Managing our time when we become adults can be hard. And it becomes harder when our responsibilities keep growing. This is the reason I decided to write about How to Manage Your Time Wisely.
At the same time, it will be my own therapy because it is always easier said than done! Yes, it happens sometimes I don’t manage my time as I should, and then, I didn’t do what should have been done in my day, for example. So, while writing this article, I’ll remind myself of these useful tips and make sure to apply them daily. Small daily steps are what make a difference!
Another important point is your mindset. It all starts from there, so if you’re not minded to manage your time, you’ll be losing your time. It’s as simple as that. So, before reading this post, make sure your mindset is set up and ready to take good notes because it’s time to make a change. Make your days productive!
If you have any questions, comments or experiences you would like to share, feel free to leave them in the comment box below. Let’s dive in!
1. Define Your Goals (Daily, Weekly, Monthly)
To know what to do in a day, you should know what will happen in the coming months (mostly if you are working on a business). What I mean is that it’s easier to fix daily tasks when you know what you are working on.
However, I know it can be hard to set goals that are far away in time (like six months or one year or even five years). The key is to stay realistic with what can be done depending on your actual situation.
Let’s check an example with an employee. If he/she is currently working 40hrs per week with a salary of $20/hr and he/she wants to save some money, it might be more realistic to target a saving fund of $3 000 than $10 000 in one year. I tried to be realistic because everyone has different responsibilities and different monthly bills.
So, to continue with this example, the next question would be: how does he/she plan to achieve this goal within one year?
To answer this question, he/she will prepare a plan of action that will help him/her reach this goal. He/she could create a budget to identify his/her earnings and his/her expenses correctly. Once this is completed, he/she can determine a specific amount that will be transferred in a saving fund weekly, for example.
I think you get what I mean by this example. Whatever your goal will be in the future, you’ll do what is necessary to reach it. You will take action daily so that it makes a difference in the long run. It is not always easy to do these daily actions because the progress can’t be seen “immediately.” But these actions are the ones that really make a difference in the long term.
To encourage you to keep doing daily actions, be proud of what you can do in one day. Even if it’s 15 minutes or 2 hours, be proud and remember it is a step closer to your final destination.
2. Write a To-Do List The Night Before
One thing I like to do is to prepare my next day to make sure I’ll be productive and complete all the tasks that need to be done.
Writing down a to-do list is one thing, but writing it and doing it is another thing. So, to make sure I complete every task, I prepare my to-do list the night before. This way, I know what is coming the next day, and I’m ready for it.
Another thing that it does is that I don’t lose time thinking about what I should do. I know what has to be done first, and I do it, then I skip to the next task.
It also helps me to wake up in the morning. Why? Because when my alarm rings, I know I have things to complete and I must not lose time. What can happen worst is that I have some free time at the end of the day to play video games with my boyfriend.
So, if you were already writing to-do lists, well done. Continue doing so, but try doing it in the evening for the day after. Come back to tell me how it works for you. 🙂
3. Begin With Your Biggest Task
Now that your to-do list is written, you need to do the tasks!
What I suggest is to start with your biggest task. Start with the worst one and end with the smooth one. If you keep the worst one for the end, you’ll probably never do it, and that’s not what you want.
In the beginning, it’s where your motivation is higher and where you can be more productive. This big task that could take you a day to complete could take you only a couple of hours if you start right away with it.
It’s also the moment where your mind is fresh and ready to work. At the end of the day, it’s definitely not the right time to complete this big task. Keep the smooth ones for this moment, when your brain needs less concentration.
Completing the worst task at the beginning will also bring you a lot of satisfaction for the rest of your day. You’ll feel more likely to continue working but on smoother tasks. When you are done for the day, you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something nice, and you’ll be proud of yourself for completing your to-do list!
Learn who you are and when you can be efficient so that you don’t lose time while working. Some people are more evening persons, and others are morning persons (like me, for example), etc. When you know yourself, you can achieve many great things in less time!
4. Stay Away From Distractions
Distractions! Ah, so hard to stay away from them.
If you are someone that can easily be distracted, I highly suggest you work somewhere it won’t happen. It means that there is no TV and no cellphone close to you, only what you need to complete your tasks.
Being disconnected like this will give you a chance to focus on what needs to be done and complete it faster. Having the capability to stay away of distractions and focus is not an easy task, and I can definitely relate! But when you put your mind to it, you can definitely do it.
If you are someone more like me that can easily focus on its tasks even if distractions are close, maybe you can put some music on and work. I know music can be a source of distraction, but at this point, it becomes more specific to each person. The main point here is really to tell you to stay away from distractions so I won’t suggest one!
Distractions are very mean like they don’t want you to work. Be smarter, keep working and don’t mind them. I know again it’s easier said than done, but it is definitely possible. When you are able to let them go and stay focus, you cannot imagine how productive you’ll become.
5. Take Breaks to Stay Efficient
Taking breaks is crucial, whatever you are doing. It gives your brain time to think of something else and “breath.” It also gives you the chance to stay efficient.
I know sometimes we are really concentrated on something, and we don’t want to stop not to lose what we are doing. I totally understand that, and I remember not taking breaks because I absolutely wanted to finish. But in the end, I felt more tired, and I was definitely less productive than if I had taken one or two breaks.
I remember when I was at school, we had “2 hours” classes. It was not a real 2 hours because we had 50 minutes and then 10 minutes of break and then the last 50 minutes. Most of the time, we were working on projects during our classes, so when it was time for the break, we were so concentrated on our project our teacher was forcing us to stop and take a break. I should have listened to her more often because I rarely took that break.
I know today that taking breaks is good because I actually do it. When you don’t take the time to take a break, you don’t know the benefits that it can bring you.
So, the strategy I suggest you add to your routine is for every 60 minutes of work, you take a 10 minutes break. Put a chrono to make sure not to skip it.
Another thing you can do is take a small walk. I do it sometimes and I really appreciate the moment.
Then, come back here and let me know how it goes for you. 🙂
6. Never Procrastinate
Procrastination is your enemy, stay away from it!
I believe that if you take the time to prepare your to-do list the night before and you are ready to complete your tasks, you won’t procrastinate. People who do are people who are not minded to work and complete their tasks.
Remember what I said at the beginning? MINDSET. If your mind is ready to manage your time wisely, you will definitely make it. It all starts in your head.
How to Manage Your Time Wisely: Final Words
I know it is definitely not easy to manage our time through our responsibilities, family, friends, work, etc. But to make sure to do most of our lives, managing our time can help! Let’s recap the six tips I suggested you in this post How to Manage Your Time Wisely:
- Define your long term goals so that you have a better idea of what to do in a single day.
- Write your to-do list for the day the night before. You will be more prepared and ready to work when the day comes.
- Always start your to-do list with your biggest task, the one that you “don’t want to do.” Take advantage of the moment you are the most productive in a day.
- Stay away from distractions to be as efficient as possible.
- Take regular breaks to help your brain to stay efficient. Breaks can only have a positive impact on your productivity.
- Never procrastinate. Do your thing NOW and don’t wait. There won’t be a “better moment” anyway.
I hope now you have a better idea of how to manage your time wisely and that you’ll reach your goals. Please come back to tell me how it goes if you ever make a change in your habits. I’d be glad to discuss this with you. 🙂
If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below in the comment section, and I’ll make sure to answer you as soon as possible.
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