Time is an asset more valuable than money. You can turn time into money, but you can also give your time to your loved ones or invest it into making yourself happy. To have enough time for everything, you have to manage it wisely. Use these 10 essential tips for time management:
1. Prioritize your tasks.
Once you create your to-do list, prioritize your tasks based on importance and urgency. You should first do the tasks that are both important and urgent. These are tasks that are important for achieving your goals. Then there are important, but not urgent tasks that require long-term development. This is what you should spend most of your time doing. Urgent but not important tasks don’t contribute to the achievement of your goals. They are usually distractions that you can eliminate, minimize or delegate. Not urgent and not important tasks have almost no value so you should eliminate them as much as you can.
2. Tackle similar tasks together.
You can do small tasks all at once. For instance, instead of spending a lot of time answering emails and messages as you receive them, dedicate time to doing this only once every day. The rest of the time, turn off your notifications so that you wouldn’t be tempted to spend time doing this. You will be done with these small tasks much sooner if you do them all at once.
3. Don’t multitask.
Switching from a certain task to another task just decreases your productivity and makes you lose valuable time. So, resist the urge to multitask. Focus on one task at a time and remove all distractions so that you can be done with it as fast as possible. Don’t get overwhelmed if there’s simply too much to do. One of the essential tips for time management is to focus on the most important tasks and do them one at a time.
4. Set time limits for each task.
When you simply work on a task until you get it done it could take you a lot longer to do it than if you would set a time limit. So, figure out how much time you need and set time limits for each task. It’s better to give yourself less time than you think you’ll need instead of more. You will be motivated to complete the task faster and you will soon be able to identify the shortest amount of time it takes you to complete a certain task.
5. Take small breaks regularly.
You should definitely make breaks a part of your schedule. Give yourself some time to relax after finishing a task. Small breaks can help you recharge so take a few minutes to step outside for a short walk or use the break to simply relax. It’s better to move around and leave your surroundings so that you can come back refreshed and energized.
6. Quality over quantity.
While many of us take pride in being able to multitask, research suggests that 2% of people actually do this efficiently. The rest of us are actually just decreasing our productivity and wasting time. So, don’t divide your attention into several things. Maybe you won’t manage to get everything done but focus on quality over quantity.
7. Be organized.
Searching for something you need among hundreds of things that you might not need at all makes you waste your time. So, get organized and make sure that your desk is neat and tidy. Declutter your home and especially your workspace. In addition to making it hard to find something, clutter also makes it harder for you to focus which decreases your productivity.
8. Set SMART goals.
Essential tips for time management include dedicating most of your time to the tasks that can help you achieve your goals. However, you need to set SMART goals first. This means that your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. When your goals are SMART it’s more likely that you’ll achieve them and you’ll be able to do it faster than if you would set vague goals.
9. Remove distractions.
Identify your biggest distractions and try to get rid of them. For instance, if you are constantly tempted to check your notifications, leave your phone in another room and work with only the tab you need open not to be distracted by social media. There are also apps that can help you in removing distractions.
10. Use time management software.
Take advantage of modern technology and use time-management software and apps to help you stay productive and make the most of your time. Time-tracking software can help you keep track of your progress and how much time you spend on each task.