Very often the beginning of a certain period is combined with increased motivation to work. Each of us knows about the New Year’ resolutions, many of us have made a lot of those. New year – new me, we tell ourselves, believing that with the end of the last day of the last month of the year, all of our bad habits will magically disappear. No more spending time on unproductive activities, poor nutrition, lack of work on personal development and so on.
Unfortunately, it does not work that way. Positive habits do not appear just like that, they need to be to formed, learned. The beginning of the year, month, or even the beginning of the week can be an extra motivation but it is not a solution to the problem. And what is? Appropriate organization. That is why today (after all this is the beginning of the week!) we will focus on tips that may help us organize time in such a way, that we won’t go to bed by the end the day with a sense of helplessness and discouragement, tormenting ourselves about the lack of work done or not enough time spent in a productive way.
On the Internet, you can find hundreds of thousands of tips for better time management. I know from experience that usually the simplest ones are the most effective. Mainly, because they can be immediately implemented. So today we present some simple but valuable tips (as well as a few applications) that will help you better plan your day and use your valuable time more efficiently. Start to use them today, and perhaps this New Year’s Eve will be free from any resolutions (͡ ° ͜ʖ ͡ °)
Pssst… You might want to check the best project management software on the market. Nothing will help you manage your time better!
1. What is time tracking for time management?
As a time tracking software producer, we simply have to suggest the use of a time tracking solution to manage your time. But it is not only because of that fact. We are using it both at work, and at home, and each one of us noticed an increase in his or her productivity. TimeCamp tracks all the computer activities that we are performing and segregates them into those productive (marked green), and unproductive (red). The activities are displayed on a graphical timesheet, where we can check the exact time that each of them took.
When we are able to see how exactly we spent our day, we can draw conclusions, restrain the unproductive actions (even block the sites that take too much of our time), and focus on those that are important. With the appropriate attitude and motivation, with time we can completely cut off the negative influences and start focusing on sharpening our performance and productivity.
2. Specify the purpose of an action.
Once you know what exactly you want, everything gets easier! Instead of wasting time, you head directly towards the realization of your plan. What is more, with a clear view on the target, it is much easier to avoid distractions.
The best way to start is to exactly determine what is it that you want/need to do. Write it down; enumerate the subtasks that must be completed. Very few people do this, not knowing that it is the best way to achieve success.
Remember to complete simple tasks first, and then get to something bigger. Set a deadline and divide it into stages. Do not think about the big project, focus only on completing each stage and you won’t even notice finishing the whole process!
3. Use the Pareto principle.
Also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity. This principle has its use in various domains – economics, science, business, software, or sports. In the case of time consumption, it states that 20% of our attention (time) dedicated to the most important part of our work can result in us finishing the 80% of that work. We just have to prioritize smartly and, of course, do not spend the remaining 80% on meaningless and insignificant tasks.
4. Think about the consequences of your actions
Planning is the key factor in achieving results. When you plan before getting into action, you are able to predict most of the obstacles that may appear on your way. Therefore, no obstacle should stop you for too long, as you will always have the fallback. Knowledge and objective assessment of the situation will help you to prepare for the consequences of action.
5. Use a calendar.
Last but not least, something that we all should befriend – a calendar. Every day, our brain receives a lot of information and stimuli. Many times we think that our memory is sufficient to cope with remembering, planning, and implementing our important goals. However, the memory is sometimes unreliable, and the natural consequence of forgetting important issues is the loss of precious time. To reduce the losses, we should reach for a notebook and pencil (or an app!)
Notebook or diary is a great friend of anyone who wants to have his daily duties well planned. Recording and storing information can purify thoughts and help us to focus only on the realization of our objectives. The collected info may be grouped into less and more important tasks and thoroughly mapped out.
Probably the most popular and well-developed calendar that is available for free is the Google Calendar (that we closely described in thisarticle). So we can honestly recommend it. However, the paper version may be sufficient if we are not being overwhelmed with tasks. If you decide to use an electronic version, though, remember that all types of calendars can be integrated with TimeCamp for a better performance!