Are you someone who procrastinates till the deadline reaches to stare you in the face? Are you someone who knows that they have a lot of work to do but always seem to be scrolling down your Instagram feed? If at all you fall in these and similar categories of people who are unable to manage their time, thus becoming non-productive and unhappy, then you need to learn a vital skill.
In today’s time of constant distractions, the skill of time management to boost productivity is a must if you want professional success and personal happiness. Keep reading on further to find the best tips so that you become a better version of yourself by being a friend of TIME!
Much of what comes under the time management skills are the ways through which one can work smarter and not harder. In any case, that should be the way to go. By constantly juggling our professional, personal, and social life to find the much-needed balance, we become so caught up in the loop of unproductive zones that it seems impossible to come out of it. That is where these strategies will help you out. You will be able to find that perfect work-life balance if you can effectively manage your time.
What are the Benefits?
To look at the benefits of something, we also need to look at the depth of the problem. In the case of time management, it only makes sense if we tell you how much time people actually waste, especially during working hours. In a survey by salary.com, 89% of respondents admitted that they wasted time every day at work. Now take a look at the amount of time some of these respondents wasted during office hours:
- 31% wasted at least half an hour on a daily basis
- 31% of them wasted around an hour daily
- 16% wasted almost two hours
- 6% wasted around 3 hours
- 2% wasted 4 hours
- Another 2% wasted more than 5 hours
These figures clearly show that most people can’t manage their time well. To achieve success, well-being, and overall peace of mind in handling life each day, one needs to learn how to manage their time for efficiency and productivity in all aspects of life.
Without a doubt, when we are able to manage our time efficiently, we are more likely to achieve higher levels of productivity and success. Some of the significant benefits of managing time effectively are:
- It provides relief from stress
By creating and following a task schedule or a to-do list, you can reduce your anxiety levels. When we check off the items on our to-do lists, we feel a sense of accomplishment. Ticking off tasks looks like tangible progress that leads to reduced stress levels. We are sure that things are getting done when we are able to have a schedule to guide us in our everyday tasks.
- Realization of goals
People who are good at managing their time are better able to realize their goals, be it the long-term or the short-term goals. They know how things are getting shaped up, so they are prepared enough to move ahead in the right direction.
- More time for personal endeavors
A well-planned schedule leaves scope for personal spaces to exist. Whether we need that personal time to spend quality time with our family and friends or we want to pursue other hobbies, good time management skills will be essential to make time out for these and other activities.
- More opportunities for growth
All organizations and clients look for people who are able to prioritize work and get it done within the stipulated time. Hence, these skills come under the core qualities that all employers look for in potential employees. People who work smarter to get things done in time receive appreciation for their dedication.
Now let’s come to the top 10 time management skills that you must be aware of so that you are well-prepared to prioritize and progress in life.
1. Use the SMART Method
You must have read before, even in this article, that we should work smart, not hard. This should be true for not only the tasks and activities but also in how we set our goals. One of the methods shared by experts to set realistic goals is the SMART Method. When setting goals, make sure that they are:
In essence, while setting goals for ourselves, we must ensure that all these points get covered. It is essential for our goals to be specific, as ambiguity only leads to confusion. If we set up specific goals with numbers and deadlines, our mind knows what it needs to do in a much clearer way. By measurable, what we mean here is that the goals should be trackable to see the progress that has been made over time. The attribute of attainability is also very essential, as there is no use of goals that can’t be attained. Setting realistic expectations of the actions to be taken to achieve your goals is the key here. Having relevant goals is not only crucial but logical as well. Why would you want to set up an action plan for your goals when there is no relevance to the vision that you are having or the company you work with. Lastly, a goal should be driven by a deadline. When we look at a deadline, we are more likely to work for the task rather than working on something we feel we are free to do for eternity.
2. Prioritize Based on Urgency
When starting your day, prioritize the tasks based on their importance and urgency. We all know which tasks are most important to us or which project is nearing the deadline. Accordingly, you can decide which jobs to take up when. After looking at your daily tasks, you can determine the action plan according to these pointers:
- Tasks that are important and urgent: You should do these right away.
- Tasks that are important but not urgent: You can decide when to do them.
- Tasks that are urgent but not important: These can be delegated to someone else.
- Tasks that are neither urgent nor important: Set these aside to be done later.
3. Set Time Constraints For Each Task
When we sit down to do something with concentration, especially the tasks that we love, it is easier to go with the flow and spend more time being immersed in that activity. Distraction is more prominent when we reach the internet resources and social media. One link gets to another, and we have spent hours just scrolling down social media in no time. Setting up time constraints on the tasks at hand is very important as it lets you be more focused and efficient.
Deciding on how much time we are to spend on each of the tasks helps in further planning as well, which becomes even more crucial when problems arise. By looking at the potential issues in the planning phase itself, you are more likely to tackle them positively.
4. Take Breaks
It is easier to lose focus and motivation if we keep sitting at the same task for hours at a stretch. You must take breaks between the jobs so that you feel refreshed and are not overworked and burnt out. It is also advised that you take small naps and go for a walk or a meditation session to clear your head before starting to do the remaining tasks at hand.
5. Write Down Deadlines
As already discussed in the first point with SMART goals, deadlines can be a game-changer for you if you take them in a positive stride. By the word itself, we feel something negative hanging on our neck, but if we set up realistic deadlines and look at them as part of our vision, we can be inspired to work towards the deadline in a way that only helps us in being more productive, rather than taking all the stress.
6. Utilize Tools, Apps, and Software
To manage time efficiently, you need to track where your time goes and plan ahead for the future. There are many tools such as software and apps that can be used to track, schedule, and plan everything to the T. Check out the features of the best time management apps and software to find which is best for you and start using that. You will be surprised to know how much peace of mind you are able to attain when everything is managed and reminders are given by these tools to finish the tasks. And when you check off the items on these online tools, it provides a sense of accomplishment. Although you could even use journals or notebooks, the notifications and reminder features of those tools make them very efficient. Plus, when our phones are always with us, planning out our schedule becomes more effortless.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Most small business owners feel that they are the only ones who can handle all the tasks related to their business. It may be true at some levels, but there can undoubtedly be tasks that can be delegated. Taking all of the burden on yourself to complete each task can make you feel burnt out. Don’t be afraid to ask for help by giving some responsibilities to other team members.
8. Stick to a Routine
Our brain works best when it is tied to a habit and routine. If a routine is set in place, it is easier for you to directly sit down to tackle that task rather than mindlessly procrastinating. The system of routine also lets you work effectively when crises arise, as the habit makes you look into the job regardless of the situation.
9. Set Personal Goals
There are only 24 hours in a day, and there is only so much you can do. But in all the races to achieve targets or working on getting a promotion, one should not forget about their heart’s desires. Taking time out for yourself for maintenance purposes or to pursue passions is of great importance. When setting work goals, consider how much time you are willing to give to yourself for activities that keep your mind, body, and soul healthy and happy.
It is your time to manage entirely and your life to live; if you don’t take care of the things that you need to do in order to live a happier and motivated life, then nobody can do it for you. Prioritize giving yourself the gift of being with yourself. Some of the activities that you can do for your personal improvement include reading, exercising, meditating, journaling, and pursuing a hobby, among others. Do what you love to do most.
10. Reward Yourself
When you are able to finish all the tasks that were scheduled, or when you have had a week of great levels of productivity, reward yourself for those small wins. Rewarding yourself with treats may sound like a frivolous and self-indulgent activity, but it helps in many ways. When we reward ourselves with our favorite meal or small gifts, we feel energized to do more in the future. It boosts our self-confidence, and that helps in maintaining the good habits we have formed over time.
Work on Managing Your Time with a Trusted Provider on Docvita
If you feel you need some guidance on how to manage your time well for a prosperous life, we have the correct solutions for you. Our trusted Life Coaches and Therapists will be able to guide you on how to schedule your tasks in a manner that leads to reduced stress levels and higher productivity. For that, schedule your appointment with our Providers and let us help you find the right solutions to all your time-related problems