How to Use Your Time Wisely and Be More Productive

This guest post was written by Anita & edited by Rashidah.

How many times have you had something to do but didn't do it or complete it just because you didn't have enough time? I'm raising my hand right now because I've done this countless times. It's not that you didn't have enough time because we all have the same hours per day. We just lack the right skills to manage our time properly. Time management is one of the most important skills you should learn, so pay close attention because it will help you succeed in life and you will have more time to do the things you love.

It is absolutely necessary for you to be able to manage your time effectively. Time management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase efficiency, effectiveness and productivity. It is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities.

To be able to manage your time effectively, certain factors come into play. There are things you need to do but first, let's look at the consequences of failing to manage your time properly and the benefits of time management.

Consequences of Not Managing Your Time Properly 

1. Missed deadlines

Have you ever missed a deadline for something just because you failed to allocate the time to do the right thing at the right time? If you don't manage your time properly, you struggle to meet your deadlines and fall behind on the work you need to complete. 

2. Bad reputation

When you don't manage your time effectively, people will remember you for it. If you keep missing your deadlines, no one will want to give you a task to do. You will end up becoming known as someone who can't get things done, and I'm sure you don't want to be known for that. Work on your time management skills, so you can organise your work efficiently and make sure no one can ever doubt your work abilities.

3. Poor work quality

Poor time management means you will be in a rush to get things done, which will decrease the quality of your work. Wrong answers, inaccurate data, typos, lack of clarity, emailing the wrong name it.

4. Higher stress levels: 

When you fail to make good use of your time, you will probably find yourself stressed out. Either you don't have time to complete the tasks you need to do, or you've left it to the very last minute. When you are stressed, you feel under pressure to get things done. When you're under pressure, you end up feeling tired, worn out and frustrated.

5. Wasted time

Have you ever felt like you didn't do anything in a day, but it flew by because you kept procrastinating or you were just being lazy?

Benefits of Good Time Managment

1. You'll never miss a deadline

When you manage your time properly, you won't miss deadlines because you'll have enough time to hand in your work. It gives you a chance to develop a good name for yourself - you'll get more jobs or clients for your business because they can trust you'll deliver.

2. You produce great work

Organising your day and prioritising your tasks means there is no reason to be rushing your work. You won't be under pressure which reduces the chances of you making silly mistakes. By giving yourself enough time, you can carefully check back on what you've done to correct any errors. No one likes things of poor quality, so it's always better to do things at the right time. That way, you confidently produce your work to the best standard.

3. More time to do the things you love

When you make good use of your time, you avoid wasting time because you were intentional with how you spent your day. Rather than allowing your work to pile up or increase your never-ending to-do list, you actually get more time to spend with your family/friends or doing things you enjoy.

10 Tips for Managing Time Effectively

1. Create a to-do list

To manage your time effectively daily you should have a to-do list for each day. You could have a jotter that you carry around that has your plans for the day. 

2. Plan ahead

Plan your to-do list ahead of time. Try to limit it to 3-4 main things you want to accomplish. Know what you are going to get done the day before. Plan your week ahead, plan your days ahead.

3. Schedule your days

Have an assigned time to get things done. It's not enough that you have a to-do list, when are you actually going to do them? Set time limits for your task, check how you spend your time, note down your distractions and actually get things done. Creating daily schedules are a great way to plan how your day operates by looking at time allocations for your tasks and to see your to-do list visually.

3. Set goals

I find that setting goals are an amazing technique if you want to get things done. When you have goals you have something you are working towards, and you get motivated to work towards those things. Goal setting is important for success in all that you do. For time management you could write out goals to do with avoiding unnecessary tasks like checking your phone repeatedly, binge-watching Netflix, going to the bar when you know you have something important to do by that time and so on. Set goals to be more productive.

4. Prioritise: 

start with the most important and difficult tasks first to get it out of the way. Most times, when I start with the easy tasks, I struggle to go back to the ones I find difficult and end up procrastinating. Schedule to complete things that don't require much brainwork towards the end of your day.

5. Focus on one task at a time

I know some people are good at multitasking but choose to focus on one thing at a time. Don't be in a rush to get a lot done or keep doing little bits and pieces of everything until you have a lot of incomplete work and not a single one finished. Take one step at a time, focus on one task at a time. Remember quality, not quantity!

6. Eliminate unnecessary tasks

Do the needful. If it is not necessary to do, don't do it. Create a what-not-to list so you can focus on what's valuable and avoid wasting time on unimportant tasks. Do the things that are worth doing.

7. Reduce interruptions

What distracts you the most when you are trying to get things done? You have to either reduce the time you spend on it or avoid doing it all together. If it's the TV or your phone that distracts you, you could turn it off or put it on silence. Just choose to remove distractions so you can focus well. 

8. Organise yourself

Be more organised. Organise your work area. Most people don't like to work in an untidy environment I know I don't, I don't even get the motivation to do anything. Make sure you organise your work area in a way that is cool for you and also comfortable. 

9. Remove unnecessary task

If you have more than 4 things on your daily to-do list I can guarantee not everything is important. Remove the unnecessary stuff, by doing this, you get more time to focus on the tasks that truly matter.

I hope from today onwards you get to manage your time better. Your time is more valuable than money, you can get more money but you can't get more time. Once it's gone, it's gone so spend your time doing what's important.

Let me know in the comments section, which tips do you follow and which tips will you adopt?

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