Time management isn’t complicated, it starts with making a strict schedule, seeing how much time you have available each day, and working to make the most out of that time.
As simple as it is, millions of people still struggle to make their hours and days more productive, but usually fall victim to one of these five management mistakes. Keep reading to learn how to take back control of your time and make the most out of your days.
The thief of time is procrastination. This (bad) habit will leave you without enough time to finish projects, working double time within hours of a deadline just to come up with something that’s barely good enough to turn in. While it’s true that some folks actually operate better under pressure, this certainly isn’t the case for everyone.
You’ve likely found yourself in this situation before; whether it be for an important project for work or school or something simple like folding laundry. Telling yourself you’ll get it later, it’s not going anywhere, etc., is a slippery slope and can seriously impact schoolwork and work-based projects.
The best way to beat procrastination is to set hard deadlines ahead of the one set by your boss or professor. If your project is due on Wednesday, set a deadline for yourself on Monday instead.
That way, you’ll always be a few days ahead of schedule. Take small steps at first, working your way up to more strict guidelines and holding yourself accountable when you slip up. Don’t be too hard on yourself though!
2] Poor Sleep Schedule
According to this article, about 40% of Americans only get six hours of sleep or less every night. How well do you function on under six hours of sleep? The ideal amount of time to aim for is about eight hours per night, and if you’re not getting adequate sleep, you’re setting yourself up for a whole myriad of issues during the day.
Your journey into better time management should start with your sleep schedule. Once you’ve mastered the discipline needed to go to sleep on time every night, you’ll have a much easier time tackling simpler time management tasks during the day.
Plus, the better you sleep, the more energy and focus you’ll have during the day. This will allow you to get more done and obtain a sense of fulfillment you otherwise weren’t getting.
One tip for going to bed on time is to turn off your electronics before you go to bed (at least a half-hour before). For what reason, you might ask?
Well, electronics emit light at a certain wavelength, which actually serves to create a sense of alertness in your brain. Over time, this sense of alertness can multiply, causing you to experience sleep disruption that can become quite serious. So, next time you get in bed, turn off the TV and read a book instead!
3] Not Utilizing the Right Tools
Time management often requires the use of certain tools in order to master it. You can use a time tracking app in combination with alarms and other apps to help get your day together and make the most out of the hours you have available. With so many apps and other tools available on the web, all the help you need to take back your days is literally at your fingertips!
The best part is, many time tracking tools are free to use. That means no monthly subscription fees or one-time purchase fees. Your time is valuable, so why not use the right tools to get better control of it and start living by the hour!
Another mistake people seem to make when trying to master time management has to do with personal accountability, either they’re making excuses for themselves as to why they didn’t reach their goals over and over, or alternatively, they’re being much too hard on themselves. There’s a delicate balance that exists between the two, and this is where you want to find your accountability.
If you didn’t reach your goals, don’t belittle yourself, but don’t shy away from the responsibility either. Treat your failure as a learning experience rather than a chance to beat yourself up.
When you try again tomorrow, you’ll be armed with that new knowledge and a more steady resolve than before. Remember that the minute you give up entirely, only then have you truly failed. Don’t give up!
5] Thinking Time is an Infinite Resource
While this discussion in itself may dance on the fringes of a philosophical topic, it’s important to remind everyone that time is not an infinite resource and that every breath we take is something that we don’t get back. We tend to view time as infinite, even with the knowledge looming in the back of our minds that it’s not.
We always talk about what we’ll do tomorrow, next week, next year for that matter, when in reality, no one promised us that time or even the next hour.
We need to see time for what it really is; our most precious and finite resource. Getting control of your time and learning better time management skills will not only add a sense of accomplishment to your life, but it will help you make the most out of those precious moments we’re given each day.