“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day? Perhaps, you need to review how you manage your time and stop procrastinating. Below are some tips to manage your time effectively.
Time Management Tips
1) Make a daily to-do list – Prioritize and put the most important tasks at the top of the list. Even if those tasks are dreadful, tackle them first and get it over with instead of dreading and avoiding it throughout the day. Include things you want to do on your list too, so that you have things to look forward to. Try motivating yourself with a reward if you get to everything on your list.
2) Differentiate between what’s important and what’s urgent – Dwight D. Eisenhower once stated, “what is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” Don’t fall into the trap of believing that all urgent tasks are also important. Knowing the difference between the two can have a huge impact on managing your time efficiently and effectively.
3) Take work with you – Anytime you find yourself with extra time, pull your work out. For example, you can bring your work with you to a doctor’s appointment because you may expect to be sitting in the waiting room for a while. This tip is perfect if you commute daily. We can use the time that we spend on the bus or train to get something done.
4) Say no – Sometimes, in order to get all the important things done on your list, you have to say no to certain things that are not urgent. If you need to get something done today and your friend asks you out to a movie, don’t rush into saying yes right away. It is okay to suggest a different date when you have finished what you needed to do. This can be a difficult task for many people but do your best not to fall into the trap of having that instant gratification.
5) Find your productive time – Do you find yourself being more efficient in the morning or at night? If you’re a morning person, try waking up earlier. Starting your day an hour earlier can help you complete your tasks faster so that you can spend more time during the day doing things that you want to do guiltlessly.
6) Set uninterrupted time each day for yourself – Set up a time devoted only to completing your work. During that time, don’t surf the web, check your email or respond to texts. If it is an emergency, people will call you. Check your messages and respond at certain times during the day, such as once every two hours. If you need to check messages as they arrive, limit each session to less than five minutes. You’ll find yourself being much more productive.
7) Set up a schedule – Figure out how much time you need to get your own work done and determine how much free time you have after that. Don’t make too many commitments if you don’t think you will have time to keep all of them without sacrificing the time you set aside for your own work. Don’t forget to schedule time to relax.
8) Set reasonable deadlines – When you set reasonable deadlines for yourself, it gives you motivation to meet it. Even if it is something that you need to do on a daily basis, plan to get the task done before a certain time in the day.
9) Review your progress – At the end of the day, review what you have accomplished. See if you were able to complete all your tasks for the day. If not, review to see if you wasted any time and how you can avoid time wasters. Then, make a new list for the next day in order of importance.