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How to Manage Time with Tips 13 Steps that Work
The equation between the things that need to be done, and the available time never seems to balance. Replying to email, daily commutes, finding family time, running errands, keeping in touch, making calls – the list is virtually endless.
Tragically, many people falsely think that the busier they are trying to do everything, the more they elevate their chances of success. In truth, the trick lies in astute time management where time allocation is carefully considered. Here are 13 steps that you can take to manage your time better.
Start with important tasks
Develop a daily priority list. Do it the day before to start your days with a well-defined mindset in line with what you want to achieve. The hardest, and most important tasks should go first. Do not get sucked into the ‘warm-up’ school of thought where you commence with easy chores as you work towards the harder tasks.
Your prioritized daily tasks should add up to a bigger achievement. They should be pieces of an ambitious larger picture. To this end, develop long-term goals and divide them into monthly, weekly and finally, daily goals. As you progress, you may find it necessary to revise your targets in light of the existing conditions.
Regardless of how good a time manager you are, if your body gives up on you, there is nothing much you can accomplish. Foundationally, therefore, nurture your body for it to serve you tirelessly. Eat three square meals, exercise, observe hygiene, and you will have enough strength to carry you through any tough day.
Most people wrongly think that cutting back on sleep and directing the saved hours towards work is an advanced tactic to increase productivity. In the short term, this is true; but in the long term, the effects are regretful.
It eventually leads to frequent burnouts that require long recovery periods, zombie states, low energy, depressed morale, etc. Sleep for at least 7-8 hours, and you will be more energetic, focused and happier. Beware not to go beyond 8 hours or you will become jaded.
Turn down requests
Nothing eats into time more than unanticipated requests. If you seek to please everybody, your schedule will suffer. Learn to weigh requests based on the impact they have on your to-do list. Commit only to requests that you can make time for and handle with ease.
Do not multitask
If you are multitasking, the time it takes to accomplish the tasks will often be more than the time you would have taken were you to concentrate singularly on each task. Therefore, your schedule should feature one task per period for optimal results and efficient time use.
To get more out of your time and sustain morale and energy levels throughout the day, have mini breaks in your schedule of 5-10 or 15 minutes. After you focus on a task for 30 or forty minutes, take a short break. During breaks, check your mail, social media pages, consume favorite content, etc.
Before taking on a task, ask yourself if that job represents the best use of your time. If it does not, find someone else to do it, and use the time to strike a more crucial task off your to-do list. Hence, learn to trust and rely on others to get things done.
Plan ahead to minimize distractions and streamline performance. Prepare the environments in which you will be undertaking your well-selected responsibilities beforehand. Put away common sources of distraction – mainly, your phone; notify friends that you will be unavailable, etc.
If you are a perfectionist, let go of the habit to get more out of your time. Do not get hung up on miniature details that offer minimal value in comparison to the time input. To achieve this, when working on a project, overcome the urge to continually analyze and revise. Instead, forge forwards and review things in bulk later.
Leverage the power of habits to gain performance momentum and make the repetitive tasks in your daily schedule easier. Exercise at a particular time daily, wake up at a specific time, meditate at a specific time, etc. If you have a blog where you post weekly, for example, write something small daily, rather than all of it in a day. Build routines, and your tasks will become enjoyable and more fulfilling.
One step at a time
Dwelling on the size of a task may demoralize you resulting in a self-defeating cycle that makes it hard even to start. Focusing on a project in its totality will no doubt overwhelm and diminish your drive. As a hack, focus on one step at a time. Think only about getting the next bit-part done.
A lot of time can be reclaimed from non-intensive undertakings. When commuting to and from work, when in a cue, when driving, etc. During these times, reply to emails, read a good book, listen to something uplifting, catch up with family, etc.
In closing, it is outright impossible to achieve anything meaningful, leave alone a legacy, without proper time use. Every well-lived life, when stripped down, has evident traces of shrewd and prudent time utilization. With this in mind, internalize the above steps and renew your zeal for time management to realize your dreams.