One Today is Worth Two Tomorrows (proverb)
Sometimes life is defined by either time or money: we either have plenty of time, but don’t seem to have the money to do what we want. Or, we have enough money, but simply can’t muster the time.
Time is the most valuable commodity in the world. You cannot buy it or produce more of it, and once time goes by, you can never get it back or makeup “lost-time.” While we have all slacked at some point in our lives, the biggest regret of most isn’t that they were active and made mistakes but did doing nothing and wasted time.
In our professional lives, time is money; In our personal lives, (enjoying) time is happiness. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a senior manager, or just someone trying to build their career, better time management can make the difference between reaching your dreams and being able to enjoy them when you get there.
want to be productive at work, have a healthy social life, and still be able to
spend quality time with your family. We all have the same 24 hours in a day;
what differs is how we utilize them. We have come up with the top 8 tips that can
help you better manage your time and achieve more in life!
1. Make a to-do list
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and the simplest to follow. Prepare a to-do list to better understand what you need to do and when. It can be an hourly, daily, or weekly task list.
The idea is to be very clear of the tasks that need to be completed. As you complete each task, check it off the list and move on to the next. If you’re a procrastinator or just feeling completely overwhelmed, add things that you can complete in the next 10 minutes.
Start with ones that are quick and easy to complete then progress to the bigger, challenging ones. There is a certain satisfaction you get as you move down the list, and it will keep you more motivated throughout the day.
2. Prioritize your tasks
Remember to prioritize your work. For effective time management, it is better to compartmentalize and complete the more urgent tasks first. What’s urgent may not always seem essential. If you have a big report to write, it’s probably more important than responding to an email your boss sent, but I assure you answering your boss is more urgent at that moment.
Know yourself and what keeps you pumped. Is it better for you to tackle difficult tasks first? Or do you prefer to start with the more manageable tasks and knock them off your list? Once you’ve decided what the most urgent and important things are, do whatever works best for you.
3. Remove distractions
Multi-tasking is a buzz word from the ’90s that has caused more harm than good. We’re so technologically advanced that we think we can have a meeting on Skype while writing a report and texting friends to make plans for the weekend – This does not work! Nothing gets done correctly, and the long-term results can be harsh when it’s time for performance reviews.
For better time management, you need to concentrate on one task before moving to something else. You get out of it what you put into it, so give tasks 100% of you, this is even more important if you have a short attention span or suffer from ADHD.
Learn the art of saying “NO”. If someone asks you to take on extra work, politely decline when possible. Saying yes to others is often saying no to yourself. You can’t make everyone happy all the time, and only you know your limits.
It takes confidence to say no, but it will your life easier and help you better manage your life!
Don’t be afraid to close your door; turn your cell phone off; not answer every email in your inbox; and hunker down on an important task. It’s ok to be selfish with your time, and you must be when you want to be most productive and efficient.
4. Eat better and exercise
Eating healthy and exercising regularly can have a massive impact on your physical and mental well-being. It can keep you feeling fresher and active, giving you more energy to keep you going throughout the day.
One of the primary reasons many people miss deadlines is because they feel sick, tired, or stressed all day long. Having chronic caffeine or sugar withdrawals wreaks havoc on one’s concentration and stamina to see tasks through to completion.
Staying fit and healthy is a great way to combat this and can help you get more out of your day. This is even more important as you get older. For better time management and to stay active, work on a healthy lifestyle.
5. Get some sleep and start your day early
Speaking of healthy lifestyles, never skip on a good night’s sleep. Many young professionals do not get enough sleep, making them feel tired and irritable throughout the day without realizing that sleep deprivation is the culprit. This has a direct impact on efficiency, forcing you to be under-productive.
The most successful people in the world start their day early and for a good reason!
Waking up early gives you enough time to start your day casually. You can have a good breakfast, read the news, exercise or answer emails, and avoid that daily race to work. Science proves that the first 20 minutes of your day have a lasting effect (Entrepreneur). Use yours wisely, and you will set the tone for the rest of the morning and afternoon.
Be disciplined, get rest, wake with a lot of energy, and crush the day!
6. Take breaks
Don’t try and be a superhero and work non-stop all-day everyday. Taking short 10-15 minute breaks throughout the day helps to revitalize, relax, and keep you calm. Every 2-3 hours, get up from your desk, go for a walk around the office or building, drink some water, and just let yourself regroup.
7. Outsource or delegate whenever possible
We all want to believe we are amazing and can do everything ourselves, that we are in complete control. We would rather do things ourselves than ask someone else, possibly because we don’t trust people to do it right and believe we can do it better, or we simply don’t know how to ask for help. Try and view “problem tasks” as “challenges” and make a game out of them. When that doesn’t work, it’s time to look elsewhere.
Successful people know how to decide what to do themselves and what to delegate responsibility, whenever and wherever possible. Chances are if it’s making you miserable, someone else is better for the task or can at least help you get through rough spots. The ability to trust your team is a bit difficult but is essential for improving time management and your lifestyle.
8. Establish routines
With practice, you can discipline yourself to have a routine that makes your day work like a well-oiled machine
When you are consistent about the time you go to sleep, wake up, exercise, get to work, have lunch, and everything else you do routinely during the week, you will have successfully managed your time instead of allowing your tasks to manage you.
Expect hiccups now and then, but working on this type of discipline will go a long way in meeting key milestones and achieving daily goals.