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Five Tips for Better Time Management

by | Sep 4, 2020 | Self-Help

Five Tips for Better Time Management

by | Sep 4, 2020 | Self-Help

Successful people know how to effectively manage their time. This is what enables them to do things like raising a family, getting an education, working a job, and having fun all at once. Time management requires vision, discipline, and sacrifice. Read below for five ways that you can improve your time management skills and begin living a better life.

1. Set a Non-Negotiable Wake-Up Time.

It’s very difficult to get ahead if you cannot get out of bed and be ready to start your day in thirty minutes or less. One way to ensure consistency and efficiency in your schedule is by setting an alarm and following it. It’s also probably better to wake up earlier in the day so that you can get more done. This doesn’t mean that you have to spring out of bed at 5:30 AM every morning, but I would personally consider any time before 9:00 AM to be a good wake-up time.

To add to this, you could set the alarm on your phone to go off every morning at 7:00 AM. Then, before you go to bed, you could place your phone across the room. This way, when you are awoken by the alarm, you will have no choice but to get out of bed and turn it off. Do not press snooze and absolutely do not get back into bed. Those extra five minutes of sleep will not drastically improve your day at that point. Get out of bed and stay out of bed.

2. Avoid Going on Your Phone for The First Hour of The Day.

One of the biggest challenges that I used to face was waking up in the morning and then scrolling through social media for twenty minutes. I was waking up nice and early, but then wasting that time by getting distracted by Instagram. Eventually, I found that I was more efficient with my time if I didn’t look at my phone until after I ate breakfast. By then, I was out of bed and thinking about the things that I had to do throughout my day. If I did go on my phone at that point, it was only briefly.

3. Break Larger Projects Down Into One-Hour Work Sessions

High school and college students know the feeling of scrambling to complete a five-page research paper the night before it is due. It’s in those late anxiety-ridden hours of the night that we’ve all realized that we were to blame for our own struggle. Sometimes, it might seem easy to think about starting that paper and writing it all the way through in one day. It might be a better idea to work on that paper for an hour on Wednesday, an hour on Thursday, and an hour on Saturday. This gives you more time to process your work and see it all coming together. Doing this will most definitely result in a better finished product as well. Deadlines won’t be able to creep up on you either.

4. Start a Time-Management Journal

Don’t scroll past this thinking that I recommend you start journalling about how well you did or did not manage your time every day – it’s much more simple than that. Go to your local office supply store and buy a notebook. Wake up the next day, and on the first page write down the date. Then, write down all of your meetings/classes/obligations for the day and their respective times. Below that list, write a running list of all of the tasks that you have to complete. After a meeting or class, cross it off the list. After you complete a task, cross it off the list as well. Try to get as much done as you can every day. The next day when you wake up, start fresh on the next page and keep moving forward.

(See the photo below for a quick example – and please, don’t mind my handwriting…)

5. Say “NO” to Time-Wasting Activities

Work on avoiding different things that can cause you to waste time. This doesn’t mean that you should never go out and have fun or do something interesting, but keep your long-term goals in mind. Maybe going out for happy-hour on a Wednesday night is not the best way to get ahead of your work. Perhaps offering to fix your friend’s car is a nice thing to do, but it might create problems in your own schedule. This idea runs parallel with a similar post I wrote last month about putting yourself first when it is important. Overall, it’s necessary to have some fun and get some rest periodically, but don’t rationalize it at every opportunity. Remember that you are the only person that can get your work done and you have to set your schedule accordingly.

Time is the most valuable resource. Once time has passed, you cannot get it back! There are probably hundreds of unique ways that you can improve your time management skills. These are just five little tips that you might be able to try this week to get more done and live a more successful life. Let me know in the comments what you think about these ideas and how well they have worked for you. Also feel free to share some other time management tips that you might have. Thank you for reading!

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Photo credits: Unsplash