Why should I manage my time?
This question comes quite often in my mind also and the only answer that I get always is-
To achieve your goals.
One cannot achieve their goals until they learn to manage their time.
You know how the human mind works- The lower/reptilian mind (a limbic portion of the human mind) will always manipulate you and keep you from working. Because all that it wants is- comfort and pleasure.
However, there is a higher brain/neo-cortex, that is responsible for controlling the activities that are beyond just pleasure and fun.
If we were animals, there was simply no question of time management.
But, by the grace of evolution, we are more complex and better off in achieving our goals.
So, we need to manage our time if we want to achieve our goals, live a healthy life, be stress and panic free and have good personal relations (you don’t want your partner to crib about you being so busy all the time. Do you?)
New mothers have to quit their jobs, young girls have to sacrifice their passion or side-hustles because they can’t manage time in their jobs and businesses simultaneously.
What’s the answer then?
The answer simply is – Time management.
How to manage time so effectively that you don’t have to worry about your schedules anymore.
The first thing to do:
In the mind map, start putting in all the tasks that you need to do this week.
Once you have made a list of all the tasks that need to be done in the week, start segregating the tasks according to the following matrix.
Now, start picking up tasks from this weekly to-do bucket and put them into these smaller buckets.
You could choose to do the urgent and important tasks on Mondays, the urgent and non-important ones on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the important and non-urgent ones on the rest of the weekdays, and the leisure activities on Sundays.
You can download either a free version of the mind map in the beginning or one with extra functionality that allows you to streamline the tasks even further.
The idea behind doing this activity is:
- To get clarity on all the tasks that need to be performed. (You could keep adding tasks to the To-do bucket as they come to your mind).
- To divide the tasks based on their urgency and importance (because most of the time, we spend a lot of time doing things that are not productive and neither useful).
- To get clarity on tasks that need to be done on specific days (this will help you overcome procrastination and over planning).
It’s very common to see that even after we plan our weeks, we are not able to meet our daily task checklists and one of the most common reasons for the same is that we are trying to over-perfect things.
We don’t take action thinking that it’s not perfect yet.
But the research has shown that perfectionism, procrastination, and over-planning not only affects the work and deadlines but also affects one’s mental health negatively. The rise in perfectionism doesn’t mean each generation is becoming more accomplished. It means we’re getting sicker, sadder, and even undermining our own potential. There are studies that suggest that the higher the perfectionism is, the more psychological disorders you’re going to suffer.
The big question – How to overcome the non-action?
When you are done making this list of tasks and dividing them into daily activities, on each day, pick the tasks to be done and designate time for each of the activities;
So, as shown above, break the task for the day into smaller activities and designate a specific time and time-limits to do that specific task.
This will further help you
- Organize your tasks
- Get rid of the overwhelm that comes from non-planning and uncertainty of tasks
- Help you measure your achievements from the day
- Give you confidence when you actually accomplish those tasks
Method 2 :
Following the Pareto principle
The Pareto Principle means that if you want to make the most of your time, you need to know that typically 20% of your activities and tasks are so critical that they contribute about 80% to the total success of your work.
For effective time management, this means that the remaining 80 percent of the time yields only 20 percent of the result.
The ratio between yield and effort is 80 to 20 from this perspective. For this reason, the Pareto Principle is also called the 80:20 rule.
Examples of Pareto principle in daily life;
- In meetings, 80% of the decisions are usually made in 20% of the time.
- 20% of leisure activities provide 80% of the desired rest
How to apply the Pareto principle:
Let’s say we have a list of 10 items to do from our weekly to-do bucket. We need to find out the 2 items that will be worth much more than the other 8 items out together.
Now, we need to divide our time in a manner that we give enough time and prioritize doing these 2 activities and later divide the remaining time into the other activities.
This concept encourages us to focus more on the things that matter most, primarily the tasks that help us reach our goals.
Now, the last thing that is really important to manage our time effectively is –
Like I shared, the reptilian or the lower brain will always manipulate us and keep us from working. In such times when the mind is trying to take over and we fall into procrastination, involving an accountability partner comes in handy.
You should engage someone who can check on you and help you measure your daily progress.
Your accountability partner could be a coach, your friend, your partner, or your parents.
It’s really important to measure your goals daily as it gives you the necessary enforcement to reach your goals on time.
Time management is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.
Each one of us has 24 hours and it depends on what we make out of these 24 hours- our fortunes or our miseries.
It sure is a little difficult in the beginning to follow our schedules because of our conditioning, but it’s really important if we want to change our lives for the better.
Hope this blog post has added value to your life. If so, please share your thoughts and comments below.