What is the most precious commodity in the world? Gold is a common answer, but in my opinion, it’s time. After started working from home, I realized the most important issue to deal with is how to use time smartly. I summarized 10 tips to help you on that and I am going to share them today.
The first 4 tips are about effectiveness:
#1 Tip: Write down what need to be done
I don’t know how good your memory is. Mine is not as good as I expect. I often end up wasting lots of time because I just simple forgot what need to be done. Therefore, I suggest you to write the tasks done, either on paper or in the computer at a place you always check on regular base.
#2 Tip: Prioritize the tasks in orders
Only write down the tasks is not good enough, because some of the tasks are apparently more important than others and need to be done as soon as possible. Prioritize the tasks help you determine what need to be done first.
# 3 Tip: Assign a time frame to each task
This tip helps you to organize the tasks and utilize your time during the day. Nobody likes to be interrupted when concentrating on something. If you estimate the time to complete most tasks correctly, you can easily fit the tasks into time slots you have during the day.
# 4 Tip: Find the best working time during the day
Everybody is different, so you need some experiment to find out what time is more productive for you to work during the day. I suggest you to track down what you do every day for a few weeks. After you have enough tracking records, you will have a better idea to utilize your time overall.
PS. Google Calendar has been a wonderful free tool I have great experiences with. Try it and let me know your success.
Tips #5 to # 7 are to do with efficiency
#5 Tip: Use Multi-tasking to improve efficiency
You do not have to wait until you finish the current task you are working on in order to begin the next task. A simple example I can think of is to read book while doing laundry and updating the computer at the same time. This needs a little bit effort of planning – which is based on Tips #1-3 mentioned above.
#6 Tip: Keep learning and trying new ways
What you always do is not necessary to be the best way. I suggest you to be actively learning and trying new ways to finish a certain task. For example, learn how to use online banking to pay a utility bill can be much more efficient than to pay it in a branch especially when there is huge lineup in the bank.
#7 Tip: Enjoy what you do
If there is something you have to do anyways, don’t waste your time to complain about it. Instead, try to change your mindset to enjoy what you have to do, often you will find it is that much easier when you are working on something you love.
Tips #8 #9 and #10 need some creativity and people often ignore
#8 Tip: Find more time to spend
I call this dead time strategy, which is to use some time you often forget to pay more attention to. Say you are picking up your child from school. While you are driving, you think there is nothing else you can do. Wrong! Use the time to listen to podcast or audio books – that can easily add weeks to your life after many years.
#9 Tip: Outsource jobs
I like to ask my son to do some simple, but time consuming tasks for me such as recycling. The reward to him is that he can keep all the changes after selling them to a recycle place. Isn’t that a “win-win” solution?
If your friend is good at something, ask them to do it for you – that’s why you make friends – after all, friends help friends.
#10 Tip: Trade your time
This needs you to complete your track record of your time from #4 Tip first. Before you worry about you do not have enough time, look at how you spend them, sometimes, you just need to trade time with yourself. Reduce some time you spend on sleep, TV or social media like Facebook and Twitter, you instantly have more time to spend on something more important.
Bonus #11 Tip: It’s your contribution
Alright I got 10 tips for you, how about to ask one tip back from you. Please share your comments, I really appreciate it!
By the end of the day, everybody has exact same 24 hours, 1440 minutes or 86400 seconds for each single day, but why some people are more successful than other? Are they smarter, maybe not, but I am sure they use their time smarter in deed.