Every day, each of us accesses different sources of information, and as a result, its volume is so enormous that it is simply impossible to remember everything we learn. It is worth adding the busyness of a modern person and the huge number of tasks they have to perform. All this develops in a situation where it becomes problematic to retrieve some information from the corners of our memory at the right time.
On the other hand, we need to factor in the human inability to focus on important things and the penchant for leaving tasks until later. Sometimes, people can spend up to 70% of their time doing nothing. At this point, the habit of organizing your week comes to help.
12 Time Management Tips
1. For starters, you can choose to keep an online to-do list or stick to the classic handwritten format. In any case, a good solution would be to use free templates, such as schedule planners, calendars, or mood boards. You can either print them or set them as wallpaper on your computer or phone.
2. Combine the two options from the first step. You can write down tasks for a day in a paper schedule, while the electronic version will perform the function of a long-term planner. This way, you will have only what you need to do today at hand.
3. Try different electronic options to find the perfect one for your work. For instance, Outlook Calendar and its new features will be convenient for planning online business meetings, and Google Sheets come in handy for your content calendar. Recently, utility software for smartphones and tablets has become more widespread. These apps are equipped with a lot of useful functions like the possibility to customize sound notifications, and so on. They are irreplaceable helpers for people leading an active lifestyle and appreciating mobile devices.
4. Group your responsibilities. Most often, there are four categories of tasks:
- important and urgent assignments that need to be done immediately;
- important but not urgent matters that should be planned ahead;
- not important but urgent tasks mainly related to everyday life;
- not important and not urgent matters, mostly covering useless activities that we love, for example, surfing social networks or playing games on a phone.
5. Add timeframes to your to-do list. When planning your timeline, think of a day as a story, and you will notice that many things can be combined, such as walking a dog and going to a store.
6. Include household chores in a to-do list. If you feel like you hardly keep up in performing work-related tasks and everyone around you works much more productively, you are likely to find out that, apart from “important things” completed throughout a day, your household chores are also time-consuming.
7. Try to perform a small number of tasks well instead of multitasking. When planning, you need to understand your goal. If you are interested in achieving the result, you work not for quantity but quality. It is not the number of books read that matters, but the quality of the material that you learn from them and apply in life.
8. It is recommended to keep track of completed tasks and the time they take. You need to understand your abilities in order to learn how to properly plan your day. Some tasks may take longer to complete in the morning than in the evening or vice versa. You need to know what distracts you and what, on the contrary, stimulates you to work harder. This knowledge will help you plan your day more intelligently, which means you will be able to do more.
9. Generally, it is better to perform the most difficult and unpleasant tasks in the morning, when you are fresh and focused, without putting them off until later. It works in both personal and professional fields.
10. For an average day, you should schedule 1-2 tasks that require a lot of effort, 2-3 jobs of medium size, and 5 small errands. Also, avoid setting two or more tasks of the same type; it’s smarter to alternate between intellectual challenges, monotonous domestic chores, and physical activities.
11. If you do not have time, energy, or desire to complete a big task day after day, divide it into its components. The human brain better perceives and processes small tasks. The main thing is to get started, and then it will be easier to continue.
12. After so many things performed, it is worth sparing a thought for your “inner child”. Pamper yourself by buying some trinket on the way home, walking into a new coffee shop to have a slice of pie, or reading a few chapters of your favorite book before bed. Little encouragements like that will help you develop the habit of completing your daily plan faster and disengage after a hard day at work.
Although there are no one-size-fits-all means to achieve success, wise planning, hard work, diligence, and commitment will lead to great results. Especially, if you will bother to employ additional tools to manage your time properly.