Time is the only commodity that money cannot buy. No matter how organized you are, you can only utilize twenty-four hours a day.
We must manage ourselves and maximize what we can do with the time we have. Let us appreciate how precious time is. Afterwards, let us move on to the next time management tip.
#1: CREATE A TIME INVENTORY
Track your daily activities to get an accurate picture of how much time you spend on various tasks. Creating a time inventory will help you know which activities you should cut down on. This is the first step to effective time management.
You see, many of us are timewasters. We spend too much time reading emails, posting on social media, browsing the web, messaging our friends, and making personal calls. Do your best to spend your time on more productive activities.
#2: SET ACHIEVABLE GOALS
If you have a pile of tasks on your desk, no amount of time management will help you accomplish it all. This is where prioritizing comes in. Use the four Ds of time management: Do, Defer, Delegate and Delete.
Do refers to tasks that are important and urgent. Prioritize these tasks.
Defer refers to tasks that are important, but not urgent. Place this at the bottom of the pile.
Delegate refers to tasks that are urgent, but not important. Delegate these tasks to others.
Delete refers to tasks that are neither urgent, nor important. Can you get rid of these tasks?
#3: WRITE A TO-DO LIST
Carrying a to-do list at work or at school is a time saver. If you have a trusty list, you will never wonder what to do next. A list keeps you motivated and focused. It also provides satisfaction whenever you tick off something from your list. Lists enable you to monitor your progress to ensure that you are on the right track. So, write a to-do list for the day.
#4: USE TIME MANAGEMENT TOOLS
Whether you are using a planner or a smartphone app, you can speed up the process by planning your tasks with time management tools. These tools will help you plan out how you will spend your time in the future. A software program such as Outlook can help remind you of the events that will soon take place. While your smartphone’s clock app can help you time your tasks.
#5: MAKE A REALISTIC SCHEDULE
A physical planner or a digital timetable can help track your to-do list or important meetings for the day. There are many time management apps that can help you organize your schedule such as the calendar app on your smartphone. Think of the period that you are most alert and put the important tasks on that time block.
When you are planning out your schedule for the week, please do not forget to find time for socialization. Working smart means that you will have more time for fun and for sleep. Most people need about 7 hours of sleep to remain focused at work.
#6: GET IN THE HABIT OF SETTING TIME LIMITS
As you manage your to-do list, you can set time limits for the tasks. For instance, you can set a limit of one hour to answering and reading emails. Stick to the limit! This will help you minimize time wastage.