Simple Tools For Efficient Use of Time

Whether you are Bill Gates or a common man, we all have the same amount of time i.e. 24 hours a day. The way we utilize our time decides the value time will grant us. And once the hours pass, no one can reverse time. This is why managing your time is critical for success.

If you study the habits of highly successful people, you’ll discover a common trait – all of them have managed their time well and have infused discipline into their routines to achieve goals. At the end of day, nothing beats the sense of satisfaction of accomplishing your tasks and goals. Realizing how productive you have been motivates you to achieve even more. In this article, I orient you to simple yet effective time management hacks to make judicious use of your time.

Calendarization

I employ the calendarization technique to organize my activities, get into a rhythm and efficiently utilize time. I plot tasks on my calendar for the whole year. Timeboxing the date, time and duration helps me pen down my priorities and commitments for the day and gain control over tasks for each day.

1-3-5 To-Do List

I regularly use the 1-3-5 Priority Task Planner to organize my daily tasks based on their level of importance and time frame. Classification of tasks — 1 important task, 3 necessary tasks and five miscellaneous tasks to be done — helps me to prioritize my tasks based on the urgency/importance matrix. I execute the most important/urgent tasks in the first half of the day when my energy levels are high and execute miscellaneous ones in the latter part of the day.

Checklist

I always make a list of things that need to be done at a certain time and set a review date to inspect if they are done or not. Making use of checklists acts as a visual reminder to execute everything within the deadline and avoid missing out. Its relevance is that it lets you focus on the important things and ensures you don’t waste time on trivial matters, thus instilling the discipline of doing things right, reducing double work and stress. (Check out Chapter 3 in my book)

WWW (Who What When) Tool

To simplify task management and bring more clarity, I employ the WWW Tool to break complex projects into manageable tasks, allocate them to responsible persons and set submission timelines. This failproof formula precisely records the minutes- What tasks are to be done, Who is responsible and When is the deadline for completion? I also utilize this tool to track and know if everything is going as planned.

Slots for contingency tasks

Some tasks come unexpectedly, and such situations are unavoidable. To avoid disruptions to my schedule, I usually schedule free slots for contingency/ ad-hoc tasks in my calendar. This way I accommodate unplanned or end-moment tasks as and when they arise.

One task at a time

I don’t believe in multitasking or handling too many tasks simultaneously. Rather, I focus and complete one at a time and then move to the other to do justice to the task at hand. I consistently use all the above time management tools (Calendaring/1-3-5 Daily Task Planner /Checklists/WWW) to help me concentrate and accomplish more within timelines.

I hope you have found these tips useful to better manage your time and fulfill professional commitments. Check out my book ‘Mastering Time’ on elaborate time management practices

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