There is a popular perception that time is everything; be it money, success, health, progress, life, anything, and everything. Truly, who you are or who you will become has a lot to do with how you’ve been spending your time and how you’ll continue spending it. Today we’ll look at some effective time management tips, because time is unfortunately a limited resource.
How good tomorrow will turn out depends on how you spend the next 24 hours, including every second and minute.
Time management, simply put, is the process of maximizing the usage of time. In other words, it is the way by which we make the most of our time for greater productivity.
Now, it’s fairly common to hear people complaining that they’re running out of time. It depicts the exact nature of the world we live in… It’s a really busy world. In the survival process, we barely have enough time to keep up with lots of things. That’s simply because many of us lack effective time management skills.
Really, it might not be all that easy to adopt and stick to a particular time regimen or rule. It’s actually difficult to fully adhere to the principles of time, however, it’s not impossible.
If you’ve been looking for some time management tips that can really work for you, in this article, you will find exactly what you need. Just read on!
1. Change your Mindset
The truth is, whatever step you want to take in life starts from the mind. That is why an Idealist would always argue that before anything becomes real, it has undergone a mental process. In other words, most things that manifest physically are products of someone’s initial thoughts.
That being said, you can’t possibly manage your time and accomplish your tasks if you don’t have a productive mindset. This is why having the right mindset is fundamental and hence, it is topping the list. With the right mindset, every other step will easily follow.
First, you must take a step into that realm where you believe that you have the capacity to do things and finish tasks. You must believe that you can be productive and achieve your desired results! With a positive mindset, your day will start on a good note. You won’t doubt your ability to accomplish those tasks you’ve set for yourself; you just go ahead and embark on them.
Now, one key strategy to change your mindset to a positive one is by being more optimistic than pessimistic. Don’t give room for doubt.
If it becomes a bit difficult to change your mindset, then you can gradually learn to do so. There are lots of books out there that you can grab and read. They’ll help you so much you’ll wish you had read them earlier.
2. Let Your Focus Be Very Clear From The Start Of The Day
The first thing you should think about when you wake up is the most important task for the day. It should occupy your mind. This will enable you to know exactly what tasks to carry out for the day and how to go about it.
To achieve this, you have to be more creative. Ensure you take advantage of the early hours of the morning to meditate. This period is best suited for mental works because you’ll be in the right frame of mind. Plus, you will be better energized.
Now, think of those things you have to do for the day. Write them down.
Secondly, rank the tasks according to their level of importance.
After that, you can now start thinking about how to carry out those tasks; each and every one of them. One after the other.
If you can get clear on what to focus on for the day, then you’re sure going to manage your time effectively that day.
3. Wake Up Early
This is probably the best time management tip you can embrace. I simply call it a hack.
When you wake up early, you will be able to plan your day earlier. As a result, you will start your day early too. Early rising will give you the opportunity to finish up your daily tasks because you will have enough time at your disposal.
In order to wake up earlier and feel good, you have to ensure you sleep early enough. If you can adopt the habit of sleeping at most by 9 P.M, by 5 o’clock, you should have slept for 8 hours which is perfect for your body.
In a situation where you find it difficult waking up early, you can set an alarm at a realistic time that you can maintain. However, in whatever you do, make sure you sleep enough because there is no way you can be sound enough to embark on your daily activities without getting enough sleep.
Remember, a popular saying has it that a person who sleeps early and rises early will be healthy and wealthy (that’s what productivity entails).
If you want to become an early riser but need some guidance, check out my post on how to wake up earlier and not feel tired.
4. Track Every Activity
Whatever activity you embark on every day, track it. This will ensure you know what you are doing right and where you are not getting it right… With this, there will always be room for improvement. Tracking your activities with respect to time will basically see to it that you allocate the right time to each and every task of the day.
For instance, if you realize that you’ve spent over 4 hours on movies, you can readjust the next day to spend just 2 hours on it. The extra 2 hours can be used for something more productive.
There are apps that can help you achieve this particular time management tip. Using such an app and having it open at all times can help you track your activities every day. You can also use it to view your calendar weekly, monthly, or yearly.
You just have to make effective use of your calendar to track your events or tasks. And to make it easier for you, you should consider making use of any of the numerous mobile or desktop apps that are available.
5. Stop Being A People-Pleaser
This is a bold step to take if you really want to own your time and your life entirely.
Is it even possible to know what you should do and how you should do it if all you think about is to impress others? The answer is simply, NO.
You will be far from knowing how to manage your personal time if you are a people-pleaser.
For instance, if you are hell-bent on appearing perfect to people, you will end up channelling your time and energy into doing their biddings. You will only engage in activities that impress them and not you.
It’s understandable that as humans we naturally want to be accepted and loved; we want to integrate and feel attached to somewhere or something. However, you should know how to curtail your natural instincts by making intentional decisions. If not, you are no better than other wild animals. After all, animals are all products of nature and most of them are social too.
The difference between you and a random animal is that you have a mind of your own and can decide when to please yourself and when to please others.
Now, for you to maximize your time and be more productive, do not fill your schedule with activities that satisfy people who don’t really care about you but only care about what you can do to please them.
Rather, embrace more tasks that really matter to you. By so doing, you will be able to take perfect control of your time, your life, and existence.
6. Use The Principle Of Elimination
This principle typically suggests that you should carry out only:
- Realistic tasks
- Achievable tasks
- Important tasks
- Feasible tasks
- Productive tasks
Once the task doesn’t fall under any of the above, then you should consider eliminating it.
In order to ascertain if the tasks you consider carrying out falls under any of those categories, you have to ask yourself the following questions;
- Can I do without this particular activity?
- Is this task something I can accomplish?
- Can I handle this?
- How important is this task?
- Can it wait till later?
- How vulnerable am I if I don’t complete this task?
- Am I in any way indebted to anyone if this is left undone?
- Can this task be automated? Etc.
By considering all these, you will not only be readier, but you will also be able to know what task to prioritize and the ones that can wait. As a result, you will have a greater capacity to complete the most important tasks.
7. There Must Be Rules
Set some rules that will enable you to achieve the results you desire. One of the most effective time management tips you should embrace today is making use of certain rules to guide you on the usage of time. When you create rules for yourself, they will act as checks or restrictions to your lapses when it comes to managing your time.
For example, you can give yourself rules like:
- No T.V once it’s 9 P.M because that’s time for bed
- No Social Media once it’s 8:30 P.M because you need to stay off your phone 30 minutes before bedtime.
- No PlayStation during weekdays; this will enable you to channel your time to a more productive task
Setting up simple rules like the ones mentioned above can go a long way to make your life simple. There won’t be unnecessary time wastage if there are such checks!
8. Plan Your Week Ahead
This is probably one of the most fundamental time management tips you should take advantage of. You can use Sundays for this activity (to plan the week ahead). Assign days and time to each task at hand. This will give you a blueprint of what your week is going to be like. Check out my guide on things to do every Sunday for a productive week for more guidance.
There is nothing more important than preparation and there is no better way to get prepared than to plan. Walking into your tasks for the week with a plan will not only get you ready, but you will also be focused on your priority-tasks.
Moreover, with a plan ahead, it will be far easier to switch from a weekend mood that is carefree to Monday mood that is work-oriented.
9. Plan Your Day Ahead
You can simply use 25 minutes to plan each day immediately you wake up from sleep. A perfect way to create this daily plan is through the use of a to-do list. Write down every activity using bullet points. To be more positive about this, you should write each task as if it’s already been completed.
For example, instead of writing “Make a blog post on time management tips”, you should write something like “Blog post on time management tips completed”.
By writing down your tasks this way, you’ll be motivated to get them done.
10. Avoid Distractions
If you really want to manage your life effectively, then this particular time management tip should be very vital to you. A whole lot of times, we fail to accomplish tasks not because we don’t have the capacity to, but because we are always distracted.
You have to deal with those factors that don’t work in your favour to get things done. If there is this hobby or event that drains your time, yet it doesn’t help you to achieve other tasks, then it’s a distraction. Shun it!
Another way to avoid distractions and get important work done is by avoiding multitasking. Endeavour to take your tasks one after the other (just according to your to-do list). You will be amazed at how much you will finally accomplish by the end of the day.
Finally, if you must live a life that is fully accountable, then you need to learn to use your time productively. And there is no better way to do this than following some (if not all) of the tips discussed above. Oh, you’re welcome.
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