They say time is money, but how well are you utilizing it, from procrastination to insufficient rest, here are guidelines to help tackle time wasters.
Here are 10 tips that can help with time management:
Have a To-Do list
The trick with using To-Do lies in prioritizing the tasks on your list. If you have large projects on your list, unless you're careful, the entries for these can be vague and ineffective. For instance, you may have written down "Start on the budget proposal." But what does this entail? The lack of specifics here might cause you to procrastinate, or miss key steps. So make sure that you break large tasks or projects down into specific, actionable steps, then you won't overlook something important.
Procrastination is a major time waster, it is something all of us are guilty of once in a while.If you procrastinate, you are seeking instant instead of long-term rewards, when you put off tasks that you should be focusing on right now. You often feel guilty that you haven't started; you come to dread doing the task, eventually, everything catches up with you when you fail to complete the work on time.
For instance, one useful strategy is to tell yourself that you're only going to start on a project for ten minutes. Often, procrastinators feel that they have to complete a task from start to finish, and this high expectation makes them feel overwhelmed and anxious. Instead, focus on devoting a small amount of time to starting. That's all!
Set personal goals
Personal goal setting is essential for time management, because goals give you a destination and vision to work toward. When you know where you want to go, you can manage your priorities, time, and resources to get there. Goals also help you decide what's worth spending your time on, and what's just a distraction.
Learn how to prioritize
Sometimes, it's hard to know how to prioritize, especially when you're facing a flood of seemingly urgent tasks. However, it's essential to learn how to prioritize tasks effectively if you want to manage your time better.
One tool that will help you prioritize effectively, is to determine if a task is high-yield and high-priority, or low-value, "fill in" work. You'll manage your time much better during the day if you know the difference.
Do you know that some of us can lose as much as two hours a day to distractions? Think how much you could get done if you had that time back!
Whether they come from emails,colleagues in a crisis, or phone calls from clients, distractions prevent us from achieving a lot, which is the satisfying and seemingly effortless work that we do when we're 100 percent engaged in a task.
If you want to gain control of your day and do your best work, it's vital to know how to minimize distractions and manage interruptions. For instance, turn off your BBM or Whatsapp when you need to focus, and let people know if they're distracting you too often. You should also learn how to improve your concentration, even when you're faced with distractions.
To get on top of our workload, we tend to multitask, for example, replying emails while chatting on the phone to clients. However, while we think that this is a good use of our time, the truth is, it can take 20-40 percent more time to finish a list of jobs when multitasking, compared with completing the same list of tasks in sequence. This ends in doing both tasks poorly, so the best thing is to forget about multitasking ,instead, focus on one task at a time. That way, you'll produce higher quality work.
Try taking breaks
It's nice to think that you can work for 8-10 hours straight, especially when you're working to a deadline. But it's impossible for anyone to focus and produce really quality work without giving their brains some time to rest and recharge.
Don’t think taking breaks is time wasting, in fact, they provide valuable spare time, which will enable you to think creatively and work effectively. If you’re finding it difficult to stop working, then schedule breaks for yourself, or set an alarm as a reminder. Go for a quick walk, grab a cup of coffee, or just sit and meditate. Try to take a five-minute break every hour or two. And make sure that you give yourself time for lunch because you won't produce top quality work if you're hungry!
Getting enough rest
There’s no avoiding this, sleep has massive importance for your productivity. People who sleep between six and seven hours are most productive.
Too little sleep, which again is defined as less than six hours per night, will substantially decrease your productivity.But what’s important in the end is that, it is the quality of your sleep rather than the amount of sleep.
Your eating habits actually have a huge impact on your productivity. Sometimes, eating heavy meals like meat or fatty foods gets you drowsy and you think slower.
If you're low on glucose, your attention drifts and you have a hard time staying focused. Different foods are processed at different rates by your body. Soda, pasta, bread and cereal release glucose quickly. You gain energy fast, but this energy burst is followed by a slump.
High-fat meals require your body to work harder. As a result, your brain's oxygen levels are lowered, and you feel tired. You might know all this, but still, you go for these options.
Make healthy eating the easiest choice available, decide what to eat for lunch and dinner in the morning. Select several small meals or healthy snacks instead of one big meal in the middle of the day. This will keep your blood sugar levels intact throughout the day.
Certain foods that increase your productivity are fish, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, avocado, raw carrots, and whole grains.
Exercise is one of the most important factors for your productivity and time management. Exercise improves concentration, sharpens your memory, makes you learn faster, prolongs your mental stamina, enhances your creativity, and lowers stress.
You don’t necessarily have to go through sweaty workouts, low-intensity and moderate-intensity workout has the same effect on productivity.
Jog or walk during lunch hours (if you have a shower at work!).Choose easy wins in your everyday life, like choosing the stairs instead of the elevator and walk whenever possible.