It is often said that effective time management skills are necessary to excel at any aspect of our modern lives. But how true is this statement? Is effective time organization really as important as everyone says it is? The simple answer to this is yes, managing the finite time of a single day is as, if not more critical, than you think. It is what separates a productive person from a procrastinator. It allows us to function efficiently on a day-to-day basis.
If we just leave everything to the mentality of “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” even the simplest of tasks becomes daunting and appears to be insurmountable mountains. Once fallen into that hole of unproductivity and involuntary laziness, no time management spreadsheet or tools are going to make your escape any easier.
Getting out of such situations isn’t impossible though, it just takes a little more effort than most people are used to. So, the best course of action is to avoid such a state of disarray altogether and keep our time management in constant check.
Tips for getting better at time management:
The task of allocating your time perfectly to each task isn’t as simple as it may appear at first. There are so many little variables that, if not accounted for, can completely throw off your plans for a given day. Luckily, there are many tips and tricks for getting around these complications. Here are a few of the most notable ones:
Create a detailed schedule:
Telling someone to create a schedule almost sounds cliché at this point. Everyone’s heard of it at least once in their life. Many have failed to integrate this habit into their lives. Why is that? If this advice doesn’t work, then why does everyone keep saying it?
The true problem lies in not the method but its implementation. A lot of people consider their schedule as a predetermined timetable. Everything has to go according to that schedule; otherwise, the day was a failure, and the schedule didn’t work. That is the wrong approach.
We are not computers, and the world isn’t in our control. We cannot make the world follow our schedule, and something outside of our control is destined to disrupt it. So, the correct way to look at schedules is like general and fairly flexible guidelines to a day. “These are the things that you have to do, and these are the times when doing them would be ideal.” Treat a schedule as such, and you will see immediate and tangible improvements in your time management skills.
Get your priorities straight:
We have to deal with a number of things on a daily basis, and not all of them hold the same importance on your calendar. The sooner you realize this, the better you will be at not only getting things done but getting the right things done.
For example, getting your work done is obviously important and should be high on your priority list. But, once you’ve been working tirelessly for a few hours, taking a small break to regroup your mind and relax for a moment becomes the top priority.
This shows that the priority magnet isn’t a static process but a dynamic one. You can’t just create a tier for things to do every morning and follow that list to a T. However, once done correctly, setting your priorities can lead to efficiency and will make even the most difficult tasks fairly manageable.
Transform the environment around you:
Although, changing your own behavior is necessary as habits are what define our actions. It is just a part of a whole. The other major segment of your daily time management struggle is your environment. The things around you can enhance your efficiency as much as they can hamper it.
There are steps you can take to create a positive environment. You can clean up your workspace, avoid distractions like phones, have a watch nearby. If you are working from home, avoid working in bed. If your work involves a computer, create a separate desktop that only contains your work-related apps and nothing else. Shaping the environment around you to be as productive as possible will lead to results far greater than you think.