How often do we say “where did all the time go”? While it varies from people to people, there’s possibly no living person on earth who can say “I never ran out of time for anything in my life”. Even irregular time mismanagement can have a heavy impact on your private or professional life if the mismanagement turns out to be severely misplaced. So without further sidetracking let’s look at a few tips that can help us in getting better at time management.

How To Manage Time

Time management is more of a personal skill that requires personal experience. While we often develop this skill following a personal pattern, there are general attributes that need to be managed properly for a successful time schedule.

Start with the good old to-do list. List all the things you need to do and prioritize them based on their importance. If you’re not creating a time management schedule for a specific task, it is best to make multiple lists like home, office etc. Push tedious tasks at the bottom because they’ll take more time than they possibly worth.

When we have to choose between delegation and “doing all of it yourself”, we often choose the latter since that gives us more control over the whole work and we’re often too keen to prove our potential. Know your limits and delegate when it’s necessary. Delegation is not running away from your responsibilities but knowing what you can actually contribute.

Procrastination is the opposite of time management. You can push some not-so-important tasks from today’s lists to tomorrow, but make sure that they don’t pile up. Avoid it completely as long as honestly possible.

Do not overexert yourself because that’s the doorway to stress. When your stress starts to pile up, your productivity level goes down drastically. So even when you finish all the works that you took in, you become underproductive for the next schedule. Again, know your limits.

Set a realistic deadline for each task in hand. This goes especially for lengthy projects that include layers of individual tasks. Set the deadline based on the practicality of the individual tasks. Don’t just think of a number that “seems” appropriate and set it as official. Keeping an extra day or two in hand is always safe and good for your confidence.

Don’t multitask. When we do many things simultaneously, our focus gets divided and that in turn slows the overall execution process. Instead, if you focus on a single task at a time, you’ll finish it a lot faster while putting in a better quality.

Studies show that most people who are good at managing time start their day early. It’s of course logical since early-rising gives us an extra hour or two to do the same number of jobs. However, it’s best not to compromise your sleep for that. You must always have about 8 hours of sleep each day to make sure that your energy reserve remains healthy. Otherwise lethargy roots in and it disrupts your preset schedule.

Knowing when to say “No” is important. If your preset to-do list allows it, it’s okay to take in some extra work, if it doesn’t politely refuse it. You should also say no when the extra work could potentially overexert you. Keep in mind that you’re not planning for just today.

Whenever possible, allocate a break into your schedule. Instead of making you less productive, taking a break every now and then will help you to focus and that in turn will help you in keeping up with the time management system.