by Aymeric Gaurat-Apellii, founder of Weekplan
Peter Drucker quoted, “Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.” If time is not used effectively, it can spoil the whole game. Most of us complain that we don’t get time to do something we would love to do. But the fact is you’ll never get enough time, you will have to produce it.
We often think that we are overburdened with work, but the reality is that there is always room for improvement when it comes to managing time. A person can perform a set of tasks in a day, another person can perform the same set of tasks in 5-6 hours. It’s all a matter of efficiency and concentration.
Here are 5 time management hacks that will make every second worth:
Prioritize : Where do your tasks lie?
Many of us fail to judge which task is important and which task is urgent. The day a person learns to prioritize his tasks, he would be a master of his time.
We all are in a time crunch and our tasks are never ending. You can start with segregating tasks on their nature of how urgent and how important they are:
- Start with putting those tasks on high priority in Quadrant I which are urgent and important These are the tasks which can’t be avoided or procrastinated. For example, tasks with deadlines and health emergencies are categorized under this section. Manage time allocation to these tasks in such a way that they consume less of your time. Also, avoid emergency situations which can take a lot of your time.
- Secondly, put the tasks which are important but not urgent in the Quadrant II. These are your long term goals which will yield you results. It is the most important quadrant and will consume most of your time. Tasks like strategic planning and preparing reports are categorized under important and not urgent.
- Now come the tasks that are urgent but not important. These are the tasks that are not of much value but urgent. Tasks like taking a phone call or replying to an email which are distracting in nature should be put in Quadrant III. Keep in mind to spend minimum time on these tasks.
- Lastly, keep all those tasks in Quadrant IV which are not important and not urgent. These are the tasks that kill your valuable time like surfing the internet, gossiping with colleagues and chatting with friends.
Plan out everything.
You must have heard people saying start your day with a plan, which is not the correct method. To be effective, you must plan your day the night before. Doing so will put less stress on your brain in the morning and you’ll be able to work more effectively. Planning your schedule on a weekly basis is the best option. You get more room to adjust urgent tasks in between your preplanned week which is less stressful in comparison to planning on a daily basis. You just have to make a few adjustments rather than planning schedule from scratch every day. Use a daily schedule planner, or better, a weekly planner where you can assign yourself tasks and plan the whole schedule of a day or a week.
Once you have planned what tasks need to be done on what day, allocate time to each task. Putting a deadline to each task increases your productivity. Deadlines imply a goal needed to be achieved. And a goal-driven activity is sustainable itself. Nothing could be better than self-imposed deadlines. Putting a time constraint helps you achieve goals you have defined for the day.
Learn the art of saying NO.
Learning to say no is important. If you want control of your life you have to be stern at times. We all want to be liked by all and stay in everyone’s good books. But sometimes saying yes to others take a toll on your schedule and mess up your time allocation to each task. You have to get this thing straight, not everyone can be a people pleaser and being a people pleaser does no good to you in the long run. Set boundaries and learn to decline someone’s request in a polite manner.
Saying no is a great way to keep you focused on your task and it also keeps distractions at bay. Once you agree to do a task for someone, it is likely that they will approach you again to get their task done. Hence, you get distracted from your tasks. Learn to say no to others and yes to yourself.
Early bird catches the worm.
Get up early in the morning. Make it a habit. Get an uninterrupted sleep at night for at least 8 hours. Waking up early gives you time to exercise. And by doing exercise in the morning, you stay active throughout the day. Exercising not just keeps you fit but also increases your stamina which keeps you going throughout the day. Harvard biologist Christoph Randler found that people who wake up early in the morning are more proactive as compared to those who wake up late. Also, early risers are better planners and anticipate problems efficiently.
Sync multiple calendars at one place.
Managing multiple Google calendars can be a hectic task for those who manage more than one Google account. A lot of time gets wasted in logging in and out of accounts for accessing calendars to view upcoming events.. Weekplan is a free weekly planner that allows you to integrate multiple Google calendars at one place making it easy for you to keep a track of all your upcoming events.
You will find various blogs, numerous hacks and a lot of eBooks telling you how to manage your time and be productive. But, to be effective and manage your time efficiently is in your hands. Use an app that lets you manage all your tasks and reminds you about an upcoming event. The key to success lies in managing time effectively and efficiently.