Improving Time Management Skills Once And Forever
We have all complained of not having enough time, but is it true? Do we really run out of time quickly or do we manage it poorly? Before you answer that, keep reading.
I know we live in a society that values immediacy, think about it! We don’t even want to wait for a webpage to load in longer than 3 seconds; we are like a modern version of Alice In Wonderland’s White Rabbit.
How is this marathon against time affecting us? Are we more stressed? Do we feel more tired all the time? I think we do, and that is why today I’d love to give you some tips to manage your time more effectively and, perhaps, start feeling like you are actually living instead of surviving.
How Is Our Perception Of Time Affecting Us?
I’m sure you have already heard of how many people are dying of chronic diseases around the world; diabetes, cancer, and heart attacks are a daily thing, and they have an organic source but, many decisions we take in our lives take us there.
We do not take enough time to make proper meals, much less we actually have the time to sit and eat slowly. We are always doing something, we feel more anxious than before so we smoke and drink more, we don’t even sleep well enough!
This feeling of constantly running out of time has changed our daily habits, and it is affecting our health.
I believe that nothing is more important than that, our health translates into more time to enjoy living and spending more significant moments with the ones we love, so how exactly do we allow our perception of time to take real-time from us?
We do not need more hours a day, time is perfect just the way it is, we are the ones who need to learn how to manage it properly.
Times have changed, so have humans, and the only reason we have survived is because we have learned to adapt. What I’m proposing to you is that, instead of sleeping 4 hours a day and feeling stressed 24/7, you take a few minutes to read the following lines and adapt these time management skills to your life.
It is easier to know what you have to do during the day if you take notes of your chores, grab your smartphone or a piece of paper and write down all you have to during the day.
Let’s take it a bit further, write down everything you have to do during the week, you can do this while taking the bus to your workplace, or while you wait for your dinner to be ready, so no excuses!
Once you have listed everything you have to do during the week, organize them by the time they need to be done. For example:
- Breakfast: 8 am
- Work: 9 am
- Send important emails: 11 am
- Call mom: 12 pm
And so on, when you do this, you will notice that there are some time gaps that haven’t been filled, those time gaps are usually what we don’t know how to manage.
In order to better manage those time gaps, we need to set daily goals. Some days your goals will be clear enough, some others can be a little harder to spot them.
Having a determined goal helps you to make priorities, which also help you organize your time better and not to feel guilty about leaving some chores behind, after all, you already decided they were not that important.
Manage Your Time Gaps
These gaps can be used to take a break, to solve a short unexpected crisis, to cook, to text your loved one, to start working earlier on other chores, pretty much on anything you want or need.
My advice would be dividing your chores between the really important ones and the not so important ones, the last ones do not need to be fully erased from your list, leave them aside to fill your time gaps when necessary.
Independently of what you have to do during the day, you will want to avoid distractions. And by distractions I do not mean spending 5 minutes on Instagram, rather spending a whole hour.
There are time management tools you can find online to limit your procrastination time while on the computer, for example, if you only have 30 minutes to spend on Facebook, you program these tools to let you be on Facebook for 30 minutes during the day.
It may sound like something a parent would do with his children, but it is incredibly effective. That way you will stay focused on what you have to do and waste less time.
Learn To Say No
This is one of the most important tips I could ever give you; sometimes we say yes to everything other people ask from us because we don’t want to be rude or hurt them in any way, when in fact, we end up hurting ourselves.
Saying no on time, in a proper way and to the right chores or people will make us feel better with ourselves and will make us manage our time more efficiently.
Do Not Sacrifice Your Sleeping Time
I mean it, when we don’t get enough sleep we start drinking energy drinks and more caffeine, ergo, we damage our body faster to stay awake all day when we could have done this by a nice 7-8hours of sleep.
I would recommend to include in your schedule and notes the time you need to sleep, and notice I said “need to sleep” instead of “can sleep”. You can skip some hours now and then, but don’t make it a habit.
Another great tip is waking up early, not many of us enjoy being an early bird, but when we talk about time management, it is an amazing idea, trust me.
When you start applying these time management tips to your life, let me know how it goes! And if you do something extra, leave a comment.