We, the citizens of the modern world, often lead very busy lives. There are so many things to do and so little time to do them in. We are bombarded with emails, messages, calls and media throughout the day, all of which take up large chunks of our time. Sometimes it’s hard to find time to eat and sleep, let alone to unwind and relax. But how do you find time without neglecting your job or your loved ones’ needs? Each of one is unique, with your own schedules, your own demands on time.
The good part is we’re here to help. If you’re an entrepreneur who’s always on the job, here’s an effective course to help you manage your time better, and if you’re a college student juggling classes along with a part time job, you can check out this effective time management course. Business leaders and management can use these tips to manage their time efficiently.
Gurus like Tim Ferris and Mark Hurst have some good advice on managing your time. After going through the works of these, and other, modern time-management gurus, we’ve gathered a few practical effective time management techniques for you. We hope this helps you find time to do what you love the most.
Learn to Prioritize
Make a mental to-do list and decide what really needs to be done. Paying your bills counts, for example. If you’re a small business owner and can’t delegate, find two or three important tasks that must be done first to grow your business. Prioritize the most important task first. The other tasks can wait for later.
If you follow a Monday to Friday schedule, you can schedule important tasks for the beginning of the week. If you have a presentation that is due on Friday, start preparing from Tuesday itself. This will allow you time to deal with the unexpected delays that always seem to crop up. It will also prevent you from spending extra time at your desk. Less iimportant administrative tasks should be left for the end of the week. Important tasks should be done as soon as possible. This is called “front-loading” your schedule.
Improve Your Productivity by Trying Something New
It doesn’t matter how much time you spend at your desk – only your productivity matters. If you’re spending 12 hours a day at your desk, day in and day out, and accomplishing very little, it’s time to change your work techniques. Don’t follow a model that is unproductive, even if everyone around you is doing it. Learn to strike out on your own. Figure out what works best for you, what gets your productive juices flowing, and stick to that.
Don’t Work When You are Unhappy
Interest in your work will go up and down all the time. What most people tend to forget is that they’re not machines that can work day in and day out. Your ability to do your work will change over time. It’s normal to get bored with what you’re doing and get interested in something else. It’s not productive to work when you don’t want to – you’ll end up staring for hours at the screen and will get little to nothing accomplished. Working when you’re unhappy is a waste of time.
You know yourself best – what you can do and can’t do. Learn to plan for your off days, and mould your work or career to take these fluctuations in its stride.
Don’t Define Work by the Hours You Put In
Like Tim Ferris preaches – work is not about the hours you put in. We’ve been brainwashed by a culture that sees long hours as a sign of hard-work and dedication. However, long-hours don’t make you productive. Define your work by the results you get in return for the time you invest. Learn to invest less time for the same, or greater, results. You don’t get a prize for working hard. Work smart instead.
The Right Time is Now
The time will never be right to leave your job, to ask for a raise or for more responsibility. There is no perfect moment for any of these things. By waiting, you’re wasting your time. Learn to make the hard choices and don’t procrastinate. Even if, at the end of the day, you don’t succeed, you can always try again the next day.
Don’t Be Afraid
The worst-case scenarios you’re thinking of will almost never happen. Uncertainty can be scary, but it shouldn’t be crippling and prevent you from doing what you want to do. You can plan for the uncertainties by forming a worst-case scenario and then making plans to avoid it. The more you make plans for it, the more you will realize that you’re worrying needlessly. Life is rarely as extreme as you think.
Do What You are Good At
There is no point in being an engineer if you’re a great singer. There’s no point struggling to cook three meals a day, if it takes you six hours to do it. You might as well outsource it, and do something you’re better at, or enjoy more. You might become an exceptional singer with a lot of practice, but no more than an average engineer – because you just don’t have the talent for it. Learn to develop your strengths, not hang around trying to fix all your weaknesses.
Like any other advice, this is useful, only if you make the effort to apply it in your everyday life. So, what are you waiting for? Time to step it up and make the most of your day. And while you’re at it, you may want to check out this short course to help boost your productivity!