Smart TIME management HACKS that have worked brilliantly for me
I believe, more than anything else, my time is my greatest resource. When I invest my time wisely, it pays me rich dividends for a long long time.
Over the course of 24+ years of training some elite sports people, top class businesspeople and some amazing professionals, I have learnt a lot about maximising time.
Each one of them had some super smart way to maximise their time and therefore, reach where they have reached.
From the rich basket of learning about time management, here are some pointers that I have successfully implemented and therefore maximised the usage of my time.
1. Every week we all have exactly 168 Hours:
I plan my week fitting in work, rest, fun, friends, exercise, meditation, reading, writing and a few more hobbies. Doing everything that I wish to do, in this time frame, energises me.
When I invest my time on activities that makes me happy and fulfilled, it feels like a week well lived.
2. Avoid Time-Wasters:
I am always on the lookout for time wasters that sneaked in. It could be a client who is too slow in implementing decisions, or another client who needs a lot of follow up for payments or aimless scrolling on social media.
I consistently minimize activities that don’t add value to my life. Its always WIP.
3. Use Time Intentionally:
This is probably the most powerful time management hack for me. When I allocate time to a task, I begin with the end in mind. I ask myself, what ‘outcome or impact’ will make this worthwhile.
For eg. when I am attending a marriage of a loved one, it is not just about being physically there. The question is, while I am there what can be done / experienced / achieved / contributed that makes the time invested there, useful.
Could it be creating new connections? Could it be sharing a few anchor statements with the newly weds that will help them during marital storms? Etc
I practice this with intentional focus and it helps me maximise the value of my time.
4. Set Priorities:
I rank tasks in order of importance and schedule them accordingly. Things that are important are NEVER at the mercy of things that are urgent. I call it as the ‘first things first’ principal.
I believe, the more urgencies I have, the more inefficient I really am.
Hence, the way to deal with it is simple. Have other people to deal with urgencies. You focus on the important things.
5. Calenderise life:
I use a digital calendar to schedule every task on my plate. I use calendar blockers for important events in the future. I schedule even my thinking time so that no one steals it away.
A simple rule of thumb is, if a time commitment has been given, it has to be honoured no matter what. I call it as the rule of ‘first commitment first’.
6. Flexibility is Key:
Having said that, I am also prepared to adjust my plans when the unexpected happens.
For eg. I have scheduled myself to go to the airport to receive my parents who are coming in by the 8 am flight. The flight gets delayed by 2 hours. I will prepone the evening exercise schedule and use the delay productively.
A small shuffle here and there to maximise the surprises by the unexpected is the flexibility that truly helps without making me frustrated by change of plans.
7. Delegation is still highly underrated:
I pass on as many tasks as I can, freeing up more time for me.
Having a driver to take me around, having an executive assistant for coordination, having a capable team that does most things better than me, helps me to balance and maximise my life.
Delegating right things to the right person in the right way with the right authority with the right amount of time is such a smart thing to do.
8. Take Breaks:
I often use techniques like the Pomodoro technique to avoid burnout. One of my energy management hacks is ‘take a break a little before you NEED the break and a little AFTER you think you need the break’.
Otherwise, it’s too late or too soon.
9. Patience is a Virtue:
I took a long time to be an expert in time management. While intention is a great place to start a habit, changing a life long habit takes time.
Small steps matter. Here I was patient with myself. I celebrated the small successes. It gave me momentum to keep attempting, to keep changing.
10. When things go wrong, Persevere:
There are some days when everything goes wrong and my entire scheduling goes for a toss. Not a single thing works out as planned.
I let these days be a pause but never a stop from scheduling. Falling off track one day just means a fresh start the next day.
I don’t drop the idea of scheduling and let ‘today’s emergencies + tomorrow’s laziness’ run the roost. I take control back the very next day with a chuckle.
I remember my physics teacher, Ms Mitali Ray saying once in class, ‘In physics, exceptions prove the rule’. So is the case with life. Same to same.
I have thoroughly enjoyed time management as a journey of learning, self analysis, psychology, motivation, discipline and what not.
I have seen it as a tool that helps me to keep important things as important, and helps me to live a balanced life.
Our time is our most precious resource, and we have the power to control how we spend it. Let’s make every day count!
I am looking forward to learning from you, what are the time management hacks that have worked for you.
I am sure I have missed quite a few.