Time is a scarce resource and it’s quite unfortunate that many individuals do not treat it as such. Time management is a grand factor in determining overall productivity and how well our day plays out. If not properly managed, the outcome usually doesn’t go unnoticed as this will reflect on overall success.
We’ve all got 24 hours and sometimes it could feel it isn’t enough. The present Era of social media isn’t helping as you’re constantly fed with news and events that all want a piece of your most valuable resource- time. Rather than allow your limited time spin without control, realise that you’re in charge and you do have a choice as to what/who have a bite on your time.
The following tips have been compiled to help you gain mastery over time management.
8 useful time management tips.
1. Rise up early
To avoid skipping breakfast or forgetting to turn off the electricity switch before leaving the house due to rush posed by limited time, you can easily avoid that by reducing your dream time.
Rising up on time will give you clarity to make the best decisions on what your most important tasks are for the day. You have the avenue to plan, strategize and possibly declutter.
The big question: what time is “early” enough for me to rise from bed?
Technically, as a self-improvement coach, I’m supposed to give you an answer. Well, I can’t do that! I don’t know the nature of your job or the routine of your schedules. Therefore, the best person in the position to answer this question is YOU. It’s your time we’re talking about here… Your life actually. So you pull the shots.
Decide when you rise from bed. Make your decision based on how busy you’d get the moment the alarm kicks in. if you’re a working mom with three young kids who need to get ready for school and have breakfast served them, 6 AM might not be your best time! Remember what we’re trying to accomplish here, we’re trying to create time for you to think and plan your day.
2. Set up your priorities; establish what is important and what isn’t
To avoid wasting portions of your life by allowing fate decide what your priorities are, you must learn to own that decision. Get a piece of paper and write down what your goals are for the day. Don’t get excited yet, this is just the easy part.
Here’s the part that requires the engagement of your mental faculties: After writing your goals for the day, start stroking out the ones that necessarily won’t get you killed if you don’t do them… okay, kidding. What I meant in a more logical term is that you should narrow down your list until you’re left with the tasks that are more urgent and important. The aim is to make your list as short as possible.
3. Prepare your to-do list the night before
Before hitting the bunk, spend at least 5-10 minutes to set your goals for the next day. This will create more time for you to address more pressing issues in the morning and kick-start your day with your priorities already outlined.
While you’re at it, you can pull extra efforts and do some minor work such as; prepping your clothes, organising your suitcase or sorting your files. This will create time for you to tackle other tasks by morning.
- Must Read: How To Set Goals That Deliver Results
4. Apply the Pareto principle
The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) explains that for many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In this case, 80% of your overall productive outcomes will surface as a result of 20% of the tasks you tackle.
The key to applying the 80/20 rule is to brainstorm on those tasks that are more consequential to your overall productivity. Just as setting up your priority, the goal isn’t to do everything on the list. The aim is to engage in those tasks that are more likely to yield a greater satisfaction of end result.
5. Automate tasks that are repetitive.
Modern day technology has made it incredibly easy to complete work much faster with absolutely no stress. There are applications and software available at your disposal that can easily help you completes tasks that might be eating up on your time. Here are some tools I use.
Grammarly: As a writer, you might need to go over your work severally to churn out typos or grammatical errors. This is certainly time-consuming and that is where Grammarly comes in. This tool proofreads your writing automatically by pointing out the errors and also suggesting the corresponding solutions. It offers synonyms, sentence reconstructions and basically the functionalities every writer could wish for. It is also available as a Chrome extension. It’s undoubtedly my favourite tool.
IFTTT (If-This-Then-That): The use of this tool is inexhaustible as it pertains to its functions. Basically, if you do most of your work online, you definitely should have this tool under your belt.
IFTTT can automate web tasks, such as posting contents to several social networks at ones. You no longer need to share your website/blog contents on all your social media handles. You can easily set up IFTTT to automatically post your contents to all your handles the moment they get published on your website (or any website as the case may be).
Buffer: This is a scheduling app. It provides the means for a user to schedule posts to various social media networks. You can even schedule a birthday wish to your friends.
Tools like Mailchimp makes it possible to send periodical emails to your contact list. It’s very instrumental when you intend to run an email marketing campaign.
These apps take relatively few minutes to set up and you’d be more than pleased with how much time they’ll be saving you.
6. Make use of dead time
What do you do when you’re commuting to work or waiting in the doctor’s office? If you’re just sitting staring into space, you’re wasting valuable time that ought to be engaged.
You could use such time to send important emails, read a PDF or listen to an audiobook. You can even use such time to brood on your next project at work or brainstorm on an assignment at school. The issue isn’t what you do, the import thing is that you’re doing something productive.