Time is our most precious asset you can’t get more of it and everyone on the planet has the same amount of it, its kinda crazy to think of it that way.
What you decide to do with your time is completely up to you it may not seem like that, but it’s true.
Probably one of the reasons that you’re reading this is you’re not making the most out of the time that you have, you know it you’re kinda beating yourself up about it and you want to learn what actually means to do something about it.
You wish you’re accomplishing more and the really great news about this is you have all the time that you need if you want to accomplish more.
Today I wanna share with you the time management tips that have completely changed my life, allowed me to get a lot more done in a shorter amount of time, or at least get as focused as possible in the time that I am allotted in order to accomplish more.
So here are my 5 time management techniques:
1. Power Hour
This concept originally came from a book called DEEP WORK, written by a university professor named Carl Newport.
The power hour technique is when you spend the first hour of your day, performing the most difficult task. and during this hour you eliminate all distractions.
You get rid of your phone, you get rid of all the youtube video tabs. you send your dog in the other room and you are just focusing on this one task.
And there are two main benefits to this technique :
It helps prevent procrastination, just by getting started. and it also helps you feel a sense of progress early on in the day. which will set you up for a more productive day.
I remember back in university when I would study, I would have so many things going on in the background: I would have multiple youtube videos loaded on my computer, I would be checking my phone all the time, I would have the tv going on in the background. And the result of doing all of that is just taking way longer to complete the task.
the second time management technique is using a calendar.
Aside from being able to plan your power hours, having the ability to view your week at a glance provides you with a myriad of benefits Such as, it allows you to plan for the upcoming day and week, it offers you the ability to schedule new events very easily, it keeps you accountable for things you have to do, and it allows you to prioritize your tasks.
I personally love using calenders because it eases my stress and anxiety. It allows me to clearly see what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and when it needs to be done by.
If you have an online calendar you even have the option to share with people. Which gives them, the opportunity to support you if you’re very busy.
You don’t have to plan your entire month. Just start with your day and then move to your week.
In my opinion, the most challenging part about a calendar is prioritizing what needs to be done.
This leads us to the third time management technique, using the Urgent vs. Important Scale.
3. Urgent vs Important Scale
An important factor for effective time management is deciding where a task lies in the Urgent vs. Important Scale. This idea is adopted from a book called 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, written by habit expert Stephen Covey.
Essentially you have to create a diagram like this one below,
Every activity you do throughout the day can be placed in one of the four quadrants.
The goal is to stay in the top right quadrant of Important but Not Urgent.
This promotes proactive behavior, so that you stay on top of things, and are minimally stressed.
Examples of things that would fall under the Urgent and Important category would be a serious deadline, a doctor’s appointment, or some kind of important meeting.
Phone calls, emails, would fall under the Important and Not Urgent quadrant.
And the point was, busy work would fall under the Not Important and Not Urgent quadrant, And you have to avoid this quadrant at all costs.
It’s up to you how you want to prioritize your tasks and decide which tasks should go into each quadrant.
When you’re prioritizing your tasks, it’s important to have a good understanding of how long things will take.
This takes us to the fourth time management technique, Factor of Safety.
4. Factor of Safety
There have been countless times in my own working life and especially in my student life when I’ve created a seemingly flawless schedule, and everything is perfectly prioritized.
Then all of a sudden I’m interrupted with a problem that needs to be dealt with at that moment.
And this doesn’t have to be a professional problem. This could be a personal one. This could be a small emergency, where you have to go and take care of your grandma, or something like that.
But the point is, it completely throws off your schedule. And when we are delegating our time for the day, we should always include a Factor of Safety, to account for problems, distractions, and errors in our judgment.
Always plan a little more time than you think you need when you’re are scheduling an activity. Especially when it’s an important one. This will not only allow you to maintain your schedule, but it will alleviate stress, pressure, and it gives you a sense of calmness about your day, and tasks.
Another great strategy for alleviating stress and pressure is my fifth time management technique, and this one is called Taking Green Breaks.
5. Green Breaks
Humans are not robots, unfortunately, we cannot program ourselves to work for 8 straight hours.
Most of us know that people need breaks, but something most people don’t talk about is Green Breaks.
This one Harvard study explains that being around greenery will boost your performance and decision-making. Well, one study found, that exposure to office plants boosted not only the employee’s well-being but also their productivity by 15%.
Instead of just taking a break at the water cooler, or instead of simply just tabbing over to a YouTube video, as a study break, go outside for 10 minutes, and surround yourself with nature. If you are not in an environment where you can do that, like let’s say you’re in a city or you’re in an office, simply surround yourself with plants that are in your environment.
And if there are none there, bring some into your workplace. I personally found this one has a huge impact on my creativity, and my overall mood.
I honestly believe that going outside in nature, is like giving our bodies medicine.
Time is without a doubt the most viable asset we have in life. Everybody on earth gets the same amount of time but it’s up to us how we chose to spend it. So learning time management is a very important skill.