If we don't manage our time, it becomes our master.
We are always busy with something, either working, sleeping, eating etc.
We have different activities that require our attention and our time.
A lot of people have no idea how they spend their time.
Sometimes we find ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time or doing the right thing at the wrong time.
When we don't properly manage our time, we become inefficient, exhausted etc.
Here are some ideas on avoiding time-wasting and taking full advantage of how you utilise your time.
1. Setting Priorities
Most times, we find it hard to set our priorities suitable.
We find ourselves often distracted in one way or the other, and most of us find ourselves doing unimportant things, e.g. social media, while the important things are left undone.
Although we can't always guess what will happen in a day, there is nothing wrong with mapping out daily tasks.
We have to set goals after goals, like learning a new skill, eating healthier, exercising etc.
I try doing this by first figuring out what is the most important thing to me. Then, because it all starts with me, I always try to make time for myself.
Sometimes I get caught up in what is going on around me. So when it is like this, I try to take time to breathe, relax, process and plan. This helps to reduce my stress and makes me clear-headed than before.
It's always up to us to determine how our lives go, so setting priorities right helps.
2. Forming a Routine
Setting a daily routine needs to be done according to our priorities. Therefore, we have to learn to set time for various tasks we have to do.
Setting routine balls down to the minor things we do like learning a new skill and eating healthy meals starts by changing one thing a day, then every day, then a week.
You can set a routine for a week and add another practice the following week, and it goes on like that, and before you know it, there will be positive changes.
We all know that setting a new routine is not always fun, but we can always make it fun. Get a good music playlist for your exercise- anything to make you enjoy the new routine.
And you can also try giving yourself rewards after successfully falling into a routine. For example, if you can fall into a pattern of learning a new skill, you can treat yourself to a meal. Every good change you have in your life deserves a reward. This can also be a motivation you will need.
3. Focussing on the Task at Hand.
We should always learn to give whatever we are doing our full attention.
When working on something, we need to be fully immersed in it. But unfortunately, things can be challenging because there are a lot of distractions in the world.
But we need to be able to focus and get things done at the time available.
We should also avoid multitasking. When multitasking, we always have trouble getting things done on time because we have different things requiring our attention.
And if you are getting distracted, it's always best to take time to regroup and refocus on your priorities. We should always do away with any form of distraction, for example, our phones.
We can take a break from whatever we are doing. We can step out to bring fresh air; it helps us have a clear mind and refresh our thinking.
4. Learn to say No.
When I was younger, I've always been the person who said yes to everything. But as I've gotten older, I've realised that saying no is very important for your mental health — and it's something everyone should learn how to do.
When you always say yes to things that will take your time, you will find yourself stressed out and exhausted, even before you finish what you have to do.
Learn to say no without feeling bad about it and without feeling guilty.
Saying No helps us to avoid being overtasked, which can be stressful.
There are many ways to manage time. The points I have given are things that I have found helpful in my life and have enabled me to be more fruitful. Perhaps, you will find them useful too.