10 Tips for Better Time Management
Unfortunately, time is one thing we cannot produce with technology. We are all given the same 24 hours per day, and the only way to increase our productivity is to become better at time management. Thankfully, we are here to help. In this article, we explore 10 tips for better time management.
1. Get Enough Sleep
All too often, sleep is sacrificed to gain more time. This leaves people sleep-deprived and unaware of the damage they are causing to their physical and mental health. Instead of ingesting energy drinks and caffeine products, low energy can often be fixed by a good night’s sleep. When we’re against a deadline, we often work until late and get up early to start again. While this may feel productive, you’re guaranteed to get more done with a well-rested, healthy body. When well-rested, the body removes distractions to increase productivity and make us feel like there are more hours in the day. Our attention span is longer, our focus sharper and the quality of our work is higher. At the start of the week, set yourself a work and sleep schedule. If possible, factor in time for rest and relaxation, too. Many efficient people set a schedule that includes nutrition and exercise as first tasks in the day. This eliminates later distractions of being tired, stressed or hungry.
2. Create a Deadline
People often work best under pressure. Having a tight deadline produces an urgency which causes you to be more focussed; however, this often results in sloppy work and the stress induced by this can be detrimental to your health and well-being. So, how do you get the best of both worlds? Instead of creating tight, unmeetable deadlines, create smaller deadlines throughout the project. This will ensure you’re getting enough work done to meet the major deadline at the end. You’ll still feel like you’re working to a deadline, but you won’t skip steps and produce sloppy work.
3. Plan Ahead
There’s nothing worse than trying to jump into a project with no idea where to start. If you don’t plan ahead, you’ll end up wasting time not knowing what needs to be done. To avoid this, take time to outline the events of the coming day/week before going to bed. This way, our mind can work through the tasks as we sleep so we wake feeling prepared and raring to go.
4. Commit to Your Plan
One of the most important parts of time management is committing to a plan. Creating and executing a plan is all part of good time management, but if you don’t commit to following it through, the time allocated is wasted. The more detailed the plan, the greater to the need to commit to its completion.
5. Divide Work into Batches
Different tasks require different ways of execution. For maximum productivity, create work bundles or batches of similar tasks. For instance, you may need to write three articles, edit three videos and design a poster for a new project. First, prioritise them in order of difficulty and then group similar tasks. This will allow you to flow from one task to other without needing a break to regroup. This will help you to get your priorities in order and better manage your time.
6. Eliminate Distractions
While some people think they’re being productive by flitting from one task to another, that’s rarely the case. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as efficient multitasking. If you’re stopping to answer texts, emails and social media comments in the middle of a task, it’s just going to distract you. At some point, you’ll end up having to go back and redo half the work that distraction caused you to miss. Avoid this by eliminating distraction. Before starting a task, turn off notifications on your phone and computer and close any browser windows that aren’t related to the project. Time management will be easier in a distraction-free environment.
7. Create Routines
Certain tasks require little to no thought. Typically, these are the things we do daily as a matter of habit. By creating a routine for these tasks, you’ll be able to complete them without distraction. To create a routine, determine what needs to be done and then find a way to do it painlessly.
8. Do the Hard Things First
Many people tackle easy tasks first because they don’t take much time. Generally, this is a mistake. For maximum productivity, tackle the hardest tasks with fresh energy. Once they’re complete, you’ll be able to breeze through the lighter things. At the start of your day, sort your tasks into four categories: Important – Urgent, Important – Not Urgent, Urgent but not Important and Not Urgent and Not Important. Important – Urgent tasks must be completed right away. Important – Not Urgent tasks need to be done, but they can wait until later in the day. Urgent but not Important tasks are things that need attention but have minimal impact on the project. Not Urgent and Not Important tasks have no impact on the project and should be left until last or eliminated.
9. Clear Your Mind
Often, people see self-care as something to do when we have the time. However, self-care is essential for productivity. Regardless of how busy you are, it’s important to take time to switch off from work and clear your mind. While this uses valuable time, you’ll get more done when you return to work feeling refreshed and recharged. When your attention starts to wander, stop what you’re doing, get up and go for a walk. Give your mind a chance to clear before returning to the task in hand.
10. Enjoy What You Do
One of the best time management tips it to find joy in all that you do. While some tasks are anything but fun, others can be enjoyable if given the chance. Don’t become so focused on being productive that you miss out on these simple joys. Whenever you’re working on something, ask yourself what you could do to make it more enjoyable. You’re guaranteed to get more done if you’re having fun.
So, there you have it – 10 tips for better time management. Feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day? take note of the tips above.