Time management is incredibly important and it’s odd that most people learn and take classes on how to manage their money but they don’t want to learn how to manage their time. You can always make more money, but you can never get back your time.
If you can’t manage your time well, you are going to be stressed. If you can manage your time well, you are going to be happier and you are going to have plenty of time for all the things that are important to you.
The first step is to figure out what your goals are. Goal setting is really important. You should be setting goals throughout your life and constantly reevaluating them because you and the world around you is constantly changing. Write your goals down. You can always change your plans later, but you have to have a plan or you will be lost.
The next step is to keep a time journal. This is a really powerful tool. It might seems like a pain in the butt to do, but I highly recommend you to take note of everything you do every 15 minutes for a week.
Evaluate your time journal. The things that you want to ask yourself include, “how are you wasting time?”, “what can you do better?”, “what time of the day are you most productive?”, “are you spending enough time eating, sleeping and exercising?”.
How does your actual use of time compare to the goals that you set for yourself? Answering to this question is going to tell you a lot about what needs to change and what you are already doing well.
You can either do separate ones (for school, for work, for family, etc.). Figure out the prime productivity time (PPT). You want to defend your schedule with vengeance. Don’t fight your own natural rhythm. You know whether you are a morning person or an evening person.
Use your less productive time for things that don’t require a lot of brain power.
Make useless time useful.
Make a to do list.
Break down your big tasks into small, more manageable ones.
Do the ugliest first.
Prioritize those lists by using due dates and importants.
Reduce waste whenever possible
The average person wastes two hours every day that don’t include television. Being wasteful with your time can lead to all kinds of bad results. Studies show that our brain is really not good at multitasking. Consider how much multitasking you do. The brain is really not set up for that.
You want to reduce interruptions as much as possible. Interruptions are damaging to your primary productive time, so you may have to learn how to say NO to people, invitations and the like.
You really need to pay attention to deadlines and it’s really important to establish your own. And those should be before your boss or your professor’s deadlines. Procrastinating causes a lot of stress.
To get what you want, stop doing what isn’t working
Being successful won’t make you manage your time well, it actually works the opposite. Managing your time will make you successful.