8 Easy Ways to Effectively Manage Your Time
Effective time management can often be the difference between succeeding at something and coming up short. Studies have shown that those with effective time management skills are eight times more likely to reach their goals on time than those who are unable to use their hours efficiently.
Time management is more often than not a learned skill. Students, business people and even those with busy social lives are required to learn how to prioritise, delegate and navigate the clock effectively in order to reduce stress and fit everything in.
To help you juggle your daily activities better, here are 8 great time management tips for you to follow:
- Create a plan – The time it takes to do something will often increase or decrease depending on how much time has been allotted to it. A plan will not only encourage you to stick to your agreed time limits, but will also prevent you wasting time pondering what to do next.
- Be strict with your time limits – If a task naturally takes longer than planned, that’s ok. Otherwise, be strict about meeting your own deadlines. A plan isn’t worth much if you don’t take it seriously.
- Use proper planning equipment – Whether you intend to use an organiser, a dedicated piece of software or the calendar function on your phone, make sure you’re able to access your plan at all times and understand what you need to be doing and when.
- Know your deadlines – Knowing what needs to be done, and by when, is essential if you’re going to create a well-functioning plan. Prioritising is important (as you’ll see in the next step). That becomes harder if you’re performing tasks in the wrong order.
- Learn to prioritise – Sometimes prioritising means rearranging the order in which you do things. Sometimes prioritising means saying “no”. Each day, you have a finite amount of time and energy. Using that time and energy to get the important stuff done first is critical. Whatever you have left can then be used on lesser activities.
- Keep a clock handy at all times – Whether you’re working or just on the move, having a clock handy at all times will ensure you’re able to stay punctual. This shouldn’t be difficult. Wearing a watch or carrying your mobile phone will mean you’re never caught short.
- Eliminate time wasters and distractions – Successful people squeeze every drop of productivity out of their time. Less successful people spend their day wasting theirs little by little. Gossiping, Facebook, online games and web-browsing are all fun, but are some of life’s biggest time wasters. When you have free time, feel free to engage in them as much as you’d like. When time is tight, reduce them to a minimum.
- Don’t be a perfectionist – Number eight on this list may not feel like much of a time management tip, but it is. A surprising amount of people spend more time than necessary doing something simply to correct insignificant details. Working on the colour scheme of a document, for example, may feel like it’s important, but in all likelihood, you’re most probably spending time playing with an already completed project.
Michael Alshurler famously said, “Time flies, but the good news is you’re the pilot”. If you’re currently looking to get more out of your life, getting more out of your time is the best way to go about doing that. Time management skills are essential to everybody, whatever their goals are. With a little dedicated effort, you’ll find yours improve quickly, and with it, so too will your productivity.