Managing time efficiently is a critical skill to acquire if you want to make the most of your day. It helps you feel on top of things and reduces the stress you experience, not to mention that it helps you achieve more in a given amount of time.
Increasing your time management efficiency may take some time, but all you need is a bit of self-discipline and reliable strategies – some of which we discuss below:
- A productive day begins with a good night’s rest
Try to get enough sleep each night – your body will let you know if it needs more. Usually, 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night should suffice. Avoid oversleeping, as it’s just as bad as not getting enough sleep.
- Take 10 minutes to organize
Begin your day by organizing your tasks. Having an overview will help you prioritize tasks and give you an indication of how far ahead or behind you are with your schedule. A good way to organize your day is by using the Pomodoro technique: 25 minutes work sessions with 5 minutes breaks in-between.
- Begin with the most urgent tasks
Starting off with the urgent tasks gives you more freedom to adapt your schedule to any unexpected developments later in the day without causing too much stress.
- Work uninterruptedly, one task at a time
Focus solely on the task at hand, avoiding distractions or breaks during your work sessions. It takes one minute to fully focus on a task again after an interruption, so it’s easy to see the extent to which they can affect one’s productivity.
- Don’t be a perfectionist
For some tasks you need to get everything perfect. For the rest, however, there’s the Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule. Basically, Pareto suggests that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In other words, if you were to do a task perfectly in an hour, you would need only 12 minutes to do it “well enough” in the first place.
- Keep track of your leisure time
How you spend your leisure time is entirely up to you, but it’s a good idea to keep track of what you do and for how long. In the long run, you might decide that you are spending too much time doing things that do not add value to your day and that you want to change that.
- Break for meals and snacks
No matter how busy it gets, take breaks for meals and snacks. Doing so will help you stay energized and focused on the tasks you need to accomplish.
In addition to the strategies outlined above, keep in mind that a higher time management efficiency is also obtained by adapting methods in order to decrease complexity and increase efficiency. In other words, try to make things as easy as possible for yourself to gain more time for the things that truly matter.