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Time Management: Strategies and Tips
Peoples lives are growing more and more hectic every day, with a study showing around a third of Australians reporting feeling high levels of stress.
And it’s no wonder really, the world we live in seems to be intent on filling our to-do lists with more and more work every day. As a consequence, time management has grown to be a necessary skill to maintain a work/life balance and to use your energy the right way.
Here are a few of the best time management techniques to help you get rid of your bad habits, and start to unlock the secret to really getting things done.
To Do Lists
Though simple, to do lists are an easy, fast time management system. They are easy to make by just using a note book, or if you prefer to use technology, most digital devices offer a ‘sticky pad’ option. It is easier to seperate important tasks from less important tasks, or even things that once writing down, you may identify as time wasters.
- Individual tasks
- Small tasks
- Daily tasks
- Larger, more complex tasks
- Long term planning
The Pomodoro technique is used to break up large tasks, or periods of work into smaller, easier done time intervals named ‘Pomodoro. It has been shown to increase focus drastically increase the actual amount of productive time one has whilst working.
It works by choosing a task you would like to work on and then setting a timer for (traditionally) 25 minutes. Once the timer is done, you have a break from your work and take a short break of 3-5 minutes. After 4 ‘Pomodoro’s’, take a longer break (15-30 minutes). After your longer break, go back to the shorter breaks. Continue this until you have finished your work.
- longer periods of time one has to work
- studying is also effective and compatible with other common study skills
- small tasks
- specific tasks
The Eisenhower method, created by the 34th president of the United States, Dwight D Eisenhower, is a very good way to prioritise important tasks and is a smart way to dissect and organise your life and all the jobs in it, into a priority matrix
It works by separating your tasks into levels of importance and urgency.
Urgent and Important
Do Immediately! This includes crises and tasks with strict deadlines
Important But Not Urgent
Set a date to do it in the future, but don’t do it currently. This can include events, gatherings and routine tasks such as exercise
Urgent But Not Important
Entrust another person to do, or minimise the work one has to do to complete the task by modifying it. This can include chores and responsibilities such as cooking dinner or taking the bins out
Neither Urgent, Nor Important
These are dropped from the schedule and instead done when all-important/ urgent tasks are done. This could be anything from going shopping to watching television
- Is a good long term effective time management system
- looking at tasks in the big picture
- eliminating unnecessary tasks that take up valuable time
- a life one wants to live relatively leisurely
- if one you are not good at making decisions on the priority of tasks
There are many ways to set goals and keep up the progress in reaching them, especially with the modern era of technology with apps such as ‘Goals on Track’ and ‘Strides’, which are great tools to keep track of long term goals.
However, some people achieve their goals by just writing them down, or more simply, thinking about them. Though it’s recommended you have a solid or digital copy of them to make sure they’re truly solid.
- A fun easy way to establish what you’re going to spend your time on in the long run
- A sense of fulfilment upon finishing your goals
- People who need effective time management strategies for busy everyday life
A Few More Time Management Tips
Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep
If your thinking about working late to get those extra few hours of work done think again. The vast majority of people need a good 7-8 hours of sleep in order to function properly. It is a lot smarter to maintain the quality of your work than to pump out an hour of a slob, especially if the task is one that requires a high standard.
Log of from social media
Turning your phone on silent is a great way to remain focused on your work. A great way to do this is to download the app ‘Forest’, which works by growing a larger and larger forest the more time you are on the app. However, if you go to check that Snapchat or Instagram notification, your forest will start to die.
Schedule time to relax
People with very busy lives, often tend to forget to take a moment to chill, something which can sacrifice their productivity or even mental health. They forget that just because you’re not doing hard labour physically, doesn’t mean your brain isn’t. So make sure to take even just 5 minutes out of your day to do something that really relaxes you, whether it is going for a quick walk, or meditating.
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