We all have the same amount of time, however the difference between success and failure most often lies in the way we manage time. Time management hacks are techniques that successful people use to hone their life in a way that supports them to make the most out of their 24 hours.
Let’s look at time management hacks you can use to organise your life better for study and work.
Using an Anti-Procrastination List
You will find this is a practical tool to combat the hundred random thoughts that can distract you from the important task at hand. When working, keep a notepad next to you with the heading anti-procrastination list (to remind you of its purpose). Any time you’re tempted to procrastinate, write the idea down on the list instead. Once you have completed your work, you have a list full of activities to use your free time on. The anti-procrastination list is ideal for setting boundaries between your work and play time.
Working Better to a Timer
Maximise your effectiveness while working or studying by placing an egg timer or hourglass on the desk in front of you. The timer acts as a ‘higher power’ that watches over you while you focus on getting work done. You can apply this hack to either short, focused bursts or longer periods of productive time. Even use the timer on your breaks to ensure you’re not getting distracted or eating into work time.
Weekly Meal Planning Made Easy
One of the hardest tasks to complete after a long day’s work is deciding what to cook for dinner. By taking a short amount of time each week to do a meal planner the decision is already made simple for you. A meal planner is also an astute way to ensure you only ever buy what you need at the shops. Use apps such as MealBoard and Paprika Recipe Manager to get you started on meal planning.
Maintain a Healthy Sleeping Schedule
Arguably the most important way to remain productive while awake is to ensure you aren’t sacrificing the time you spend asleep. While the choice to sleep sacrifice is tempting, it is eventually detrimental as sleep debt accumulates. Apps such as Bedtime (part of the Clock app for iPhone) and Sleep Cycle can help you to ensure you gain the required 6-9 hours of sleep needed to reach peak potential during the day. Continue using the app on the weekend to maximise your results. Aside from working less efficiently, sleep deprivation can predispose issues such as high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.
Prioritise to Increase Efficiency
Essential for tackling the mountain of work at the start of a week, prioritising allows you to avoid matters that aren’t urgent. When starting your day, complete the hardest tasks first, leaving the easiest to when you’re not as fresh. By knocking off bigger goals first, smaller tasks are completed with focus and efficiency.
Set up a Study Area
Crucial for when working at home, having a designated study area will assist you to reduce distractions. Ideally, this area should not be used for any other activity as the goal is to condition yourself to associate the space with focused work. Make sure the area is pleasing to be in and has plenty of natural light.
Avoid Striving for Perfection
Perhaps the easiest trap to fall into is trying to complete tasks perfectly. While being a perfectionist is necessary and useful at specific times, it will only slow you down if you try to be perfect all the time. Have faith in your ability to produce high-quality work, even if the result isn’t exactly as you imagined it in your head.
Supportive Study Apps
By downloading two or three useful apps, you can transform technology from being a previous distraction to a newfound ally. Be sure to read our post on the 5 apps to help you study smarter to find an app that supports your routine.
Commit to these time management hacks and organise your life – at work or when undertaking online study, and you’ll never look back.