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7 Practical Tips For Effective Time Management

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Imagine, waking up tomorrow with 86 400$ in your bank account. Then someone tells you, that if you spend all this money, the next day, the same amount of money will be delivered to your bank account.

What would you do with this money? Would you spend them, or not? I suppose, your answer is the same as mine…I would spend it like hell.

People always have a clear answer, when it is about money. But, every day we receive a gift of 86 400 seconds, too. Unfortunately, when it´s “just” time people don´t mind to waste the MAJORITY of it.

In one of his interviews, Warren Buffet said this:

Time is the only thing, you can´t buy. I can buy basically anything I want, but I will never be able to buy time.

You, me, we all have 24 hours a day, or as you wish 86 400 seconds. But yet, some people manage to use their time wiser and accomplish almost anything they can imagine, while others, struggle to do a few things.

So, if a picture below reminds you sometimes.

 

Just keep reading. Because, today, I will share with you 7 Tips, that make you as productive as you always wanted to be.

1. Develop Morning Routine

How you spend your morning extremely affect how your whole day is gonna be.

One of the habits almost all successful people developed, is that they all have morning routines.

They don´t wake up, and immediately hurry from home, without having time to take a breath.

And what´s even more important, almost all of them do the same rituals every morning. Those rituals help them to be super productive throughout the whole day.

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2. Write Your Daily Goals

A simple process of writing down your thoughts, goals or to-do lists is extremely important, for avoiding procrastination and actual executing your tasks later in a day.

And here´s why:

The process of writing things down is the closest one to actual execution.

  • When you already invested your time and energy into taking pen and paper (or a laptop) and actually write down things you want to accomplish today, it´s a much higher probability that you will eventually take action and finish this tasks.

The reason is, that you simply don´t want to disappoint yourself. You don´t want to look weak by writing something, plan something and then, not do it.

Grant Cardone in his best-selling book The 10X Rule, encourages people to write down daily goals twice a day. One time in the morning, and the second time in the evening.

In the morning it sets a tone for your upcoming day. It motivates you and makes you “hungry” for another successful day.

In the evening it´s great for analyzing what was good, what went wrong and how to make it better next time.

Why Planning Is So Important?

Brian Tracy said about planning this: “Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000% Return on Energy!

Another benefit (if the one before wasn´t enough) is that setting your daily goals prevent you from being overwhelmed and intimidated by your long-term goal.

Making a mini-goals from your big goal is motivating because it´s something actionable, something that may be finished this day.

For example, you can´t lose 10 pounds today, but I am sure as hell you can go for a 30 minutes run.

Will Smith in one video I saw maybe 10 years ago said:

„Don´t try to build a wall. Say I am gonna lay this brick, as perfectly as a brick can be laid. Do this every day, and soon, you have a wall.“

3. Prioritize

Let´s say, you are convinced to write your daily goals. That means, you already know, what you should do in your upcoming day.

But, you can´t do it all in one moment. That´s why you need to PRIORITIZE. And the only rule you should follow for increasing your productivity is this:

Do the hardest (and most important) task first. Then you can deal with easier (and less important) tasks.

Maybe you´re asking yourself right now… Why the hell would I do the hardest task in the morning? Don´t I have the whole day for it?

Well, I asked the same, when I read about it in a book – First Things First from Stephen Covey.

You, me anyone you know, we all have 2 limited resources in a day – time and energy.

Your energy level is the highest in the morning. You are well-rested and you didn´t deal with all kinds of problems, yet.

 

That´s why it´s so important to always do the most important task of your day first!

Amish have one saying:

„When you have something difficult to do, jump right into. Next time you notice, it´s halfway done.

When I studied the structure of a day of billionaire Mark Cuban, I found out he said this:

„Whatever stressful things there are, I try to get them done right in the morning.

So, try it for one week. Arrive at your job, start with the most important task you should do.

Try not to waste time checking emails, FB and stuff like that. (you´ll have plenty of time for that after you finish the Big Task of the day).

4. Avoid Putting Off Things

Unconsciously, we always worry about something, we suppose to do, what we already should have done already.

Let me give you an example:

My classmate from college asked me to send him some notes from a lecture he didn´t attend.

Instead, I do it immediately when I get to the computer, I started to work, I wanted to finish my daily goals, but I wasn´t as productive as I wanted to be.

The reason is, that I subconsciously always kept in mind:

Don´t forget to send those notes, don´t forget to send those notes!

It would take me 30 seconds to find those notes and send it to him, my head would be clear and I would focus only on work I suppose to do.

That day I learned a lesson:

Anytime you have something trivial to do, don´t put it on your list, do it immediately, when you can.

You will save a bit amount of mental energy, which you can use much more effectively, through the day.

5. Learn How To Focus

I already pointed out this above… This is an answer, to question, you´ve been asking yourself for a long time.

How some people could accomplish so much in their day, while I struggle with finishing just one task?

The answer is —>  

Perhaps, you just need to:

  • Write an article,
  • Make 10 phone calls,
  • Finish campaign in your work,
  • Or even learn a new life-skill.

The key is to focus only on finishing certain task without any distraction! 

It means, closes your door, turn off your cell phone and every website on your computer not related to your task set yourself a short deadline (or mini-goal) and do the work!

You´ll be amazed, how much time you´ll save and how productive you´ll become.

I bet you already heard about Jeff Bezos – CEO of AMAZON and currently wealthiest man in the world.

Maybe this story shows you, why he got there.

When he was a little kid, in school, he attended painting lessons. Children were deployed in a circle.

They should paint something, and after a while, a teacher stopped them, and all children should move to the next chair and continue with painting, on a paper, their classmate leaves there.

But, when they should move, there was 1 little guy, who worked so focused, they couldn´t stop him. He was so focused on finishing his painting, the teacher has to move him manually.

One of the reasons why Jeff Bezos is currently the wealthiest man in the world is his ability to focus.

If you already tried to deeply focus, but you couldn´t, no worry. Focusing on something is a habit, which means, it can be learned.

More important than length, is to just start. Start with 5 min., then 10 min., 20. min.

Set a timer for this amount of time, and until the timer rings, do the work.

Then, make a little break, when you can check your emails, make a phone call, go to the bathroom or make yourself a cup of coffee.

This way, you can train yourself how to focus, and you´ll be much more productive than you ever were.

6. Stop Multitasking

Many people think multitasking is efficient. It feels productive when you do more tasks simultaneously.

But, the fact is, this couldn´t be further from the truth…

Countless studies showed, that by multitasking, you are up to 40% less productive.

Another study shows, that only 2% of people are actually proficient by multitasking.

It´s logical, that 2% is pretty low odds for you, to continue or even consider to start multitasking. So, my suggestion to you is to stop multitasking.

If you have 2 tasks to finish, take 1 hour to the first one, and 1 hour to the second one.

You will finish those tasks faster and you will do much precise, efficient and productive work.

7. Use Deadlines

I understand you may hate this word. But the deadline is actually a great tool for increasing your productivity.

The deadline keeps you motivated to finish a task, even when you would like to do thousand different things, instead.

This is why I highly recommend setting deadlines for yourself.

When your boss told you, that you need to finish a certain task until Friday at 2 p.m., set your own deadline for, let´s say Thursday at 5 p.m.

  • Firstly, it would be your own deadline so you will be much more motivated.
  • Secondly, when something goes wrong, you will have time to fix it.
  • Thirdly, even when you don´t keep your deadline, you will get a lot more work, then you would do if you didn´t have it.

Another huge benefit of deadlines is, that you are less likely to get distracted when you set a deadline.

I am sure you know this from your own experience. When you have a whole month for finishing something, do you feel an urge to do it as productive as you can?

No. You have a whole month to do it. But, when 28 days expired and the deadline is closer, you don´t procrastinate, you don´t make excuses, you do the work.

And that´s the time, you are the most productive and efficient. So, next time, when you have work for 2 hours, try to make a goal for yourself, to finish it in 1 hour.

Your work is gonna be much more productive, efficient, and even when you don´t finish the whole task in 1 hour, you´ll get much more done, then if you would work without a deadline at all.

So, don´t be afraid of deadlines. Use them for yourself, with your own rules.

Bonus: Long-Time Management Technique

At the end of this article, I would like to give one extra tip for long time management.

I believe only when you know how to properly manage your goals in a long-term, you can divide them into smaller, less achievable goals, which eventually leads you to proper time management and productivity through the day.

The technique is from Warren Buffet, and its called: rule 5/25.

It´s basically the same, as Steve Jobs once said:

Don´t even think about other goals unless you already reached goals that are on the top of your list.

Conclusion:

Proper time management is crucial when your goal is to live a happier, fulfilled and productive life. Many people would like to work more efficient, but, they don´t know how.

I hope, these 7 tips I shared with you today helps you to become more productive, efficient and successful in life.

Implement them into your life and I am sure, your productivity is going to dramatically improve.

And, if you use any other time-management technique, please comment below and share it with us, so we all can learn from you.


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Free Resources for you:

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My name is Patrik. I live in Slovakia and I am owner of dayprov.com. Dayprov is about Everyday improvements in our lives. You will find here tips about success, motivation, personal development and anything you want. Your recommendations for new interesting blog posts you would like to read about send to patrik@dayprov.com.
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