You will never ‘find’ time for anything. If you want time, you must make it — Charles Buxton
Nowadays, I’m hearing a lot of people saying that they are finding it hard to control time; it’s like sand slipping out of their hands and they can’t do anything about it.
Maybe it is because of the fact that we are busy doing everything everytime everywhere with everyone which makes it quite a challenge to find more time and organize your life.
Get hold of your life
Do you know why you can’t find time to do things as per your likeness?
That’s because your life is all messed up. Your days have no structure. You are doing anything and everything that is coming to your way and flowing in the direction wherever the winds of chaos are leading you to.
A day could only be called productive if every minute of it is spent on something that is important or relevant to the day. If you are on autopilot mode, get out of it immediately.
Figure out what’s important to you
The major reason why you end up doing things that aren’t doing any good is your ignorance towards what’s actually important and what’s not. That’s the beginning of you getting stuck in this vicious circle of doing numerous things and achieving none of them.
This being said, there are many productive folks out there who are doing all the amazing things in the same 24 hours. You might be wondering that how do they do it? Are there any special time-management tips that they follow?
It’s no rocket science. They figure out what’s actually important to them, make a to-do list and prioritize listed items in terms of their significance and urgency and get them done — come what may.
Try this exercise to organize your life to maximize productivity
Here’s a unique exercise that I read on the internet a few months back. I tried it when things were getting beyond my control and the results were miraculous in every possible way.
Take a piece of paper and a pen. Now, divide it into three section by drawing two equispaced lines on it.
- Write ‘Sleep’ in the first section and the number of hours you sleep on an average in a day. For example, let’s assume you need 7 hours of quality sleep in a day, hence write 7 in that section.
- In the second section, write ‘Work/Office’. Likewise, jot down the number of hours you spend while working in your office. If you are working from usual 9 to 5, write 8 hours.
- The third section is the most interesting one. In this section, write down the following things and time you spend on these activities:
- Things you have to do in a day such as eating, commuting, etc
- Things you want to do in a day such as learn to play guitar, spend more time with your family, getting a new certification, go to gym etc
- Things you usually do on a daily basis such as binge-watching TV, Whatsapp, Instagram, and more
- Anything else that takes your time in day
Once you are done with this little activity, it’s time to take a good look at it and swallow the bitter pill. Now, honestly ask yourself if you are happy to see the third section or not. If you know you should be going to a gym and breaking a sweat but you spend your free time watching TV with a large bowl of fries on your chest, you might want to change it.
That’s the beauty of this exercise, it does much more than you would ever expect. With the insights, you can easily figure out what needs to be done to add more hours and bring sanity to your life — professionally and personally.
Recommended: 5 Ways to Take Your Life to the Next Level
Do this to add more hours to your day
- Make a don’t-do list: Making a to-do list is great. In fact, many people out there even use tools like ProofHub and Evernote to create lists and chart their day according to it. Give your to-do list a spin-off by jotting down the things you shouldn’t be doing or get easily distracted by. To get a better hold of your life, analyze the key time-wasters in your day. Thus, creating and sticking to a to-don’t list could provide you a few extra minutes or hours a day.
- Use your dead time effectively: Like everyone else, you might also be spending a good chunk of your time commuting to work. It is mandatory and you have to do it whether you like it or not. You can use your travel or commute time to answer emails if you are not driving. And, if you drive to work daily, then you can utilize the time to listen to audio podcasts from personal development to learning a new skill. While doing daily chores such as cleaning, washing, cooking, you can connect with your children or spouse.
- Delegate things like a pro: We carry the baggage to do everything on our own and end up overburdening ourselves with endless tasks. Whereas, if we learn the art of delegation, we can achieve a lot more by doing less. However, learn the difference between delegating tasks and shouting orders. For instance, you need to pick up your child from school but you have an important meeting in next 30 minutes, you can request someone from your team (if they are free), friends, family members, and acquaintances you can trust to pick him up.
- Cut down TV and social media: The social media and TV usage swallow many hours of the day. According to a report, an average person has five social media accounts and spends around 1 hour and 40 minutes browsing these networks in a day. Most notably, people are spending A LOT of time in watching TV as well. Right now as per the statistics, the average person will spend around 7 years and 8 months watching TV in a lifetime. So, get out of that couch and start utilizing your time in things that actually matter.
- Use a time-management tool: Have you ever wondered “Oh God! I have lost/wasted an hour of my life and will never get it back”? The chances are strong that you might have. To not go through the same guilt drive again, many people have started using a time management software to get a better hold of time and track where and how it is being spent.
I personally love ProofHub. It is a versatile time management and project management software that allows you to set time estimates, track time spent on tasks and maintain a record of every minute they spend working on tasks.
It’s your time — Use it wisely!
It’s no secret that all of us are blessed with 24 hours in a day, so it’s completely up to you how you make the most of them. Know what’s important and spend most of your minutes, if not every, doing things that matter.
I would like to end this post with a meaningful quote by John Cena. He says, “Time management is the key. Although it seems hectic, as long as you can manage your time properly you can get everything done.”
“Transform the way you manage your projects. Switch to ProofHub”
Vartika Kashyap is the Marketing Manager at ProofHub and has been one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2017. Her articles are inspired by office situations and work-related events. She likes to write about productivity, team building, work culture, leadership, entrepreneurship among others and contributing to a better workplace is what makes her click. For more interesting posts follow her on Medium.