How to Manage Your Time: A Guide for Newbies

Today, the speed of life is constantly increasing, and many of us are asking the question, “How do I keep up with everything?”. These tips will help you stay productive and keep up with everything.

Why It’s Hard to Have Time to Do Everything

Human life is quite intense, and many people are worried about the problem of how to keep up with everything. It’s not only about work plans but also about a full vacation, hobbies, and personal relationships.

People experience a lack of time due to various circumstances. Let’s consider the main ones:

  • Multitasking mode, in which it’s necessary to have time to solve many issues throughout the day (professional activities, studies, sports, shopping, parenting, etc.). At the same time, you just want to relax and go to bed at the right time.
  • Waste of time. This can include “sticking” on the Internet, watching all kinds of TV series, playing the Crazy Time game, reading the news, and idle chatter on the phone. If you want to keep up with everything, then this kind of pastime should be abandoned or reduced as much as possible.
  • Laziness. This is a natural state, inherent to a greater or lesser extent in every person. But when laziness leads to problems, you shouldn’t let it poison your life.
  • Inefficiency or low productivity. You stretch some duty for a long period of time, although it could be done more quickly. Low productivity is unlikely to allow you to get everything done on time.
  • Lack of energy. There may be many causes of this condition, including hypodynamia, an unbalanced diet, and a lack of oxygen in the blood.

Where to Start

People, who regularly complain that they don’t have time for anything, don’t know how or don’t want to competently distribute their time. They believe that it’s difficult or even unrealistic. Anyone can rationally manage this resource by learning the basics of time management with the help of practical step-by-step instructions.

Time management is a set of effective technologies and techniques necessary for successful planning and time management. These principles allow you to organize the work process, eliminating unnecessary fuss, overstrain, and related stress. This approach teaches you how to make the best use of your time to work and live in the moment, organizing your tasks by hours and days of the week.

If you want to figure out how to keep up with everything and live life to the fullest, stick to the main principle of time management when making a plan for the future: measure time not in hours but in completed actions. This allows you to improve the quality of your life by understanding how to build your schedule for maximum benefit.

The Best Time Management Techniques 

The Pareto Principle

The Pareto principle (or 80/20 rule) was developed by Vilfredo Pareto. The essence of this approach is that 20% of actions are responsible for 80% of the final result.

It has been proven that performing only 20% of the tasks on the task list can ensure the efficiency of the working day. To make this happen, it’s important to define the main goals and direct all the energy toward their achievement.

Parkinson’s Law

This is a practical pattern, and if you master it, you can significantly improve efficiency. It was introduced by Cyril Northcote Parkinson. He drew attention to the fact that any task can be accomplished in the time that a person himself outlines.

Eating the Frog

This is a favorite method of business coach Brian Tracy, who suggests singling out difficult or unpleasant tasks and tackling them first. At the beginning of the workday, the brain isn’t yet tired, so it will be easier for it to figure out how to keep up with everything and handle responsible tasks on time.

The Pomodoro Technique

Suitable for those who are regularly distracted from work and who are frightened by the mere thought of having to devote the whole day to business. The Pomodoro method was developed by Francesco Cirillo, a writer and professional in time management. The essence of the technology is as follows: 25 minutes are allotted for work, and 5 minutes can be rested. To keep track of the time, you can set a timer and precisely keep track of the time intervals. After every four cycles, a break of half an hour is required. There is a belief that the appliance got its name because Cirillo himself had a kitchen timer in the shape of a tomato.

Methods of Time Distribution: “90 by 30” and “52 by 17”

The principle of these methods is identical to the previous one: plan more time for work and less for rest. The alternation of activities gives you the opportunity to unload the brain and relieve stress. It’s important to observe their order and be sure to arrange a full-fledged rest: listen to quiet music and take a walk in nature.

How to Learn to Have More Time

  1. Accustom yourself to getting up an hour earlier than usual. Set your alarm clock so that you wake up earlier than you are used to. Then you will have an extra hour of time in the morning. Scientists have proven a direct correlation between personal productivity and early rising.
  2. Make a detailed to-do list. Write down everything you need to accomplish during the day. Need to respond to an IRS inquiry? Put the task on your list. Need a weekly report for your boss? Put this task on your list. Proper planning allows you to keep the situation under control and not miss anything important. Having made a plan of action, you will find it easier to imagine how to manage everything and even more.
  3. Solve difficult issues first. In the morning, being full of energy, you should start solving the most difficult tasks. In this way, it’s possible to minimize the level of tension. You won’t be pressured by the heavy burden of the upcoming responsible work. The second half of the working day can be devoted to lighter matters.
  4. Tidy up your workplace. Piles of papers and mountains of unnecessary folders will prevent you from focusing on the most important thing at the moment. Make sure you take a few minutes to clean up your surroundings.
  5. Exercise regularly. Make it a habit to start your morning with a set of exercises, a light jog or yoga. Sporting activities have a positive effect on intellectual performance.
  6. Refuse to multitask. In several cases at the same time, a person succumbs to the feeling that it will be possible to fulfill a greater volume of tasks. In fact, this is a deceptive impression. When you switch from one task to another, concentration decreases. Inevitably, personal productivity suffers as well.
  7. Learn to say no. An employee’s business reputation is determined by their performance. If you aren’t sure that you are capable of accomplishing a task, it’s better to refuse to participate in a project.
  8. Sort through your inbox. A lot of unread messages cause an uncomfortable feeling of discomfort. The chance of missing really necessary correspondence increases significantly. It’s important to learn to regularly clean up your inbox: delete unnecessary messages and respond to important emails in a timely manner.
  9. Read documents carefully, rather than superficially glancing through them. Flipping through will not save you time. On the contrary, you will need to go back to study the necessary information that you missed in your haste.
  10. Work with headphones. Even if they are silent, the risk that others will want to disturb you while you are working is greatly reduced.
  11. Avoid meetings that you may not show up for. When planning your daily routine, make sure that all scheduled meetings are actually necessary. Perhaps some issues are dealt with by phone or email. About half an hour should be spent on a face-to-face conversation. If time is limited, you will have to be more prompt in finding a solution to the issue.
  12. Make a decision in a minute, then the work will move faster, and it will be possible to manage everything.
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