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9 steps to achieve optimal time management

Time is what our life is made up of and its poor management can lead to high levels of stress and lack of productivity. Knowing how to manage time is a skill and can be learned gradually. 

The first step is to be aware and accept that we are not making good use of our time and then follow a series of steps that’ll eventually become part of our habits. 

Below are 9 steps to manage time and to be more productive:

1. Create a goal

In order to improve your time management, you need to have an achievable goal.

Regardless of thinking about optimizing use and productivity of time  in personal or professional tasks, it is very important that you know that having a goal will help you better organize everything you need to do. When you start by setting a goal all your energy , time , and efforts are directed in order to achieve the goal, which helps you in staying focused.

scissors and two paper clips beside opened spiral notebook

2. Create a daily plan

Use the first few hours of the day to create a list of daily tasks to suit your weekly goal planning. Prioritize tasks for that day by setting a performance benchmark.  

black and gray pen on table

3. Design routines and stick to them

While uncertainties can always arise during the workday, you will be much more productive if you get used to following work routines. For most people, creating and following a routine allows them to manage their time much better and finish the tasks of the day as planned.

4. Set time limits for work

A task like reading and answering emails could take us all day if we don’t set a time limit for ourselves. For this reason, it is recommended to establish, for example, 15-minute blocks every three hours to check the email inbox. It is also important to mark the beginning and the end of the meetings to avoid that they last forever and lose the day without doing anything else. This strategy of limiting time can be applied to different tasks, and in this way we will avoid the feeling that something concrete always absorbs us most of the working day

clear hour glass beside pink flowers

5. Eisenhower matrix

Have you recently had a feeling there is more to do than you can achieve in a day or week or even a month? A good time management strategy solves this problem and can increase productivity at same time. The Eisenhower matrix was given by former US president Eisenhower, it helps you to prioritize tasks by urgency and importance and sorts out those less urgent or important tasks. It has 4 quadrants with different work strategies, below mentioned are the quadrants with examples to give an idea as to how categorizing is done: 


6. Eat the frog: time management strategy

Mark Twain said “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen for the rest of the day”.

Eating a frog sounds unpleasant but he explains in his quote is to face the biggest, most difficult task first in the morning. You know that from early you have fulfilled your toughest task and what will come next will be much easier.

When you first tackle the most difficult problem, the following will seem much simpler than they really are. 


7. Have a calendar

Having a calendar with start and end dates for each planned activity is something that helps a lot when doing your time management.

You just need to prioritize the most urgent and important tasks, you will never forget the other activities that you need to do later.We advise you to use your Monday mornings to plan your weekly calendar. Thus, you will think about planning your near  future, which can help you better manage your time.

8. Organize your rest times

Rest is essential in time management. To make the most of our time, it is not necessary to be working the entire working day, but the time we do it we take out all our productivity. The breaks allow us to regain energy and fill ourselves with optimism.

Signs It's Time to Take a Rest Day | Performance Inspired Nutrition

9. Follow 80/20 rule 

Pareto principle also known as 80/20 rule suggests that 80% of the input creates 20% of the result and 20% of input creates 80% of the result. Pareto principle helps you realize that majority of results come from focused minor inputs, as paying attention on too many tasks reduces the efficiency and overwhelms the mind thereby resulting in procrastination,  

According to this principle , you find out the activities that produce major results and then give priority only to those activities, doing this drastically increases the effectiveness and satisfaction of an individual .

Here is quick sum up

1.Create a goal 

2.Design the routine 

3.Design routines and stick to them

4. Set time limits for homework

5.Eisenhower matrix

6. Eat the frog : time management strategy

7. Have a calendar

8. Organize your rest times

9. Follow 80/20 rule

Contact the professionals at MTW for more tips and guidance on how to manage your time.

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