Everyone can agree that time is a fixed commodity. Once it passes, it’s gone. You can buy other people’s time but you can’t create time or extend time. It’s just not going to happen. Considering how precious time is, it is simply puzzling why so many people waste their time. If you want to earn more money, get promoted, or have more time for your family and other more important aspects of your life, you should master timemanagement. However, even the best time manager can’t add time to his or her schedule by creating time. That’s impossible. Instead, good timemanagement is all about using time more productively, efficiently, and effectively. You may not be able to create time, but you can squeeze more productivity out of every unit of time you have instead of having to take time you budgeted for your family and the other parts of your life. Here are some basic time management techniques that should help you use your time more wisely.
Set firm deadlines
One of the easiest ways to waste time is to set ‘flexible’ or vague deadlines. If you thought you had the discipline to stay within ‘soft’ deadlines, you are wrong. Sure, you will probably be able to meet the deadline the first few times you use soft deadlines. Once you get used to this type of deadline though, your mind will start coming up with all sorts of excuses why you need more time or why you need to go beyond the deadline. If you want to use your time wisely and get the habits of effective time management, you need to set firm deadlines. Firm deadlines help you develop the discipline you need to manage your time responsibly and effectively.
‘Squeeze’ projects using tight deadlines
It is just simply amazing how adaptable human beings are. If you set a soft deadline or a deadline that is way in the future, chances are you won’t do the work you need to do until right before the deadline. Odds are you will wait till the last minute. You will hardly be alone. After all, procrastination is hardly a new concept. The good news is that you can apply the very opposite of procrastination to your schedule if you want to be more productive. Set up tight deadlines. If you think a project will take two hours, give yourself 30 minutes to do it. Impossible, you say? Well, the human mind is actually more adaptable than you think. If you were put under pressure to deliver something in 30 minutes when you used to have two hours to do that same task, your mind will go on overdrive and crank out more productivity. The truth is, if you ‘squeeze’ out all the dead time in a person’s eight hour workday, odds are, the amount of actual pure work time is quite small. So if you took two hours to do a task regularly, if you were to take out all the dead time and goofing off, chances are, you will be able to do that task in 30 minutes. Squeeze your time to get more productivity.