We all want to make the most of the 24 hours we get each day. However, some people achieve more happiness, productivity, and success – in the same amount of time as everyone else!
How can I be more successful at managing my time? You only need to apply one powerful concept: conscious time management. With these time management tips, you can plan, execute and manage your day and achieve massive success!
DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE JUST BECAUSE IT’S RINGING.
Don’t automatically answer emails the very second they arrive. Batch process your emails and catch up on phone calls in your down time. Avoid interruptions when working on high-focus tasks.
BEFORE MEETINGS, DETERMINE YOUR DESIRED RESULTS.
Have a clear purpose in mind before starting meetings. Your team will waste less time by getting back to work as soon as you meet your agenda.
PUT A TIME LIMIT ON TASKS.
Take another look at your time audit and identify tasks that take longer than you expect.
By setting time constraints for these items, you will focus more and work more efficiently.
If you still find yourself going beyond these time limits, examine your workflow and eliminate little time-wasters like unscheduled breaks.
PLAN YOUR WEEK ON SUNDAY.
Walking into work with a plan for the week will help you focus on priorities. You can easily transition from your carefree weekend mindset to a productive Monday morning “work brain.”
Take a few minutes on Sunday to create a plan for your whole week. Cure procrastination by breaking down your weekly goals into daily tasks, so you only need a glance at this list while working.
Remember –your energy and creativity levels fluctuate throughout the week.
CREATE A DAILY PLAN.
Use the first 30 minutes of your day to create a daily to-do list that suits your weekly plan.
COMPLETE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT AND DEMANDING TASKS FIRST THING IN THE MORNING.
Most of us find our first hour of the work the most productive – make sure to use yours wisely! Oddly enough, you can focus more easily when your brain isn’t fully awake. Booting-up brains have less excess energy for daydreaming and worrying about other tasks.
Researchers have disproven the multitasking myth. If you believe you can do many things at once and maintain your quality standards, check out this article.
DON’T WAIT FOR INSPIRATION – DO IT NOW.
With mindfulness, you don’t have to feel like getting something done to do it. Notice the thoughts and feelings that arise while you work from an outside perspective. Don’t let them govern your actions.
Acknowledge your emotions and daydreams and let them go. Start tasks, even when you feel unsure, and trust your motivation to follow.
DON’T STRIVE FOR PERFECTION.
When everything must be perfect, can anything ever be good enough? Probably not.
To become exceptional, you must fail repeatedly and learn from your mistakes. Look at every effort as an experiment – a valuable step on your journey, no matter what the outcome.
SCHEDULE BREAKS BETWEEN TASKS.
The human brain can only focus for about 90-minutes at a time.
Schedule a break at least every 90 minutes to avoid burnout and maintain high productivity throughout your day.
MAKE THE MOST OF WAITING TIMES.
It happens to everyone: we wait in lines, waiting rooms, airport terminals, train stations, etc.
Answer emails on your phone, catch up on missed phone calls, stretch/exercise, relax or meditate. Carry a book/Kindle with you and read. Listen to podcasts on your phone.
ORGANIZE YOUR EMAIL.
People with cluttered inboxes spend so much time on email than others.
The best way to speed up email communication and waste less time on superfluous exchanges is to organize your inbox.
LEARN TO SAY NO.
Your time is precious. Don’t waste it on people and projects that don’t align with your mission and goals.
Use the same approach with deadlines.
Plan to submit your work one day ahead of schedule.
TRAIN THE OTHER SIDE OF YOUR BRAIN.
Engage in hobbies to engage the parts of your brain that you don’t use at work. You’ll solve problems faster and have more creativity at your disposal.
Spending time outside of your comfort zone leads to success. If you’re a lawyer, learn to dance. If you’re a pianist, practice martial arts. If you’re a software developer, go out and socialize.
Sports help you handle everyday stressors.
Researchers have shown that short and intense exercise sessions can be as beneficial as longer ones. Set some time aside for short workouts – at least every other day.
Scientists have found that sleeping less to create more task-oriented time leads to trouble. Tired people procrastinate more and get distracted easily. Give your brain at least eight hours of sleep every night.
USE YOUR CALENDAR.
A calendar is good for so much more than just scheduling meetings.
Use your calendar to keep track of deadlines, block times off for focused work, and automatically add locations to events.
Take responsibility for your time. If you think that a scheduled entry will not advance your plan for the day, just cancel it.
SCHEDULE RELAXATION TIME.
Get out of the hamster wheel, spend some time in quiet, and turn off your “work brain”.
You will be surprised about the positive effects some quiet time can have on your creative processes. Meditation helps you adopt a fresh eye and gain new insights about your work.
Instead of automatically accepting invitations and offers, say, ‘I’ll check my schedule and get back to you’. This simple phrase will buy you time to evaluate offers and make smart decisions.