Are you planning to make this year the milestone for your time management skills?
How are your resolutions going so far?
…Not great, are they?
Wait! Don’t give up on them just yet.
Keeping up with New Year’s resolutions isn’t as smooth sailing as it seems. But there are ways in which you can make your time management goals more achievable.
Besides, improving time management can begin with a few super simple, small changes to your everyday routine. Let’s see how!
Why do most good resolutions fail?
The first months of the year seem to be the best time to start anew. After all, new beginnings always carry along positive expectations for what’s to come.
Unfortunately, it seems that only 8% of people are able to keep their New Year’s resolutions until the end. And even in the short run, it seems that most resolutions are flunked by… February! This happens for many reasons: small failures that get in the way,the everyday busy life, underestimating/overestimating what’s possible to do in one year…
Sometimes we set ourselves up for failure by shooting for the moon: when we set unrealistic, unmanageable goals (both in our professional and personal life) we sabotage our plan before we even start.
How to set goals (and achieve them)
Change comes easily to some people. Others need more time. This is particularly true when it comes to everyday habits: humans are creatures of habits, and our routines help us organize and give structure to our lives.
When it comes to productivity, cutting off bad habits is crucial, but not as easy as it seems.
Where to begin? Well, always start with setting your goals. Whatever they may be, a clear set of goals should be:
- Realistic: small improvements are more achievable than big, radical changes;
- Time-bound: it’s better to work on our goals gradually, and give every step a small deadline;
- Written down: having a list in from of us is both a reminder and a motivation;
- Motivated by a strong WHY: never forget the motivation to take up any habit.
With all this in mind, I think it’ll be easier to write a list of achievable, and reasonable resolutions.
3 things you can improve right now
Let’s get back to where we started this article, which is, the quest to improve our time management skills.
I bet that if you google “How to improve time management”, lots and lots of great articles and lists will pop up. Which is great!
But let’s not over-complicate things. There are a few small changes you can make in your everyday habits to make a better use of your time. And you can start right now!
1) Be on time every day
Improving your punctuality saves you the time you lose by being late, and gives you a sense of commitment to carry along during the day. This also means to try and start working at the same time of the day and to meet your deadlines.
If you don’t own a watch, buy one. If you have it already aim at being always 5-10 minute early. But be careful not to overdo it -if you’re constantly too early the other people might find it annoying.
2) Simplify daily tasks
Do you know what Mark Zuckerberg’s wardrobe looks like?
His famous grey t-shirt is actually one clever productivity hack: Zuckerberg doesn’t like wasting time on menial tasks like choosing what to wear, so he decided to stock his favorite outfits and focus on more important stuff.
That doesn’t mean you have to start piling up t-shirts! But the more you simplify small everyday activities, the more you save precious time (to be punctual, for example -see #1).
3) Clean up your workspace
A lightning-fast hack that will save you tons of time? Clean your desk!
Mess creates stress: an untidy workspace is bad for your productivity because it creates a visual and mental clutter. And just think of how much time you’ve lost looking for “that” piece of paper?
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Great productive habits aren’t either. These super easy time management tips can set you off to the best start!
What resolutions did you take on this year? Let us know in the comments! Also, if you liked the article and you wish to make a better use of your time, you might also enjoy this basic guide to time management – and a free time tracking tool to finally know where your hours go!