Time is money, right?
At least that’s what they say. While I don’t totally agree with this statement I do believe that time is our most valuable asset. So go to the nearest mirror and rejoice because you’re still young!
Managing your time is an art, but if you’re up for the challenge I’m sure you’ll succeed in mastering these 3 time-management techniques.
Regardless if you’re a business owner, or grind in a 9-5 job you should maximize how your time is spent. It doesn’t matter working 80+ hours a week if you’re not completing your most important tasks.
There’s no magical way to add more hours in your day. However, if you become intentional with how you spend your time you’ll get more accomplished each day. This means that you’ll be able to spend more time doing the things you love and not feel guilty that you haven’t accomplished anything.
To manage your time there’s no secret formula. All of the steps that will be covered in this article are practical. I wasn’t smart enough to create them myself.
I learned these strategies by consuming content from other successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders. After learning their strategies I’ve adopting their proven principles into my everyday routine.
1. Plan Your Days
Before you work on any task it’s important that you make sure it’s a high priority one.
Whether you’re working on personal tasks or work-related tasks jot down what 3 tasks absolutely need to get accomplished by the end of the day. You’ll want to prioritize each task and work in sequential order.
Ask yourself what tasks are urgent, and which ones can wait. Finally, begin prioritizing which urgent tasks need to be accomplished first.
Start with your most important task and don’t work on any other tasks until this one is completed. It also helps that you are specific with each task that you need to accomplish. Instead of writing “Finish Flowchart”, write something like “Finish 20 steps for application flow process”.
This lets you measure your progress, and helps you avoid overcommitting yourself with too many tasks. I’ve done this in the past, and I’ve found myself frustrated at the end of the day when I didn’t complete the tasks I had assigned myself.
To avoid disappointment and burnout make sure that you create S.M.A.R.T goals. This is simply an acronym for tasks that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. You can check out more information here.
2. Remove Distractions
You’ll be surprised how often you’re distracted from your everyday tasks.
Some of our biggest distractions are social media, and email. Smartphones distract us the most since they have games, social media, email, and much more. If possible, try setting your phone on airplane mode to avoid any distractions.
There are also free applications such as Self Control for your Mac desktop that allow you to block distracting websites and email. Feel free to use any application or method as long as it helps you avoid distractions.
After you eliminate distractions you still need to maintain focus. I use a great smartphone app called Focus@will. This application plays music that’s scientifically proven to help you stay laser focus.
After I’ve set my 45-minute timer I begin working on my important tasks. Because I’m laser focused I manage to complete all of my important tasks at the end of my day. There are days when I don’t complete everything, but it’s ok.
Don’t expect this to be a perfect process. As long as you’re making steady progress don’t be too hard on yourself.
3. Pomodoro Timers
How can you maximize the hours in your day without burning out?
Pomodoro timers that’s how. This is a technique that was developed in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo. The main purpose of this technique is to break your time into 25-45 minute intervals with a 15-minute reach after each timer has completed.
It may sound strange or unnecessary to do this, but this is a game changer. When I first started making this a habit it was challenging. Sometimes I started working without my timer, and other times I’d work past my timer.
There isn’t a concrete timer for everyone. For example, some people will work best in 25 minutes’ sprints, while others perform the best working for 45 minutes. Your goal should be to work in sprints of 25-45 minutes, with a 15-minute break.
Try it out for a week to find your sweet spot. Start with 25 minutes, and if you find yourself with enough energy to work past the 25-minute mark jot this down on your journal or notes. Keep adjusting until you’ve found the right balance for yourself.
Practicing the Pomodoro technique will take a few weeks to get accustomed to. But it will pay you back in dividends. You’ll avoid overworking yourself and be laser focused on every task you do.
What’s Time Worth
Time is our most valuable asset. No matter how much money we make we can’t buy back our time back.
For this very reason, we have to become masters in managing our time. You have to turn these 3 techniques into your everyday habits. Don’t expect immediate results, and focus on getting small wins daily.
While making money is great, we have to remember that money is our tool to create more freedom. In my opinion, we are meant to live our lives with a greater purpose than to just “work” most of the time.
Whether your goal is to pay off $5,000 in credit card debt or to start your own business time management is essential. Start dedicating large amounts of focus to the tasks that truly matter to you and you’ll start making impactful changes in your life.
Knowledge without action isn’t what will bring change into your life so start practicing these techniques today.
If I was able to implement these techniques into my life I know that you are more than capable.