How To Manage Your Time More Effectively
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Finding time in your schedule can be a tricky thing, but you should feel good about how you’re spending your time right now. If you don’t, there could be something wrong with it or the person doing it.
You have to balance what you want to do and what you need to do to succeed. You also have to make sure that whatever you choose to focus on — whether it be work, family, or other things you want to add into your life — is important and worth the time you invest in it.
If you feel like you’re never going to find enough time, remember this: You are the master of your own time. You are the one who decides how you spend yours.
With that said, here are some tips for improving your time management skills. Try these out if you think you need help managing your time.
The content in this article was created by Maylyn Zhan (www.maylynzhan.com). The information included was sourced from various websites, and may not be fact-checked. It may contain errors or omissions; therefore, readers should neither assume anything nor assume nothing.
Work on your day-to-day tasks immediately
A lot of people start their day by reviewing their schedule for the day, planning what they have to do, and then going about organizing all of that work. But you should be starting with something more basic — working on your most important task of the day right away!
The hardest part is knowing which task is the most important. Sometimes it’s making a phone call, sometimes it’s writing an email, and sometimes it’s talking face to face with someone. It really doesn’t matter how much time there is left; if nothing gets done today, you can always make up for it tomorrow.
And don’t forget, even though we might feel like we’re running behind, there are almost never any truly “free” times in this world. Even when you think you’ll get some downtime after work, you’ll probably still have to go home and take care of whatever needs taking care of at that time.
Finish what you start
“Finish what you start” is an excellent time management tip that can help you achieve your goal of having more time in your life. This idea works by creating momentum, as well as re-setting your starting point.
When you begin doing something, make a habit of finishing what you started. For example, if you set a goal to write for one hour every day, then it makes sense to only start writing for 30 minutes at a time and work up from there.
By establishing this pattern, you will eventually reach your one hour daily writing goal.
Likewise, when you get out of bed in the morning, you should simply get yourself out of bed and into the shower or bath. You do not need to plan anything else until you have made this simple action happen.
Once you have done this, you can slowly add other things like making breakfast and putting away everything you left out the night before. All of these small actions add up to give you enough time to truly focus on what needs to be done without being distracted.
This article has discussed some ways to manage your time better.
Break down big projects into little tasks
A common theme among time management experts is breaking down large projects into smaller, more manageable pieces. By doing this, you can achieve success in completing all of your project goals while spending less time overall finishing them!
By breaking up a project into small steps, you also give yourself permission to take breaks along the way. You may need to back out or shift plans at any moment, but that’s okay because you gave yourself a deadline.
This works well for daily tasks as well. For example, if you work from home, you can easily get distracted with things like making lunch for yourself, having conversations with friends, or just staying in bed.
Make regular progress
The second way to manage your time is by making “regular progress” with what you are working on at any given moment in time.
This can be done through three main strategies:
Planning – creating plans for how to spend your time ahead of time
Real-time management - doing things as they come up (and being able to focus only on those that matter most)
The first strategy, planning, sounds simple enough, but it can be tricky to implement into practice.
You have to think about all sorts of potential problems when you plan out your day. For example, if you planned to work on your career until midnight then something could get in the way and you may not have anywhere to go after that. Or maybe someone you know needs help or there is an unexpected meeting or event you need to attend.
By avoiding these types of commitments, you will find yourself more free than ever before!
The next strategy, real-time management, seems simpler because you just don't make any promises to anyone else. You also don't let yourself become too distracted either, otherwise you'll start forgetting where you were going in the first place.
This article will talk about some easy ways to do this.
It is very important to give yourself time away for rest or you will become overwhelmed and stressed out. You should make an effort to take at least one hour every couple of days where you simply do not have anything you have to do.
This can be done in any way you like, from going to the gym after work to taking a bath before sleeping. What matters is that you spend this time completely alone with no distractions.
You can read, listen to music or even talk to someone if you want to. But nothing requires your attention but you! This break helps restore your energy so that you are able to focus again later.
Take a look around you. Are there things you've been wanting to do for a while? Do them! They’ll still need your attention, just don't add more tasks to what you already have.
Switch off your phone
A few months ago, I reached an embarrassing milestone. My one-year anniversary as a mother was coming up so I gave myself a week to try and reduce my smartphone use. And not just for an hour every day, but for two hours every night.
I made this challenge at the end of August and it took me several days to hit the wall. But eventually, I did.
It’s hard! Even now, three weeks later, I find myself constantly distracted by my phone – something has got me stuck.
A couple of things happened during that time. First, my son needed help with his homework and I had to quickly look up some answers. Second, my sister messaged me about our parents’ anniversary, so I wanted to send them a reminder and check their messages. Both tasks felt like they were taking too long so I kept looking at my phone.
Eventually, I realised how much time I was wasting and it made me feel uncomfortable. So I continued focusing on other things instead. It took a lot of effort but in the end I succeeded in sticking to my goal.
Now I make a rule — from now on, when I get into bed, I will not turn on my light (or power down) bedroom device until morning. This includes my phone, laptop or TV.
A lot of people get time management advice that seems great at first, but then they stick to it for one or two weeks and nothing changes!
The main reason is because these tips seem really easy to do – you just put down “morning ritual” or “meeting after work” in your diary and suddenly you have more free time!
But what happens next is something different every day. You find yourself with no idea how you ended up doing those things before, so you give up and don't do them.
That's when everything goes wrong. Because now you've wasted all this time and energy on a tactic that doesn't work.
You'll be left feeling frustrated and struggling to motivate yourself to create your own time off work.
Love yourself enough to take care of your needs
We’ve discussed before how important it is to love yourself, but I want to go into more detail about what that means for time management.
It’s easy to spend money to show you love yourself, but what if we took it one step further? What if we invested in yourself not just with things, but with your time too?
What if we gave you all the tools and resources you needed to do work that made you feel good and inspired you to keep moving forward?
That’s what this chapter is going to talk about. It’s going to discuss some ways to manage your time so that you can give yourself the same level of attention as “I need this” or “I should have this.”
You see, when we say “love ourselves,” we mean something different than saying it does other parts of our life. When we say it like that, it can seem kind of vague and philosophical.