The summer is over and the vacation now lives in the past. So welcome the season of full to-do lists, delayed tasks and so much more responsibilities at work, school and home. Do you have enough time to do everything you want to? Do you feel being busy all day without satisfying results? And why there are people able to fit so much more into the same time-space?
This 5-minute read will give some proven tips on how to manage your time and to feel content at the end of the day.
Rule Number 1: Prioritize Goals
Setting goals will help you determine how much time should be focused on a specific task. Setting unrealistic goals will lead to demotivation. Therefore, it’s crucial to set realistic and achievable goals. Set goals that are clear, particular and measurable. They should matter to you and also align with bigger overall goals in the long run. Moreover, remember to set deadlines too. This will help you to focus on the important tasks and not let you be overwhelmed by urgent everyday tasks.
Rule Number 2: Say No
Learn to say No and don’t take decisions on the rush. Choose wisely which task or meeting is really important and useful for you. When you say Yes to something you don’t like, you say No to yourself, to a better offer, to your time, to your dream achievement. So take conscious decisions and learn to control your impulses and actions.
Socrates said, “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” Use the 80/20 rule to your advantage. The rule says that 20% of the causes gives 80% of the effects. So always spend your attention on the top 20% things which give the most profits.
Rule Number 3: Recharge
Start every morning taking time only for you – 5 to 10 min exercise, a cup of coffee, a walk with the dog. Try to be alone without distractions and you will feel that you have time. Sleep is also a very important part of our life. Our mind needs time to restart and to recover its full capacity. Different people need different sleep time so know what is your optimal one for physical or mental recovery. And remember to take regular breaks so your mind gets clear and it will reward you with more focus, efficiency, and productivity.
Rule Number 4: Be Smart
Don’t be afraid to use technologies, if you use them properly they really save time. You can write an email for 30 seconds instead make a phone call for 5 minutes. It saves you time and energy. Online bank accounting, online hotel booking, online shopping, car navigation… there are so many web applications for time-saving. But only if you are smart. Because there’s always a risk to get consumed by modern technology, to get addicted and distracted. So turn off your phone to stay focused when you need to, stop checking e-mail every 2 minutes and keep yourself away from drowning into the social media.
Rule Number 5: Manage Your Energy
Life is a marathon, not a sprint. So avoid draining your energy at the start. The most successful people are those who seem to be having an unlimited supply of energy the whole day. And in spite of a heavy work schedule, they yet manage to have a social and personal life also. Time management saves a small amount of time, but energy management gives you much bigger results. Here are some tips about how to spend quality time and have more emotional, motivational, physical and intellectual energy:
- Monitor your high energy times, understand when you are more productive and use these hours to work.
- Schedule time for the activities you love like football, reading, dancing, cinema. Your favorite activities energize you and make you feel refreshed and full of energy.
- Reward yourself for every step. “Can I have your attention for 5 minutes only? – said the Motivation”. And it’s true, we need to keep up motivation regularly. When you are working on a big project it is easy to lose motivation. So break the big project down into mini-projects and celebrate achievements on every step.
Sometimes the problem is not that we don’t have time, but that we are wasting it for things that are not important and don’t give us anything – on pointless social channels, empty talks, and even too much thinking without the result. Here is an inspiring TED talk “How to multiply your time” by Rory Vaden with very useful advises how to create more time in the future.
It sounds like science fiction, but it really works, and it’s very simple. Just give yourself emotional permission to spend time on things today that will give you more time tomorrow. So follow the steps and enjoy a life with more space and freedom.