How do you accomplish more without adding more work hours?
Contrary to what the hustle culture implies, you don’t need to keep hustling hard every day of your life. You only need to practice effective time management techniques.
Know what works best for you and creat a system around it. For instance, you must know when you’re most productive. Secondly, learn how to focus more on tasks that move you forward.
In this post, we’ll list some of the most effective time management techniques. But first, let’s talk about how proper time management helps reduce stress and improve productivity.
Is Effective Time Management The Key To Reduce Stress?
Are you tired of producing low quality work? Is your boss or client always after your neck for missing deadlines? Are you easily distracted when working on a project?
There’s one solution to your problem: proper time management.
Time management is a strategy of properly planning out your tasks or activities. It means deciding which tasks are a priority. And how much time must be spent on them.
Effective time management is easier for some people. But if you’re struggling, no need to fret! You can easily develop this skill to make your life less stressful.
So how does time management reduce stress?
- With the right technique, you can break down large tasks into smaller ones. This lowers the anxiety that comes with starting a huge project.
- It reduces feelings of being overwhelmed by prioritizing what’s important.
- Lastly, you don’t have to stress over looming deadlines. By properly managing your time and sticking to it, you’ll be able to complete everything within schedule.
Want to learn a few effective techniques?
Top 5 Effective Time Management Techniques
Keep a To-Do List Then Prioritize Tasks
First, you need to get everything out of your head. List everything you need to do on paper. Don’t worry about the sequence yet. Simply list everything you need to get done.
Now that you have a list, it’s time to prioritize. Take a look at each task and determine its urgency.
Tip: Categorize each list in three sections:
- Urgent: These are tasks that need to be done right away. Place the deadline near the task as a reminder.
- Important: These are tasks that are meaningful to you. For instance, dinner with a loved one. Or paying bills.
- Not important: These are tasks that are not as important as the others.
Prioritizing tasks may seem expendable. But without it, you’ll end up focusing on less important things. In the end, you’ll be stressed because of a looming deadline.
Prioritizing projects and tasks prevents you from focusing on unnecessary tasks.
Did you know that anxiety and procrastination are correlated?
When we feel anxious about a project or task, we tend to put it off. This will then cause more stress in the long run. So how do you avoid procrastination?
- Create a schedule: It’s best to structure your time on paper. This will help you keep track of what should be done. Don’t forget to factor in time for breaks as well.
- Break up large tasks: Large tasks may seem overwhelming. So break it up. Try working at least an hour on the said project. Knowing that you’ll only spend a certain amount of time on it will make it bearable.
- Avoid perfectionism: Just do your best. Perfectionism will only prolong the tasks and cause you additional stress.
Practice the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. This is basically a focused work session. Where you work for a certain amount of time then take a 5-10 minute break. In doing so, you’ll concentrate more on your tasks and stave off mental fatigue.
So how does this work?
- Remove all distractions, including your cellphone, email tabs, social media, and even music if you tend to singalong with your playlist.
- Select a task.
- Set a timer. Enter your optimal focus time. For example, 25 minutes.
- Focus on your task until your timer goes off.
- When one focus work session ends, mark it off. Then enjoy a 5-10-minute break.
- Rinse and repeat
Ideally, it’s best to avoid spending your break mindlessly scrolling social media. Instead, try taking a deep breath. Or standing near a window to get as much sunshine as possible. Or drinking tea or anything that fuels you.
Focus On a Single Task at a Time
Contrary to popular belief, multitasking doesn’t save you time. In fact, it could lead to problems like low quality work.
Instead, focus on a single project or task at a time. Give it your full attention. In doing so, you’ll avoid mistakes.
Additionally, you can also delegate simple tasks. Here are a few things you can delegate:
- Copy editing your reports. If you don’t have a copy editor, consider getting apps that help check grammar and readability.
- Graphic designing
It’s so easy to get distracted- from social notifications or simply from the lure of mindlessly scrolling social media. So if possible, put your phone on airplane mode.
Some distractions are easy to identify. But you also need to be aware of others like suddenly having the urge to clean up your desk. Or checking emails. That said, be mindful of these distractions to minimize them.
Consider these 5 effective time management techniques for days when you feel like you have a million things to do.
Or when you simply want to accomplish more by doing less.
So how do you plan to manage your time? Let us know in the comments section!