“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Admit it, time management can be a real pain. Whether you are a professional with an 8-to-5 job or a freelancer, squeezing everything in one day, including rests, social time and happy hour can be very challenging.
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So how to manage your time well? Here are a few tips you can do to ace the time challenge:
- Make a list of the tasks you need to accomplish. Before you can manage your time, you should know which activities you are supposed to deal with. A list of tasks, from the basic to the critical ones, will help you get a handle on what needs to get done.
Tip: Colorful and cutesy notepads, pens, sharpies, and stickers help me in creating a perfect and engaging work note. Try it too (especially when you have that creative knack!)
2. Set your priorities. Know which assignments should be done ASAP.
Now that you have a list, arrange the activities according to significance and urgency. Assigning a number from 1 to 10 will help you analyze which among the work jobs are the most and the least important. It will also give you a view on how you can segment your time and energy.
3. Batch related tasks together. Studies show that different tasks demand different types of thinking, so it makes sense to allow your mind to continue to flow with its current zone rather than switching unnecessarily to something that’s going to require you to re-orient (Bates, 2014).
It is important to do all the segmenting and clustering before you take off. Remember that this is always part of efficient planning.
4. Focus on your most productive time of day. There are some people who work better in the morning, and some are more focused in the evening. Assess your best time of the day and devote it to those tasks that require a lot of effort.
5. EAT. When you work, make sure that your stomach is full. Eating the right food will help you maximize your energy for the whole day.
Sugars are also essential. Neuroscientists have shown, using fMRI to scan the brain‘s activity in real-time, that sugar leads to dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens – an area associated with motivation, novelty, and reward (Greenberg, 2013). This reaction stimulates the brain and therefore, helps one think better.
6. Take a break. Whether it’s a short walk or a quick nap, remember to always rest. Know that your body and brain also need a breather. Always leave a buffer-time in between tasks to give some space for recharge.
Tip: It’s okay to use social media during breaks but remember to not over-engage. A short chitchat with your crush can definitely help you set a good mood.
7. Track your progress. Cross things off the list as they are completed. Remember that every work done is an accomplishment and a step closer towards your end goal/s.
8. Eliminate non-essential things (and people). Seriously, if you want to get things done, you must know the difference between the important and the not so important things. Always, ALWAYS focus on the goals and the steps you need to take to reach those goals.
9. Have fun. Sometimes, we get so caught up with all the heavy loads that we tend to forget the word “fun”. Remember to find joy in what you do because, yes, work and play can come together.
10. Take a good amount of sleep. Never underestimate the value of sleep. Complete 6 to 8 hours of sleep and you’ll be fuelled for a day.
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Lastly, people should know that effective time management is not just a practice of OC and uptight people who love to follow schedules and organize things. All of us need to manage our schedule well because the key to work-life balance is proper TIME MANAGEMENT. When we manage our time well, we get more things done and we are able to free up our day for relaxation and leisure.
Give this list a try and see how much time it can save you.
Photos are from Pinterest.
Shai is a millennial multi-hyphenate who loves randomness and spontaneity. She writes for her blog shairahabon.com and contributes for several local and international magazines. She is also currently pursuing her Master’s Degree at the Ateneo De Manila University. Apart from writing, she’s also into MMA and running. She manages a small business and daydreaming is her favorite hobby. Follow her journey @shairahabon.