A lot of people struggle with time management, it is very common to find yourself up until late night or early morning trying to figure out how to organize your schedule. There are many theories about what makes an efficient manager of time, but none that have really stuck around for more than a few months.
That’s why we decided to create our own set of principles that can be applied at any stage in someone’s time management journey. These six principles will help you to identify the things that hold you back from being more productive and will give you some simple strategies and tips to improve your time management.
2) Be consistent
Consistency is one of the most important time management principles you’ll learn to use effectively. This principle applies not just at work, but in your personal life as well.
It’s difficult to achieve consistency when money is short or there are other commitments that get in the way. When times are tough, it’s easy to give up on things like staying in touch with friends and family because you don’t have much money to spend.
But time is a resource that we all have so spending some time on yourself isn’t a luxury, it’s an essential part of self-care. And once you establish this habit, it can be hard to break.
You will feel happier overall if you make time for the people who matter to you and if you do something that you love to do, then why would you ever put off that thing?
The more you invest in yourself, the better you will feel so you should never hesitate to allocate time to meet your own needs. With enough motivation and planning, it is possible to leave time around for fun activities and holidays even during lean times.
There’s no reason to go through life being less happy than you could be if you didn’t suffer from money problems. It takes effort now, but in the long run it will save you lots of wasted energy and happiness.
3) Make it your goal
The first principle of time management is making it your goal to use your time effectively. This means looking at how you spend your time now and trying to make changes so that you are using your time more efficiently. It also means identifying important tasks and systems and systemizing them, so that they are done automatically with little input from you.
This can be developing routines or procedures for doing things, such as scheduling daily meetings, organizing monthly planning events, etc. Systems like this help eliminate wasted time because you have built into your schedule what needs to be done!
You will also need to identify unnecessary spending of time and try to remove or reduce these. For example, if you are not in control of your work phone calls, take some steps to prevent people from contacting you during work hours. If you must speak with someone, put off other activities until later.
If you find yourself wasting time on something that doesn’t really matter, cut down on that energy intake by lowering its importance. You would probably stop engaging in something that only matters slightly to you when you realize how much money it costs you each day.
4) Make it easy to accomplish
A lot of time management tips focus on how to make time you have more efficient, or how to use your time effectively. Less talked about is what to do with all that extra time once you have it.
The first step in managing your time is making sure there are not too many commitments. This can be difficult as we sometimes get drawn into things (for example, by someone else’s schedule).
Once done, determine which ones are must haves and drop some others. Must-have commitments should make up around 30% of your time while other times can be spent on lower priority tasks.
This will take away wasted time due to lack of attention or people feeling blocked because they don’t know what you are doing every minute of the day.
5) Take breaks
A few years ago, technology allowed for something called “connected working.” This is when you have access to your work from almost anywhere at any time because everything is online. Some people even enjoy this style of working so much that they keep it up even outside of business hours.
But research shows that constant connectivity can be a bad thing for productivity.
It was found that workers spend around eight hours per day connected, with most of those hours being spent surfing social media or doing other non-work activities.
By limiting how long we are actively engaged in work tasks, we reduce our efficiency at them. This could mean that we need to devote more time to a project to get the same results, or that we must hire additional help to complete our assignments on time.
Taking short breaks away from your computer means that you will give your full attention to what you are doing next. You may also want to do some exercises or take a stroll to reset and reenergize.
Principle number five reminds us to put limits on how long we stay focused on one task before switching. Taking a break helps you recall what you were doing and makes sure that you don’t lose momentum!
This article about why you should never press delete on an email tips off the importance of leaving time for breaks. Letting go of things that no longer serve you gives you room to add new ones that do.
A multitasker is someone who can do several things at once. They are able to switch rapidly from one task to another, and can easily shift their focus between tasks.
This person could be working on multiple projects, talking on the phone while doing other work, or writing an article while listening to music.
By having more than one thing going on, the multitasker still comes out ahead because they were not idle for long periods of time. If there’s a lull in activity, they simply move onto the next item.
However, according to a study done by FittMatrix, it takes us around 17 minutes longer to complete a task when we’re juggling several items. This is due to our mind being occupied with all the other activities, so we don’t process any given task as efficiently.