Updated: Nov 30, 2022
Powerful and effective time management is one of the most valuable abilities you can acquire. It’s impossible to succeed at work and in other areas of life if you can’t control how you spend your time. I suppose you have a chance of making some headway.
Managing your time effectively will be a struggle, though, if you don’t give it any importance. Those who are chronic time wasters understand all too well how challenging it is to accomplish even moderately challenging tasks with the limited amount of time they have.
It’s true that time passes for everyone. Everyone has the same amount of time, regardless of their age, wealth, gender, color, or religion. If you’re affluent or poor, you still have to clock in and out every day. This isn’t a race against the clock. How well you schedule and prioritize your activities is crucial.
If you want to be successful, it’s not enough to simply make objectives; you also need to be diligent about not letting yourself be sidetracked by things you know are bad for you, including poor habits or diversions. Losing interest in time-wasting activities is essential if one is to make room for the kind of grit-and-bear-it effort that will truly pay off.
Wherein is the rub? Implement a productive method of time management. The answer is “many.” Which one you select is entirely up to you. It’s important to be mindful of how you spend your limited time on Earth if you don’t want to join the 92% of individuals who don’t succeed in reaching their long-term goals.
Best tips for managing your time
Most business owners struggle not only to keep up with the pace of the market but also to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the constant pressure to succeed.
What we’re talking about here goes beyond the constant pursuit of success. To a large extent, this is about people’s happiness and satisfaction with their lives.
Maintaining a stable equilibrium is essential. Your stress levels will rise if your life is unbalanced. You can multitask like a pro, but if you don’t strike a healthy balance, you’ll burn out. That’s why it’s crucial to have a routine that allows you to get things done while also making time for yourself and your loved ones.
You should make time to do activities like going on a date, painting a picture, going on a walk in the park, and listening to your favorite music while wearing headphones.
That is far more significant than you probably realize. And when you do that, you start to feel like you have a handle on things again. This life is brief. So don’t forget about them as you pursue more lofty objectives.
Start with the appropriate intentions and establish a plan.
The process of goal-setting can be done correctly or incorrectly. Without the right kind of goals, you’ll be forced to wander aimlessly without a compass.
But once you have them going in the right direction, there’s no stopping you. The SMART goal-setting framework can be used to ensure success. It’s important to have strong, personal motivations for setting and pursuing your goals.
Develop a reliable method of keeping track of your time.
One useful piece of advice for time management is to settle on a reliable method for keeping to it. The quadrant method of time management is one of the best there is.
It organizes your tasks into four categories, from most urgent to least.
Things are either extremely essential or really urgent, or both. In fact, you should do nothing from the fourth quadrant, which contains everything that is neither urgent nor important.
Keep a time log for a week.
Take a full week to reflect on how you’re currently spending your time. Just what are you doing? Keep a journal or make a note on your phone. Break this up into 30-minute or 1-hour chunks.
Where do you stand in terms of getting things done? Were those hours in vain? Can you tell me if that was money well spent? If you’re keeping track using the four-quadrant technique, be sure to mark down or circle the appropriate section.
Add up the results after seven days. In what place did you invest the bulk of your time? I’m confused as to which quadrants you’re referring to. The findings could surprise you.
Do some morning MITs.
Once, Mark Twain said “A frog should be eaten first thing in the morning if that is your assigned task. If you must eat two frogs, the larger one should come first.”
To what end? The morning is the best time to get a head start on your most important chores. These are today’s most important tasks (MITs). If you can get things done, you’ll have a ton of momentum going into the rest of the day.
Remember the 80/20 rule.
The 80-20 Rule, often known as the Pareto Principle, is another useful tool for time management. According to the 80/20 rule, only 20% of outcomes can be attributed to 80% of the effort.
And in business, it means that 20% of your clients account for 80% of your revenue. Wherein is the rub? Find the top 20% of your efforts that are responsible for 80% of your success and multiply those. This is possible with careful monitoring and analysis.
Develop keystone habits in your life.
In his moving book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhig invented the phrase “cornerstone habit.” Keystones are the primary supporting stones in buildings.
Like cornerstone habits, they are the ones that not only pave the way for the adoption of more positive routines but also facilitate the abandonment of undesirable ones.
Concentrating on the most important habits will speed up the process of developing new routines and help you become a more efficient time manager.
Predetermine a time when you can respond to emails.
Don’t check your email all day long. It’s simple to get sidetracked by the constant influx of new emails. Set aside regular hours to check and answer your inbox.
Someone will contact you via phone call or text message if it is necessary. But having email open makes it more difficult to get back on track after being sidetracked.
Get rid of problematic habits.
Bad habits are a major cause of wasted time. Bad habits such as binge-watching TV shows on Netflix, spending too much time on social media, playing video games, and frequenting bars and nightclubs with friends all eat into the limited amount of free time that we have. If you want to succeed in life, you have to stop wasting time on useless activities.
Get up and walk about every once in a while.
A 52-minute work period followed by a 17-minute rest is recommended, according to the results of one study. It’s possible you just don’t have the resources right now to do that.
However, it’s important to stop and rest often. In the self-employed business world, this is of paramount importance. To be operating on fumes and not realize it is surprisingly simple. Refresh your mind, body, and spirit with regular breaks.
Do some form of morning meditation or physical activity every day.
You might not believe that a daily routine of meditation and exercise can help you better manage your time, but you’d be wrong.
Eliminate the sources of stress in your life and see how your mood, physical strength, and ability to concentrate improve as a result.
Make a list of things you need to get done the next day before you go to bed.
Make a list for the following day every night before you go to sleep. Take stock of where you are in relation to your objectives, and determine what steps you may take to improve your situation. There is no magic bullet for this. It’s a lengthy process.
To-do lists, on the other hand, are nothing more than daily objectives. Setting and achieving short-term daily objectives can be a great way to gain momentum toward larger, more ambitious objectives. But we do it by writing down our tasks.
Look for sources of motivation.
If you’re feeling uninspired, I recommend checking out some TED Talks or other motivational videos on YouTube.
When you don’t feel motivated, it’s hard to stick to a schedule. To reignite your drive, seek out motivational material and connect with people who have accomplished similar feats.
Focus on what needs to be done first.
After compiling a list of things that need to be done, prioritize them. By identifying and focusing on the most crucial tasks at hand, you can maximize your time and energy throughout the day.
There are a variety of methods you can use to determine the order in which items on your to-do list should be completed.
First, prioritize the top three things you want to do.
Create a hierarchy of high, medium, and low priority for your jobs.
List items from highest priority to lowest, using a scale of 1-10.
The Eisenhower Matrix is a sophisticated method for ranking the importance and urgency of tasks.
Break down big jobs into manageable chunks
People’s inability to effectively manage their time on huge undertakings is often due to feelings of being overwhelmed. It’s tempting to put off doing what has to be done in order to cope with feelings of stress.
Reduce overwhelming undertakings to a series of smaller, more doable steps to get through this emotion. It’s less daunting to tackle a problem when broken down into manageable chunks. Taking the project one step at a time will help you get it done faster and more efficiently.
Try to focus on one thing at a time
Many studies have shown that multitasking reduces productivity, despite the fact that it may feel like you are getting more done since you are juggling multiple tasks at once.
The same logic applies to our mental processes: switching between things uses up valuable mental resources and slows us down when we could be working more efficiently on just one thing at a time.
Wait until you’ve finished what you’re currently working on before moving on to the next item on your to-do list if you want to maximize your productivity.
Create an empty time slot in your schedule
A time saver is a calendar with all of your appointments, due dates, and chores written on it. It would be more efficient to do so at one convenient location.
It is much easier to organize your time using online calendar software like Google Calendar and Calendly. The efficiency of this method of time management is further enhanced by the possibility of accessing your calendar on several devices and by the addition of reminders.
Learn to decline meetings when necessary.
It’s not always the best use of time to have a meeting. It may be time to start saying no if your calendar is filling up with an increasing number of meetings.
Instead, you may explain that you’re too busy and ask whether an email can serve as a substitute for the meeting. Discuss the other commitments you have and how attending the meeting will affect your ability to get everything done on time.
Find a mentor to act as a guide.
It is essential to find a mentor. Without a leader or mentor, you may become sidetracked and disheartened.
Time management is difficult for most people, but when you have someone you trust who has been where you are and can show you the way forward, you are much more likely to stay on track. Get yourself a reliable guide who can show you the way.
Disable notifications from social networking apps.
Never-ending notifications from social networking apps do nothing to help you get anything done. You’re in a lot of pain right now. The lights should be turned off.
You don’t have to be constantly notified or in the loop about your friends’ lives. Ignore it; it doesn’t matter. The most crucial thing is for you to relax and be able to concentrate on the job at hand.
Clean up the mess and put things in order.
Cluttered environments have been linked to decreased concentration, according to the research. Inattention costs us precious seconds. Eliminate clutter and tidy your space to avoid this situation. Stop and think before you rush through everything.
Take baby steps. We’ll just open one drawer this time. Some sort of rack the day after tomorrow. Perhaps a storage room the following day. Only one per day, please. You gain steam and find yourself evolving into a ferocious organizer.
3 Best to-do list apps for time management
The market is flooded with digital reminders. Trying them all would be a huge undertaking; I should know.
For a job that can just as easily be done with sticky notes, why are there so many apps for it? This is because time management is a highly individual skill.
When something doesn’t sit quite right with them, they’ll reject it. That’s a smart first step, but it might be challenging to zero in on the best app.
That’s why we’ve been digging into the top to-do apps, attempting to uncover the ones that work best for different situations.
While useful, Todoist isn’t the most potent to-do app available. Furthermore, it’s not the easiest thing to do.
The point is precise that this program strikes a good mix between robustness and usability, and does so while supporting a wide variety of platforms. That’s a major selling factor, and it’s likely why Todoist is one of the most widely used to-do list apps today.
Natural language processing helped make adding tasks quickly across all tested platforms (type “buy milk Monday” and the task “buy milk” will be added with the next Monday set as your due date).
The Inbox allows you to create tasks, sort them into the appropriate projects, and set deadlines for when they must be completed. Paid customers have access to more advanced collaboration tools, such as the ability to design their own filters and labels.
Since it can be configured to fit a wide variety of use cases, Todoist is a great productivity app that won’t overwhelm you with complexity.
And it’s always getting better with upgrades that improve things like keyboard navigation and the ability to see projects in a Kanban board format. If you’ve never used a to-do app before and don’t know where to begin, this is a fantastic option to try.
TickTick is an increasingly popular to-do list app available for virtually any device and with an extensive set of functions. Natural language processing makes it easy to quickly add new activities.
On desktop, you can use a global keyboard shortcut, and on mobile, you can use pinned alerts and widgets, all of which make it easy to quickly add a task and get back to what you were doing.
You may create lists, assign tags, and set due dates for your tasks; you can even create subtasks within a task.
TickTick provides all of this with apps that are as close to native as possible; for example, the macOS and Windows versions of the app are different in ways that make sense given the differences between the two platforms. TickTick has a few extras that set it apart from competing apps.
The first feature is a Pomodoro timer that can be used to set up a 25-minute work period for any of your projects (complete with numerous white noise options, if you want). Second, it can sync with other calendars so you can plan your day and block off specific times for specific activities.
There’s also a built-in habit tracker so you can go back and see how many days you actually followed through on your plans to exercise and eat better.
The Eisenhower Matrix perspective was added in a recent update so that you can decide which tasks to focus on first based on their importance and urgency. It has a ton of useful functions and is unlike anything else available.
Microsoft acquired Wunderlist in 2015 and immediately put its developers to work on a new task management system.
The end result is Microsoft To Do, and you can trace its origins back to Wunderlist in many places. The primary interface is simple and user-friendly; adding new activities takes little time; nevertheless, a great deal of customization is available behind the surface.
However, the aspect that stands out the most is the tight connectivity with the rest of Microsoft’s ecosystem.
Users of Microsoft Outlook may now sync their tasks from Outlook to Microsoft To-Do, making it possible to take their to-do lists with them on the go.
Cortana and the Start menu allow Windows users to easily add new tasks. Inputting “add rice to my shopping list” will cause the rice to be added to a shopping list.
This software is not only the most functional but also the most aesthetically pleasing to-do list I’ve seen. You can personalize the look of each of your lists by assigning its own background image.
Your to-do list is something you’ll be staring at all day, so you might as well make it seem nice.