Time management is one of the most important habits that should be inculcated in individuals as early as possible. Sadly, however, there are no classes in school and university to teach you time management skills. Most often than not, people learn time management hacks over time, through trial and error. But since time management is crucial to your success in personal and professional life, we believe that the earlier one learns the habit, the better.
Nevertheless, if you have still not mastered this skill, there is no need to be remorseful. With some few, basic, tried and tested hacks mentioned below, you can manage time like a pro!
We cannot stress this enough—prioritizing is your ticket to the ball!
It’s not feasible to give equal attention to the numerous tasks that have to be managed every day. There will always be one single task that will require your utmost attention. It might be the most crucial assignment of the day, or it could be that only you alone can do it.
Whatever it is, make your to-do list in a way that the primary work is first and the least important ones can be sorted later in the day. Plan your to-do list the night before so that you can be prepared for the next day beforehand.
For instance, for a homemaker, the most important task may be her infant’s food followed by food for the entire family. Things like laundry, folding, ironing, albeit important, can wait until the priority jobs are finished.
Similarly, if you work, prioritize your tasks according to relevant meetings, emails, presentation, etc. It is also important to not over prioritize your assignments. Be realistic. We all face distractions throughout the day. Phone calls at work, extra-long meetings, traffic, baby throwing up, etc. Hence, make your to-do list keeping in mind some time for uncalled distractions.
Do not multitask
Multitasking is not a valid strategy to get the work done. In fact, all multitasking does is divide your attention between two or more tasks making you performance mediocre for all of them, leaving no room for excellence.
Alternatively, focusing on one task at a time will allow you to get it out of the way faster without sacrificing the quality of your work. You can also give yourself small breaks after completing each task, instead of always being on the run, juggling multiple tasks and not being able to finish any efficiently.
Allow yourself a good sleep
The saying health is wealth is cliché, but unarguably true. Without good health, you are not capable of achieving anything. For this reason, allow yourself to rest and recuperate with a good night sleep of 7-9 hours. This time is crucial for you to relax physically, mentally and also emotionally. Moreover, a person who sleeps on time and wakes up on time is more energetic and can do jobs faster and more efficiently during the day than those who don’t.
Giving up sleep for fun feels charming when you are a young adult. However, it can take a toll on your health over time. Thus, this destructive habit should be given up as soon as possible for your success in the future.
Moreover, early to bed is also the one who is early to rise. And mornings are more productive than afternoons. After all, mornings set a mood to your entire day as well as boost happiness and health.
Learn to delegate
Successful people know that teamwork is essential for accomplishing goals efficiently. To properly delegate a task, the person in authority should provide all the necessary information and make the deadline clear. Also, keep timely checks or do follow ups to stay abreast of the progression of the assigned work.
Effective delegation will leave you time to focus on other more important jobs hence, increasing your productivity and saving your time.
Review the past week
Before the beginning of the new week, take 15 minutes out of your schedule to review the past week; look at things you achieved, tasks you could not complete and the times when you slacked off. You should also take into account the mistakes you made (if there were any) or the regrets about not giving your best shot to a task. For instance, a working mother may often have regrets about not spending enough time with her child. In that case, try to arrange your work schedule in a way that you can work from home one day per week. This way, you will have a little more time to spend with your child.
Reviewing your past week gives you some insights that will help you have a better and more productive new week.
Make good use of technology
Technology can make life easier. Therefore, take advantage of the many good apps on your smartphone like a day planner, to-do list, alarms, reminders, etc.
Although it is an idea to give your brain a workout by doing mental math or recalling where you spent your entire salary last month, it can lead to undue stress as your brain struggles to keep track of trivial things.
For instance, an office meeting, your boss’s birthday and your child’s soccer game can be on the same day. If you also have to remember the time and day of the events yourself, it can become quite a struggle. Instead, your daily planner can remind you in the morning that it is your boss’s birthday so pick up his favorite cupcakes; be on time for the meeting, and leave 15 minutes earlier from work to reach your son’s game on time.
If you’re a startup owner, a CRM software could save your team a lot of time and effort. Creating content is also a big part of your sales plan in which case you can make use of a blogging calendar to help you stay on track.
Although the tips mentioned above are important for managing your time, the most important thing is to take out time for yourself. Don’t forget yourself amidst children, spouse, home and a job. Learn to relax with whatever it is that you most like such as watching a movie, drawing or yoga. This “me” time can be once every week or twice per week—or as often as you need it. Wind down. Relax and get the stress of the previous week out of the way.
About the Author
Kamil Riaz Kara is a Writer and Inbound Marketer. He has completed his masters in Administrative Science from the University of Karachi. As a writer, he wrote numerous articles on management, technology, and health. Visit his blog and check his latest post on Digital Marketing. Connect him on LinkedIn for more details.