Do you often fail to complete your work on time and miss deadlines regardless of how huge or tiny your to-do list is for the day? This might be a sign of poor time management. You’ll struggle to do even the bare minimum without distributing your time proportionally among all your tasks for the day.
The good news is that there’s an easy fix to this, and that’s what we’ll share today. Get ready to learn the dos and don’ts of time management so that you control your time instead of being anxious and hurried by it.
How to Manage Your Time Well
This section will tell you all the nitty-gritty about managing your time well:
Prioritize the following to manage your time well:
1. The Perfect Time to Start Is Now
Have you postponed a task simply because you wanted to start at 6 pm, but it’s already 6:15? A lot of people, especially the ones who have a habit of procrastinating, will look for the tiniest reasons to postpone work.
Don’t wait for the perfect time or the right opportunity. Instead, focus on getting started as early as possible. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be able to wrap up your work. If you keep delaying the task and start only when the deadline is close, your anxiety will shoot through the roof, making it hard for you to focus.
2. Keep All Distractions Away
If you find it difficult to focus on your work despite the effort, start saying NO to distractions. These could include your mobile or TV, thus making it more difficult for you to concentrate. You’d end up with too many breaks for too long and waste precious time at work.
Some people have a naturally short attention span — ADHD, perhaps. It’s advised that you do not force yourself to focus, but take short breaks when needed, you could move around a little to have a change of scenery, and then try again.
3. Set Measurable Goals
When you don’t know where you are heading or how much you have to do, it can get harder for you to push yourself. You’d lose track of time and deadlines without a proper breakdown of your work.
For example, If you have to complete a 15-page report in 3 days. It’s wise to break it up into 5 pages every day, along with editing and proofreading. This will help you to know your progress at the end of each day and decide how much time you’ll need to set aside the next day to complete your work on time. Without a proper structure, you might be left with too little time to wrap it up.
4. Don’t Forget To Reward Yourself
If you do the same kind of work every day, it might be hard for your brain to find motivation after a point. That’s when you need to provide external motivation with rewards.
Remember, rewards should be healthy and not something that might hinder your progress. For example, many people have the habit of starving themselves until they finish work. But doing so will make it even harder for you to concentrate. Instead, reward yourself with extra hours of sleep, self-care, or a fun night out with friends.
5. Set Achievable Goals With Enough Breaks
The most important part of the time and task management is scheduling enough breaks. Managing your time well is not only about getting your work done. It also includes getting your work done in a way that doesn’t burn you out. This ensures sustainability.
Sit down to plan your day, remember to go easy on yourself and create a healthy balance between work and rest. Overburdening yourself might give you a seemingly fantastic headstart, but it isn’t a sustainable way of working.
Here’s what not to do to better control your time:
1. Don’t Spend the Entire Time Planning
People who procrastinate will use almost every possible excuse not to work, but mostly not intentionally. Having a structured schedule is a great way to manage your time, but it’s also important to not waste your time obsessing over the timetable. Get started with a rough schedule and make changes as you work and discover new things.
2. Don’t Go Overboard
It’s great that you want to bring your work life back on track and increase your productivity with efficient time management techniques. This doesn’t mean you need to micromanage your daily tasks. Quick emails, calls or unnecessary tasks don’t have to go on your schedule, especially if you have other things to work on. It’s best that you handle them as they come.
Do not try creating separate slots for everything in your timetable. You’ll not only spend half your time going back to the schedule and also be overwhelmed by the size of your to-do list.
3. Don’t Stop Before You Meet Your Current Target
So you have your well-planned schedule right before you, but what next? The real struggle begins when you actually try to achieve it. Don’t let your initial enthusiasm while creating the schedule wear away as you set to work. It might be hard initially, but try to stick to your work segments. If you have decided to complete a certain amount of work before taking a break, push yourself until you finish it.
Time management skills are all about discipline and patience. Discipline is key because it takes a lot of self-control to stick to a particular routine as you work, especially if you’re not driven by passion. Patience is also important because the discipline to stick to your routine won’t come overnight. In all this, one thing is guaranteed — effective time management is a must-have ingredient for success in the long run.