Time management – Making the best use of your time in doing your most important tasks – is one of the challenges people face in their everyday life. This is because, the available time (24 hours of the day) seems not to be enough to do the numerous activities and tasks clamouring for attention.
How do you ensure you are able to use the available time to pursue and achieve your set goals? Here are 10 effective ways to use your time to focus on your goals.
- Create a to-do list: This is a list containing all the tasks that need to be done in the day. Spend at least 5 minutes to plan your day’s activities. Create a to-do list in the morning before you start off the day.
Why should you create a to-do list?
- It helps you focus on the most important and the most urgent
- It reminds you of the things you have to do for the day
- It shows you the tasks you have done and those you have not done
- It tells you that you have something to do.
- It helps prevents distraction.
- It saves you time.
- Prioritize your tasks: Your to-do list obviously would contain many things. But the fact is, all do not carry equal value or the same level of urgency, and there is a likelihood that you cannot complete all of the tasks for the day. So, to avoid spending the day on less important task, there is need to prioritize. When you prioritize, you focus on the most important (and the most urgent) task. A very effective system for prioritizing tasks is the ABC system. Here, you assign ‘A’ to your most important and most urgent task, ‘B’ to the next most important and most urgent task, and so on. A ‘B’ task has to wait until ‘A’ task is completed.
- Avoid procrastination: In the words of Benjamin Franklin, never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today. You should know that you don’t have all of the time for yourself. The more you shift to tomorrow what needs to be done now, the less time you have to do it. So, to achieve more within the limited time, stop putting things off and start taking action on your goals.
- Create a schedule and follow it: A schedule contains activities you have to do and the days (time) to do them. To be more productive, have a schedule for each day, week and month.
- Avoid time wasters: Have no time for unnecessary discussions, visits, journey, TV shows, games, social media, etc. While you may not totally avoid these, but not at the expense of your important tasks.
- Don’t always say ‘Yes’: Saying yes to everything and accepting every request from people kill your time. In other words, you must learn how to say ‘No’ and say it when you need to without any feeling of guilt. Note the word ‘when’ because you must also create time to help others. It is in helping others we find help for ourselves.
- Cut down your time on Social media: Take time to calculate how much hours you spend daily on social media. If you will be sincere enough, it will surprise you how much time you spend daily on social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc. What about TV? Rather than wasting time on these things, focus on more important tasks. Get strategies for overcoming social media addiction.
- Delegate: Don’t spend time doing tasks others can do for you. In one word, delegate. Delegate less important activities to others while you focus on the more important ones. Let others represent you in certain public functions, and act only when necessary. You want to know how to delegate? Read this article by Brain Tracy
- Be organized: Lack of organization leads to procrastination, waste of time and increases stress. Keep things in their proper order. Have a filling system for keeping documents so that you don’t spend time searching before finding what you need. Dispose of materials you no longer need. Let the bed, and other things in your room be well arranged. Working in a disorganized environment reduces your focus level.
- Use your waiting (down) time to do something. Your waiting time is the time you spend waiting on queue for your turn, travelling on the road, waiting to catch up with a friend, waiting for a lecture or meeting to begin, etc. Do you know that you can meaningfully use your waiting time? Yes; instead of wasting the time doing nothing, do something with it. You can read a book, surf the internet for useful information or articles using your cell phone, etc.
- Do related or similar tasks together. Different tasks require different thinking pattern. So when you have two related tasks to complete, first focus on them before going to an entirely different task that need a different type of thinking.
- Get adequate rest and sleep: It’s self-deceit to think that using your rest and/or sleep time to work will help you do more. Getting a good rest and enough sleep increases your productivity. Always have time for breaks to rest. Don’t work all day without having a time to ease your nerves. More importantly, your body needs adequate sleep to function properly. To be more focus in the day, sleep well during night hours.
To wrap it up, consider the words of H. Jackson Brown Jr. “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Theresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” If these people could achieve greatness in life and imprint their names on the sand of history, you too can. Learn the above tips of effective time management and you will see your goals coming to reality one after the other.
Just before you leave, here is something very important you should know. No matter the condition, don’t make this mistake, especially if you are unmarried.
I hope you got value from what you have just read. Thanks for taking your time to read. It shows your great determination to grow and become a happy better you. I encourage you to keep striving daily to become a happy better version of yourself, unleash your fullest potentials and live your best life.