We all have 24 hours in a day, but it seems like some people are able to use those 24 hours more effectively than others. There are several reasons for this, and it starts with your mentality. Instead of thinking that time is always working against you, try shifting your mindset and recognizing the fact that you are actually in control of your time. There is enough time to do everything you want in a day. It’s just about prioritizing what is most important to you.
Knowing how to properly manage your time is a skill that can help you find the right balance between your work and rest time.
Here are some tips to help you maximize your productivity:
Setting goals is important because you are more likely to use your time effectively when you know the direction you’re going in. You won’t have to spend your time wondering about what you should be doing, and you can just focus your time and energy on the tasks that will help you achieve your goals.
It’s important to keep in mind that you might not accomplish everything you set out to do in a day, and that is okay. This is especially true if you make long to-do lists. A more effective method is to prioritize what is most important. Pick three or four big tasks that you want to accomplish in a day, and focus on completing those first. After you finish those, you can go on to other tasks. Even if you don’t get to those other things, at least you completed the most important tasks for the day.
Use a calendar and plan
Using a calendar can be a great tool for maximizing your time. Knowing what you have going on can help alleviate stress, and it allows you to focus your time and efforts on things that actually matter. You can use a digital or physical calendar. Both work great, but if you are a super busy person, something like Google Calendar may be a better option because you can use it on the go, and it’s easier to add in new events or move stuff around. You can write your tasks, events, deadlines, and anything else that would make you feel more prepared. In addition to a calendar, you can also set yourself up for success by planning ahead. This looks different for everyone, but one way you can do this is by getting everything ready the night before, whether this is meal prepping, picking out your outfit, or whatever else you may need to do. When you wake up in the morning, the last thing you want to do is run around the house trying to get your stuff together for the day. By doing this the night before, you can wake up with ease, and just focus on your morning routine.
Time blocking is the practice of planning and dividing your day into blocks of time. Each block is then dedicated to accomplishing a specific task, or a group of tasks. If you want to delve even deeper into this, you can use different techniques that help you become more conscious of how you’re spending your time. For example, you can use a tool like the Podemero Technique. The way this works is, you set a timer and you work non-stop for 25 minutes. After those 25 minutes, you take a short 5 minute break. Then you continue working for another 25 minutes, and repeat the process for one hour. After working for an hour, you take a bigger break. During the time that you are working, you are supposed to cut out all distractions and just focus on what you are trying to accomplish.
Learn to say “No”
Learning how to say no is an important skill that needs to be developed if you want to master time management. There will always be events, distractions, and various things that come up. It’s really easy to get distracted and steered away from your purpose, but if you make a conscious effort and practice saying “No” to the things that don’t serve you or align with your goals, then eventually it will become a habit. It’s also important to keep in mind that your energy is finite. You won’t have energy for everything, so dedicate your time to what is most important to you.
Learning how to delegate is really important because you can’t do everything by yourself. You will exhaust all of your energy and burn out. This is especially important if you are a business owner. You may find that you have the mentality that nobody can do it better than you, but you might be surprised to find there are people who can do it just as well, or even better. In order to grow your business, you need to streamline it. When you delegate more time-consuming tasks to someone else, you can focus on coming up with strategies to grow your business.
Eliminate things that waste your time
Even though checking social media every now and then may not seem like a big deal, if you are trying to get something done and master time management, you would be surprised at how much time can be wasted on social media. Sometimes, even checking it for five minutes can turn into half an hour of just scrolling through your feed. If you are on a mission to complete a project in a timely manner, then eliminating all time wasters and distractions is a great way to start. Moreover, time wasters are not limited to just social media. It can also include tasks such as checking your email and responding to texts.
When you multitask, chances are you won’t be able to do things to the best of your ability. You might end up spending more time trying to multitask instead of just focusing on one thing at a time. Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time, so when you multitask, it reduces your efficiency and performance. Our brains can sometimes trick us into thinking that we are more productive when we’re doing multiple things at once, but that is not the case. In addition, there’s also a higher chance that you will make more mistakes when multitasking. When your mind is divided between several tasks, it can’t fully concentrate and zone in on one thing.
Use dead time to your advantage
Sometimes you may have spare time in between meetings, appointments, or during commutes. Instead of letting that time go to waste, you can take advantage of it and use it to get stuff done, like answer emails or plan for your next project. It may not seem like you can get a lot done in 15 minutes, but even doing one or two small tasks can go a long way.
Take a break between tasks
Taking breaks is really important because when you’re working non-stop for long periods of time, it’s harder to stay focused and motivated. Having some downtime can help you feel refreshed and get your thoughts together. Doing less can also help you get more done because then you’re focusing on the most important things.