To do list with so many things note on paper with paper balls and pen

9 ways to manage your time better and be more efficient

Posted on January 14, 2018

When you really think about it – time is the only commodity that matters. There’s no way to get more time, or get time back. Learn how to manage your time better and you could have a happier, less stressful life! Here are some tips to help. 

Keep goals manageable

If you put big, long-term goals on your to-do list, they will seem too daunting. Save it for your vision board. Instead, list smaller tasks you want to accomplish to work towards your big goal.

Make systematic lists

Don’t just list your tasks in the order you receive them or think of them. Instead, you could use a four-quadrant chart to organize by Due Soon or Not Due Soon in two columns, and Important and Not Important as two rows.

An easy way to find more day in your day is to review all tasks in the Not Important category and decide if you can actually remove them from your task list altogether. You’ve already decided that they are not important, so why are they on your list at all?

Beware of filler tasks

When you have an important task to finish, avoid working on things you can do quickly but don’t really need to be done at all. Keep focused on accomplishing significant tasks only.

Consider your opportunity cost

This concept from economics class is applicable in many real-life situations. When you decide to spend your time in a certain way, you’re also deciding what you’re sacrificing. Your second best alternative to spend that time will not be completed. In order to spend your time efficiently, you have to understand what the opportunity cost is.

View your time as valuable

How much is one minute of your time worth? How many minutes of your day do you waste on activities that don’t help you accomplish your goals? If you spend one hour working on a task that is not valuable, that is one hour of your life you will never get back. Once you start viewing your time as a precious commodity, you will want to spend it being productive.

Understand why you’re doing it

Instead of just doing things, ask why you are doing it. What happens if you don’t do it? Be aware of doing things versus doing the right things. Why is this task on your to-do list at all?

100 things to do in life

Lou Holtz has a great list of 100 things he wants to do in life. Once a week, Lou looks at the list and asks himself, “If I’m not working on these 100 things, why was I working on the others?” We should all have a list like this.

Learn to say no

Do less and you won’t be constantly weighed down by a giant to-do list. Simple. Don’t agree to every project or take on other people’s work. Learn to delegate effectively and teach others how to do their own work.

Three questions to ask yourself

Professor Randy Pausch loves to ask himself three questions every day:

  • What am I doing that I could delegate to somebody else?
  • What could I be doing more effectively?
  • How am I wasting other people’s time?

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