“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler.
You may not be in control of all of your time, but you own all of your time. At any given time, you’re doing what you most want to be doing. Staying productive is about the efficient use of your time on the right things.
Time management is central to productivity. The better you’re able to manage time, the more productive you’ll be.
My Time Management Tips
Here are six timeless time management tips I use to maximize my productivity
#1: Choose a daily highlight
The daily highlight is the single most important activity that you must do that day. The activity must fall in the urgent and important category. Without daily highlights, you can easily drown in your to-do list and resort to excuses.
When you’ve chosen your daily highlight, block out time to get it done. Preferably, choose a time you’re least likely to be disturbed and focus on finishing that activity. Sure, focusing on just one activity may seem like a really small target but imagine achieving something tangible each day for 365 days.
#2: Use a To-Do List (+Scheduling)
Someone said the brain is for having ideas, not for holding them. Writing down the things you should do helps you to remember them. It also helps you to prioritize. Your to-do list can be either in a digital or analogue notepad.
When you’ve listed the things you want to do daily, try to put some schedule around it. Even if interruptions happen, a schedule will help you get back on track.
#3: Parkinson’s Law
Parkinson’s law states that “Work expands to fill the time allocated for its completion.” If you say you’ll use the whole day to do something, you likely won’t use less. To take advantage of this, leverage artificial deadlines to put you under some pressure and get things done faster.
Related Post: The Planning Fallacy: What it is and How to Avoid It
What is it that you don’t have to do yourself? You can delegate those, even if it will cost you some money. Delegation allows you to save time on activities you don’t have to do and focus on those you have to do.
For example, using a dry cleaner saves me some 2 hours every weekend that I can deploy to some other activity. This is the same way eating out sometimes saves me the time I would have spent cooking.
So look for what you don’t have to do yourself and delegate it to someone even if it costs you some money.
#5: Choose Satisfaction
At the end of the day, there will always be something you could have done that you didn’t do. Instead of beating yourself up about what you didn’t do, celebrate your small wins. Choose to be satisfied with what you can achieve; feeling bad about it won’t change a thing.
#6: Keep it fun
When it is fun, it no longer feels like work. So it’s easy to find motivation and maximize your time on that activity. So keep it fun.
In the end, time management begins with you making a conscious decision that you want to better spend time and then making plans to make it happen. How else do you manage time?