Do you feel as if your life is one ongoing to-do-list? Are you missing important deadlines regularly and can sense your life spinning out of control?
Developing an efficient time management strategy is a lot like planning out a budget, with only one drawback. Budgets don’t get you fired or aid in people falling out of relationships. When it comes to effective time management, most people think of it as having everything planned out, from the time the alarm rings in the morning to the time you crawl into bed.
While carrying around a notebook does help, it doesn’t guarantee that you will get all your planned chores done on time. This is because during the day, a lot happens which helps in diverting a person’s mind and taking them off tasks that need to be completed urgently or is a required time frame.
IF hopeless time management is putting you business and personal life in danger, then it’s about time you ruthlessly eliminated all the things that were putting you off track (for good). The following are going to be some quick and easy tips for all those people who have a hard time getting through the day and managing their time, even after they have written down a “things-to-do” list. So, here goes.
I know… you saw this one coming. But let’s face it, you need time to get what you want during the day and in life as well. The bad news is, time is limited, sometimes scarce, so it’s important to manage it effectively since it can’t be bought, bribed (for the record, this we do not encourage breaking the law) or compromised with.
By now, I think we have all cottoned down to the fact that procrastinating during the day doesn’t help at all, especially if it isn’t a Sunday. The only difference between smart planners, when it comes to time management is that they know that there is much stuff to do that cannot be accomplished within one day and deal with it.
Work Anywhere and Everywhere:
It is important to realize that during the day, every single minute counts, especially when you’re at work. So, don’t waste it, do something, because at the end of the day, every little thing you do will get you one step closer to finishing your tasks.
That being said, taking time out for family is equally important. Never leave out an opportunity to relax and spend some quality time with friends and family. But hey, if you have time to kill, why not take out your laptop and get some work done.
This one is really hard for many people, mainly because most people (myself included) like to do every task that comes their way. The more exciting the task, the better it is for us, but what we don’t realize is that lifting our hand and volunteering for every exciting task that is offered to us means that we have more to do during the day, which makes it even harder for us to complete the tasks that we have assigned for ourselves in the first place. So, practice saying “No” more and it will get easier the more you use it.
Manage Your Inbox:
We have mentioned the need to break down tasks earlier, but when it comes to taking control over your email inbox, chunking things together works better. Having unread emails in your inbox won’t slow you down when it comes to completing tasks, but it will be on your mind during the day and will affect your concentration. To avoid that, try out the two-step-rule by answering two simple questions when you look at your email inbox.
Who is the email from? And
Is it important?
Everything else in your email inbox doesn’t matter, so it’s not worth it to waste time reading them when something more important can be done. Also, use filters for spam and create a CC folder for your CC’s.
Stop doing tasks that you can do with efficiency but don’t really need to be done at the time. Just because you can do something efficiently doesn’t mean that you are being productive with your time. Looking busy doesn’t actually mean you are accomplishing anything of significance, so prioritize your work to avoid being distracted by filler tasks that are of less priority.
Many of us strive to be perfectionists, but when it comes to effective time management, not being a perfectionist helps big time. The truth is, not all tasks that need to be done during the day require your best effort, for instance, writing an email to a friend or colleague should not take more than a few minutes. Effective time management also means being able to know the difference between what deserves to be done in an excellent way and the tasks that just need to be done, without warming up and doing extensive research.
Bad habits hold good people back; this is not a cliché but the honest truth. If a person really wants to be successful in managing their time, and achieving their goals, they will have to break away from bad habits. Usually when people mention bad habits in the context of time management, people usually think of procrastination but there are other bad habits as well that are equally damaging to completing everyday tasks.
Expecting life to be easy is one of them. It is important for people who have trouble in managing their time properly to note that every task won’t start easy. Even waking up early in the morning needs some noteworthy effort.
Another thing that leads to people losing valuable time is, chasing after things (or people) that don’t want to be caught. Be yourself, do your own thing with passion and the right people and things that really belong in your life will eventually come to you. So, hold on to the things you need, but let go of the ones that don’t matter.
When it comes to effective time management, putting things into prospective is extremely important. Using these micro-level tips will allow you to develop your own personal style, stays organized, and more importantly, get the big picture.