1 Jan 2017

Shritika Bhardwaj

A few time management hacks

Many of us spend our days racing against the clock, trying our best to squeeze everything—job, family, friends, and chores— into one single day. No matter how hard we try, there never seems to be enough time. There are n number of chances that at some point in your life, you might have taken a time management class, read about it in a book or tried to use an electronic or paper-based day planner to organize, prioritize and schedule your day, but with this knowledge and these gadgets you still might not have done that was to be done on time.

A lot of folks in our society try to be hyper-productive; they scurry from task to task, always checking e-mail, organizing something, making a call, running an errand, etc. The people with more on their plates give the best time management advice.

The idea of “Working Smarter, Not Harder” has become a staple in the way of work of any kind. Instead of being robotic, try to be thoughtful and find some way in which the task can be done more efficiently or eliminated altogether. Managing my time isn’t about squeezing as many tasks into your day as possible. It’s about simplifying how you work, doing things faster, and relieving stress.
There really are enough hours in a day for everything you’d like to do, but it may take a bit of rearranging and re-imagining to find them.

1. Complete most important tasks first

This is the golden rule of time management. Each day, identify the two or three tasks that are the most crucial to complete, and do those first. Once you’re done, the day has already been a success. You can move on to other things, or you can let them wait until tomorrow. You’ve finished the essential. Knocking your biggest tasks off the list earlier will give you a leg up on your day and allow you to be less rigid with your time as the hours wear on and more things pop up on your to-do list.

2. Learn to say “NO"

Making a lot of time commitments can teach us how to juggle various engagements and manage our time. This can be a great thing. However, you can easily take it too far. At some point, you need to learn to decline opportunities. Your objective should be to take on only those commitments that you know you have time for and that you truly care about.

3. Sleep at least 7-8 hours

Some people think sacrificing sleep is a good way to hack productivity and wring a couple extra hours out of the day. This is not the case. Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep for their bodies and minds to function optimally. You know if you’re getting enough. Listen to your body, and don’t underestimate the value of sleep.

4. Devote your entire focus to the task at hand

Concentrate on this one task. Nothing else should exist. Immerse yourself in it. Close out all other browser windows. Put your phone away, out of sight and on silent. Find a quiet place to work, or listen to some music if that helps you.

5. Be conscientious of amount of TV/Internet/gaming time

Time spent browsing Twitter or gaming or watching TV and movies can be one of the biggest drains on productivity. I suggest becoming more aware of how much time you spend on these activities. Simply by noticing how they’re sucking up your time you’ll begin to do them less. Rather use technology to help you to be more productive during a task. 


Note: There are innumerable hacks and tricks to manage your time effectively. These are some tips that I find helpful, but everyone is different.