Today you’re going to learn how to effectively manage time.
This article reveals the secrets of super-productivity, time management and success specifically on how to use time as your most valuable asset, use activities such as sleeping, eating and exercise to increase your productivity. Also, how prioritise by conquering distractions, avoiding procrastination and creating more time in your day.
By creating a ‘productivity’ mindset, de-cluttering your life, removing needless commitments and accounting for each minute, you too can be on your path to super success.
How To Effectively Manage Time:
1: Recognise the value of time and its scarcity
Money will come and go. However there will always be opportunity to recover lost money. Same with business – there may be periods of difficulty however there will always be the potential to regain lost ground in business. The only problem with time though is that once lost, it cannot be recovered or replaced. Therefore it is essential to recognise this scarcity and account for every minute.
2: Prioritise your most important task and complete this first
Prioritise tasks that help further your short-term and long-term goals. Break down your short-term and long-term goals into smaller achievable tasks. These are your most important tasks. These tasks should be completed first thing in the morning prior to any other daily distractions or disturbances. Your brain functions at its best in the morning; accordingly take full advantage of this by focusing on the most important task at hand.
All other tasks can be pushed back to the afternoon or the next day, depending on how critical they are. This way you ensure that the more important tasks are completed on time and you will notice progress being made on your short and long-term goals.
3: Allocate tasks to a calendar rather than simply jotting the down in a ‘to-do’ list
By allocating tasks to a calendar, you are committing to completing these within a specified amount of time by a certain deadline. This way you can start to manage, account for and control your time. This planning allows you to prioritise your most important tasks, allowing you to focus on them with no other distractions. This also prevents you wasting time or undertaking tasks in an inefficient manner.
Successful CEOs and business men work to extremely tight calendars, reporting a reduction in stress, achieving more in tighter time frames and allowing for more balance in their life by setting aside time for relaxation, exercise, sleep, personal and family time and social commitments. These latter activities are important for recharging your batteries, feeling great, maintaining good physical and mental health and alertness; all of which are crucial for productivity.
4: Beat procrastination
Defeating procrastination is easier said than done. Follow these tips for beating procrastination:
Complete your most important tasks now rather than pushing these back to a later date. For example, if you are planning to exercise or go for a walk later, go for a walk now rather than sitting in front of the TV. If you are planning to start a diet, start now rather than postponing it to the next day. Complete that assignment now before settling in front of Netflix.
- Visualise the outcome of your results now. Imagine the pleasure you will experience once you complete the task; and/or vice versa, the pain you will experience if you do not complete the task on time.
- Achieve goals together. Committing to a goal with someone else, means you can motivate and support each other to complete the task. You both also have a responsibility to each other to complete the task on time and not let the other person (your partner, team, colleague) down.
- Be the person you want to be in the future now. Implement the behaviours that you want to see in your future self now. Healthy behaviours and values help support your goals. Take action now and commit to these so that you can be your best self now rather than waiting for the future.
- Aim for good enough rather than perfection. The need for perfection may overwhelm you and distract you from accepting a perfectly good enough piece of work, which prevents you from moving onto the next task.
5: Accept that work will never end.
You will never finish everything on your to-do list. However you can control what is important to complete and what can wait, through effective prioritisation. Step away from the stress that comes with having never-ending chores and tasks to complete by embracing what you can achieve today and what can wait. Accepting this allows you to focus on the important things and live guilt-free.
6: Have a handy notebook to jot down ideas, notes and thoughts wherever you go
Write down ideas, notes and thoughts throughout your day. Type these in your own handwriting as this creates long lasting impressions on the brain that allows you to recall these more easily then if you simply typed them into a note book.
7: Detach from your inbox
Instead of constantly replying to emails, set aside a 20 minute session in your day responding to emails and messages 3 times a day. Setting aside 20 minutes each day, allows you to respond precisely and succinctly to emails that must be answered immediately or park them for another time or simply treat as an ‘FYI’.
8: Meetings are time suckers!
If possible only attend a meeting if absolutely necessary. A daily brief meeting with colleagues or business associate is sometimes the best way to deal with issues that require urgent action or that require daily updates efficiently. It is also great for motivation and team bonding. Meetings can otherwise end up being a time pit with little achieved. Walking meetings are another great way to fit in some daily exercise and discuss relevant items..”
9: Say ‘No’ to people, places and things that do not support your short-term goals
Time must be preserved. Anything that does not support your short and long-term goals is not worth spending time on. Every minute spent on irrelevant commitments, takes you away from progressing on your goals and values. It is dangerous. Learn to say ‘no’ for as difficult as this might be; it will pay for itself in the long run.
10: Apply the 80/20% rule
20% of your time and energy should be spent on achieving 80% of the results, known as the ‘Powerful Pareto Principle’. Identify 20% of the activities that will bring you 80% of the results and focus on these.
11: Embrace your strengths and skill set. Delegate everything else
Delegate at least 15% of what you’re doing. This allows you to focus on the tasks and activities that you are good at; and other ‘experts’ can perform the more difficult tasks in less than half the time it takes you.
12: Set aside ‘Focus Days’
Assign days for certain tasks or activities that allow you to focus 100% on completing these with no distractions. For example, Dustin Moskovitz (Facebook co-founder) has “No Meeting Wednesdays” where both he and his staff focus on getting tasks done with no meetings or other disturbances.
13: Tasks that take less than 5 minutes should be completed imminently
A 5-minute task should be completed straightaway and crossed off your list. Anything beyond that should be assigned a slot in the calendar so that you can set aside time to complete it in good time.
14: Recharge your mental, physical and spiritual boundaries
The more physical and mental energy you have, the more productive you will be. This includes feeling good about yourself at all times. Allocate time for relaxation and fun activities with family and friends. Make sure you eat well, sleep, exercise and take necessary breaks. This allows you to recharge your batteries, giving you more energy to be productive and focus on the task at hand.
15: “Productivity Is About Energy and Focus, Not Time”
Spending more time on work does not necessarily increase your yield. It is not about working more hours to achieve more. It is about using time wisely to incorporate breaks, rest and relaxation to ensure that when you are working, you are maximising your productivity.
The brain can work about 90 minutes solidly before it feels fatigued and needs a break or something to energise it again. Frequent breaks for water, snacks, and meditation for example, are great for energising the brain so that it can operate at its peak.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to effectively manage time. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.