We all get the same 24 hours in the day. How will you spend yours?
What is everyone’s most valuable resource? Time. It is important to learn how to efficiently manage your time so that you can start living actively instead of reactively. When you grasp how to manage your time you will be more productive on your personal long term goals.
Time management can really be broken down into a 3-step process:
- Record Your Time
- Manage Your Time
- Consolidate Your Time
When you learn to conquering these three pillars of time management you will begin to see a more structured and organized life with enough time for every goal.
Lets take a look at how these pillars can help with time management.
Record Your Time
The first thing you have to find out when you decide to manage your time is find out where your time is going. So often we say that time just “flies by” or that we just “don’t have time” for something, but we never even look at the clock.
How do you know how much time you have if you don’t measure it?
Recording your time and how much time you spend on certain tasks will allow you to plan your time better and more efficiently.
Here are a few ways you can be more efficient in measuring and recording your time.
- Record how much time you spend on each work-related task
- Record how much time you spend doing non-work related tasks
- Separate out repeated tasks from one-time tasks
- Analyze where your time is going and what changes you can make
Once your time is recorded, you can really focus on what needs to be done first, where you have time, and how much work you can get done in time increments.
Manage Your Time
After you know where your time is going, you will be able to more effectively manage your time. Here are some things you can do to manage your time better.
- Figure out what is most important, somewhat important, and least important. Split tasks into these categories.
- Schedule in time for breaks (completely disconnecting from work during those breaks to give your mind a break)
- Keep a calendar of important tasks to accomplish this day, week, month, and year
- Set time limits for certain tasks
- Learn how to manage repeated tasks more efficiently
You only have a certain amount of hours in a day so the more effectively you can manage your time, the more you can get done.
Consolidate Your Time
Another way to effectively manage your time is to consolidate your time so you can have more time. Figure out what is missing in your life.
What do you want to have time for?
Consolidate your time by doing a few simple things:
- Batch tasks that are similar
- Try to cut down and make tasks take a shorter amount of time
- Do the hardest tasks first
- Break up your time into blocks
- Finish one task before moving to the next task
Work smarter, not harder.
Have you ever heard the quote by Abraham Lincoln?
Tell me I have 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 hours sharpening the axe.
Time management is similar to this. If you prepare to manage your time, you will be successful. If you don’t prepare, you will waste a lot of time.
Have you ever say down to write an article or paper and we’re just drawing a blank?
You end up spending more time just staring at a blank page than writing. Yet, when you know what you want to write about the words just flow out of your fingers onto the page.
You have to take that time and get clear on your message and your goals before you start. While it may seem counterproductive, it makes a huge difference.