Time Management Habits (that Actually Work)

Time Management Habits (that Actually Work)

Do you ever feel overwhelmed at the end of the day and look back and realize you have nothing to show for it? The goals you’ve set for the day haven’t been completed and you have no clue where the time went. If you want to live your vision and start ticking off your bucket list, you need to protect your time at all costs so you can work on your goals and start living your vision.

Remember, if there’s somebody out there who is living the life you want, it’s because they are outworking you in one way or another. The good thing is that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. So if you really want to live bigger, be happier and start living life on your terms, you need to become more self-disciplined with your time because you own it. Nobody else.

Your time is a precious asset so don't let anyone rob you of it — including yourself.

Identifying and Eliminating Time Wasters

Before we get into some proven time management hacks that will help you get more done, let’s shine a light on some common negative habits to watch out for so they don’t creep up and steal your precious time.

Phone scrolling

A study from IDC Research found that 80 per cent of smartphone users start checking their mobile devices within 15 minutes of waking up every day. This is by far one of the worst habits because it will make you feel more stressed out and make it more difficult to start prioritizing your goals. In fact, most people spend more than 2 hours a day just meaninglessly browsing; that could be time you put to better use.

Some solutions: If you have a smartphone, you can track just how much time you spend on it and make it a goal to limit it. Ideally, you should silence your phone when doing deep, focused work to prevent distractions. You can also set up specific notifications sounds so you only receive calls from important people in your life. Minimize the number of apps you have on your phone and sort them so that only the ones you really need are on the first page. If you find that you’re spending too much time on an app, question how it’s benefitting you? If it doesn’t bring you value, then remove it. Consider it an obstacle in your way that is hindering your growth.

Binge-watching TV or streaming platforms

If you find yourself glued to the couch watching hours on end, know that this is not going to help you get where you want to go in life. It’s another distraction. Of course you can watch TV; just set some boundaries by limiting how much you consume and when. Remember, TV was meant to be a source of entertainment, not a way of life.

Some solutions: If there are specific things you want to watch at some point, you can either record them for later or add them to your favorite list so you can go back to them when you have down time.

Pro tip: Never get pulled into a TV series or reality show because they are created to be addicting so that you spend more time-consuming content with all its commercials and infomercials instead of doing the things that are going to bring you closer to your dreams.

Constantly checking email

This can be problematic for most working professionals because frequent email checking can consume significant portions of your day, reducing productivity.

Some solutions: Set some boundaries by scheduling times throughout your day to check your email and allowing just a few minutes each time to look and address as needed; otherwise, it will eat up your day. Turn off notifications so they don’t sound off and distract you while working. If someone needs to reach you urgently, they can contact you via phone to let you know of its importance.

Minimizing Common Time Wasters

  • Dedicate different devices for different tasks. For example, your computer is where you work. Your phone is for calls, chats, and checking social media. A tablet may be used for reading books.
  • Physically schedule times for these possible time-wasting activities. This will help you manage your time more efficiently. After a while, it becomes routine, so you don’t need to necessarily schedule it. This takes lots of self-discipline at the start, so you don’t fall back into old habits.

If you find yourself having a moment of silence and you begin to feel the urge to do any of these time-wasters when you have more important things to do, just find a means to remove the temptation. Don’t try to fill that moment with noise. Silence can bring you clarity you need to sort out what’s next.

It is crucial to be intentional of how and where you are spending your time. When you eliminate time wasters, you will free up time so you can do more of things you love.

Proven Time Management Hacks

These are hacks that are going to set you free. The more you implement them in your life, the more time you'll have to do what you love.

Focus on one thing

You will build up in this area, but to start off, let’s just focus on the one top goal that you need to finish that day. Write it out on your calendar, to-do list, or whatever works for you. Block out sufficient time for you to complete it. Everything else you get done that day is just icing on the cake. After a few weeks of consistently getting one thing done, you can expand to no more than three main goals per day. You still want to write it out and maybe try out software if you find that you need to take it everywhere you go.

Embrace saying no

Learn to decline tasks and requests that don't align with your priorities. Remember, your time is valuable, and you can't please everyone, so don't try to.

Do focused, uninterrupted work

Develop focused work sessions, free from distractions and interruptions, to maximize productivity. Try dedicating different devices for different tasks. For example, your computer is where you work. Your phone is for calls, chats, and checking social media. A tablet may be used for reading books. The more you can isolate where you do specific tasks, the more focused you'll be.

Prioritize personal time

Set aside sacred, uninterrupted time for yourself daily, engaging in activities that rejuvenate and nourish your well-being. This could be your morning routine, your evening routine, or just taking time for self-care.

Automate tasks

Work smarter, not harder, right? There are tons of little tasks that take up your time that are really better suited for automation. This will save you time and prevent overwhelm. Utilize technology tools like social media schedulers, calendar management apps, password managers, and business automation tools to save time and streamline processes.

Delegate or outsource the things you don’t want or can’t do

Identify tasks that others can handle more efficiently and consider outsourcing or delegating them, freeing up your time for higher-value activities. For example, if it takes you three hours every week to clean your house and you would rather be spending quality time with family or doing something else you love, then you may want to consider bringing someone in to help. You’re not only freeing up your time in the process, but you’re also providing someone else a source of income.

Think of time as money because it is. Focus on freeing up your time so you can do more of what you love.

Audit your day—what did you accomplish?

At the end of the day, you need to audit, either mentally or physically, what you did right with your behaviors and improve where necessary.

Remember, time is a limited resource, and how you manage it will determine your level of success and fulfillment. By taking charge of your time and implementing these strategies, you'll start accomplishing more, bringing you closer to living life on your terms.

For more on how to manage your time better, get your copy of the Become Limitless Workbook.

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