3 Time Management Techniques to Help You Optimize Your Life
The secret to becoming happier and more fulfilled in all areas of your life is using the right time management techniques.
What goals in your personal or professional life have you put off because you don’t have the time? Sure, it is possible to be genuinely busy, but most times, we use being busy as an excuse.
The following are some time management techniques you can use to optimize your time and get more out of life.
1 – You Have to Understand Yourself Before you Understand Time
We all do not share the same relationship with time. It is why things like “wake up earlier” and “do tasks you don’t like in the morning” aren’t perfect advice. This advice works for morning people, but what if you aren’t a morning person?
Before you apply any time management techniques to your life, you have to understand your own relationship with time. Keep a time journal for the next week. Pay attention to the following:
- What time do you wake up?
- What time do you go to sleep?
- How long does it take you to feel fully alert after you wake up?
- When do you have the most discipline to do tasks you dislike, but have to complete?
- What tasks cause you to procrastinate?
- How often do you lose track of time?
The goal with this exercise is to improve your self-awareness, which will help you implement the other strategies.
2. To-Do Lists are Magical if you use Them Correctly
The to-do list is one of the most common time management techniques mentioned in these kinds of articles. Unfortunately, they don’t work for most people because they don’t know how to prioritize their list.
There are four different quadrants of tasks:
- Quadrant 1: Important and Urgent
- Quadrant 2: Important but not Urgent
- Quadrant 3: Not Important but Urgent
- Quadrant 4: Not Important and Not Urgent
Most people who make to-do lists prioritize their lists by urgency. They spend all of their time doing quadrant 1 tasks, which I call the cycle of doom. You will never run out of important and urgent tasks, and you will always feel busy. You can get a lot done in quadrant 1, but you will never maximize your efficiency.
Those who procrastinate spend most of their time in quadrant 4, which I call the quadrant of distraction. All of our hobbies, television, and Internet use falls into this quadrant. You have to set a strict limit on the amount of time you spend daily in this quadrant.
If you have a problem saying no when your boss, friends, or family members ask you to do something that is important to them but not important to you, then you spend too much time in quadrant 3.
The secret of successful to-do lists is to spend your most productive hours doing quadrant 2 tasks.
3 – Use the Law of Three to Identify Your Quadrant 2 Tasks
The Law of Three states that, for every area of life, there are three tasks that contribute to 90 percent of your success in that area. You need to identify the three most important tasks for each area on the Titanium Wheel of Life if you want to truly maximize your time. These areas are:
- Intimate Relationships
- Physical Health & Bod
- Spiritual Health
- Emotional Health
- Career & Mission
- Fun & Excitement
- Family & Friends
- Consistent Growth
Write down your three tasks for each area and tape these lists somewhere you will see them every day. Train yourself to spend more and more time in quadrant 2 each week.