Imagine being able to experience time differently. Imagine that time moves more slowly so that you can fit more into every hour and day. This might sound like science fiction, but the fact is that you can change your perception of time simply by changing the way you use that time. In other words, you can manage time by becoming more efficient at what you do.
Becoming a time management pro rests on one principle: “work smarter, not harder.” But don’t fill your pantry with energy drinks yet – first you need the right time management skills.
We’re touch typing all the time, whether we’re on our smartphones, tablets, or laptops. Most office-bound professionals and students spend a great deal of their time at a keyboard.
By learning to touch type with the right techniques and using the right ergonomics, you can save up to hundreds of hours per year. That’s a lot of time you can then invest in a hobby, new project, or business idea.
Apart from a lot of keyboarding, we’re also doing a lot of reading. Reading is a good thing; we read to learn, we read to do better in life. But it takes up a lot of time.
We’ve been reading for thousands of years, but few people have bothered to make reading more time-efficient. Fewer still have bothered to share their own speed reading secrets with others, and that’s a shame. The information era is a reality and we need all the speed reading skills we can get. Speed reading involves techniques that rid you of time-consuming reading habits such as subvocalisation and regression, and grant you new techniques and methods to read more in less time.
Take some time to learn these techniques, and you will save an immense amount of time in the future.
Touch typing and speed reading do not work in vacuum to save you time. You need a plan if you really want to use that saved time in the best possible way.
There are many time management and productivity tools and apps you can use to track your tasks, chores, and projects. Many people, however, find that they have a more concrete idea as to what they must complete if they are carrying around a print schedule or organizer.
Experiment with both digital applications and the traditional notebooks to see what makes you stick to your deadlines. Having a clear picture of what you have to achieve every day helps you focus and avoid distractions.
Schedule Time for Interruptions
One reason why most people give up on their time management efforts is that they fail to include one gargantuan time-sucking element in their schedules: the dreaded interruption.
Whether you’re allotting time for checking your email, accepting a phone call, or dealing with an impromptu walk-in customer, you need to allow some flexibility for interruptions. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself falling behind no matter how efficient you are.
Schedule Time To Think
Another thing that will help you manage your time better is assigning time to thinking.
Our lives mostly revolve around doing, creating, and producing. Make sure you devote a percentage of your day to thinking about what you’re doing, creating, and producing. It lets you put your tasks and responsibilities into perspective, and helps you find shortcuts to achieve more in less time and with less effort.
Learn to Say No
This might be regarded a soft skill but it is nonetheless crucial for managing your time well.
Put a “do not disturb” sign outside your office or room. Shut off any alerts from social media and email notifications.
Have a time block where you don’t accept calls or see people. If you start respecting your time, others will too, and the result will be increased productivity and out-of-this-world time management.
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