Do you keep wasting your time on the Internet? Yeah, you are not alone! There is a huge number of people that do that! We all secretly wish that we manage our times effectively, almost all the time. Yet, it happens that we sometimes tend to face certain issues related to time management. In this article, I will share how to stop wasting time, whether you waste it on Internet, Facebook, Instagram, Games or anything else.
How to to stop wasting time? – Time management Strategies
1. Prioritize your time
Someone who struggles with time management tends to spend more time on tasks that are less important as compared in those tasks that require more attention. It is useful if you are able to define and identify your priorities. Prioritizing helps avoid distractions and helps you stay committed to your goals.
We are living in the age of social media. There is literally an explosion of Information on the Internet. There are so many apps and websites, some can be useful to us and some might be there just to pass our time. When you just want to pass your time and are leisurely spending time with some fun websites or apps or games, then there is no problem at all and you do not need to worry. If you are at work and are taking a break from work for a few minutes and then spending some time on them, even then it is fine.
But if you need to be working on something important and even then if you are spending your time on these, then it may cause some problem because you would be giving time to a lower priority task.
Here is an example from my life:
A student who has an exam the next day, and if he plays computer games just before the day of the exam for more hours rather than studying, do you think such a student is able to prioritize his time?
That clearly shows he is not able to prioritize. Yes, that student was me during my high school years. What was the result of me not being able to prioritize then? Yes, I used to get above average marks most of the time, but I failed in one subject during one of my high school years.
It was not that I failed because I was not intelligent. It feels good to share that I had always been an intelligent student. But, unfortunately I did not use to spend enough time on studying especially during exams. I used to get distracted and play games on my personal computer. Luckily for me, I was fortunate to realize this mistake of mine after high school.
I chose IT engineering for college. During my engineering, I made sure to prioritize between fun and studying and went on to achieve 1st rank in one of the semesters in our class. It used to look like a miracle to me to realize that I could achieve that!
I feel no shame in admitting that yes, there was a time when I did not use to prioritize. It happens with all of us. To err, is human.
The important realization is that we learn from our mistakes and evolve ourselves as a better human being for a brighter future.
How can you prioritize your time effectively?
The best strategies to avoid this effect would be to
1. Write down your goals
2. Create a plan to execute your goals
3. Measure your progress on a regular basis
Once you write down your goals, you tend to stay focused. Here is how you can become more Goal Oriented.
Writing down goals is not enough, it is also important to create a plan so that you have clarity on how to achieve your goals. Once the plan is in place, it is important to consistently review the progress. By measuring the progress, you stay motivated to be on the path to achieve your goals.
In fact, writing down your goals is one of the important “Success secrets that can change your life”.
2. Cultivate the habit of saying No to others
Do you face this issue of not being able to say no to others?
Do you want to say no to others but end up actually saying yes to them?
There is no problem if someone has asked for a favor and you want to do it. The problem comes when you want to say no but are not able to. Although, it might seem easy to say no to others, but the people who actually face this issue really feel difficult to overcome this habit. This habit takes a toll on them and they sometimes feel scared and afraid to say no to others. This not only creates stress, but this in turn results in them not being able to prioritize and manage their time efficiently.
How to start saying no to others?
1. Identify the situations where you face the issue
You might be facing situations where it would be easier for you to say no, for example, it might be easy for you to say no to friends compared to saying no to family or to work colleagues. Once you realize which are the situations where you face the issue, it becomes easier to conquer.
2. Take baby steps to conquer the fear
Once you realize what are the situations wherein you face the issue, you can start taking baby steps to conquer it.
You can try some of the strategies such as:
A. Provide an alternative
B. Give a logical reason why it is important for you to work on your prioritized task
C. Be polite and say no with respect
D. You can try to use the medium you are most comfortable with (face to face, through sms or whatsapp, email etc)
I also faced the issue of not saying no to others when I really wanted to say no. Luckily for me, one of my friends gifted this book to me: Don't say yes when you want to say no. It is an international bestseller with over 3 million+ copies sold. There are a lot of case studies mentioned in the book wherein those people that faced the difficulty in saying no, how did they gradually started saying no. This book had really helped me in honing my skill of saying no, that is why I am recommending it to you.
If you don't have a kindle, I would recommend getting a kindle for yourself. It is amazing and you do not have to carry any physical books with you around. The cost of kindle books is far lower than that of physical books.
When you implement the simple strategies mentioned in the book. Each time that you would say no, your confidence level to say no the next time would increase.
3. Have a Clutter Free Workplace
Someone who is good with time management allocates a specific time slot to keep his/her workplace clean. A messy desk or work place inhibits clarity of thoughts.
When people are not able to prioritize well, they tend to procrastinate about things, and thus, leave tasks for doing them later. And gradually, with time their desk and the workload of files become messy, aggravating their stress levels.
How to keep a clutter free work place:
The first trick is to create a time slot in your weekly plan to make your workspace clean. Keeping everything in its place and create a place for keeping everything. When you plan to keep specific things at their own place, it becomes easy to remember where you would find something.
Example, keep a place for stationary items such as Stapler, punching machine, pens etc . Keep a separate place/folder for keeping your files. You can mark/label those folder according to the type of papers that are kept in it.
4. Allocate time for activities in your weekly Schedule / Calendar
It is important to allocate time for activities that you want to accomplish. The best way is to create a weekly schedule or Calendar. You can use a simple solution such as diary/notepad or your notepad in your laptop. I personally use Reminders App on my Mac.
I have created 4 lists and divided them as:
- This Week
- In the Next 30 days
The important thing here is to use a simple solution, that is workable for you.
What is simple, is functional!
5. Keep your commitments / Honour your word
It is important to keep the commitments you have made. Once you give importance to the fact that you got to keep the commitments you have made, you will have a newfound respect for time.
Then, it gets difficult to waste time or spend time in non important activities.
You can try calculating the time required to complete your tasks. You can add a fifty percent margin on top of that for safety/emergencies. And then give commitments to people. This will help you in keeping your commitments.
Example of what not to do:
I have a friend in an I.T. company, He always keeps on chatting with his colleagues during the daytime and does not focus on completing his tasks. As soon as the clock strikes 4 P.M., suddenly he remembers that he has to do a lot of work, hence he is not able to complete his tasks on time and keeps giving false commitments to his seniors.
Due to his lack of time management, others also suffer.
Every time he meets me, he keeps fretting that there is loads of work in the office, whereas the actual problem is not the workload, but his lack of time management.
I am sure you also must be having colleagues in your office who behave in a similar fashion… Do ask them to read this article.
I hope the above article will encourage you to manage your time effectively and stop wasting time. If you liked this article, please share it with your friends on Social Media.