Time is finite. We all have the same amount of hours a day. You can’t store it, borrow it, or save time for later use.
You can only determine how to distribute it and invest it on tasks that have higher rather than low-value tasks. Time management is a game of choices: you need to undertake assignments, accomplish tasks, and follow a routine.
Importance of time management
Adopting useful time management techniques in your life isn’t about squeezing as many tasks as you can into your day. It’s about simplifying how you work, getting things done faster, and doing things better. By doing so, you’ll have more time to play, rest, and to do the things you love. Don’t try to work hard; invest in working smarter.
Only you can dictate what you’re spending your time on. Naturally, you’re going to want to spend your time on things that add value to your life. But with life being so busy in these modern days, with careers, children, and other activities, how can you find time for those things that matter most to you?
Luckily, you can use time management tips that are tailored made for busy people. Discover the techniques that make it easier for you to work, make sure you get things done more effectively and give you more time for whatever you want.
See how these time management techniques can free up your time:
- Prioritize your work basis your energy level
Your productivity levels are directly linked to your energy levels, so schedule your most demanding tasks when your energy levels are at their peak.
Do low-value and low-energy tasks (also known as shallow work), such as responding to emails or unimportant meetings, in between those hours. To improve your efficiency, it’s better to organize all the arduous tasks first.
Map your work and energy levels in a spreadsheet for a couple of weeks until you uncover your productivity patterns.
- Plan your day beforehand
Before you go to bed, spend 5 minutes writing your to-do list for the next day. These activities should help you move towards your personal and professional goals.
Through preparing ahead the night before, you will be better prepared mentally for the tasks ahead before you wake up, and there will be no space for procrastination in the morning. As a result, you’re going to work harder and easier than ever before.
- Start your day with the most critical task
Mark Twain once said: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
This is a golden time management technique: Find your most important task (MIT) for the day and tackle it first. Your MIT should be the one thing that creates the most impact on your work. Getting it done will give you the momentum and a sense of accomplishment early in the day. That’s how you can achieve big goals: small continuous efforts, day after day.
- Prioritize tasks
Knowing how to prioritize your work is an essential strategy for managing time. Projects, however small or big they might be, require specific objectives. When it’s all a priority, there’s none.
Second, you want to prioritize your “true tasks,” tasks that actually shift the needle of your objectives. To help you find them, use a productivity hack called the Eisenhower Matrix.
- Learn to outsource
Using the Eisenhower Matrix, you will find that certain tasks are urgent but not significant. If that’s the case, the most you can do is find someone who can do these things for you.
You don’t have to do it on your own. Delegating or outsourcing specific tasks can be a perfect way to multiply your efforts and do more.
- Automate repetitive tasks
Nowadays, there is technology available that can help automate many of your tasks.
There are tools to schedule your social media postings, create canned email responses, and automatically fill in online forms at the touch of a button. Automating these tasks could save you hours a week.
- Set deadlines for your important work
You become more productive when you allocate a specific amount of time to complete a particular task. That’s why we create deadlines.
But Parkinson’s law states: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” So, if you reduce the time you have to complete a task, you force your brain to focus and finish it.
To start with, try each of these techniques. When you find those that work best for your situation, use them regularly. Your productivity will improve, and you will save valuable time in your busy life, allowing you the time to do what matters most to you.
(Read: Manage your time efficiently!)