5 Tips to Make the Most out of 24 Hours
Everyone has different skills and abilities, but we all get the same number of hours in a day. If you want to get ahead, focusing on time management will help produce hours well spent. Incorporating mindful time management techniques into your daily work routine can help you make the most of your 24 hours.
Don’t Over Commit Yourself
The first and most important step to making the most of 24 hours is to not overcommit yourself. While new and exciting opportunities might present themselves while you’re at work or in your daily life, it is best not to over-commit and overextend yourself.
Doing so may lead to too much on your plate, and result in the inability to effectively manage your time and complete tasks.
Not only does overcommitment lead to bad time management, but putting yourself under continued pressure can lead to mental, physical, and emotional health issues resulting in quick burnout.
Prioritize and make sure you’re only taking on as much as you can handle. Learn to say no to too many tasks in one day or period of time. Planning out your tasks can help you stay organized and maintain a feasible agenda resulting in higher productivity.
Know the Difference Between Manager and Maker
Knowing whether or not you are a manager or maker on a given day can help you schedule your day for maximum productivity. So what is the difference between a manager and a maker?
A manager helps to manage teams, coordinate projects, put together reports and acts as the general “boss.” Whereas makers are individual-based contributors such as writers, developers, and designers that work more for themselves.
When it comes to a maker’s schedule, they work in rather long uninterrupted periods. Meetings generally interrupt and throw off a maker’s schedule when they need hours or even days of uninterrupted time to get into the groove and get work done.
Managers, on the other hand, have meetings scheduled throughout the day where they are able to manage and keep an eye out on their team and get plenty of facetime.
Once you understand whether you are a maker or a manager, make sure you schedule your time accordingly in order to be successful.
Prioritize First, Act Second - Use the Urgency/Importance Framework
Managing your time and giving yourself notice to complete a task can help stress levels and productivity. Incorporating a planning schedule with a calendar or even a to-do list on your computer, phone or notepad can greatly help you plan and prioritize your agenda.
If you have a task or project you want to complete by a certain day, making a plan will increase the likelihood of success. Try implementing Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle, also known as the Eisenhower Matrix. Prioritize your tasks by ranking them in 4 quadrants: Do First, Schedule, Delegate and Don’t Do.
Sort your tasks by what needs to get done in that moment or before the following day, what you can schedule to get done the following day or later in the week, what you can pass on to someone else to complete, and what does not need to get done at all.
Doing this can help prioritize tasks. When using the Eisenhower Matrix, experts suggest limiting yourself to eight tasks per quadrant to avoid overcommitment.
Use Technology to Aid in Time Management
Time tracking software can be helpful when trying to stay on task for a certain amount of time. In an eight-hour workday, research suggests that workers are productive for less than three hours. Try taking a break after about 75 to 90 minutes of work for 15 to 20 minutes. Or try apps like Desk Time that notify you when you should step away from your computer.
Taking time to clear your head and get away from concentrated work can help you be more productive and manage your time more effectively.
Also, try adding an extension like Momentum to Google Chrome. Momentum is used as a productivity tool to track what you want to get done for the day, with reminders to keep you on top of your work with your overall goal in mind.
In addition to Momentum, Trello is another great website to check out for organizing your tasks digitally and keeping everything you need in one place.
Find What Works Best for You
If scheduling your time a certain way or utilizing a break system is not the best method of action for you, try different methods of time management to determine what works best for you and your personality.
The goal is to accomplish what needs to get done in a timely manner to make the most of 24 hours. Once you get a hang of what works for you and what doesn’t, your day will flow much smoother.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Allan Draper is a business growth expert, entrepreneur, attorney and host of the successful podcast, "The Business Growth Pod." He specializes in scaling businesses and helping entrepreneurs reach goals with a dedicated approach to business analysis. Allan has contributed to the growth of startups which have become multimillion dollar enterprises.