The biggest problem with wasting your own time lies in the fact that most of the time, you won’t be even aware that you’re actually wasting it. However, there are a lot of reliable symptoms that can be a great way to tell that something’s afoot. For instance, even though you spend your entire day working, you simply can’t get anything done. Second, you have no time for hobbies or social activities, even though your coworkers (with similar tasks) always seem to find time for these things. Acknowledging that you have a time-management issue is the first step towards resolving it. Here are several steps to make things right.
Download a time-management app
While you’re aware that you’re, indeed, wasting time, you really don’t know how exactly. This is where a time-management app can come in as particularly handy. First of all, it gives you a chance to see exactly how much time you’ve actually spent working and how much time you’ve spent on YouTube or social media. By knowing which of these time-wasters works the most against you, you’ll know exactly what to do in order to make things better.
Try interval working
Another thing you need to understand is the importance of learning how to differentiate between working and active working. This is why interval working is so effective. You can opt for the Pomodoro technique, which mandates that you work for 20 minutes straight and then rest for 5 minutes. After three such sessions, you get the fourth break of 15 minutes. What this does for you is create a mindset in which you can postpone any other thoughts, inquiries or interests until the break and focus fully on the work at hand.
One of the major reasons why you’re wasting time is the fact that you’re not outsourcing tasks that you are not skilled enough to handle. This particular problem has an incredibly simple solution – finding an agency that can do this for you. Solutions like NetSuite help resource planning, which is a task that a lot of first-time entrepreneurs are known to struggle with. The best way to use your time is to focus on those things that you are the best at and leave the rest to someone else.
One of the things you need to understand is that a lot of time gets wasted by trying to make yourself get started. Admiral McRaven claims that all it takes for you to break procrastination is start your every day by making your bed in the morning. This way, you’ve already started your day by doing something productive and, even if you’ve had the worst day ever, you get home to a made bed. Therefore, you’ll get to benefit from a single good thing you did that day.
Work every day
There are certain professions in which you don’t have the traditional office hours but deadlines. This makes some people take random skip-days in order to take a break. The problem with this lies in the fact that you sometimes lose the workflow. One renowned writer claimed that he forced himself to write six pages every single day. Even if he had no inspiration whatsoever. Even if what he wrote down was complete gibberish. This way, he could never lose the flow and would always stay in touch with his creative nature.
Give yourself more responsibilities
While this tip may sound a bit counterintuitive, there’s definitely a method to this madness. When you actually have a lot of responsibilities, you gain some extra intrinsic motivation to start working towards organizing your day. In fact, having too many responsibilities that you see as a priority (your job, time with your friends, your favorite hobby, etc.) will create an urge to better organize your day. This is why you can’t just fill your day with a plethora of menial tasks. These tasks actually have to mean something.
One of the biggest misconceptions about time-management is the idea that you can achieve a lot more by multitasking, when, in reality, it’s the other way around. By multi-tasking, you’ll actually reduce your productivity. That means that instead of handling two tasks for a bit more than it takes you to handle a single one of these tasks, you’ll actually work at about 40 percent of your full productivity. So, instead of using your time better, you’re actually wasting it.
Don’t overwork yourself
When working on short notice or when behind schedule, a lot of people decide to overwork themselves. The problem, however, is that this makes them burn out. Your first two hours of the day are the most productive ones because you’re fresh and well-rested. The issue, nonetheless, lies in the fact that overworking yourself will reduce your efficiency. After skipping a break and working for 8 hours straight without a break, chances are that you won’t even be able to form a sentence, let alone perform a complex mental task. So, overworking yourself makes you less efficient at everything, even managing your time.
The very last thing you need to keep in mind is that time management is an essential skill that affects literally everything that you do – from your workplace performance to the efficiency of your household chores. By determining how much me-time you get, it even affects your mental health. How much time you have, how content you are with your daily routine and more are just some of the things that you have to pay special attention to. All in all, by better managing your time, you get the privilege of improving virtually every aspect of your life. This improvement is worth any effort and investment that you make.