Time is arguably the scariest and most valuable resource in the world. When you lose time, it is gone forever, you cannot regain that same time again. The issue of time management is so important for individuals and businesses seeking to better utilize their time.
While there has been so much study and survey done about time management, it is one of the rarest skills to find. There is also no shortage of books, articles, scheduling software, and time management software available in the market. Yet, no matter how effectively designed these time management tips and tools are, they rarely work.
The reason is simple, you cannot expect to be a chef just because you bought kitchen utensils and foodstuff. Likewise using time scheduling software without having the right time management skills is not likely to produce the desired results.
With effective time management skills, you can get more of your activities done in a shorter time. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about time management including top tips for better time management.
Let’s get started.
What is Time Management?
Time management is the act of planning and regulating the amount of time to spend on a particular activity. Good time management allows individuals to be able to complete more work in the same time and better prioritize on higher value tasks. It helps to reduce stress when these activities are done efficiently.
Efficient usage of time helps you know what to do, the time allocated to various activities, and how these activities can be done efficiently. It can also be seen as a guide to be on track towards the attainment of your goals.
Time management is not just about planning but also involves setting a goal, tracking the progress, and also evaluating what you have achieved.
Benefits of Time Management
The benefits you get from managing your time are that you create a better habit for yourself and also increase productivity. Effective time management helps you boost your focus and create confidence in the activities you plan to do.
When entrepreneurs, leaders, and small businesses use the effective time management tips discussed in this article, they can achieve their goals. These tips for managing time effectively also work for individuals.
1. Relief Stress
Time management helps you improve your confidence and decreases your stress level. When you are in control of your time, your anxiety will reduce when performing certain activities. Scheduling your work means you will be able to meet tight deadlines, work effectively, and also reduce anxiety while working.
2. Increases Productivity
Good time planning will increase your productivity in any activity you do and help you get more work done. Learning how to manage time will help you clarify what you have to achieve and make the most of your time on an important task.
In that way, you will be able to achieve your goal and give out better results in what you are doing. Plan your time well and you get to increase your productivity in what you do. Effectively managing your time is crucial to achieving your financial goals.
3. More Time Freedom
You can have more time to yourself if you can manage your time well. Good time management will help you focus on your biggest priorities. One of the major benefits of time management is significant time freedom. You will have enough time to set yourself up and achieve your goal.
4. Achieve Goals Faster
Effective time management helps you to achieve your goals faster. A to-do list at the beginning of the day to jot down all you are to for that day will ensure that you do all the tasks assigned to you based on their importance. This will lead to increased output.
5. Prevents Procrastination
Without a good time management plan, you are prone to fall into the slippery slope that is procrastination. Time management strategies help you set specific timeframes to accomplish your tasks. Simply scheduling your activities can give you the motivation to accomplish them.
Proper time management helps you to allocate enough time to tackle your tasks and helps prevent laziness. With this in place, you will avoid missing out on important meetings and deadlines.
6. Less Distraction
Good time management is essential for blocking out distractions and improving your concentration levels. Without any time management plan in place, you are easily distracted which has a negative effect on your productivity and the quality of your output.
Inculcating good time management skills such as planning and organization goes a long way in limiting distractions and improving your focus. A good practice is to set boundaries around the allocated time for work so that other competing activities will not affect your focus,
7. Better Work-Life Balance
One of the biggest struggles that professionals, entrepreneurs, freelancers, consultants, and workers face is how to strike a healthy balance between work and personal life. Good time management helps you strike a better work-life balance.
When your employees strike a better work-life balance, your business will experience an increase in output. Apart from employers, employees also benefit from striking a better work-life balance. They enjoy more time to spend on other activities and relationships.
Effective Time Management Tips
You want to improve your time management to achieve your goals. With social media and different messages from friends and family distracting you, you struggle to finish your tasks on time and draw up a good time management plan.
Discovering how to be better at time management is crucial for improving productivity and generating desired results. Here is a list of top tips that will help you achieve effective time management. It will also help you reduce distractions and increase productivity.
1. Set Goals Correctly
Setting your goal right is one thing you need to do. Do you know you can set your goal wrong? When you are not getting what you want, something might be wrong with your way of doing things.
You can set goals that are measurable and achievable. Set your goals using the SMART method – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. The SMART method will help you have a solid structure when working and let you attain your goals.
2. You Need To Prioritize Wisely
Prioritizing tasks should be based on how important the task is and also how big your work is. In the morning, we have the most energy to perform our various tasks. The stressful tasks and the urgent ones should be done in the morning.
Getting to do the most important work first will make your day better because you can do the less important one at a later date. If you are working on several projects, make a project list to manage multiple projects successfully by prioritizing the more important ones first.
Knowing urgent tasks that you have to complete will increase your productivity. You just have to prioritize the task that is important to keep yourself focused.
3. Set a Time Limit
Setting a time limit is an important tip for time management. You can set a time limit to a task you want to complete. It will look like a game to you and the excitement you get as you try to meet up with the allotted time will make you want to keep on setting a time limit for every task you do.
Without setting a time limit to the task you want to do, you end up spending time on a task that does not require a lot of time to do.
You need to assess the task you are about to do to know how much time you will need for the task. Some people just embark on a task without knowing how much time they will spend on doing it and end up spending extra hours just because they did not set a time limit for each task they want to do.
4. Create a Schedule
Having a planner or creating a to-do list before you start your day will help you stay organized till the end of the day. You will be able to tick off items as you are done with them. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and keeps you focused.
5. Do Not Multitask
If you think you can multitask effectively to complete your task, then you are wrong. Research tells us doing two things at the same time will not work out well. Moving back and forth on the two tasks you are trying to do will most likely result in you performing poorly at both.
You should not try to divide your attention into multiple tasks at the same time. Instead, you can allocate time to a different task. It is better to give attention to one task at a time than to take on multiple tasks at once.
6. Always Sleep Well
Sleep is a determining factor that could affect you both negatively and positively. When you get to sleep for more than six hours, you feel better and rejuvenated and this helps to improve your health. But if you do not sleep well it can also increase the risk of having diseases like heart attack, obstructive sleep disorder, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and many more.
You can perform well and make good decisions when you are well-rested and not stressed. Having a sleep schedule can help you a lot and even if you have a lot of work to do, you will be able to get up to six hours of sleep.
7. Block Out Distractions
You have things that distract you from completing your task. Blocking out what is distracting you can be the best way to better manage your time. Distraction takes your time and you are well aware of what distracts you.
If social media is your doom, some apps block social media apps so you will not be distracted. You should turn off notifications because it attracts you to what will distract you.
When working on your laptop, always be on full screen because if you do not, you see the icon of recently opened apps and you want to either continue the movie you were watching. Try to block out distractions and focus on the task at hand.
8. Take a Break Between Tasks
Have you ever considered taking a break in between tasks? Taking short rests in between tasks will help you clear your head and feel refreshed. Doing a lot of tasks without taking brief naps will make it difficult for you to stay focused.
You will get a lot of benefits from taking breaks during tasks. Taking a break can make you more creative. If you keep pushing yourself to continue a particular task when tired, it exhausts your cognitive capacity and you will not be able to think and have that creative mind unlike when your brain is rested.
9. Always Avoid Perfection
Avoid working too hard to perfect your work. You have to do your best always but do not let your zeal for perfection drag you down. Once you have completed a task and you are sure you did well, move on to the next task.
This is one of the time management tips you need to get used to. Doing your best to complete a task is okay, but spending too much time trying to perfect it will result in increased anxiety and more stress.
10. Work At Your Best Time
Scheduling your activities for the day is not enough, you have to pick the best time in your day to focus on what you want to do. For example, if you have a task that needs a lot of attention and you know you can best work on the task in the morning. It is ideal for you to make out time to focus on it in the morning. Do not just schedule it on your to-do list and not give a perfect time to do it.
11. Reduce or Eliminate Time Spent on Unproductive Habits
You waste lots of time on your habits. Playing games, surfing social media, watching Netflix, going out to drink with friends, and so on are activities that take away our precious time.
You need to be able to eliminate or reduce the time you spend on your unproductive habits and focus the time on your task. This will help you expend more time towards achieving your goals.
12. Stop Procrastination
Procrastination is one of the major things that will always affect productivity negatively. It results in wasting energy and time doing nothing. When you have a task to do at the moment but push it to a later time and end up not doing it, that is procrastination.
A lot of people struggle to avoid procrastination. It is a huge problem in your personal and work life. The habit of always procrastinating when you have a task at hand to do will cause you to waste your time.
One simple exercise to stop procrastination is to take a walk or any fun activity as a break in between tasks. This might help you stay focused to later complete your task.
13. Establish Routines for Work in Your Life
You can get used to a routine of getting things done. When you get into the pattern of performing your task on time and diligently, you will not need to set an alarm to remind you or procrastinate on the task you want to do.
Establishing routines for work in your life helps you get used to a productive work pattern. This will help you get things done without stress because it is already part of your routine.
14. Handle Stress Wisely
Stress happens when we do more work than we are capable of completing. The body gets tired and this will affect productivity. Stress can be in different forms for people, but these are some ways to deal with stress.
- Listening to podcasts or music
- Make time to unwind
- Give yourself break
- Getting outside to take a walk
You need to find what will work for you to reduce your stress. These activities help you to relieve stress.
15. Walk Away from a Sinking Ship
Walking away from tasks or activities that you know will not get anywhere is one of the best tips for managing time effectively. It is a good time management tip for an agency owner, freelancers, and entrepreneurs dealing with multiple tasks and clients.
Sometimes you might not have enough time for different tasks. You need to pick the task that is more important and you are sure you will be able to complete it. Drop the tasks you know will not be profitable or beneficial to you.
Implications of Poor Time Management
Poor time management is the inefficiency of planning and practicing a wilful control of the time spent on activities. It is the inability to work smart and increase productivity with time.
1. Poor Workflow
The incapacity to manage your time and plan ahead can affect productivity. For example, If there are a series of important tasks you have to complete, better time management will help you complete the task perfectly and meet deadlines.
If there is no plan (no direct way of completing the task), you will end up jumping back and forth with the tasks. This will affect efficiency and reduce productivity.
2. Time Wasting
You spend time doing things that are unnecessary and will not result in any benefit. Poor time management will lead to wasted time. For example, watching a movie on Netflix while you should be working on your task.
With proper time planning, you can fix a time for Netflix as separate from the time when to do your task.
3. Missed Deadlines
If you keep on practicing poor time management skills, you are guaranteed to miss out on deadlines. This will affect your output during work. Missing deadlines in an office setting can cause issues for colleagues working on the same project. It affects the people who are prepared and have done their own work.
4. Loss of Control
If you do not know how to manage your time, you will end up not knowing what to do next. Poor time management will prevent you from performing your task perfectly. Rushing to finish up a task can lead to anxiety and also increase stress levels.
Time Management FAQ
Time management will ensure that you can take control of your task. When you schedule all the work you have to do, you will be able to do your work. You will not spend time deciding what task to do.
When you prioritize your work, it is easier to do the most important first to provide you with enough time for other tasks. With this time management tip, your anxiety and stress levels will reduce and you will generate better output.
Good time management skills help you manage time efficiently. Some of the time management examples include organization, prioritization, and goal setting.
Organization: You have to be organized to have a clear picture of the task you want to complete. When you are organized, you will have an up-to-date calendar. You will be able to do your tasks step by step and not have anxiety while doing it. An organized person will surely meet tight deadlines.
Prioritization: Knowing what comes first in the list of tasks you want to accomplish is a good characteristic of a good time manager. There are a lot of ways to prioritize the tasks you want to accomplish. You can take up the difficult ones first and the simplest ones later. It is better than going back and forth which can lead to anxiety and increased stress levels while trying to finish up a task.
Goal-setting: To know how to better manage time, you must be able to understand what you are trying to achieve and what you have to prioritize to achieve it. Both long-term and short-term goals can help you succeed in your career.
People who use a planning tool get to improve their productivity. You can be more productive when you use a time management tool. The goal is to find the right tool that will work for you and use it. Calendar, Time Tracker, Task Managers, and Habit Developers are time management tools that can help you become more productive.
Calendar: You use Calendar to schedule your tasks. It makes it more organized. Even social media managers use a content calendar to have better control over what they do.
Time Tracker: Let you be aware of how you spend your time.
Task Managers: Organize and prioritize your tasks to improve time management.
Habit Developers: Helps you out in creating a good habit that will improve time management.
Getting time management strategies that will work for you is important. You should have some level of self-discipline and you should be able to motivate yourself to perform certain tasks. Knowing how to spend your time and prioritizing yourself is the best strategy for time management.