How to manage time smartly? Looking for an answer? Read our top 10 time management tips to manage your time effectively & smartly!
“How do they manage time so well? What helps those people in balancing various aspects of life?”Time is the most common element in the lives of all living beings on the planet Earth. It is the Earth which rotates and rotates with the same velocity for all humans. Yet, some people utilise this common time in a better way to enhance their productivity.
You might be thinking that you are a multi-tasking person. You stay busy all day still you don’t get time to do some of the tasks that you wish to do, like giving time to your hobbies, or adequate time for your family, children.
Ask yourself, are you utilising your time efficiently and effectively?
Even though the world has come closer with the emergence of the internet and technology, and you can do many tasks quickly and easily now. But, the volume of work has replaced the time taken by the complexity of a job.
If you’re among those people who think 24 hours are too less for a day, then you need to manage time well. We bring you the top 10 tips to manage your time. These tips will make you feel satisfied at the end of the day. Here we go:
Top 10 Time Management Tips to Manage Your Time Effectively
‘No’ – It can be an answer
Many times we don’t mind accompanying our friends and colleagues when they ask us to join them for their work or in their free time. We sacrifice our precious seconds/minutes/hours from our limited stock of time of a day.
Why do we do that?
Because we think they are our friends and it would be too rude to refuse their offer. Well, you should stop such thoughts. Keep reminding yourself of the significance of your work. Prioritise your work above the stuff of others (except in cases of crises).
Your mind plays the real game here. It keeps looking for ways to procrastinate the work, and when it gets a chance, it dilutes your concentration and makes you leave your current job.
How to prevent that?
Learn to say ‘No’ immediately to insignificant and time-consuming offers that kill time. The decision should be quick, don’t give yourself time to think about how you would manage after procrastination. Your ‘real’ friends won’t mind if you refuse to accompany them for your work which is crucial for you.
Remember to help yourself first then be available to assist others.
Smart Work v/s Hard Work
Every person has a way to accomplish a task. Some consume more time in a specific work while few people complete the same function in comparatively less time.
What creates such differences in consumption of time?
Approach. The approach to do a job determines the consumption of time.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”, Abraham Lincoln said.
Always strategise a work before getting your hands into it. Think of innovative approaches, avoid conventional methods, look for new ideas, execute your plan and save time.
If hard work pays you, then smart work pays you with interest. For example, if there is a work which you can divide the whole project into modules and distribute to people around you. It is better to assign smaller tasks to a number of people and later integrate the results instead of doing each and everything by yourself.
Multitasking v/s Monotasking
Many people think that multitasking people are smart. Are they really? Do you think the same?
Multitasking requires your brain to think and work on several jobs at the same time. If you struggle to concentrate on a single work, then forget about multitasking. You’ll probably end up messing up each task, and later you’ll have to spend more time to make things better. It is vital to realise your strength.
You need a good memory and soft concentration skills for multitasking. Please, don’t think that multitasking makes you cool and saves your time. Dedicate complete concentration and brain power to a single task and complete it with your perfection.
If a work is too trivial for you, you may take up another job. But, if it is a complicated and significant task, prefer giving it your complete attention.
Lack of focus on a job may give you bad and unsatisfactory results. Occupied mind blocks ability to find better ways to implement a plan. Take every minute job as a singular work and work accordingly.
You plan your holidays then why don’t you plan your regular day?
A plan is defined as a blueprint to achieve a goal. A plan helps you simplifying a complicated job and identifying the next step every time you perform a task.
You can plan on three levels. A month plan, a week plan and a day plan.
A month plan should be a broad objective that you wish to achieve within a month. It doesn’t talk about the minute details. It helps you in aiming towards a big goal.
Divide the broad objective of a month into smaller targets. For example, a monthly goal for a student can be to study a subject. A weekly goal can be set up by dividing the subject into chapters or sub-categorial topics.
Follow the weekly plan with the help of daily programs. Daily plans should discuss the tactics and actions you have to perform that particular day. Don’t forget to consider worst-case scenarios while planning.
You may use mobile phone applications such as To-do List, Toogl, Organiser to help you in planning and reminding the next job.
Habits save time
How much time do you take in preparing a tea? And, how much time do you take in making a cup of cappuccino? Well, the difference in time depends on the drink that you prepare for yourself regularly.
‘A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.’, this is how the Oxford dictionary defines a habit.
What if you make a few of your jobs your habit?
You’ll be able to do the job quickly without compromising with the quality. You’ll save a lot of time.
But, how to do that?
Practice. Identify the steps that are the most vital for your job. Note down the steps. Now, do your job according to the steps and keep reminding yourself of the step number while performing the forming step of the job. This will help you in associating a minute work with a number, and you won’t miss the necessary actions.
Make some of the regular jobs your habits and save time in performing such tasks.
Concise the leisure time
Have you ever calculated the time you spend on leisure activities every day?
Checking out your Facebook feed, Instagram stories, WhatsApp statuses, gossiping with friends during and after lunch, watching short YouTube videos, playing games and there are many more small activities which eat up your time, and you don’t realize that you give a significant portion of your day to such events.
If you add the small durations (5 or 10 minutes) that you spend in each of such activities, then you’ll realize where are you losing time. Now, what to do?
You know what to do in such cases. Restrict yourself from touching your phone too often and from allowing your mind to gossip around. The best trick is to keep your phone on DND (do not disturb) mode. It helps in silencing all the notifications and focusing on the work.
Don’t cross Deadlines and Reward yourself
Deadlines are imaginary but very useful. If your boss gives you a deadline, you ignore all the irrelevant stuff to complete your work within the given time.
Why don’t you create deadlines for yourself then?
Yes, you can give yourself deadlines as you are your own boss. To comply with deadlines, you can bribe yourself by rewarding yourself. It sounds like a company is running within you.
It is a very effective way to complete jobs within time. Reward yourself with extra minutes to social media or a video game, a movie time, family time or anything that you wish. Keep it in mind that the reward should be in proportion to the work you complete in time.
A small reward for a work which is not so significant and a bigger bonus for important stuff.
Deadlines can be hard and soft. This brings us to the next tip to manage time efficiently.
Breaks and Buffer scheme
Time management doesn’t mean that you have to become a workaholic. A human brain works continuously 24 x 7 even when you sleep. Hence, it becomes very vital to give it a break from tedious tasks.
When to take a break?
You need a break from your work when you feel demotivated, you start to commit silly mistakes, you can’t focus on things, your health is deteriorating, you are giving no time to yourself and people around you or when your work area becomes a mess.
Taking a break involves activities in which you don’t have to take control of your brain and muscles like sleeping, power naps, listening music, watching movie or videos, talking to family or friends, going for a walk or any such activity which helps you in relaxing.
A small break after intensive work helps you in refreshing and allows the brain to re-calibrate. It mostly helps in situations where your mind gets stuck.
Buffer scheme is related to deadlines. As mentioned in the previous tip that there are two kinds of deadlines; hard and soft deadlines. You can’t miss a hard deadline at any cost because the consequences can be disastrous. Whereas when hard deadlines are added with buffer time, they are called soft deadlines. Soft deadlines can be missed as it doesn’t affect the result much.
Identify the deadlines as hard or soft and allocate buffer time to soft deadlines to improve the quality of the work. You can use the buffer time to re-analyse the big picture of the work and improve the areas which can get better.
Watch a clock
The time is of smartphones, and most of the people have given up wearing a watch.
How is replacing a wristwatch with a smartphone clock beneficial?
The only benefit of not wearing a watch is that you don’t have to spend your money on buying a watch which doesn’t cost much in real.
What do you lose if you don’t wear a watch?
Does it happen with you that you take your phone out of your pocket to look at the time and you go through other applications on your phone, and end up putting your phone back in the pocket without looking at the time? Yes?
It has become very common. It fails a smartphone which you think has replaced a watch in your wrist. When you look at a watch, it tells you the time. This way you stay alert of the time you’re spending.
Smartphones are good if you have a time management application or to-do list which alarms you every time you have a work to do. A watch or clock helps you in tracking your progress. It is beneficial in speeding up and down your working procedures.
Keep a clock in the room where you work or start wearing a wristwatch. Remember that a watch’s function is to tell you the time, so you can save your money by not buying a smartwatch or a branded one which is heavy on your pocket.
Enjoy your work!
Last but not the least vital tip to manage time effectively. Enjoy your work. Every time you take up a job, you should think of the pros of doing that work. You should enjoy the task.
The most crucial thing that can help you in enjoying your work is the environment of your workplace. Keep your workplace, desk, room, cabinet, even your laptop’s home screen and disks clean and free from junk. Isolate yourself from the outside world while doing a job and dedicate your complete focus on it.
Good results always motivate. Don’t wait for other people to appreciate you for your work. You know very well what you know and what you can deliver. Analyse your whole day at night and praise yourself for the excellent work you do in the day.
It will keep you energized for the next day work. You’ll find the next day as an opportunity to upgrade your level. Enjoying the work you do helps in completing the work in time without compromising with the quality, thus saves your time.
Time management is a self-driven activity. You can hire a secretary to manage your appointments and work timings, but it is you, who will have to perform the end task. The more efficiently you manage your job, the more you enhance your productivity. Follow the top 10 tips mentioned for time management and feel the difference.