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How to get better at Time Management?

planners for better time management

Time is a precious resource. When it’s gone – it’s gone. We cannot get it back or buy it. If we desire to achieve more from our days and lead a fulfilling life with less stress, we should significantly improve our time management skills. As with other skills, time management can be learnt and improved on.

What is Time management?

Time management is a valuable set of skills that help us effectively plan and live our lives. We all have to-do lists and pressing tasks that need to be completed. Some of those tasks are more time-sensitive than others. But we do have to be productive and achieve the most in the least time possible. The goal here is to be efficient and procrastinate less. 

Time Management: where to start?

Set goals.

What are your short, medium, and long-term goals? Think about goals as a roadmap. Without clear goals, our lives do not have direction, and we tend to get pulled in different directions. Many of us have too much going on and many tasks to handle. As a consequence, we tend to lose track of time and often our lives as well. That’s why we need a roadmap to get back in the saddle.

better time management tools: a watch and a notebook

Prioritise.

That is particularly important when we feel overwhelmed or have too much at hand. Identifying and dealing with the crucial tasks first will let us achieve more and limit distractions. The most important tasks should be the ones that bring you closer to your goals. 

Make them manageable.

All big tasks and goals should be divided into manageable chunks. Avoid multitasking because it negatively affects your productivity and work quality.

Create a schedule.

Your daily activities should have a specifically allocated time so that you can focus and be more productive. The key is to set realistic time frames that allow you to perform given tasks. However, any schedule should be flexible and adjustable as needed. We might have to deal with real emergencies sometimes. However, aim for consistency in scheduling. 

Minimise distractions.

It may be beneficial to turn off notifications on your mobile applications. Incoming emails, chats, instant messaging, social media, your favourite items on sale notifications, etc., will likely grab your attention and interrupt your work. Creating an organised and clutter-free workspace can help immensely with focus and productivity. Setting boundaries with colleagues and others around you is crucial. No unnecessary interruptions and chitchat will help you move through your to-do list more efficiently. 

minimal work desk to minimise distractions

Take regular breaks.

Do not think it’s a waste of time. On the contrary, taking breaks helps us to refresh and reset our minds, increase energy levels, and make us more productive. 

Delegate.

You do not have to do everything by yourself. Some tasks can easily be outsourced to other people based on their capabilities. Furthermore, we can ask for help. It’s often the case that people around us are willing and delighted to provide assistance or be a part of something.

Other Better Time Management Tips

Remember that being busy is not equal to being productive. Focusing on endless petty tasks instead of important ones does not bring us any nearer to our goals. It’s beneficial to take a moment to reflect on what we should be engaging in.

Using a planning tool is a great shortcut. There are plenty of apps, planners and templates available. It allows us to free our minds for creativity instead of trying to keep track of everything. It is advisable to try a few different tools and choose one that suits you best. 

woman filling in a planner

Avoid multitasking. Multitasking does not help productivity. It is very distracting to switch from task to task. It is way better to focus on the task at hand and follow through to the end. Then move on to the next one. 

We should all take care of our overall health. Physical and mental. 

Start your day early. Plan it out and get on with the most important work first. 

Learn to say NO. It will save you a lot of time and energy. And it gets easier over time. 

Create a time management system that suits you. Experiment. Learn. Adapt.

And lastly, discipline. It would help if you were disciplined to finish tasks, plan your days and life, and achieve your goals. Without discipline, we tend to get distracted and spiral back to the chaotic way of living.

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