The pressure of time is well known by most of us these days. Many people have busy schedules that do not allow them to take care of themselves or spend time with their dear ones. Some might have a hard time starting to get things done. They might feel demotivated. But there is another category of people who feel that few things on their agenda can be accomplished in a day.
Chances are, if you are reading this article, you are among the second category. You feel something steals your time every day, but do not know what. What is certain is the fact that you rarely accomplish all your tasks and manage to have time for yourself too. This comes with high levels of stress, anger, frustration, and tiredness which can lead to burnout.
However, there are some steps you could make to improve your time management skills and use your time wisely. Time management skills are essential not only for your job but for your personal life too. And the broad category of time management skills includes other skills that, if improved, can help you prevent time theft.
So, here are seven helpful tips that will help you break down unhealthy habits and start improving your time management skills.
Organize Your Workplace
Your workplace is one of the most important details you need to pay attention to. The environment you work in has an important influence on how much time you spend doing a specific task.
Looking after tools you need to complete a certain task steals your time. This is why it is important to organize your workplace and make sure you have all the tools and apps needed to accomplish your planned tasks. You will be amazed by how much time you could save if you prepare and organize everything ahead.
Prioritization is one of the most important skills that could help you prevent losing time. We often engage in all kinds of activities and we want to do everything as planned. But people forget that their time is limited in a day and miss the fact that not all activities and tasks are as important as they might seem.
Prioritization helps you decide what it’s really important for you and organize your schedule accordingly. To find the tasks that are the most important for you and prioritize them, you could use the Important and Urgent Matrix.
It helps you group all your activities and tasks into four categories and identify the ones that are both urgent and important. You will come to be more aware of the fact that some tasks can be delegated or not done at all because they are neither important nor urgent. And so, you will use your time wisely.
This assumption and feeling that you do not have time can turn out to be overwhelming. It can take you the joy to live and replace it with strong and intense negative emotions. A solution many people come up with is multitasking. The reasoning behind it is simple: if you do more things at the same time, you will accomplish more.
But even though this might seem logical and natural, it is one of the hidden habits that steal your time every day. Multitasking might give you the feeling that you accomplish more in less time, but in fact, this is not true.
Switching between multiple tasks can steal you up to 40% of your productive time. This means that while you divide your attention between activities, you do not focus on any of them. There is space left for errors, and thus frustration and anger. Avoiding multitasking is a tip that helps you save time and be more productive.
Even though some people find it relaxing to scroll their social media feeds, this is a habit that steals your time every day. According to a study, an average of 2 hours is lost daily due to distractions.
Find what distracts you every day and put it to an end. Smartphones are one of the biggest distractors, so consider keeping your phone away while you need to complete a task. Close all your unused tabs and silence your notifications. Everything that might distract you and disrupt your focus should be put away to increase your efficiency and productivity and prevent time theft.
Breaks might give the feeling that you lose time, but in fact, you gain efficiency. Working for 8 hours straight is not an option, as your brain can easily get tired and lose focus. Thus, you end up spending more time on tasks.
Breaks allow your mind to rest and return with a fresher perspective.
Plan Your Day
Lack of planning steals your time every day. Schedules can easily turn chaotic, which makes it harder to handle. Planning your day ahead is important because it will help you use your time wisely. You have time slots for every task and activity you have and this gives you control over your time.
Learn Your Habits
Unfortunately, sometimes your habits steal your time every day. This is because people do not know when they are most productive so that they could plan their day accordingly. Some people are more productive in the morning, while others in the evening. Learning your habits and knowing the most productive moments of the day helps you prevent time theft.
For example, if you have to build a newsletter campaign that requires attention and creativity, you might choose the morning to do it. Most people feel more creative, inspired, and with a fresh and clear mind in the morning.
So, take time to plan your day, prioritize your tasks, learn your habits, and organize your workspace. Avoid multitasking and take breaks to make sure you use your time efficiently and prevent time theft.
Leon Collier is a blogger from Edinburgh. He occasionally writes for essay writing service UK and offers quality dissertation writing services. Working among professional essay writers he loves to write about everything: time management, productivity, business, self-development, education, marketing. When not working, you can find him reading or playing tabletop games with his friends.
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