A better time management skills will help you do more in less time. Here is how to improve your time management skills without compromising on sleep, health, hobbies or things you are passionate about.
Make a schedule for regular activities
Routine activities such as sleeping, exercising, bathing, eating, etc. must be done on a fixed time. If you find it hard to wake up on time, then set a time for going to bed and stick to it for at least 30 days. Everyone has different sleep requirements. Some sleep just 4-5 hours while other sleep for 8-10 hours. Eight hours of sound sleep is healthy for the body. You don’t need to compromise your sleep to work more. Just fix a time as per your needs and stick it to it until it becomes your habit.
For instance, if you can force yourself to leave all important tasks and sleep at 10 pm every day then you will develop a habit of getting up early without an alarm clock.
Work 30-45 Minutes in a stretch
Phone calls, tea/coffee breaks, chit-chat with colleagues, WhatsApp chats, randomly browsing social media, and the internet are some of the major productivity killers. But you can’t avoid these. Some of them are not even your control. So, it is better to manage it in such a way that it doesn’t affect your work and efficiency. Do this by working for short durations at a stretch and take frequent breaks. Focus on work for 30 minutes and take a break for 10 minutes to do other stuff. At the time of work, keep your phone on silent, close all the browsers, avoid tea/coffee/loo break and ask your colleagues not to disturb you. For next 10-15 minutes, you can answer miss calls, respond to chat messages or take a tea/coffee break. Gradually increase the duration of work from 30 to 45 minutes. However, don’t go beyond that as it is tough to concentrate for more than an hour in a single stretch.
Split the Project into short tasks
Breaking down the project or assignment into small tasks and focusing on one task at a time will boost your productivity significantly. For example, for writing a 3000-words article, I break it up into ten small sections with each having 300 words. Then, I focus on only one section at a time. This way, I complete 300 words in a single stretch of 30 minutes. It makes the work far easier and reduces the pressure significantly. It also helps in organizing the structure of the article to cover all aspects of the topic.
Prioritize the Work
Everything that you do can be divided into following categories:
- Urgent and Important
- Urgent but not Important
- Important but not urgent
- Neither Urgent nor Important
- Things that are not necessary, but you do out of habit
Always complete “Urgent and Important” tasks first. Also, make sure that non-important tasks don’t become urgent frequently as it eats a lot of productive time. Thus, don’t postpone the trivial tasks such as laundry, vehicle servicing, bill payments, etc. otherwise these less important tasks will become urgent at some point in time.
Also, always start your day by finishing difficult tasks first. It will boost your confidence and keep you energetic entire day. Finally, try to get rid of things like random browsing, check social media profile, etc. that are not necessary, but you do out of habit. If you can’t eliminate it, then at least stop doing it as a first thing in the morning.
Try to find shortcuts
Use technology to do things faster. You will find plenty of stuff on the internet which will make your work easier. Also, try to do things faster without worrying about the quality. It will improve your speed.
Time Management is an art. Different people do it differently. However, one thing is sure, most efficient people have developed a habit of doing things faster and managing their time well. Try developing habits which make you efficient and saves your time. Once you develop the habit, it will help you for the lifetime.