The Importance of time management
When we consider time management tips it is a obvious fact that everyone has the exact same number of hours in every day.
We all have roughly 4,000 weeks at our disposal in the average adult lifespan. Time is not on our side and a scarce resource worth a look at. We need to step back, and develop some balance to our time management skills and decide on how we want to live our minutes each day.
Figuring out what our true priorities are based on our values is a good place to start. It is your life to live and no one else’s. You can’t let expectations, anxiety, and stress about meeting needs and expectations dictate how you spend your time and especially if they are not yours.
You need to decide how it’s spent.
Work expands the amount of time you give it, called the Parkinson law. That’s why people in old age always regret not chasing after their dreams as they say, their was always a someday until there wasn’t anymore.
Remember that there will always be more to do, more to learn, more to discover. That’s one of the beautiful aspects of being alive: nothing stops until it is over. Your only limitations for what you can accomplish are those imposed by your mind which are your expectations and goals in life.
Here are some ways that you can become more efficient in time management by completing necessary tasks at home and at work so that you can get back to living your life happy and to the fullest.
What is time management
Time management is the system you use to organise and plan how to divide your time between specific activities. Effective time management helps you to work smarter so that you get more things done in less time and A lack of it can lead to stress.
I like to manage my time more as a process of prioritizing your things to do rather than managing time. We all have the same 24 hours but its what we effectively decide to do in those hours that make the difference. Prioritisation arranges your activities in order of importance relative to each other and this is crucial to working smarter.
So how do we prioritise better, how can you be more punctual with our activities and in the end get more things done?
How to manage time? The basics of time management skills and what you need to do to improve.
To get to grips with the setup up of a system and how to prioritise activities there are 2 steps to creating a system to work for you. Number one would be to setup an environment that is in line with what you want to succeed. Second is choosing how you will prioritise your activities to get things done.
Creating an effective environment
The environment we are in plays a huge role in your productivity. As an example, if you are on a strict dieet for instance working in a candy store will push your willpower to the max. The same is true for managing time and priorities.
Cleaning you desk properly will prevent procrastinating and wasting time when the time comes that you actually need to get things done and then rather think its a good idea to clean up for a change. You get the idea. Make sure that the environment is fully in your favour to get you to do what you need to do and remove any and all resistance that there might be.
How to effectively set goals & priorities? [techniques & strategies]
There are a few time management techniques to evaluate and see what will best fit your specific situation. Below you can find a list of the best used techniques and methods when it comes to effectively manage your time better.
Pareto analysis: The 80/20 Principle
The Pareto principle states that, in some cases, around 80% of the results originate from 20% of the efforts or inputs. Management specialist Joseph M. Juran proposed the rule and named it after Italian financial analyst Vilfredo Pareto, who noticed the 80/20 association while at the University of Lausanne in 1896. Basically, Pareto demonstrated that around 80% of the land in Italy was possessed by 20% of the population.
The Pareto Principle encourages you to understand that the larger part of any result originates from a minority. So for example:
20% of salespersons contribute 80% of sales: Focus on remunerating these representatives.
20% of your clients contribute 80% of income: Focus on these clients most.
20% of faults contribute 80% of accidents: Settle these faults first.
Getting Things Done Method
The GTD method is a book as well as a method created by David Allen back in 2001. It’s based on a system that gets the ideas out of your head through a 5 step workflow and results in getting things done.
Her’s the Five-Step Workflow for Getting Things Done
- Capture: Get thoughts out of your head and into your “system”.
- Process: Decide what you need to do with these ideas and what the next steps?
- Arrange: Sort the tasks in order and categories.
- Reflect: Review task list frequently.
- Execute: Take action. Get things done!
Domino Reaction method
A domino reaction method or chain reaction is similar to that of falling dominoes, where one action sets of a chain of reactions. It can be utilized in cause and effect that builds momentum.
The question you need to ask is “What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” Start with something small and make it as easy as possible. Floss one tooth and end up flossing all of them and maybe go for a run after that, and so the momentum builds.
It’s a powerful way to build new habits. Schedule your new habit right after or before something you are already doing like showering. Before or after doing 10 pushups. Hitting those first dominoes will trigger the next one and before you know it, it will be part of your daily routine.
POSEC stands for Prioritize, Organize, Streamline, Contribution, Economize, Contribution.
- Prioritize – Set tasks up in order of importance and significance and time to complete.
- Organise – Structure the tasks in a task list.
- Streamline – Automate or streamline the system where possible.
- Contribute – Find approaches to keep inside means on errands that representatives must do or might want to do, however, are not should have been finished with any level of criticalness.
- Economize, look at growth, enjoyment and self-improvement as vital undertakings and incorporate into your system.
- Contribution – Look at social contributions and how you can contribute with what you are doing.
POSEC strategy was made to help manufacture individual proficiency and enhance the aggregate adequacy of the group. The POSEC technique is indirectly based around Maslow’s human needs.
The Eisenhower Method
Dwight Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, serving two terms from 1953 to 1961. Eisenhower had a mind boggling capacity to manage his productivity for a considerable length of time.
His most acclaimed productivity methodology is known as the Eisenhower Box and it’s a straightforward basic leadership apparatus that you can utilize.
Eisenhower’s system for making a move and sorting out your assignments is basic but extremely effective as you will see below.
Basically, tasks are split into 4 sections:
- Tasks that are both urgent and important. > Do – Do it Now!
- Tasks that are important but not urgent. > Decide – Schedule a time to do it.
- Tasks that are urgent but not important. > Delegate – Who can do it for you?
- Tasks that are neither urgent nor important > Delete – Eliminate it!
You can use this method for big or small tasks to great effect.
The Pomodoro Technique was designed in the mid-90s by designer, entrepreneur, and creator Francesco Cirillo. It was named “Pomodoro” after the tomato-moulded clock he used to track his work as a college understudy.
The approach is straightforward: Break up your work into short dashes or sprints of 25 minutes of work followed by short breaks of 5 minutes each and then repeat. This prepares your mind to focus for brief periods. You additionally get the chance to take consistent breaks that support your inspiration and keep you innovative.
The best Time Management videos:
Here are two worthwhile videos to watch that will help you a bit more with managing your time and also give you alternative perspectives on the subject.
How to multiply time by Rory Vaden.
A different and three dimensional looks at time management. Discussing the permission to ignore. What is a multiplier? How to get a return on time invested. Significance changes everything. why not Procrastinate on purpose.
How do we find time for what matters most? by Laura Vanderkam
“We don’t build the lives we want by saving time. We build the lives we want, and then time saves itself.” “We cannot make more time, but time will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it.” Time is a choice!
The best-rated Books on Time Management and to do lists
- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
This probably one of the classic books on the subject and discussed as one of the methode above. The lessons in this book ought to be viewed as the basics in perusing better use of your time getting things done.
- Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport
In this book, Cal Newport explores the power of focus without any distractions on cognitively demanding tasks. The skill allows you to quickly master complicated details and delivers better results in much less time. It hits you with unique and insightful ideas on how to focus and succeed in a distracted world.
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Essentialism by Greg McKeown is a definite must-read for anyone interested in being more productive. It pushes you to questions how you’re investing your energy. The book guides you to live intentionally, being proactive rather than reactive. Figure out how to effectively approach figuring out what your purpose and commitments are and how to take actions easily.
- Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
Its a simple process of 21 hints to enable you to accomplish more work. This is an incredible guide for any individual who feels overpowered with work and doesn’t know where to begin. Brian Tracy shares diverse strategies for arranging and organizing and explains effective methods to recognize the essential tasks. A classic and valuable resource.
A list of 17 time management apps to explore
- Remember The Milk
- Google Keep
- I Done This
- Momentum (Chrome Extention)
- Harvest (Chrome Extention)
- Pomodoro Timer (Chrome Extention)
- Do Nothing For 2 Minutes
Working Smarter: Time management tips that work
Now that you have all the tools, techniques and strategies here are some tips you can experiment with to further help you along your quest to master your time and to do list.
The power of ” No” Learn How to Decline Requests
Over committing is the source of the majority of stress in most people’s work lives and personal lives. Learning to say no to commitments on your time is essential to both your time management and your personal integrity.
When you accept a commitment of your time, you need to treat that with the utmost respect. A part of developing that respect for commitment is knowing when to say no to one.
Let’s say someone important to you in your life asks for you to come to an event in which they will be participating. It could be a sporting event, a fun-run, a play, anything.
When you say that you will be there, you are making them a promise of your time. Unless you wish to develop a reputation for being unreliable or not respecting commitments, you must be there out of respect for your friend’s trust in you to be there. The same holds true at work: agreeing to take on a commitment of your time is going to show the respect that you have for promises and commitments. Failing to keep commitments shows that you do not value your promises or the trust that your colleagues place in you.
You must learn to accept that your time is limited, and only accept commitments that you know you can keep. You also need to prioritize commitments in your personal life over your professional ones. Don’t make a professional commitment if you know it conflicts with a personal commitment you already made.
You may or may not work at that job for the rest of your life, but family and close friends are forever. By the same token though, if you have already made a commitment at work and something personal comes up, make sure you that when you decline that request that you are already committed to something else and you need to respect that commitment.
Following these principles when declining commitments on your time ensure that not only will you be able to know for certain that you are able to keep your commitments, but your word as well.
Don’t Sacrifice Sleep to Get More Done
Everyone has had this idea before, and everyone eventually discovers it doesn’t work. Sacrificing your sleep time in order to get more done only hurts your ability to do effective work and have a fulfilling personal life for so long before your lack of rest starts catching up with you.
Your brain and body are only optimally effective with 7-8 hours of sleep every night. You know when you are not getting enough rest, so listen to your body and do not trade sleep for getting a little extra work done.
Avoid Multi-tasking and Give All Your Focus to One Task at a Time
Devote all of your attention to what you are working on at any given time. Shut out every distraction. Put your phone in silent, and if you have to be reachable make sure you configure VIP ringers for the most important numbers that could call to get in touch with you. Work in a quiet, distraction free place.
If it helps, put on some instrumental music that helps you stay focused. Do not attempt to do more than one task at a time.
Generally when people attempt to multitask, they just end up getting very little done on multiple tasks instead of fully completing tasks in series. Focus on what you are doing and nothing else until it is done.
Don’t stress the Details, perfection kills momentum.
It is a rare person that can completely resist the temptation to get distracted by the small details of a task, whether they are at home or at work. Whether its perfectionism or just a lack of focus, getting hung up on minor details of a task happens to all of us.
However, when this happens it is important to remember to simply ignore those minutiae and keep going until you have completed most of the work. Very rarely does a task prevent you from going back and fine tuning your work. Stay focused and fix the little stuff later.
Build Habits From High Priority Tasks
When you have a high priority task that has to be completed regularly, say capturing data or writing to help you be more purposeful in your personal life or keeping a work journal to help you reflect on how best to improve on what you do, you need to build it into a habit.
Do it over and over again until it becomes second nature. Work on it until you feel like something integral is missing when you don’t complete this regular task you have set for yourself. Anything that you have identified in your life as being a top priority, such as exercising to improve your personal health or practicing an instrument you have always wanted to learn, needs to be developed into a habit through repetition.
If you truly desire to accomplish what you set out to do, turning that into a habit is one of the most effective ways to do that.
Simple as it may sound but just planning ahead make the world of a difference.
Every night plan for the next day and write down the 3 most important tasks for the next day. The following day you don’t have to think or waste any time, pick up the list and start with the first tasks.
Pulling it All Together
All in all, your endgame scenario for all of these tips and apps is very simple: to get the most enjoyment out of your time. The fundamental purpose of organizing how you spend your time is in order to give you control over your personal life and your work life again.
When you manage your time in a purposeful way, you are setting healthy boundaries for yourself and others that will allow everyone to do more and feel better rather than anxiously working themselves to death trying to do and be everything all the time. We are asked to do more with less every day at home and at work, but in reality it is about doing what is necessary to fulfil yourself personally and professionally.
If you aren’t finding that balance, it is time you took a hard look at how you organize and spend your time not as a means of guilting yourself into productivity, but as a means of empowering yourself to be the best version of you that you can be.
Life is fleeting, and it can pass you by all too easily if you let it. Learn these time management principles and apply them with assistance from the apps.
Make every day count for you as a person and a professional, and success will soon follow.
If you are interested in improving your productivity and time management skills I offer a free email course which you can check out at How to increase your Productivity.