Do you constantly feel like you don’t have enough time in the day? Are you overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks you have to do and don’t know how to prioritise them? Maybe you sometimes wish that a day goes beyond just 24 hours and you’re struggling to manage your time well. Then, learning the art of time management may be the best medicine for your headache.
By learning how to prioritise your tasks and make the most of your day, you can maximise your time and increase your productivity. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of time management, how to prioritise your tasks, and some tips for making the most of your day.
First, let’s break down what time management is.
Time management is a critical skill to master in today’s world. This skill includes the proper planning and tracking of the amount of time spent on specific and different activities. Time management also includes critical evaluation of occurrences in a person’s day with a good level of self-control. As the saying goes: ‘Time is money’ and it must be treated so. Budgeted. Scheduled. Prioritised and properly valued.
Moreover, time management helps an individual achieve specific tasks and results. It also provides you with more time to explore more opportunities and the ability to realise set goals. This skill directly reduces stress for individuals that can sort their tasks with proper planning in due time.
Imagine working a 9-5 job as a wife with three schooling kids. Apart from the demands for productivity and efficient work performance, you need to attend to a lot of your children’s basic needs every day. You must also tend to your grooming and some home chores simultaneously.
This may get overwhelming if you don’t plan your day properly. But understanding how to properly manage your time and allocate time to task delivery can help you sort out these inevitable needs effectively. You get to track your progress with the schedule and adjust appropriately when needed.
But we also know that you may not have the luxury of going through a time management course or serving excuses to cover for your tasks’ lapses. Hence, we have compiled helpful tips on the art of time management for you below.
Ways to Use The Art of Time Management to Make the Most of Your Day
- Set S.MA.R.T goals: Setting goals correctly is one of the core parts of time management. And by S.MA.R.T. goals, we mean goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely respectively.
Break your goals into smaller and achievable chunks that are timed. For example, you plan on reading a 90-page book in a month. Your goal should read like: ‘Read 3 pages or more daily’ and don’t make it directionless.
The same goes for work and other important activities you have. If you have 120 email correspondence to do in a month at work, try to attend to at least 4 emails per day in 30 minutes. That way, everything gets easier.
- Prioritise properly: There is an efficient system of prioritisation that is divided into four parts. It advises that you should order your tasks into the ‘important and urgent’, ‘important but not urgent’, ‘urgent but not important’ and ‘not urgent or important’ segments.
With this, you tend to the ‘important and urgent’ tasks immediately. On completion, you can move to your ‘important but not urgent’ tasks. And it is recommended that you can try to delegate your ‘urgent but not important’ tasks and do the ‘not urgent not important’ tasks lastly.
- Create deadlines: Working with deadlines helps you keep track of time and maintain focus. It signals you to keep an appropriate pace on your current task and deliver right on time. Therefore, you must sit and assign fitting deadlines for your daily tasks before getting them done.
- Take necessary breaks: You are not a machine, so you shouldn’t work like one. Try to make up specified breaks in your daily schedule. You can create a 5-minute break after each one-hour work. Or a 10-minute break after each 2-hour focused work on your tasks. It helps you avoid hastened fatigue and tiredness.
- Organise your workspace: A clean working environment is a sane and clear mind. And having a clear mind is a good plus for getting things done easily and faster. Therefore, consider organising your space before getting on your daily tasks too.
- Don’t multitask: Multitasking is a mental trick of believing you are getting two things done at a time. The total time it takes to complete your multitasked time is either the same or more than the normal time each task is supposed to take. So, you can keep a good focus and get each task done one step at a time. Sharing your energy and mental strength between multiple activities can drain you and waste your time even more.
- Avoid procrastination: ‘I will do it later’ usually leads to you not doing it at all. Remember the last time you said this line? You most likely didn’t get back to that task. However, using the aforementioned tips to organise, plan and schedule your daily tasks can help you avoid procrastination too as you would have them prioritised properly.
Also, you would rest assured that you are doing the right task at the right time without feeling forced or uninterested in the task.
- Use planning tools: Several digital time management tools can help you make the most of your day too. Time planners, prompt calendars and schedule trackers are good options you can use for your time management processes.
These tips are the best out of many other recommendations to manage your time better. But do not force yourself into doing everything at a time. You can choose just one option out of this lot, practise it and master it before moving on to another.
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