ARE YOU BAD AT MANAGING YOUR TIME?
Do you often leave the office late? Or maybe you spent the day in meetings and your to-do list is exactly as it was in the morning? When was the last time you hit the gym? When was the last time you actually slept for 8 hours? We’ve all been there, and the root cause is simple: Lack of Time Management. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Today, we will share 7 secrets to manage your time effectively.
1. It's all about balance
I’m sure you have BIG dreams, and I bet you dedicate your life and soul to them. Just don’t neglect the most important person in the world. YOU. We usually get caught in all the things we need to do in order to achieve our goal, and start forgetting on taking care of ourselves. Balance is the key. If you lack balance, you’re going to feel stressed out and eventually hit your breaking point. Keep doing things you love, that’s the beauty of time management, when done effectively, your life will be more organized and balanced.
2. Have a Planner
Always use a planner, whatever works for you, digital or in paper. It’s important to include personal and work related stuff. That way you’ll have a big picture of what’s happening in your life. And by including everything, I mean everything: doctor’s appointments, personal time (movies, dates, gym) reading, writing on your blog, meetings, etc.
3. Plan Ahead
Plan your week ahead of time, and as I said, include everything: dinner with friends, meetings, etc. I usually do it on Sundays, but whatever works for you. Of course they’ll be things that will come up in the week, but this way you’ll have more control. It is important to try to delineate a time limit to complete the task, instead of being vague and thinking, “I’ll get it done today.” think, “I’ll finish it in 3 hours!”
4. Use Your Time Wisely
It is okay to fool around a couple of minutes at work: talk to the person sitting next to you, open Instagram, even stand up to get a glass of water, it’s necessary to clear your mind every once in a while. But don’t spend two hours of your day doing nothing. Learn to love every minute of your time, it is very valuable. For example, instead of being two hours on Facebook, you better work so you can finish on time and use those two hours for your family.
5. Do Not Multitask
I know you have a lot of things to do, and you feel the need to multitask: answer emails, do reports, answer the phone, go to meetings, etc. The reality is you need to stop doing this; otherwise you’ll look at your clock and see it is already 5:00 pm and I can bet you only finished two things. Work on one thing at the time. Researchers at the University of Michigan found productivity dropped as much as 40% when subjects tried to do two or more things at once.
6. Drink Water
Since your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus, concentrate, and be more alert. A study conducted by the University of East London showed that drinking water can result in a 14% increase in productivity.
7. Set Your Priorities
THIS is the key for time management. Picture this: you’re sitting in front of your computer and all of the sudden you feel a rush of stress. Do you constantly feel like you have your head all over the place and don’t know where to start? The answer for this problem is very simple: set priorities.
In the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Stephen Covey explains a matrix on time management, and it’s divided in 4 main quadrants. This will help you schedule your week according to what’s important and relevant for your goal. The matrix is very simple, the main criteria is URGENCY (activities that require your immediate attention) and IMPORTANT (relevant activities that will contribute to your goal) The secret is to focus on Quadrant 2 (important not urgent) and stay out of quadrant 1 (crises) quadrant 3 (ex. unnecessary meetings) and quadrant 4 (time wasters).
Do you think Walt Disney, Oprah -or whoever you admire – spent their days complaining of not having enough time to accomplish their dreams? NO!
We all have the same 24 hours in one day, and it’s up to you to make the best of it.