Just like we aim to get better at fitness, nutrition, gratitude, and other "skills," time management is a skill.
Like any other skill, you can't just magically expect to get better at it, and it is something that you must proactively practice if you want to get better at it.
Unlike money, we can't save up time, we can't refuse to spend it, and we can't set it aside.
Either you're spending your time or your time is spending you.
When you spend your time, you get more done, do more of what you love, and make progress.
Here are 10 practical tips to make better use of your time.
1. Get Organized
Isn't it amazing how you feel when things are tidy, your desk is clean, clothes are folded, etc? Spend some time getting organized.
2. Budget your time
Discipline = freedom.
How much time do you spend on social media? Checking e-mails?
Just like you budget your money(hopefully), budget your time, allow blocks of times for certain things and stick to it.
3. Write effective to-do lists
I know a lot of us are fans of to-do lists. The most important tip I have for a to-do list is to keep it small. Keep it to the 2-3 most important things you need to get done.
If things are multiple steps, move them onto a "project" list, and pull a single action onto your to-do list each day.
4. Just do it.
The Nike slogan is a great tip for time management.
Quite often we procrastinate, the quicker you get to something, the less time it takes.
5. Tackle the tough stuff first.
Eat the frog.
Punch out the tough things first when you have your best energy and efforts.
Quite often we do the easy things first (check e-mails, social media, punch list items), and then never end up getting to the most important/toughest thing.
6. Move forward mindfully, not carelessly
Making better use of your time does not mean that you need to move a hundred miles an hour.
Move forward, yes, but make progress strategically, not just running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
7. Don't let perfectionism slow you down.
Coach Kim and I have a famous saying with each other...
Just get it done, don't let perfectionism be the enemy of done.
There will always be more you can do, there will always be ways to make it better, but in life, we get "paid" for done.
8. Remember that poor quality will cost you.
Don't cut corners.
It will always cost you down the road.
You have to balance getting things done (see #7), but not getting them done in a rushed manner that you reduce quality.
9. Learn to say no.
This may be the most important one on this list.
I know you're a nice human being.
However, that also means you're really great at saying yes.
You say yes to anything, you do nothing for yourself, and you end up driving yourself crazy trying to get things done for others.
One the best tips to effective time management is learning what things to say no to.
There is no right answer, but just remember, when you say yes to one thing, you're always saying no to something else.
10. Plan for the unexpected.
This is the one I personally struggle with the most.
I plan my day in blocks, sometimes down to 15-minute blocks.
If I don't catch myself, I'll map out the entire day, no breaks.
What do I not do?
Plan for the unexpected.
As much as I feel it's vital to practice time management and organize your day so you're not winging it, you can't plan out every second of every day because things will pop up.
You have to build in time for the unexpected, the kid that needs to be picked up early, the phone call from a family member, or the conversation with someone you value.
I spend a lot of time on time management because I see it as an investment.
It may take me an extra thirty minutes to plan my day or week, but that is going to save me thirty hours over the course of the week in unproductive tasks.
Time is our most valuable asset.
We can't get any more of it.
Getting better at time management, whether that's at work, or making time to fit workouts in, is just a skill that allows you to more of what you love.
If you're more efficient, you get to use your time better with things you love, and that's what really matters.
Dedicated to Your Success,