6 time management tips and tricks to work efficiently





Do you ever feel as if there aren't enough hours in a day? Do you sometimes find yourself missing deadlines? Does it ever happen to you that there are more tasks than there is time to do it? But, since we all get the same 24 hours, why is it that some people achieve so much more with their time than others? While you can't add more hours, there are many more ways to carve out more time for all your activities.


The answer lies in good time management. Time management is something many people struggle with. The key to deal with your time successfully is to realize what you need to do and when you need to do it. Most successful people manage their time exceptionally well.


But... What is time management?


“Time management” refers to the way you organize and plan the time you have to spend on specific activities. Good time management will result in greater productivity and efficiency; less stress, increased opportunities for advancement, efficient workflow and many more!


By using the following techniques, you can improve your ability to function more effectively and efficiently – even when there is a lot of work and 48 hours doesn’t seem to be enough!


Set proper goals



There is no doubt about the efficacy of goal setting, but it is the type of goals that are a problem. According to a study conducted in 2014, 80% of the population does not set goals. And those who do, around 70% of them fail to achieve the goals they set for themselves.   


In order to set achievable goals, one should follow the S.M.A.R.T. principle. Your goal must be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.


Make sure you start your day with a clear idea of what you need to do or what needs to get done that particular day! Consider making it a habit. At the end of each day, write out your “to-do” list for the next day. That way you can hit the ground running the next day.


Prioritize wisely


If you've got too much to do, no amount of time management will help you accomplish it all. Now that you've created a time audit, you'll be able to see if you just have to manage your time in a better way or you just have a lot of work on your plate.


If you think you have a lot of work, try using the 4 Ds of time management. This method can help prioritize your tasks into one of 4 groups:


Do: Tasks that are important and urgent.

Defer: Tasks that are important but not urgent.

Delegate: Tasks that are urgent but not important.

Delete: Tasks that are neither urgent nor important.


Using this methodology will help you determine what you should prioritize and you should schedule for later. It is important to remove excess activities or tasks. Determine what is significant and what deserves your time. Removing non-essential tasks/activities frees up your time, which you can spend on genuinely important things.


Procrastination


One in every five people has the chronic disease of procrastination. Procrastinators experience more stress. So plan a little and then take action immediately, no matter how you feel and what you think. Setting time limits for a particular task helps you be more focused and efficient.


Going that extra mile to decide on how much time you need to allow for each task can help you to recognize potential problems in completing your tasks. That way you can make plans for dealing with them.


Avoid distractions

Remaining concentrated on your tasks is a huge part of the battle. To do this you have to maintain a distance from things that can divert you pointlessly.


If you say that you don’t really have any distractions, can you look at yourself honestly and say that you are not constantly in bed, or binge-watching TV shows on a daily basis? You are not constantly on social media, or would you say you not watching random videos and playing games for more time than allotted?


You likely answered yes to at least one of the above questions - after all, you're human. Everybody needs to blow off some steam or relax occasionally. But if you have something that you really need to complete but can’t avoid distractions, you can consider confining yourself, turning off your telephone/television and other things and continue ahead with it.


However, take a break in between tasks. It is harder to stay focused and motivated when you work for hours together. Allow some downtime between tasks to clear your head and refresh yourself. Consider grabbing a brief nap, going for a short walk, or just having a coffee break.


Take advantage of your biological prime time


Do you know what time of the day you are most productive at your work? Knowing that will help you to optimize your workload. Try to find your biological prime time. Break your day into 3-5 time slots. Keep track of your productivity for the week using a notebook or a digital tool. At the end of the week, rank these time slots from most to least productive time of the day.


After you've found your golden hours you'll be able to plan out your days accordingly. Schedule difficult or highly involved tasks for peak productivity times. For most people, the first few hours of work are the most productive.


Oddly enough, a maximum number of people can focus more easily when their brain isn't fully awake. Booting-up brains have less excess energy for daydreaming and worrying about other tasks.


You can use this to your advantage and do your most mentally demanding tasks, first thing after waking up.

Don’t multitask


Multitasking can actually decrease your productivity. Focus on one assignment at a time and zone in on the specific task at hand, whether that’s studying for an exam, reading a book, working on your office tasks or anything!


Good time management requires an important shift in focus from activities to results. Being busy isn’t the same as being effective. Spending your day in a series of activities often achieves less, because you’re dividing your attention between so many different tasks. Good time management lets you work smarter – not harder – so you get more done in less time.


Put a time limit on tasks


It is said that the tasks expand to fill the time they're given. If you give a task two hours rather than one, the amount of work you need to do to accomplish the task will simply expand itself to fill into the full two hours.


Take another look at your time schedule and identify the tasks that took longer than expected. Set another time constraint on those tasks. By setting constraints you will improve your focus and work more efficiently.

So next time you have a task to complete, consider these points as your guiding light!

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