Sometimes 24 hours in the day just doesn’t seem long enough, right? It’s easy to feel this way whether it’s to do with school or college work, or just life in general piling up on you. Everyone has the same amount of hours in their day, it’s all down to how you can teach yourself to use your time as wisely and as productively as you can.
Taking from my own experience, here are some methods I have adopted that have helped me procrastinate less and make the most use of my time by using time management skills.
1.Establish your “keystone habits”
According to Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit”, adopting a new habit will have a domino effect on other habits of yours. For example, deciding to give yourself 8 hours of sleep a night will have follow on effects and new habits such as having more time in the mornings to hit the gym, resulting in all those endorphins being released making for a happier you! Duhigg says having keystone habits makes it easier to form new beneficial habits and they can be small changes to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Some other examples are things such as making your bed in the morning, cleaning your room or reading a book.
2. Plan at the start of the week
From my own experience, day-to-day planning just doesn’t work the same for me. I find that by sitting down on a Sunday evening to plan my week ahead and filling in time slots of when and what I have to do keeps me on top of things best. When I can look ahead in the week and see that I have other things occupying my time, I’m less inclined to just push something else to the side.
3. Find out where you’re wasting your time
In an era where we spend an increasingly large part of our time with our heads buried in our phones, I know as well as anyone how easy it is to lose track of time scrolling through Instagram and Twitter. You know that Screen Time feature iPhone has? Maybe it’s time you started looking at that to see just how much time you’re spending on your phone. For a while, I refused to look at mine because I knew I would be so ashamed at how many hours I waste away, but becoming more conscious of it means I’ve noticed myself trying to set my phone aside more often. You can even try challenging yourself to bring down your weekly screen time and see how you use that extra time!
4. Don’t write-off your weekends
It’s easy to establish that mindset of Monday to Friday being the work week and the weekend meaning you’re off the hook from everything. By all means if you’ve used your time well during the week, the weekend is the perfect time to rest your mind, however if you slipped up during the week (which is totally fine btw) and have a bit of a heavier workload than you had hoped, maybe don’t write off the weekend just because it’s the weekend. Saturday and Sunday are just like any other day of the week, and each has 24 hours for you to make the best of.
5. Break up tasks by level of importance
The final method I find useful when it comes to time management is sorting my tasks by level of importance. By doing this we can prioritise those tasks or goals that need immediate attention and those that can be completed later. Some example headings may be;
- Urgent Tasks
- Important but not urgent tasks
- Short-term goals
- Long-term goals
- Personal goals/aims
6. Don’t think of the overall to-do list
Just don’t do it. Try your best to focus only on the task at hand. Letting yourself think or worry about the seemingly never-ending items you have to tick off the list will only ever end in one thing; that horrible feeling of being overwhelmed. Worrying about how you’re going to get everything done is not helping you get the current task done any quicker.
7. Know when to take a time-out
Sometimes, things just flow and you wonder where this sudden burst of productivity even came from. Other times, you find yourself stuck in a rut and going nowhere. Learn when to take a break and clear your mind, then come back to the task at hand with a fresh head and a new approach. Perhaps ask yourself why you may be less productive today. Are you neglecting certain areas of your life? Maybe you’re running on less sleep, not eating as well as you should be or just not allowing yourself enough downtime. Whatever it may be, think about the possible causes and actions you can take to ensure you are your most productive you.
You should ask yourself what it is exactly that you want to get more of out of your time. Do you want more time so that you can read and expand your knowledge on a certain topic? Or maybe you just need to organise your current schedule better so that you can have those hours to set aside and unwind. Whatever it is, it can most definitely be achieved, just remember to also be realistic with your aims. Try out some of the time management steps above and if you have any of your own tips to enhance your productivity comment them down below!
Have you any tips or tricks to help with time management?