How to manage time effectively

People think that there is a magic formula to managing time and that if you find the right system or app, then you will be able to somehow have more time and get things done. Once you accept that this idea is fundamentally untrue, then you can start managing your time more effectively.

Prioritize your goals

Presumably if you’re wondering how to manage time more effectively then you’re also the kind of person who’s trying to achieve some goals. Naturally, people have multiple goals, but the sad truth is you will only have the energy to focus on one thing at a time. Pick your top priority goal, which should receive the most time, and start working towards that.

Do a brain dump

A large reason why people get paralyzed into inaction is because their brain is overwhelmed by the complexity of things they need to do. Most adults have to run their own home, hold down a job, maintain personal hygiene, keep up an active social life and hopefully have time for hobbies and interests. This means you need to regularly decant from your brain so you have to remember less. Form habits of making lists in apps like Evernote and scheduling plans into a calendar such as Google Calendar.

Stop all non-essential activities at once

There are many things that people do that they just really don’t need to do. If you’re the kind of person that obsessively cleans their house, you’re wasting time that you could be spending on being productive or creative. Just do the bare minimum or employ a cleaner. Similarly, many people hang out so-called friends they don’t like. Why are you wasting time doing this? Don’t make any more plans with people who don’t make you happy and spend time pursuing life goals instead.

Have quantifiable goals

A lack of productivity often stems from a lack of clear benchmarks that signal your progress. Setting goals also has the positive side-effect of signalling to your unconscious mind where you want to go, so you’ll be able to spend less conscious effort trying to be productive. You’ll automatically gravitate towards activities that will be effective and life-enhancing, as well as increase your energy levels and motivation. Get a notebook and write down the benchmarks that you will pass on the way to your goals.

Accept that time is limited

It may seem obvious, but everyone has the same amount of time. You may be able to sleep a little less, or stop washing or cleaning as much, but there are still only 24 hours in every day. This means that you must use your time wisely and stop wasting it on pointless activities. That’s why life-threatening experiences often kickstart people learning the ‘true value’ of life. We need to let go of the illusion that we will live forever, and start living now.

So, if you want to manage your time effectively, desire is the first step. Now is the best time to start making real changes, so go implement these 5 actions and watch your life start to improve.

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