We all lead such busy lives these days that it often seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. There are so many time management hacks and strategies that have been developed over the years to help you get more done in less time and whilst some have some real benefits, many are ineffective in most people’s situations. It is so important to manage your time well and it can significantly improve your life, finances, health, and happiness when you find ways to manage your time more effectively. To help everyone out there who is struggling to juggle everything that they have going on in their lives, here are our expert tips for effective time management.
1. Keep Up-To-Date Calendars
One of the best ways to make sure that you can manage your time effectively is to keep up-to-date calendars so that you can plan everything far in advance. The experts from BlankCalendarPages.com says that there is nothing that throws your routine off the rails than being suddenly reminded of a commitment or appointment that you forgot had been arranged. There are so many different types of calendars available which you can print out for free and fill in with all of your appointments and things that you need to remember. Color coding your calendars is a great way to make them visually memorable. For example, entries in orange may be your children’s extra-curricular activities whilst entries in blue are medical and dental appointments.
2. Make a To-Do List
This is an effective way to manage your time more effectively because you can get a lot more done by thinking on paper. List every single task that you have to perform in advance and break down each task into its constituent parts before you begin. Simply writing down every detail and thoroughly preparing in advance will help you to find a good starting point. Once you do that, just keep on following the steps that you’ve laid out for yourself until the task is complete. Once that task is out of the way, focus on the next one, and the next, and the next, until everything that you need to do that day is done and dusted. Sometimes when you first look at your to-do list, it can be so long that it is overwhelming and this is why doing it one step at a time makes it far more manageable.
3. Group Tasks Together
One effective time management tip is to group tasks in terms of their geography and what time they need to be completed. If, for example, you need to go to the gym, do the grocery shopping, and pick something up from work, see if it is possible to combine all three into the same journey. So much of our time is wasted just traveling from place to place, so if you can minimize travel time by grouping your errands into one journey, then you can save some significant amounts of time. This time that you have saved can then be used elsewhere on your schedule or can provide you with an opportunity to relax.
4. Break Big Tasks Down into Smaller Parts
The fourth tip for effective time management is often called the Swiss cheese method. Just as a block of Swiss cheese is full of holes, you treat your task like a block of cheese and you punch holes in it. Select a five minute part of the job and do only that. Don’t worry about the whole job, just do that five minute part efficiently. For example, if you want to write an article or a book, break the task down into small pieces that take an identifiable amount of time to complete. Only do one small piece at a time, whenever you get the chance. Many authors begin by writing one page a day. Likewise, if you are doing research, you can read one article a day. Many people write complete books over the course of a year of airplane trips or complete their college degrees with blocks of time between their other activities. If you wrote one page a day for a year you would have a 365-page book by the end of the year.
Good time management can make our lives so much easier and so it is really important to find time management solutions. Planning in advance and grouping and breaking down tasks can ensure that we can plan our schedules in the most time-efficient way possible. If you are struggling with your time management, give some of these tips a try and you may see some huge changes in your life.