Time management is essentially the process of planning and controlling the amount of time you should spend on different activities. Good time management skills enable an individual to complete more tasks in a shorter period of time, lowers stress, and eventually leads to a successful career, vis-à-vis, life.
Being conscious of how much time you spend on different tasks results in self-improvement and goal achievement. This is true both in your personal life and your work life. Here are the best ways to manage time effectively.
1) Set Realistic Goals
We all want to get all of our work done on time. But it is one thing to want to get everything done and another to actually do it. Be pragmatic about what you can do and then the time frame you can do it in. Managing time also means managing your expectations realistically. One way to do this is by breaking down your day into different tasks you have to do and figuring out how many hours it will take to get the job done.
Then divide the hours per day, doing a little bit of work each day until the task is marked completed.
For example, if you have a grand project that will take about ten to twelve hours to make a dent in, pull out your calendar and figure out how many hours you can realistically dedicate to the work. Can you do two hours every evening for the rest of 5 days or one hour every morning for 10 days? Be realistic, and then stick to what you decide to do.
2) Be Aware of Your Work Patterns
Remember, not every hour of the day is equal. There are some hours of the day when we are at our productivity peak, when we are most creative, while some feel a bit lazy. Search for hours in the day when you are free of any distractions and are at your most productive, and make a schedule accordingly. The way to do that is:
- Schedule your most essential tasks during your most fertile time.
- Keep a log of what you do in your time for about a week or two to see how well you are doing.
This way, you will know exactly which times of the day you are productive, and you can concentrate on those hours to make them even more fruitful.
3) Start Your Day Early
We all live the same 24 hours a day. It is not possible to change the number of hours in a day, but you can increase the amount of time you have on your hands by waking up a bit earlier and making your day longer than others. Ideally, you require 6 – 8 hours of sleep to be at your optimum energy levels.
Start with setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual and increase that time frame over time. You can use this additional time to meditate, pursue a hobby, or even exercise. Gradually you will find a way to increase your daily productivity, and time management will slowly become less challenging.
In conclusion, time management is an outstanding skill to have that requires practice if you wish for perfection.