You’d probably wanted to become a time management master. Guess what? It’s possible. Only if you know what to do. Get started with these time management hacks.
Create and Use Lists
With the distractions and happenings going on around you, remembering what you ought to be doing in a given day can become a challenge. The solution to modern forgetfulness? Lists! Here’s a sample of how you can use lists on your daily grind:
- Schedule List. List everything that you should be doing in a given day, from the moment you wake up until you retire to bed.
- To-Do List. This isn’t simply a list of what you need to accomplish during the day. It is a list of your priorities. The day has a certain way of getting away from you, so you need to know your priorities.
- Call List. If you’re an on-the-go person, you’ll need this. List the people and the numbers that you should be contacting in a given day. It’s sometimes difficult to divide your time attending meetings at different places and at different times. This list is a handy solution to manage your time.
When you create list on a consistent basis, it becomes your habit. When that happens, you’ll have more time in your hands.
Use Tickler Files
This is very applicable to people who have their entire month (or year) planned out ahead of them. So if you’re in July and are looking forward to preparing for a big event in August, you can easily get reminded about it when it’s time to start planning. The reminder? Your tickler file.
Using tickler files is also an effective way to organize your file folders. So if you have multiple files in a single file cabinet, why not categorize them in a certain manner (by colour, by client name, by location, etc.)? Once categorized, assign the date when you should be looking at them.
The next time you open your file cabinet, you’ll see the date and you’ll know what to do next.
For some reasons, people love to conduct meetings. But what do these regular meetings really accomplish? Unless you’re getting relevant returns from it, you should minimize scheduling and attending meetings. What should you do instead?
Find key dates relevant to your company and schedule meetings. The end of the financial year is one of the times when it makes sense to meet with the board, your employees, or your team. If you only schedule meetings to plan the week ahead, then you’re not maximizing your time.
And ideally, meetings shouldn’t be scheduled during the first four hours of the work day. Research proves that the brain is at its peak performance during the first two hours of our waking state. If you have to schedule a meeting, do it towards the final hours of the day.
Block Your Time
You can’t possibly be moving from one task to another in a given hour, day, or week. A more effective approach is to actually set blocks of time to accomplish one task before moving to another. For example, you might block one hour on Mondays to call everyone you need to call that week. And then on Tuesday, you might want to spend it out of the office to meet with the people that you’re supposed to meet at different days on that week.
The technique is to plan ahead. This way, you won’t be going back and forth with those people you’re supposed to meet or talk to over the phone.
Use Idle Time
You know that you’re going to wait for your flight for three hours in the airport. You know that you’re going to be stuck in a traffic jam for about an hour on your way to work. What will you do with those idle times? Use them!
The beauty of technology now is that they’re portable. So instead of listening to music and wasting your time away, why don’t you just play an audio book about business? Why not watch the previous episode of TED Talk?
If you don’t want to do that, how about responding to your emails, calling people, or replying to your SMS messages? You see, effective time management boils down to how willing you are to use that extra time in your hands.