You probably clicked on this article because you finally decided that it’s about time to straighten your priorities and improve your life. You might even be facing a daunting deadline or a heavy burden on your shoulders right now but that’s okay because there is still a chance for you to accomplish whatever needs to be done. However, these time management tips will be useless if you don’t have the drive to train yourself to become disciplined and aware.
It’s actually interesting to know that people always find reasons or a way out behind their mediocre performance at work, school, or life in general. Most blame lack of time. However, there’s also a fine line between slacking off and overdoing it in terms of time management. Obviously, you are inefficient when you do things at the last minute. You could still be inefficient even after exerting strenuous efforts.
For example, if the results were almost the same with your “chill” colleagues who were given the same task, the extra effort in this case seemed useless and unnecessary. You could have spent that extra time on other important matters. As cliche as it may sound, you got to work smarter and not harder. That’s basically the very premise of time management.
In real life, some might say that they don’t have the time to add more tasks due to their busy schedule. Others deal with deadlines through procrastination. There are those who sacrifice sleep just to beat the deadlines. Whatever your reasons may be, the ultimate advice you need to hear is to practice these effective time management tips as soon as possible.
Here are 12 time management tips for you to stay productive
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1. Use the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is one of the easiest yet most efficient ways to stay deeply focused. It is great in preventing awful burnouts too. In applying this, it will help you find that balance between work and play. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone (but don’t take that literally, please).
It goes by setting a time limit for a certain task and rewarding yourself with short breaks in between. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Ideally, you set a timer for 30 minutes which is meant for only one task.
- Next, you work on that task until the timer beeps.
- Then you take a short 5-minute break where you could either doze off with a quick nap or play a short game. It really depends on what keeps you relaxed.
- Lastly, you repeat this cycle for four times and after that, you have earned the right to take a longer break as in 30 minutes to an hour!
Repeat this whole cycle again until you finally finish all the tasks set for the day. The overall experience is worth it. It teaches you the need to work hard before getting that sweet reward. It’s psychologically motivating!
CHECK THESE POMODORO TIMER APPS
2. Sleep early
After a long day of hustling, it’s nice to do some self-care just to wind down a bit. You need to accept the fact that the day has passed and it’s time to rest. So why not curate your personal night routine and stick to it!
It’s recommended to not use your phone two hours before bed, to drink chamomile tea instead of coffee, and to practice yoga or meditation. There are also other productivity habits you can incorporate to help you sleep better.
Feeling lively and refreshed in the mornings starts with how you spend your nights. It’s true that there are times when sleeping early becomes a luxury. But if you do have the opportunity, grab that chance to go to bed before 10 PM especially when your work or school starts before 9 AM. Studies have shown that 10PM is the perfect bedtime as it allows you to have a complete sleep which is the recommended 7 – 8 hours. You could still wake up before dawn and start your day with a workout or jog!
3. Wake-up early
As discussed, when you sleep early, you also wake up early. They also say, “early birds catch the worm”. That’s why early risers can accomplish so much in a single day.
To maximize your mornings, why not establish a morning routine as well! Drink a glass of water upon waking up because your body has become dehydrated from all that sleep. Then open the windows to let the fresh air in, read a self-help book or listen to a podcast, and eat a healthy breakfast. There are other habits to include that will help you become energized and excited for the day ahead.
4. Drink a hot coffee or tea
Making yourself a nice and hot cup of coffee or tea will surely help you relax while you work. It gives you that much-needed energy boost! It may be a temporary stress relief but the fact remains that you need it every now and then. So why not look up delicious coffee or tea recipes to make your drinks exciting!
5. Focus on one task at a time
Similar to what the Pomodoro Technique is promoting, you need to focus on one task at a time. The quality of the output is better when your mind is serving the needs of one task only at a given period. Although there are those who argue that multitasking gets the job done faster, aren’t they the ones who also get easily distracted? Studies have shown that the power of single-tasking results in higher productivity and reduced stress. You actually get more done when you take it slowly but surely.
6. Plan ahead
Planning will serve as the blueprint or backbone of your day, week, or month. It’s going to stand as your foundation. That’s why it’s important to plan realistically and strategically. Your plans should not be too detached from your current lifestyle. It should be something you can commit to for the long-term.
You need to know what is going on by being aware of the deadlines, projects, holidays, and special events. You can map this out on a monthly calendar template. Then you can strategize specific ways on how to accomplish it with the help of a weekly planner or a daily to-do list. It’s highly recommended to get yourself a planner. It could either be digital like those found online or paper-bound like those found in bookstores. With this, it’s less like that you’ll end up cramming or procrastinating!
Why not try to check out Slay Your Goals Planner! It has everything you need to set achievable goals!
7. Rest when you have to
Also similar to what the Pomodoro Technique is promoting, you need to rest in order to avoid burnouts. Don’t force yourself if your mind cannot retain information anymore when it’s past midnight already or if you are severely depressed because a relative just died. In these unfortunate yet reasonable situations, you need to allow yourself to stop hustling. You need to heal by sleeping early, by taking a mental health break, or by doing a relaxing activity. Don’t worry, it’s going to be okay because you are allowed to look after yourself too.
8. Remove non-essential tasks
Sometimes we get too excited in making our to-do lists, and weekly or monthly plans. As a result, we become unrealistic. We then put too many expectations on ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to be ambitious. But putting more than twenty tasks that are meant to be done in twenty-four hours is overly ambitious.
As harsh as it may sound but ambition should be regulated. Don’t burden yourself with too many tasks that you can’t even accomplish in a day. Remove the non-essential tasks. Establish S.M.A.R.T. goals instead. They must be Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Relevant, and Time Based. Be guided by these principles when planning! Remember, you still have other days to fill, and you can’t accomplish everything overnight.
ALSO READ: HOW TO BE AN ESSENTIALIST
9. Avoid endlessly scrolling on Social Media
We’ve been there and done that. These days, it’s so easy to fall prey to social media addiction. It’s not only unhealthy for our lifestyle and harmful for the eyes, but also unproductive.
It’s so easy to lose track of time if you’ve been glued to your phone screen. In order to get out of the habit of endlessly scrolling, you could manually set a timer when you use social media for leisure. This is to ensure that you are aware of how much time has already passed. You could also download certain apps or set your settings into child-lock which could lock social media apps for a period of time.
Did you know that with Freedom, you can block distracting websites, apps, and the Internet? It is a trusted and reliable app or website blocker for Mac, Chrome, Windows, Android, and iOS!
10. Use a to-do list
Use a to-do list in organizing your thoughts and your plans for the day. This will serve as your tool and guide, so you don’t get lost halfway in accomplishing your daily goals. You could fill up a to-do list by adding it to your morning or night routine.
In order to have an efficient to-do list, you need to identify which tasks to prioritize and finish first. You need to establish a personal hierarchy of tasks. It’s important to know which ones are more important than the other.
We also want to avoid the situation where you forget to do the most important tasks. In all honesty, you cannot always rely on your memory. It doesn’t mean that humans aren’t smart enough to remember but humans aren’t perfect as well. Next time don’t just try to think about all your tasks upon waking up, then hope for it to be directed in your long-term memory. You really need to write or type every single task on a paper or an app.
ALSO READ: PRODUCTIVITY SECRETS TO GET THINGS DONE
11. Have a designated workspace
A personal workspace is an area where you can devote and focus all your efforts for school or work. You could be free from other distractions found in the living room where televisions are usually placed or in the kitchen where food is just a few steps away. It’s a must to set-up a designated workspace in the comfort of your home or room, especially now that most are working or studying online while the pandemic is not yet completely over.
If you don’t have a workspace yet, try to search for the best price deals on office furniture such as a study desk, desk lamps, pen holders, notebooks, laptop stand, phone stand, headphone stand, etc. You could also look online for inspiration so that it matches your style and aesthetic. There’s actually much to consider in building your ideal workspace but I assure you it will be fun if you are truly determined to be productive!
12. Maintain the cleanliness of your workspace
Show some respect to your workspace by cleaning and organizing it regularly. You could start by decluttering what distracts or demotivates you such as crumpled papers, unnecessary documents, and defective pens. Remember, a clean workspace helps your mind focus better!
OVER TO YOU
Time management is the core of every productive person. These twelve time-management tips are meant to help you accomplish more, to achieve better days, and to become the best version of yourself. As mentioned, it is really your decision to initiate the first move in transitioning to a productive kind of lifestyle. It’s a change that requires perseverance, discipline, and courage. I believe you are equipped to do so.
You may ask, how so? Well, for starters, you’ve reached the end of this article!
That’s accomplishment in itself!
It already proves your desire to manage your time better and be a productive individual!
Until the next post, I wish you luck on this journey and I hope you’ll always make the most out of the day!