Make Your Time Yours: 5 Steps for Better Time Management

Investing time wisely disproportionately gives you much more back. Being more efficient or simply reducing activities will give you more to spend on what’s most important to you.

Here are 5 steps to do that:

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Carve Out Time from What’s not Important for What is Important.

Cut out just 5 minutes on something that doesn’t bring value to your life. A few minutes saved from negative news put towards healthy self-invested time every day will go a long way. This will help you leverage time with more meaning and direction. You can also take this time and follow these 3 simple steps every morning to give you more productivity and peace all day long.

Identify your priorities in life. Find out what wastes your time.

What at the end of your life do you want to have done? Write a book? Travel the world? You have to keep in mind your life goals in order to work toward them.
Then examine the energy, effort, and time that you may spend every day to impress people or live up to anyone’s expectations other than your own. Eliminate that and keep in mind your aspirations.

Say NO from now on more often, so you can say Yes to what you want.

Saying yes to things we think we have to do is saying no to what we want or need to do. So do the opposite. Do not people please at the expense of your valuable time. Believe your time is valuable and action will follow.
Even if you have commitments now, Say NO in the future to what takes up your time for what is not essential. Will the majority of your efforts that you spend most of your time matter in 5 or 30 years from now?
(Keep doing those things that bring you current happiness such as family time or hobbies along with other life goals too. That can also count long-term.)

Saying no will give you more buffer time between what you have to do. Things usually take longer than we think they do. If we plan accordingly, then we can be more on time, less stressed, and more in the present because we do not have a million things buzzing around in our heads.
Eliminate that which is not necessary to live more simply.

Do what you have to do more efficiently, so you can do more of what you want to do.

I’ll have an entire post about this shortly. But for now just a note:
What makes you more efficient? A clear mind. Being unburdened by sadness, worry, and stress. Focusing on one thing at a time.

You will end up saving time with your efficiency gained and doing what you do better in the end.
Three tips–Make sure to only check cell phone and email messages at scheduled intervals (e.g. once in the morning, once in the afternoon). Getting a text or email every 10 minutes is a big distraction that keeps you off your game, wasting a lot of time and energy getting back into focus.

Do not skimp on sleep! Research from the American Industrial Health Association states that people who stay up 18-21 hours make as many mistakes as someone who is legally drunk. Further, creativity, motivation, and mental faculties are reduced.

– Taking time to keep a clean area will allow you to fully concentrate on the task at hand. It is more than worth the time it takes.

Take a hike! (Schedule your distraction)

No, seriously. Schedule time to take a walk outside, your favorite tv show, or any mental or physical break for that matter. Schedule time for breaks.

What? I have a project/paper to do!

But have you ever read a page over and over and pulled a blank? It is a lot of wasted time and mental strain to get nowhere fast.

Several studies have shown that a walk in nature can increase concentration, and even decrease the symptoms of ADHD
And although the brain is mostly fatty tissue, it acts like a muscle. It needs breaks to keep going strong.
So schedule your work time in 30-45 minute blocks of focus, and then schedule a short break.
Schedule your (short) distraction, so you don’t give in to distraction excessively.

Working on a project will give you diminishing returns. What may take you 2 hours of working straight through may only take you 1.5 hours with scheduled breaks. And you’ll gain both quantity and quality.
With these practices, not only will you save time, but you can be more present, enjoy life more fully, live more simply, and have more time to spend towards your life goals and what is most important to you.

Read more: Online College Course