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This works well for the chronic procrastinator: those who say they will do it later and then wonder why it never gets done.
Instead of getting overwhelmed, tackle your to-do list in small manageable chunks. Scheduling your time by the hour takes little effort to implement but provides real results.
Rather than trying to work flat-out, break down your day into a series of work-sprints with a short rest period after each session.
Set a timer for 25 min and focus exclusively on your work for that time, take a 5 min break, and repeat.
Some people find that taking a 5 min break destroys their flow. But it does help to break long complex tasks into a series on manageable sprints.
Identify when your peaks/troughs are and plan your day around your energy levels. Alternatively, you can also work with your chronotype.
Planning for a year leads to a lax attitude throughout the start of the year, leading to a burst of frantic activity as the end of the year approaches. Forget about your annual plan and accomplish the same goals in just 12 weeks.
Rather than planning your time, plan your goals. Ignore specific timelines and instead focus on progressing toward your key goals.
For example, if you want to be President, you might choose to volunteer for local political activities, as opposed to taking a high-paying job in the private sector.
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Time management is about taking control of the time you do have available and using it optimally for productivity while creating balance.
Much advice about time management is about creating a to-do list, reminding you what you want to do. However, it's more important to use a schedule, which tells you when you're going to do it.
To build a better time management system, you need to know what you currently spend your time on. You need to know where you're losing time to the wrong things.
To track your time, spend a few days writing a "time log" to track how you spend your day.
Pursuing productivity for its own sake is counter-productive.
Most people feel able to complete more tasks when they start using time-management tools, but they don’t bear in mind that they can’t keep increasing their productivity forever, and they commit to more and more. In a few weeks, they are more productive but still frustrated.
Back when more people worked in factories, laborers did not have to deal with time management. At the assembly line, time was managed for you.
Freedom comes with responsibility: you have to think a lot more about how you manage your time.
Switching between tasks can have damaging costs to our work and productivity.
Develop the habit of single-tasking by forcing your brain to concentrate on one task and one task only. Put your phone away, close all the browser windows and apps that you don’t need. Immerse yourself in this task. Only move to the next one when you’re done.
“Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life depends.”