Time is limited and it’s a fact we must live with. There are exactly 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute and so on. If you think it’s not enough then you’re probably right – until you stop fretting over lost hours and start developing a habit of managing your time.
Think about the bigwigs in industries as varied as technology, sports and business, who have successfully managed to overcome this struggle. They’re examples of how we all share the same limitations when it comes to time but may have vastly different attitudes towards acting on it. Yes, you can’t control time, but you can certainly decide how to spend it.
We highlight a few simple tricks to help you be better at managing your time:
Determine what has to be done and how urgently you should be completing them. This means identifying less important tasks that you can afford to attend to later. Setting aside important things for low-priority tasks is both unproductive and an ineffective way of spending your time.
Make sure to carefully weigh things out. But also note that priorities can change – after a few months or even each day! It could be work one day, and family the next. What’s important is that whatever it is that you’ve placed at the top of your list receives the attention it deserves and gets done on time.
Budgeting time does not only help you chunk your hours, but also helps you assess personal allowances and targets. Allocate a specific amount of time per task and try to exceed your target the next time you do it.
Budgeting time also goes hand in hand with prioritising. Being aware of your priorities guides you to budget your time reasonably. Say for example, maybe you can think of spending more hours at work during weekdays to complete and improve projects. Then leave weekends to spend quality time with family and friends. See? You can still enjoy guilt-free!
3. EXECUTE WITH CONSISTENCY
Plans don’t work until you act on them. You’ll only develop a habit of managing your time when you do it consistently. Nothing starts instantly. It will take a lot of effort and practice before you can adopt something completely as a routine. Ask yourself “If I don’t do it today, will I regret it tomorrow?” every time you feel like slacking off. This way, you can be reminded of how badly something needs to be done.
3. DISCOVER WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU
You may not have all the time in the world, but you could certainly spare some time to experiment various ways to effectively manage your hours. It could be by way of setting schedules for the week ahead; taking short breaks to set the mood at work and getting your juices flowing; developing process improvements to accomplish tasks faster; and the list goes on.
Be reminded that you’re figuring things out in order to cater to your different needs – be it on the professional or personal level – despite the limited amount of time that you have. It might be worthwhile to assess which ways best help you meet all ends.
Let’s admit it. It could be tempting to blame time (or the lack of it) whenever things don’t get done on the days they should. But we could all worry less over unproductive days when we take the first steps to committing ourselves to better time management. Stick to it, and you’ll soon realise that you’re easily making the most of your time.
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