Why Time Management is Important (25 Proven Hacks)

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If we talk in the context of why time management is important, I have to agree that a lot of us waste it as an indispensable resource. Imagine your entire day spent, while you did nothing of value. This could be interpreted as time wasted in the form of doing useless stuff for yourself and for people around you.

Wouldn’t you agree and do something better instead? Sadly, many of us are guilty of this predicament.

The good thing is that nature has blessed us with 24-hour time duration on a daily basis. Whether you are working as a business owner in the corporate sector or doing a white-collar job, you have to get by with those 24 hours each & every day.

Therefore, it is up to you to decide whether you want to utilize these 24-hours, or you just want to “spend” your day aimlessly.

Why Time Management is Important?

On the other hand, there exists a group of people, who are likely to say that they have an abundance of time — and that they are able to do a lot in one day than an average person.

In this article, I’ll be highlighting why good time management is important and give you 25 Super Tips for mastering the art of productivity.

In addition, at the end of this write-up, there is a bonus tip shared by Elon Musk on this subject matter. He calls it: ‘Time Boxing’ — and it is one of our personal favorites! Read on…

Stop Procrastinating and Focus on the Task At Hand:

This form of procrastination is your biggest challenge in becoming effective at time management. Also, you might have heard people say that we got late to office because of the traffic, you’ll figure out in most cases they weren’t 100% motivated to go to the office which is why they got late.

Have you ever heard a person getting late for a date? Wherever they want to reach on time people manage to do it. It’s about motivating yourself for a task. On that note, we have published a post about The Pomodoro Technique. It is an effective time management exercise where you can not only complete a preset number of tasks but also get a short break at the end of each interval. How cool is that?

In a nutshell, we complain a lot over lack of time, but we fail to plan accordingly. You need to prioritize your time.

Perhaps the greatest problem that people have today is “time poverty”:

So, the trick is to make your time more valuable.

Time Management Begins With You:

  • You need family and personal goals.
  • The second area of goals is your career and business goals
  • The third type of goals are your personal development goals

Now that you understand the importance of time management; here is a list of 25 Super Tips of Mastering the Art of Time Management.

Time Management in Work — 25 Time Management Tips and Tricks that Work:

1. Schedule Everything

2. Kill Unnecessary Distractions:

3. Do That One Thing

I can get them out of the way but eventually what happens is that you miss out on the most important thing. So do the thing that you are procrastinating about because that might be the most important thing on your agenda list.

4. Set up a Reward

5. Make Plans:

6. Take Breaks

7. Do Something Unrelated:

8. No Delete Keys, Please

9. No Multi-Tasking

10. Document Your Processes:

We recommend you use nTask for streamlining your tasks and delegating tasks to your team members. So, you need to codify the steps for content development, publishing, marketing activities & new business development.

11. Write it Down

Create a to-do list for the upcoming day to have a clear image of what needs to be done. This will help you when your day starts as you will have everything lined up for the day. You can signup for nTask for free to manage this point!

12. Cut down on Your To-Do List:

Here is what you should do: Pick from between one- and three-time consuming tasks for a day and then three to five less time-consuming activities in a day.

13. Minimize Distractions:

Don’t let your friends and family members bother you as long as you are busy. You can let them know beforehand so that an “inconvenience” doesn’t come up.

14. Organize Your Work Space:

15. Track and Monitor Time Spent on Each Task:

You can’t improve it unless you keep an eye on it.

16. Embrace Technology

17. Set Smart Goals

Ever heard of that phrase, ‘Work smarter, not harder?’ That’s the whole idea here.

18. Choose Your Friends Wisely

19. Learn New Things

There is a principle called the compound effect which states that no matter how little you do it eventually adds up if you stick at it consistently. Before you know it you have mastered a new skill.

For example, if you allocate one hour for a particular skill a day; that will equate to 365 hours a year. In 3 to 5 years you can become an expert on a topic of your choice. Don’t know where to start? Pick up a book and start reading.

20. Develop the Habit of Saying No:

21. Be Proactive, not Reactive:

22. Don’t Engage In Endless Meetings:

23. Focus on Results-Oriented Activities:

24. Take Care of Yourself:

25. Do More, Think Less

Thinking and worrying is the biggest time waster.

Bonus Tip: Time Boxing by Elon Musk

Let’s start with the obvious question. Why should we utilize this method? There will be a critique from the offset by certain people who might say scheduling your entire day in advance will turn you into a robot… Why would you want to do that?

If you’re of the same opinion then I would say that you are looking at it from the wrong perspective. Yes! Scheduling your day will mean you’ll have to stick your initial plan and you will have less unstructured free time. You might not know this but having a lot of unstructured time might just be a bad thing for you.

Parkinson’s Law states: Work expands to fill the time allotted for it.

So, the advantages of timeboxing are:

  • It removes choice from the equation
  • The time limitation intensifies your level of focus

So, how can I utilize timeboxing?

The simplest way is to write down my plan for the day on a whiteboard or on a piece of paper. I estimate how much time each of my tasks will take. For example, going to the Gym (60 minutes), Shower and Dress (25 minutes), Write the next article outline (1.5 hours) and so on.

You may use nTask to create a to-do list for all your activities in a day.

If you want to utilize Time Boxing the right way; you will have to learn how to properly estimate the time each task is going to take to complete. But the bad thing for both you and I is that we cannot predict time to 100% accuracy. We are all susceptible to what’s called the “Planning Fallacy”: The human tendency to be over-optimistic in making time estimations.

There was a study that was conducted on this topic at the University of Waterloo, Canada. Students were asked to make two types of predictions; the first was the best possible scenario time prediction while the other was the average run of the mill productivity and time estimation.

Researchers found out that results for both types of predictions were virtually identical. What that means is that when you predict a scenario you picture that there would be no traffic on the streets, no chance of an accident & everything is hunky-dory.

This type of time estimation is not very effective when it comes to using it for time boxing.

Because when you overestimate your task completion capacity, in the end, that results in nearly only half of your planned tasks reaching completion.

So, one way to get at better estimating your tasks if you track time. You can signup at nTask to get things done effectively.

Now, we’re at the last step: How do deal with interruptions?

When your plan gets interrupted then you need to change your plan.

Split your notebook into columns. The first column will point out the Original Plan while the column adjacent to it will comprise the Revised Plan.

The second piece of advice is to designate certain time slots as blocks; known as reactionary times. These are blocks of time specifically made for dealing with issues that come up during the day. So if there is some task that popups up during the day which can be dealt later on than reactionary time blocks are perfect for this.

One thing I would like to add here is that don’t get demotivated if you’re not able to follow your plan to the letter. Life is inherently unpredictable in nature but that doesn’t mean that planning out your day is a flawed tactic.

No tactic can work out 100% as you planned. So, if there was something which popped up during the day and acted as an interruption than you can identify such aspects as something which you account for in the future or maybe that was just a one-off thing.

The last suggestion from my end would be to not give in to the temptation to over-schedule the day. Yes, Elon Musk is managing 80–90 hours a week but firstly that dude is a monster and number two if you have a lot of work on your plate which needs concentration and a lot of creativity than that’s all you can do in a day.

As authors of the 4 Principles of Execution state “The more you try to do, the less you actually accomplish”. So, take advantage of the productivity that timeboxing brings to the table but give that difficult task the time it deserves.

Originally published at https://www.ntaskmanager.com on September 4, 2019.

nTask is an all-in-one online project management software trusted by smart teams to organize work. Sign up today — it’s free.

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