TIME MANAGEMENT

5 Simple Time Management Practices to Make Everything More Manageable

Juggling a lot of things don’t have to be challenging. Here are five simple practices you can do to make managing your time easier.

Prepare the night before

I plan out the night before (or morning of) how I’ll tackle my day — writing to-do lists for my passion projects, thinking of the best route to maximize my business errands, or setting up my plan B if things don’t go my way. I’m obsessed with digital tools that make me more efficient, but I also always prepare ahead to keep the mindset of productivity.

Do first the tasks that take less than 10 minutes

When I have a number of tasks and subtasks pending, and they are not dependent on one another, I finish tasks that take the shortest time. I usually allot about 30 to 40 minutes of my day, just ticking of tasks that can be finished quickly.

Practice the 4Ds Solution

I’m guilty of keeping my work inbox as one of my tabs in the browser throughout my working hours. It’s not the best habit to have, but I’ve countered it by practicing the 4D’s strategy from The Power of Focus by Canfield, Hansen, and Hewitt.

  • Do — This is as straightforward as it can get. Replying to urgent emails or tasks that need immediate attention should be done.
  • Delegate — Reassign work to make way for more important matters. You help your growth and that of the person you delegate it to because it lets you take on tasks that are worth more of your time. One of my favorite discussions on delegation is from the Manager Tools Podcast. My former boss shared this with me, and it helped me put things into perspective.
  • Defer —Set aside time later for emails that will take a longer time to deal with or items that are not time-sensitive so you can use your time now for core matters.

Find your most productive time

People are amused when they find out I wake up between 5 and 5:30am every day. The recurring questions posed are how and why. I’m a morning person through and through, and I have certain times of the day when I’m most productive, one of which is between 7am to 9am, such as when I’m writing this post now. So for my most productive time blocks, I allot tasks that require a lot of thinking and delivering — such as writing blog posts such as this or working on my freelancing gigs. When I used to study, I used this time to do my research or write the many papers we were required to submit every semester.

Stop making a to-do list, carve time blocks

I mentioned how I create to-do lists for my tasks, but I haven’t shared that I do this with time blocks. Instead of just a laundry list of everything I need to do, I set a specific time in my day on when and how long I should work on them. In fact, at work, I also block off my calendar for tasks I do so my colleagues know I’m busy. Doing this helps in the following ways:

  • It makes sure that I won’t postpone tasks again and again because my to-do list has no timeframe to follow.
  • It blocks off my calendar from meetings so people can think twice if they need to reschedule (which may mean it’s not urgent), or if they really need me there.
A preview to a week in my work calendar. Confidential information are blurred out.

A digital marketer and copywriter for hire who found yet another medium to write posts about a specific niche. For hello’s and collabs: hello@azelle-lee.com