3 Practical Steps To Manage Your Time Better
Everyone has 24 hours in a day. But why are some people more successful compared to us? The key is effective and efficient time management.
You may have noticed people who look busy all day, but they still cannot get their job done. Many of us tried to multitask to finish more tasks at hand. But our brain is not built for multi-tasking. You might think you are doing more, but it is affecting your quality of work. It is irrelevant if you can do more things but doing it poorly.
Proper time management is essential for your relationships and career. If you manage your time effectively, you can complete more tasks adequately in a shorter period. It is not effective if you produce poor quality of works over a short period. We need to manage our time effectively and efficiently.
Here are three practical steps that I used in managing my time, and it applies to anyone from all industries.
1. Plan Your To-Do List
There are so many ways you can write down your to-do list. You can physically write it down on a sticky note, or you can write it in the notes app on your phone or computer.
I believe a great day starts from the night before. Planning your day ahead can help you manage your time better. . You will have an idea of what you are going to do the next day.
Here’s what I do. Before I sleep, I will write down what I need to do the following day. Then I arrange it according to priority (more on that later) and what time I will do it.
By looking at the list, I have an idea of what tomorrow’s going to be like. Then I close my eyes and visualise how things are going to be. By doing so, you are getting prepared. When tomorrow comes, you already know what you are going to do.
2. X Minute Rule
You can replace X with any numbers. For me, I changed it to the 5-minute rule.
After you have your to-do list, look through it and write down how long it takes to finish each item on the list. If you can do the things in 5 minutes or less, do it immediately. You should know how long it is going to take to finish the task.
For instance, you need to pay your bills, and it takes less than 5 minutes, does it now. If checking work emails requires less than 5 minutes, do it now.
By applying the 5-minute rule, you finish the more manageable tasks first and then only proceed to the more complex tasks. When you are ticking off the tasks on your to-do list, you will feel motivated to continue clearing off the list.
After you have your to-do list and cleared off small and simple tasks, it is time to prioritise. Look at your list and categorise them according to importance. Finish off the tasks that are deemed more important.
I usually categorise my tasks into A, B and C levels.
A-level Tasks = Activities that you must do
B-level Tasks = Activities that have mild consequences if not being done today
C-level Tasks = Activities that is okay to skip for the day.
I will try to finish tasks that are in the A and B level first. If the time allows, I will continue doing C level tasks. If not, I move the C-level tasks to the next day.
Proper time management is an underrated skill. Try these three simple steps for better time management:
- Plan Your To-Do List
- X-minute Rule
If you manage your time well, you can finish your tasks productively and more efficiently. This skill can be helpful in your career progression. Employers like employees who manage their time well and can complete assignments before deadlines.