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Work Smarter, Not Harder : The Time Management Tips to Change Your Life

Even if you have a long to-do list every day, you can manage yourself better with some time management tips. Sometimes, it’s a matter of changing your perspective towards life. Learn to prioritize your task and manage everything in a smarter way, not spending more valuable time.

In this short piece, we’ll talk about SMART goals, overcoming procrastination and meeting challenges in a more systematic way. Our online training modules cover a detailed discussion on all the topics covered here.

How important is time management?

Effective time management can bring significant changes to your life. Firstly, you’ll be in control of your life; your tasks will be organised and you’ll perform your duties on time. As a well-organised and disciplined person, you overcome your stress and reach your goals efficiently.

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80:20 rule, comes with a thought-provoking concept. According to this principle, we achieve 80% of the outputs in our daily life from 20% of our efforts. That means we get only 20% out of our 80% efforts in a day. How is it so?

Manipulate your time

There are ways to manipulate your time for better outcomes. You have to plan for your work efficiently, track your results and evaluate your progress. However, you have to start with smart and achievable goals for working in a fruitful manner.

Although time management has a big impact on the lives of the students, we cannot limit it to one particular stage of our lives. From your personal to professional life, you need to prioritize your tasks and achieve your smart goals on time. Let’s have a look at some time management tips that definitely work for the majority of us.

Time management skills: Some pro-tips

We can’t afford to waste our valuable time. Here, I listed some of the most talked-about time management tips by experts.

1. Continuous self-evaluation

You need to consistently evaluate your actions to identify the challenges, obstacles and inconsistencies in your performance. The continuous evaluation will help you to figure out the required techniques and measurements for enhancing your performance.

2. Setting up SMART goals

SMART goals for time management
You have to set SMART goals which are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. If you set certain goals and objectives, you can design your timeframe for certain tasks. In short, your goals drive you to work smartly towards your destination.

3. Schedule and prioritize your tasks

Effective time management depends a lot on your ability to log your activities, prioritizing tasks and scheduling tasks according to your priorities. In the modern age of technology, distractions are ample as they pop up on your screen every now and then. Ask yourself a few basic questions about your tasks to sort out your priorities:
  • Why do I need to do this?
  • Does this task help me to reach my target?
  • How important is the task for my target?

Try to keep a list of your tasks and prioritize them using a visual format (Figure 1). You can use a simple Google Sheet or a project management tool like Asana, Trello, Basecamp or any other similar tool for better visual impact.

Date April 10, 2020

Time Started

Time Ended

Total Time
(Minutes)

Activity

Priority
1 = Low
2 = Medium
3 = High

10:00

10:45

45

Responding to emails

2

10:45

10:50

5

Listening to voicemails

2

10:50

11:20

30

Discussion with production manager

3

11:20

11:45

25

Checking Facebook messages from friends and family members

1

Figure 1 : A sample daily log for effective time management

3. Multitasking skills: Avoid or engage effectively

Suppose, you are in a classroom. You are taking notes and listening to your lecturer at the same time. Don’t try to check the new popups on your mobile screen at the same time. You’ll lose track of your notes or fail to engage properly with your friend who sent the message.

On the other hand, as a customer service executive, you are talking to your client online and typing necessary information at the same time. At this point, multitasking is a requirement, a vital skill. Educate yourself to prioritize and adapt to the useful shortcuts of your keyboard!

  • Check your emails at regular intervals.
  • Avoid multitasking for better attention span.
  • Figure out your pick hours at work.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts!
  • Start easy and move towards challenging tasks gradually.

4. Visualise your objectives and tasks

How necessary is visualisation for us? With the boost in crowd technologies, it is more likely that you are using one of the popular project management tools or applications. Even if you aren’t comfortable with gadgets, use a board and cut engaging photographs from a magazine to pin then on it. Have a look at it a few times a day and picture yourself at the end of the journey.

The visualisation of your goals, objectives or destination is a creative way of keeping yourself motivated and engaged. Do it your own way and make it a part of your life.

5. Apply effective communication skills to execute your plans

Seek help from people when you need contributions from others. Don’t waste your time wandering around in despair. You can avoid unnecessary conflicts and disputes applying your communication skills. However, your communication should incorporate proper body language and effective strategies.

It’s amazing how you can overcome your obstacles towards your goals with your practical communication expertise. Additionally, you would want to work on your behaviour to adapt to situations.

7. Fight your procrastination

The term ‘procrastination’ may sound amazing, but the habit of putting off your task or giving excuses for delays don’t help your cause much. It’s important to understand your priorities to fight procrastination. Try to put off tasks like checking your Twitter timeline every hour and focus on more important things on your list.

Daniel Goodman, in an article of Business Insider, lists some valuable tips on fighting your procrastination:

Effective and concise emails

Stop beating around the bush in your emails. People are busy these days. They receive so many texts and emails that a few extra lines don’t help much. Try to use bold texts and bullet points. You have to transform your email into a meaningful and concise conversation.

Create a more focused environment

Every day, try to push away all the interruptions in the form of emails, text notifications, phone calls for a period to focus on more creative aspects of your tasks. Your undivided attention can bring extraordinary results for you.

Take short breaks

You don’t need to wear yourself out. Take little breaks. You can go for a walk or chat with a friend. It helps your brain to return to your work afresh. These short breaks can be treated as small rewards for your little achievements. You can try the Pomodoro technique to allow your brain some relaxing time.

Break your larger tasks into smaller chunks

The appearance of a task can overwhelm you easily. Try to divide bigger projects into achievable smaller tasks. Communicate with others and use the transferable skills of people around you. Involve your colleagues in an appropriate manner to make lives easier for all parties.

8. Get better outputs learning the art of time management

As I have mentioned earlier, you have to evaluate your progress continuously and rationally to reach your goals. You will need to take a systematic approach for learning time management professionally.

An online course can help you to master smarter ways of managing time at your convenient time. What do you think is the best way of learning the art? It allows you to learn at your own time, review the ideas repeatedly and manage your learning experience smoothly.

Effective time management consists of planning, organising, staffing, directing and evaluating. It’s a combination of certain methods and dedication from your side. Most of the facts discussed in this are proven time management tips proven by researchers. Nonetheless, you should create a systematic plan for better time management. An online course might prove very effective for an organised compilation of tools you need to overcome your procrastination.

Cover Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

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