A day takes 24 hours. For many of us, it’s enough for all the things we planned, but the rest wish for at least another hour to complete the schedule. What’s the reason? There are as many as people all around the world, but the main cause is probably the same – improper time management. So let us guide you today to the most effective tactics and techniques on how to manage your time wiser, according to the popular sentence – work smarter, not harder!
What is time management and why is it important?
According to the definition in Wikipedia, time management:
…is the process of planning and exercising conscious control of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity.
There is a keyword in the sentence above – the control. We’re often not aware of time slips through our fingers and we often catch on our responsibilities too late. Such behavior leads us straight to missing deadlines and days full of stress. Both body and mind suffer and we’re stuck between piling todos and endless fatigue. But it doesn’t have to be that way – regaining the control over time is the key!
What are the best time management strategies?
We’re aware that it’s not the first article about effective time management that has been ever written, but let us provide here some of our best time management tips that are working for us the most!
Choose your own time management way
Proper time management is a must, but it is something so obvious that repeating it is unnecessary. What matters more is the way of organizing one’s everyday affairs, choosing the medium that one will use.
The most traditional method is based on writing your plan down on a piece of paper, point after point. Cards are, for example, ideal for jotting those most transient ideas, they’re perfect when you’re looking for best ideas for next blog posts. To understand something, it is advisable to gather it in one place, for instance, on a corkboard or in an envelope/box, as not to lose any part of your list and, primarily, not to forget what you thought the day before or what you should do tomorrow.
Nonetheless, this system doesn’t work for everyone. Simple cards may be a considerable problem for visualizes. Some individuals use, for example, drawings, doodles, or something of that sort to remember things, need colors, or even sounds to not forget. As long as pictures are concerned, those may be done on paper, but not sounds. Besides, draws aren’t bottomless.
You’ve already known that, but… track your time!
For individuals bored with snips, there are more up-to-date solutions. More and more people nowadays use time tracking software such as TimeCamp, which helps to improve one’s productivity.
First thing, TimeCamp allows you to track time, in two ways: automatically and manually. It collects your time entries to timesheet and lets you generate reports and invoices for the work done. What is more, the program offers you a variety of reports available to generate from the web app – based on data gathered by the desktop application. Reports can be generated in two main categories – Projects & Tasks (Including reports by projects, tasks, billable unbillable, invoiced) and Computer Time (including away time, efficiency, goals).
One task list is not enough? Try to split it in two or more!
Task planning should be divided into two groups: those short- and long-term ones. Such a work organization will help you to stay calm, knowing you’re in the control of your to-dos. Try to prepare a task list for a specific day, then, write down what you do cyclically in a week, month, or even a year. Doing so will make it easier for you to identify priorities, determine which objectives have been achieved and which may take more time and, therefore, need to be postponed.
Cyclicality will also introduce you to a certain routine, thanks to which you will not miss anymore the current issue.
Always check what has been already done
The psychological factor plays a vital role in task planning. It is not easy to switch from chaos to order. Everything that requires the resignation from worked out ways of acting is extremely difficult to implement. That’s why it’s a good idea to make time management as easy as possible so that you can keep your fingers on the pulse.
And here technology also comes with a helping hand – there are many simple to use task management software on the market, like HeySpace, Trello, Asana, Clickup or Basecamp – try them out and choose the one that meets your needs you most!
Avoid the to-do list overload
Too many responsibilities can cause chaos. People are not machines, they have their limitations. It often happens that the more goals we wish to achieve, the less of them we complete, or the quality of their performance leave much to be desired. The simplest recipe for overcoming mess is to shorten the list of tasks and extend the implementation of individual items for several days. That way, you won’t do anything half-hearted and at the last moment. Trust me, it’s better having fewer things to do but more comprehensive than wasting much time spreading yourself too thin.
Plus tip: always set goals that you know you can achieve! Respect your time and try to not wasting it wondering why you can’t finish the tasks again.
JUST EAT THIS FROG!
Do you know the ”Eat The Frog” method? Its principle suggests starting with the most difficult and troublesome tasks. Applying this method, we get rid of what frustrates us the most and make the implementation of the following items on our list not so worn as at the beginning. Isn’t that wonderful?
Don’t let the world corner you, just relaxed! Of course, bottlenecks happen, sometimes emergency situations tend to ruin all our plans, but if you organize your list thoughtfully, none of the extra task will surprise you! Remember – you are to be in control of the situation, not the other way round.