Updated: Dec 2, 2020
I have always been complimented for my time management skills in every area of my Life. In every project, my work 90% of the time finishes before deadline. I don't want to brag about myself but I have always been asked by many people that how do I manage to do so many things in one day. And now that I have a 1 year old daughter, I get bombarded with this question even more. Let me give you a heads up it is not like I do too many things in one day, it's just that I am efficient & I use some tools & tricks that help me utilise the same 24 hours we all have in a better way. Some of them are inspired from my parents who are the best example of time management for me. Rest, I have learnt from reading books & following influential people. Let's dive into some of my favorite techniques:
The Eisenhower Matrix
According to Eisenhower, work can be divided into important & urgent & we all are guilty of prioritising not so urgent & unimportant first than what is important & urgent.
You can refer the blog photo for this matrix. In this, there are 2 axis of important & urgent. So work can be divided into 4 quadrants.
Important & Urgent
Urgent & Not Important
Important & Not Urgent
Not Important & Not Urgent
When we segregate the items according to this category, it becomes clear as to how to prioritize your list of items. For eg, picking up groceries could be Important & Urgent if you are running out of it but renewing Netflix membership is not Important & not Urgent so there is no hurry to do this. It can be done later. When you segregate this way, your prioritising skill increases & you know which task should be done first. Eisenhower also emphasised for long term gains, give priority to Important items more priority than Urgent items. Download this worksheet https://bit.ly/2D2Hsws which will help you to use this matrix easily. Always put things you Love to do in Important category.
2. Wake up early
I swear by this tool. No matter how much difficult it is for you to wake up early, start doing it. Once you start it, your body clock will automatically become attuned for waking up early. And once you start doing this, you will realise how much time you have in the entire day to accomplish things & still have time to do things that you love. The more time you have, the more things you will do & the more the things you will accomplish, the more your self esteem will be high & with that you will feel better about yourself & your Life.
3. Set realistic Goals
Whenever you wake up, write down 5 most important work to be done that day as per the above mentioned matrix. When you write, chances of completing it also increases. One of the main reasons we are unable to complete our tasks on time is that we set high standards for ourselves & write too many things in our to do list. We get discouraged by seeing our list not getting completed which further lowers our enthusiasm & interest to complete it. So just start with 5 things.
4. Stay Mindful by avoiding Distraction
Parkinson's law says that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion". What it means is that, if you give a task 2 hour, it will take 2 hours to complete or if you give the same task a week, then it will take a week to complete it. Hence it is important to stay focussed & mindful to the task at hand. For this, it is crucial to avoid distractions such as constantly checking your phone. This can be done by putting the phone in airplane mode whenever you are working on a task. Whatever time you set for a work, only focus on that. To maximise your focus, take short breaks every 20 min. In that break you can check your phone or do other things that are otherwise distractions but set a time limit of 2 min for that.
If you try to do all the tasks on your own, you will surely face a massive burnout. Try delegating the not so important tasks to others. If you are running a business, try delegating the administrative work to your juniors so that you can focus on increasing the revenue, if you are a homemaker with young children, try delegating the chores to a house help so that you can spend quality time with your loved ones, if you are a student working on a project with classmates, try dividing the work as per talents of other members of the group. The key is to keep that work that you enjoy doing & are good at & delegating the rest. If you are worried about the budget, then take it slow initially, don't overburden yourself with too many tasks. Also, taking help from your Family will only make your bond with them better!
6. Plan your week and day
Plan your day a night before. Before sleeping, write down important things to be done the next day. Do important work at the time of the day you are most active & mundane things at the time you feel least energetic. For example, researching a project requires a lot of energy & you might feel most energetic in the morning so do that in the morning. Promoting your new video on social media requires less mental energy, so you can schedule it in the afternoon. Do the same practice for the entire week. Writing your weekly plan helps a lot! I always plan my entire week in advance. What meals to cook on which day, what work needs to be done on which day. If this is planned in advance, a lot of time is saved in thinking & organising when the task is on your table.
Now, there are tasks which don't require focus and mental energy. These tasks when doubled up with other tasks, not only makes the task fun, but accomplishes 2 tasks in the same time. For eg: whenever I cook or fold laundry, I always play a podcast or listen to audio books. This not only increases my knowledge but also helps me finish the chores without realising the time passing by! But do not try this with a task that requires concentration.
8. Reward yourself
At the end of the day, write down things you have accomplished that day. It is essential to recognize your achievements. For rewarding yourself, you do things that you Love to do. For e.g. watch your favorite show, listen to your best music, make that long pending phone call to your friend, test yourself with a bubble bath etc.
If you follow all the above steps, I am sure not only you will manage to accomplish your daily work on time but also have time to do things you Love to do!! Download this worksheet https://bit.ly/2D2Hsws to manage your time better!
What are your thoughts on this! Which Techniques you utilize for effective time management? Comment below & spread your knowledge!