It’s needless to say most people struggle with time management in the modern-day and age filled with distractions, multitasking, hustle, multiple priorities, and procrastination. As a result, it has become all too easy to waste precious hours and even days on things that are neither enjoyable nor beneficial. The truth is, nobody is born productive. However, productivity and effective time management are things you can cultivate over time.
You just need to know how and adapt your mindset accordingly to ensure you remain disciplined throughout your quest to become more productive. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into this interesting topic and share 7 mental time management techniques to help you get the most out of your 24 hours a day.
What Is Time Management?
While there are many ways to define time management, the concept remains the same. Simply put, it is the way people organize and plan their tasks and activities in a specified period. A huge aspect of effective time management involves constantly changing and controlling how much time is spent on those activities to ensure all goals in a specified time frame are met consistently.
Benefits of Time Management
The ability to gain control over time offers several tangible and intangible benefits, including:
1. Stress and Anxiety Relief
Managing time efficiently through planning and organizing tasks reduces stress and anxiety. Checking off things from your to-do list induces a sense of achievement. This dopamine surge helps you release your stress, and you stop worrying about making progress.
2. More Free Time
According to Parkinson’s law, work expands according to the time allowed for completion. In the post-pandemic remote work era, employees generally have more time on their hands to get things done due to the time saved on preparation and commute. However, this often led to reduced productivity as employees took advantage of the “float” to allow themselves more time for completion.
They killed the extra time they had doing the same thing in doing so. Good time management comes in to help you finish your tasks faster and make more time to spend on recreational activities or other personal pursuits.
3. More Opportunities
Effective time management creates more opportunities for other tasks and activities as it shrinks time wastage. Thus, managing time effectively has become an essential soft skill employers look for today.
4. Goal Realization
People who practice good time management are more likely to achieve their goals and objectives, and that too in a shorter period.
7 Mental Time Management Techniques to Improve Productivity and Minimize Wastage
Here are seven mental techniques to improve your time management and get more value from the hours you put in:
1. Keep Tabs On Your Daily Goals
Proactivity is one of the keys to effective time management. Before you go to sleep at night, decide then and there what you want to do the next day. This will help you set up your alarm accordingly, pick the right attire, and take care of other preparations to ensure you remain ahead of schedule at all times. If you’re an early bird, you can wake up each morning and plan your tasks and activities for the day.
Whatever route you opt for, take some time to visualize these tasks as already completed to give yourself a future sense of fulfillment and fuel your drive to get everything done without any delays.
2. Never Put Tasks On the Back Burner
If you have something to do, get it over as soon as possible without putting them off or postponing them close to the deadline, or piling them up with other tasks. Unfortunately, humans tend to spend more mental energy worrying about task completion instead of doing them. The longer you put tasks on the back burner, the longer they’re going to be on the back of your mind.
This can affect your mental health in many ways, such as elevating stress, anger, frustration, and overthinking.
3. Fix a Deadline For Every Task and Activity
Deadlines are incredibly powerful motivational tools if you use them effectively. One of the best mental time management techniques to improve productivity and reduce time wastage is setting deadlines for tasks that don’t already have one.
This way, you can break procrastination and be in control of task completion. However, when you set deadlines, you need to stick to them and not leave everything till the last minute.
4. Make a To-Do List
When you write down things you need to do for the day, they feel more doable compared to when you have them piled up in your head. As a result, to-do lists have become incredibly popular, with hundreds of apps on Android and iOS devices you can choose from to plan your day. Or, you can do it the old-fashioned way and jot down your tasks for the day in a notebook.
By making to-do lists, you’re providing yourself with a visible, tangible way to keep up with your tasks and make necessary tweaks along the way to stay on track. Plus, there’s no better feeling than marking a task off your list once you’re done with it.
5. Limit Multitasking
Multitasking is an essential productivity skill very few people can say they’ve mastered. More importantly, studies show that multitasking can impact productivity and performance as people try to get too much done simultaneously. Plus, it can increase your chances of getting burned out and stressed.
Instead of doing many things at once, prioritize and complete tasks one by one. This way, you can also ensure you’re 100% focused on everything you’re doing.
Completing a task is nothing short of an achievement. Therefore, you should reward yourself every time you check something off your to-do list. You don’t have to throw a celebration. You can treat yourself to a fancy meal and go out for a walk in the park. However, make sure the rewards are healthy and not too time-consuming. For instance, drinking too much soda or eating a box of donuts every time you complete a task isn’t a good idea.
7. Don’t Forget to Relax
At the end of the day, you have to accept that you can’t get everything done as there will always be more things to do and tasks to complete. Many people try to compensate by working longer and harder, but it often affects their physical and mental well-being. Therefore, take time to relax and make a pit stop to maintain your health and consistent performance.
So there you go… 7 mental time management techniques to boost productivity and minimize time wastage. With this information, you’re on track to getting more done faster and easier than you ever thought possible. So, feel free to try them out and see which techniques work the best for you. You’d be amazed by what you can do in 24 hours when you have some extra time for yourself.