Time is money. It’s a trite saying, but it is true. Because time is all we have. We can have all the money in the world which could buy all the possessions in the world, but it would never be enough to bring us happiness.
Doing things we love makes us happy. However, we never have enough time to do more of what we love because of work and other everyday responsibilities. So how we allocate our time is precious to our happiness. Time is our currency.
Like money, time is not unlimited. So in order to spend more time doing things that makes us happy, we nee to spend less time doing things that we have to do but don’t want to.
Here are 15 ways to win at time management, in order to make room for things you actually want to do.
1. Slow Down
This may sound counterproductive, but so is running around like a chicken with your head cut off. If you give each individual thing on your task list just a little bit of your attention, nothing on it is every going to get your FULL attention. Do one thing at a time. Cross it off your checklist. Move on.
2. Step Away From the Computer
It’s suggested that you walk away from your computer every 15 minutes or so. That means actually stepping away. Browsing on the internet between tasks does not count as taking a break. You are not hitting that much needed refresh button on the mind.
3. Take Down Time
As well as stepping away every 15 minutes or so for a little walk, be sure to take a break between tasks. When you finish one important chore, take a moment to breathe. Soak in your accomplishment. Rejuvenate. Go for walk. Have a snack. Then onto the next goal!
4. Think One Step at a Time
Having a full to-do list can be quite daunting. Do not succumb to the totality of what is front of you. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Allowing yourself to take it one step a time allows you to see the actual progress being made.
5. Utilize Wait Time
We spend a lot of our lives waiting for something. Whether it be an oil change, a doctor’s appointment, sitting on the subway.
These could be dreadfully boring experiences that causes us to mindlessly swipe through our news feeds on our phones. Use that time better. If you know you’re going somewhere that will cause you to wait, bring your laptop and answer some e-mails. Step outside and make a phone call for the doctor’s appointment you keep putting off. Send a text to someone you’ve been meaning to get back to. Utilize wait time, don’t get annoyed by it.
6. Diet and Exercise
The only way to become the best you is to physically be the best you as well. If you are not feeling well, then you will not perform well. Our body needs an abundance of nutrients that will give us energy to get through the day. The way it obtains this is by diet. Eating a diet of foods well versed in an assortment of colors will assure that you are getting enough essential nutrients for a healthy system. However, to supplement the diet, you need to exercise. Exercise clears the pathways that get clogged up by the foods we eat. This allows for a stronger heart beat and healthier brain.
7. Cut Out a Time Frame for Tasks
When you are just starting on a project you know that you’re in it for the long haul. It has to be done, and you’re the one doing it, so you will be there to the very end. That’s all fine and dandy, but give yourself a time frame to complete it. Challenge yourself. If you say that you are going to get the task done in two hours, the chances that you actually will greatly increase.
8. Sever Ties to the Outside World
If you need to get something pressing done, make yourself unavailable. Anything can and will distract you. Put on a pair of headphones. Turn off your phone. Put up an away message at your desk. Do what you must to ensure that it is just you and your goal.
9. Get Organized
Sometimes you need to carve a little extra prep time into your schedule to save a lot of time down the road. Making time to stay organized is key to banking future me-time hours. Create a filing system for e-mails.
Organize them by department, urgency, or whatever unique needs you may have. Unsubscribe from mailing lists that are of no interest of you. It only takes a second. Remaining organized will become a natural habit once you get it under control initially.
10. Get Your Sleep On
We are useless when we are zombies. Most people require a full 8 hours of sleep to function optimally. You may down as many cups of coffee you want, but all you are doing is giving a quick jolt to the body for an even bigger crash. Nothing is a proper substitute for rest. So, if that means skipping out on the third episode of your binge marathon, then so be it.
11. Start Early
You may hate to hear this, but the early bird always catches the worm. If you keep putting things off, you will never get it done. That includes hitting the snooze button.
The earlier you start your day, the more time you have to do things. So, start with the most daunting task first. Once you take that on, everything else is smooth sailing.
12. Do a Little Weekend Work
We do need to find a work-life balance. However, how much time do you waste on the weekend, lying around being unproductive? Carving an hour or two each day to get a few menial tasks out of the way will still allow for plenty of fun-time.
13. Lump Tasks Together
Sometimes multiple tasks can be laid out at once. If you need to make a run to the grocery store but also need to drop off some clothes at Goodwill, and pick up the dry cleaning, map out a plan. Are some of these things on the way? The same goes for work. If you are waiting for an e-mail at your desk, is there any non-important paperwork that you can do to pass time? It’s better to get little things out of the way while you are waiting on bigger things that are out of your control.
14. Say No
This sounds impossible, but saying “No,” to people is not a bad thing. If you are going to do something half-way, why do it all? People expect the best out of you and if you can’t give, be honest. It works out better for everyone involved in the long run.
15. Get Rid of What Doesn’t Matter
Life is full of clutter that distracts us. Get rid of non-essentials around you. If your inbox is bogged down with junk, go on a deleting spree. If your desk is covered with mountains of papers, file or recycle them.
Getting rid of what you don’t need will not only help you focus, but it will relieve that subconscious building of stress knowing that you are surrounded by a mess!