This is a guest blog post from Change of Tomorrow. They write about well being and growth of relationships and family. You can read more about them here by visiting Change Of Tomorrow
We all want to save money, for obvious reasons. The fact that it can provide us with anything we want makes it a good enough resource to save.
But what about time management? Do we save it enough? Do we think about it enough? And even after knowing that time is infact a finite resource for us and we only have so much of it, we never give time as much importance as we give money.
As a matter of fact, we spend the majority of our lives running after money all the way neglecting time. We even trade time for money.
I’ve listed 10 ways effective time management tips and use it for anything from spending time with friends, family to cooking, reading a book or getting some quality alone time.
10 Effective Time Management Tips
1. Get a minimum of 6 and maximum of 8 hrs of sleep
No matter what everyone says, your body is designed to function the way you wants it to. If you think you need 6 hrs to function, you’re right. If you think you need 16, you’re right. There’s no upper or lower limit, but keeping it optimum is the key. It’s simple, if you sleep 6 hours, you get 2 hours to do whatever you want. So train your body and mind. It might be tough in the beginning but after a week your body’s biological clock will reset and it will feel overkill sleeping more than 6 hours. Above all, get a good night’s sleep.
2. Plan your day
Okay, I know, you’ve read this before. But probably the only reason you’re reading this again is “because you’ve not yet implemented it”. Plan your day in the batches of 15 minutes. And give yourself 15 mins break after every 75-90 minutes. You need a break, you’re a human, not a machine. There’s only one Elon Musk.
3. Use Google calendar
This might sound a bit out of place but, instead of your fancy to-do lists and what-not use a Google calendar. It comes with so many rich features you might be surprised. Plus it has reminders – you can schedule email reminders to yourself, connect it with google keep, which is a great place to add your to-dos and checkboxes, move the tasks, make them recurring, and so much more. Use it and you’ll want to thank me.
4. Time your phone calls
Both in length and time of the day. You don’t want to spend 45 mins talking to a friend about their weekend on a Monday afternoon. Limit your calls to bare minimums, limit your call timings to once or twice a day, and do it in batches of 15-30 minutes. Start from the most important call and move down, not based on who you “have fun talking to”, but “who’s the most important priority to call” and work your way down the list.
5. Declutter, declutter, declutter
If you’re worried about how your inbox is always full, that’s because it still contains 5-year-old emails about the free subscription you never bothered to open up “even once”. First, declutter your inbox. That means unsubscribe from every email that you haven’t opened in the past 45 days. It means it’s not worth it anymore, they’re part of the junk. Next, create labels for each email. A label for credit card bills, utility bills, subscriptions, podcast emails, horoscope, birthdays, picnics, etc. etc. You get the point.
6. Give time to your email, but only bare minimum
If you’re like many others who frequently check their email in search of something interesting, I’ve one word for you. STOP. Emails can and will never stop, they’re infinite, your time isn’t. So plan wisely. First, add 2 batches of 30 mins to check emails, twice daily. Once at the beginning of the day, and next at the end. You only reply or respond during that time, for the rest of the time, if it’s urgent, let people know they should text/slack/call/skype you. This will save plenty of headaches and unnecessary emails from people who “just want to say hello” or “wish you a great weekday/weekend”.
7. Choose your meals wisely, skip random coffee/tea/smoke breaks
Humans are social animals. If a colleague is going for a coffee/tea/smoke break and asks you, you wouldn’t mind leaving your work and following them down the street for a hot cup of coffee or tea. Next time this happens, say No. Plan the times you have your meal, and then plan the people who accompany you during those meals. If it’s alone, much better. Even if you save 5 mins when eating alone, you’ll save a collective of 25 mins if eating with 5 colleagues.
8. Make your Sunday your first day of the week
Now, before you start lashing out at me, let me explain. I know many of us to consider Sunday’s to be a day to relax and have fun, you’re right. But then you also have Saturdays too, if you follow time management wisely. Dedicate the second half of Sunday planning your entire week. Remember point #3? Use the calendar, plan your day in slots, add reminders, add notes in keep, plan your time for calls and hangouts if any. Make sure you plan your week in such a way that Wednesday and Thursday are packed while the rest of the days are light in comparison, with respect to the workload. A good deal of detailed planning won’t take more than 90 mins but will save you at least 30-45 mins each day. That’s 2.5 to 3.75 hours saved in the week!
9. Give yourself 30 mins each day 15 before you start your day and 15 when you’re just about to sleep
Take this time to visualize how the day went and how you want the next day to go. Visualization is powerful and over time you will notice how big of a difference it can make. If you follow point #1, you’ll have 1-2 hrs for you from adjusting your sleep clock. You can use that time for this purpose. Alone time is absolutely crucial for growth and mental wellness.
10. Monitor your time
What you measure, you can improve. Make sure you work according to your planned schedule that you set up in point #8. And keep on iterating. You won’t have the perfect schedule in the beginning, but in a month or so, you’ll have a fairly stable and good looking schedule that fits you and makes you most productive. Always jot down things that take less or more time and adjust accordingly.
Remember that knowing that time is finite won’t make much difference. You need to make sure you are using it wisely and that every second is put to it’s best use. And don’t forget to take some getaways and mini-vacations every now and then to make sure you’re connected to nature and healing.
Following these effective time management tips will help you to improve your productivity.