The most valuable expiring asset that we have in our life is Time. Since none of us know for certain how many years we will live, it’s extremely important to maximize it daily. Everyone has the same 24-hour day to dream, determine goals, and complete tasks that will help them meet those goals.
But doesn’t it seem like some people are just better at time management than others? Surprisingly, there are some time management secrets that make you feel like you have hours more in your day.
Implementing time management techniques keeps you from wasting this precious expiring asset.
You are better equipped to make every hour count, which ensures that you get to work more quickly and helps distribute your time over all the tasks that you need to do each day, week, month and year.
Creating a time management plan is a must if you want to be successful in all areas of your life.
Let’s quickly cover the 13 Ways To Master Time Management…
Way 1: Set Priorities
When you identify tasks and set your priorities carefully by what is important over not important, as well as avoid having issues of urgency each day, you can get a handle on your time in ways that you never thought possible.
When it comes to setting priorities, there are really only four choices:
1. Most important
2. Most urgent
3. Least important
4. Least urgent
Use those 4 priorities as filters to determine where on the importance meter each task ranks.
In a nutshell, if you make it a habit to do the most important things first, especially the ones you don’t look forward to, you’re going to feel more accomplished and get more done.
Way 2: Create a Daily Action Plan
There should always be at least four or five things that you can do each day toward any future goal that you have to help you feel accomplished. Plus, having a variety of things to do each day will eliminate boredom and procrastination.
Way 3: Be Realistic With Your Plans
Don’t go against your own internal clock when planning each day. If you know you struggle to get up in the morning, do not schedule things in the early morning hours. If you can manage in the mornings if you do tasks you like first, try that.
Way 4: Learn the Power of No
Saying no is probably one of the most important things you’ll ever learn to say. The problem is our parents disciplined the word “no” from our vocabulary. It’s time to learn how to say no again. If something is not right for you, is too “urgent”, causes you stress, or you just do not want to do it and it doesn’t fit in with meeting your goals, say no. Saying no will free up untold amounts of time to focus on your priorities.
Way 5: Eliminate Urgency from Your Life
This can be difficult, but most things really aren’t urgent. For example; if you were a service provider, you’d stop taking last-minute work; train your clients to give you plenty of time to work tasks into your schedule. Here’s another example; if you were to implement family time and play time into your schedule that would eliminate the need for a last-minute meltdown from your toddler too.
Way 6: Disconnect from Technology
Unplug the phone, put your mobile devices on vibrate, turn off email notifications, and for goodness sakes get off Social Media. If you’ve not completed the most important tasks on your daily list, you have no business messing around with technology. The idea of multitasking is overrated, so unplug and tune in to the tasks at hand. You’ll work faster, smarter, and gain the time you need for other things.
Way 7: Schedule Everything
Your priorities need to be added to your calendar. Everything from the 15 minutes you need to use social media for marketing purposes, to the one hour you take your kids to the park, needs to be put into your calendar.
If you have a project due in a week, you should have five days of scheduled time to work on the project prior to the due date. This helps avoid those urgencies mentioned earlier.
Besides, where would we be without technology? You could use a platform such as Google Calendar, Apple’s iCloud, or another system to sync to your phone, which is a great way to ensure that your calendar is always with you and that you don’t forget things. You can even set reminders and alarms to help.
Most of us are spending upwards of $1000 for our smart phones, so you might as well use it to make your life easier by managing your time in the most convenient way possible using technology that’s right in the palm of your hands.
Way 8: Create and Use Lists
It is one thing to note on your calendar “work on project A” but it’s quite another to list exactly what you are to do during that time period on project A. This is the most effective way to schedule your time so that you meet your goals. Be very specific with lists so that no time is wasted.
Did you know that airplane pilots run through a “pre-flight checklist?”
This allows them to make sure all the important tasks have been completed, which is important for the safety of everyone on the plane.
If making list is important and good enough for pilots and helps them to do their jobs, why not do the same?
Way 9: Set Time Limits
This is especially important for both tasks you dislike and tasks you like. You always have a risk of procrastination when it comes to tasks you hate by spending too much time on tasks you like. This is why earlier we recommended that you complete the tasks you dislike first if they’re high priority.
Way 10: Ignore Interruptions
One of the biggest killers of your time are distractions and interruptions such as television, phone calls, text messages, emails, social media, children, spouses, family, friends, the dog scratching at the door, and knocks on your office door.
Unless the house is on fire or your child is bleeding, everything else is not important when you are working on your high-priority tasks.
They are interruptions. Check your email at scheduled times during the day, explain to your children, spouse and family when you are working, and otherwise ignore the door bell ringing. If you didn’t schedule it, you don’t need it.
While nothing is ever perfect, you can eliminate most distractions by planning ahead about how to deal with them. Turn off the TV, turn off the phone, use social media only at certain times with a timer set, and explain to children and spouses the importance of not bothering you while you are working.
Way 11: Outsource
Whether it’s the housework, cooking, or customer service, it’s important to outsource what you can afford to outsource. There are huge payoffs to outsourcing the things that are simply time suckers from your day.
If you can’t afford to outsource, your kitchen will not explode if a few dishes pile up, and everyone can do with eating a salad for dinner. And, you can automate a lot of customer service issues if you work from home.
Outsource tedious tasks that don’t make you money, such as data entry, website maintenance, housekeeping, lawn care, and whatever else you can afford to pay someone to handle.
Way 12: Once and You're Done
Multitasking is not really a bastion of efficiency. Instead, seek to touch each task only once and finish it. For example, when you check the mail immediately throw out the trash, schedule bills to be paid, and deal with any issues that come up with a letter, right then and there. Of course, your mail time should be scheduled as well so that you can stay on track.
Stacking related tasks in this manner is called “Compressing Time Frames” and it allows you to get a massive amount of work done in a much shorter period of time.
Way 13: Check Your Schedule
At least twice a day, establish a time to check your schedule. Usually the morning is good and at the end of the day is good. Ensure that you have your priorities in order, add anything new to your schedule that needs to be added, and remind yourself of what is expected the next day. Checking your schedule helps you feel accomplished at the end of the day, and reminds you of what’s coming up tomorrow.
Finally, it’s important to be very serious about following your schedule and calendar. Use technology to help such as Google Calendar, Apple’s iCloud, or another system synced to your smartphone to help you remember what it is that you should be doing now, and next.
It may seem geeky to be so serious about a schedule, but it’s this one factor that makes these surprising time management tips work.
Implementing time management into your daily schedule is the key element in creating success in all areas of your life.
Most successful people live and die by their calendars. When you meet someone and wonder how in the world she or he does it all, it’s probably a very thought-out and coordinated schedule that allows her or him to accomplish so much.
Either you control your time or you let time control you.
The world will continue to rotate with you on top of the ground or under it.
Since your life is not a practice run, you might as well take control of your time, and go all out!
Good luck on managing your time!