Time lost can never be gained back. Every second does count. And while spontaneity is rewarding, failing to plan, as the adage goes, is like planning to fail. So how then do you plan your day? You may be one of the world’s most unorganized citizens, but there will always be a way for you to manage your time well enough to live a balanced life. Here are five time management tips essential for your growth and success.
- Keep a Journal
If you seek organization, always start with keeping a planner, table calendar, or journal that will hold your seemingly scattered tasks, events, long-term goals, and even accomplishments in one place. Studies show that journaling also yields several health benefits including relief from anxiety, prevention of depression, enhancement of creativity, and reduction of stress. Not too many people know that when you are under the influence of an overwhelming emotion, good or bad, you tend to either idle around or cram too many tasks. Either way is unhealthy. If you are naturally not drawn to writing, start with listing bullets, you will eventually get the hang of it.
- Break Down Tasks
Keep this mental note forever: Take things one at a time. Planning for a year-end office party, for instance, appears a horrendous task initially. But when you break the project down into several chew-able pieces, it isn’t as scary and daunting anymore. Much more so when you learn to create a project timetable that reflects deadlines, specific deliverables, and people in-charge. This way, you see your progress and you celebrate the tiny accomplishments along the way, helping you to forge on under pressure and stress. Download templates from the web to create your first project timetable.
- Use Your Gadgets
Let’s face it, we live in the world of smartphones and tablets now. So take advantage of the technological revolution and encode your to-do lists, mental notes, and innovative ideas in your gadgets, especially when you’re not into writing at all. This way, instead of lurking all over social media, you spend time productively by planning and ticking off tasks with your gadgets, anywhere, anytime.
- Wake Up Before the Sun Rises
Waking up before the sun rises, studies show, casts a positive impact on productivity. Starting ahead, when the rest of the world is still sleeping, gives that extra boost to check off the tasks as soon as possible and to show up on time for work, business, or school. In the workplace, employee time and attendance is critical to the organization’s success; encouraging them to wake up early may just well be the antidote to tardiness issues.
- Hang a Picture Board
Be it in your bedroom, office desk, pantry, or fridge door, try creating a personalized picture board where you can pin or paste your must-dos, things-to-save-ups, and even places-to-visit notes. This works perfectly well for people who are naturally graphical. Even when you have a planner, having a visible board is incredibly helpful in keeping your personal and work life organized, reminding you from time to time of the work that has been and the work that is yet to be done.
More time management tips can be researched online, in books, and through talks with other people. One thing is for sure, though, time management is a skill that can be learnt. So make no excuses and find out what works for your personality.