Over the years you would have learned some tricks on how to manage your time. You may have learned them from a work colleague or a boss, a friend, or on your own. However, putting those tricks into action is a different matter. You have to learn how to make a schedule for yourself, which may sound as daunting as running your own business. Take a look at the tips below and get ready to learn how to manage your time all by yourself with these six simple hacks.
- Leave Contingency Time Between your Allocated Time Blocks
No one should have a fully stacked calendar with no time in between for a break. Block out buffer-time on your calendar in between meetings and tasks. When did you think that you were going to travel between one meeting and the next, have a drink or use the bathroom? Your future self will thank you when your days are more productive and the hours are less exhausting.
- Organize Yourself
This is a big life change for some people because organization habits don’t always come easily. At first, it may feel like you are spending extra time trying to stay organized, but the payoff is worth it. Here’s a staggering statistic: On average, people waste about 2.5 days a year looking for misplaced objects. Don’t be part of that statistic! Find a place for your belongings and always put them back where they belong. Have a simple routine and place to put things, so that you don’t have to wonder where they are, as they are always kept in the same place. This goes for computer files too! Create a simple filing system and save new documents to the correct location, with easy to recognize and search for file names.
- Make Use of the 80-20 Rule
Have you ever heard of the Pareto Principle? Otherwise known as the 80-20 rule, this principle says that you can get 80% of the work done in 20% of the time. Similarly, 80% of the results come from 20% of the actions. It can be applied to many things in life, so it’s a great concept to apply to your usage of time. Get in the habit of noticing what tasks get the most results. Spend more time on those actions and cut out some of the responsibilities that take up time but don’t produce the outcomes you are looking for.
- Stop Waiting
Every once and a while, you’ll inevitably have to wait for something: at the supermarket, in the doctor’s office, in traffic. Instead of actually waiting, or deferring to your phone for entertainment, do something productive with your time. Update your To Do List, listen to a podcast you’ve been dying to try out, read a book on an interesting topic, or write in your journal. Turn waiting time into productive time.
- Organize Your Tasks in Blocks
Batch all your similar tasks together. For example, don’t check your email every time someone pings you. If it’s urgent, deal with it, but otherwise, set a time block every three hours or so to plow through all your emails at one time, or do them first thing in the morning and an hour before you are finishing work. This keeps you focused, which is a more efficient way to work.
- Try to Do Less
This may sound like a strange approach, but it’s not. Believe it or not – we take on way more than we need to. This means that we take on more than is beneficial to our work. If you find yourself planning evenings out, chatting with your colleagues or intefering in another department’s workload, you may have spread yourself to thin. By doing that, you’re not helping yourself or your peers. In the end, you could wind up letting down people because you overpromise and under-deliver.