that multitasking is an effective approach to get things done, but the reality is that we perform better when we concentrate on one activity at a time. In order to develop time management abilities, multitasking should be avoided because it reduces productivity.
9. Learn when to say no
Our energy levels are limited each day and decrease with time. Know your limits and be prepared to say no to prevent doing subpar work. Recognize your advantages and disadvantages. Concentrate on your strengths and, if possible, delegate tasks that may be completed more quickly and effectively by others.
10. Start early
The majority of successful people share the same trait: they rise early in the morning so they have time to sit down, reflect, and plan their day. If you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, consider getting up 30 minutes earlier than usual. You’ll be amazed at how much you can do in that short period of time. Use it for some light exercise or to eat a nutritious breakfast if you don’t want to use it for work. Your daily productivity will benefit from this type of routine as well. You can reduce the amount of time you need to spend considering your future by defining goals.