"So Much to Do, So Little Time"
Let me borrow this famous line from a great historical figure Winston Churchill for now. Indeed most of us feel that we have so much to do, yet we have so little time.
Time - if there is one commodity that we always spend and could never take back is time. However, making the most of our time is a skill that only a few have mastered. We often spend our time on useless matters. In other words, we waste our time.
We all heard of the term time management. We even acknowledge that we have a problem in time management. But what is time management really?
“Time management” is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities. Good time management enables you to work smarter – not harder – so that you get more done in less time, even when the time is tight and pressures are high.
When it comes to time management, I can truly say that I am NOT an expert on this matter. In fact, I have struggled for quite some time on managing my time. I have tried several methods of managing my time. Sometimes, I could get a method working for a while, then, old habits would set it again and go back to my old ways again.
In this post, I will share with you below some of the ways that I tried and the method that I think works for me at the moment.
In the past, I tried to manage my time based on my own understanding of the term. I tried different mediums in listing the things that I need to do every day. At first, I tried to use a small notebook. I ended up losing the notebook.
Then I tried to be a little bit technical. I used a spreadsheet and several apps on my phone. After using them for a few days, my subconscious mind would often find ways not to open the apps.
Too Much Todo
However, I realized, I crammed my list with too much to do every day. I always end up accomplishing less than half of my list every single day.
That was my first mistake. I cram up my day with more than a dozen things to do. If we take a look again at the definition of the term time management above :
“Time management” is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities.
Therefore, it is not enough to make a list of things to do every day. Your time should be organized, planned and divided between specific activities.
Thus for each item in your to-do list, there should be a corresponding time. When you want it done and how much time you need to spend on that activity.
Including the time on my to-do list helps me realize that I can only do so much. Before I made this realization, I would just write in my list, Write and upload another blog post for bitlanders.
What I did not consider is how long does it take for me to write a blog post with at least a thousand words. Also, I did not consider how much it would take to create or download the images that I need.
Organize your day Evernote
Then later, I started to use Evernote. (Read Why I love Evernote). The app allows me to compose my to-do list on my tablet and update them on my phone. A very convenient app indeed
I have not mastered it yet, but Evernote has helped me organize my days. Though I admit there are some days that I haven't updated my Evernote.
Keep a Balanced Schedule
Perhaps one of my biggest mistakes in making my to-do list is not keeping things balanced. My goals were so focused on earning money. Thus my list contains mostly of activities that are geared towards earning money.
As a result, I lacked the much-needed sleep. Last week, the lack of sleep took its toll on me that I caught the flu virus. I was out for a week. I could not do anything. I have not even written a single draft of my blog. I wasn't even able to check my to-do list and goals for a week.
As I started my habit of writing my goals again, I now included more activities that would help me maintain my health. Suffice to say, it is important to set a personal health goal as well.
Upgrade Your Equipment
When I started writing for Bitlanders, I was using only a 10.1-inch Android tablet. It was not a powerful tool but was good enough for me to keep writing. However, there were many occasions that made me realize that I could be more productive with a laptop.
One thing, I can create a number of tutorials for a lot of Windows users out there. So recently, I purchased a decent laptop. It’s not yet the i5 or i7 processor that I wanted, but the Celeron processor would satisfy my needs for now.
So if you want to make the most of your time, upgrade your equipment. With more powerful equipment, you can do more in less time
My Internet Connection
This is a little more of a personal concern for me. But I guess, some of you can relate to this as well. Our Internet connection is slow and very unstable. In fact, when I started typing this post, I used the Grammarly app. Hoping that I could minimize the typographical errors that I make. However, since my Internet connection was very unstable, Grammarly is often disconnected.
So I have to continue this using a distraction-free offline text editor.
Definitely, though, I really need to switch to the only other Internet provider here in the Philippines. With a faster and hopefully, more stable Internet connection, I can do more in less time. Perhaps, I could spend half the time searching and download the images and videos.
Control the distractions.
Distractions can't be eliminated completely. No matter how rigid you made your plans, there will always be some distractions. Most of these distractions, however, can be limited or controlled. Some perhaps can be considered as necessary diversions. To let the pressure off from time to time.
In the recent days, however, I entertained too many distractions in a day.
- I watched more than one movie in a day.
- I played more than one hour of Realm Defense in a day.
Well, I could not say, I spent too much time with my eldest son.
The time I spent on the movies and games could have been more productive. Last week, I wasn't able to upload a single post here in Bitlanders. So what I need is to limit the time I spend on these activities. Better yet, include them in my to-do list. And I need to specify when I will do them.
Before I continue with my rant here, I want to share this video on how to manage your time and increase productivity.
It's a sound plan actually. Wellcast also suggests that you download and print out their day planner.
To sum up their 3-step RAC method.
- Record everything that you do during the day.
- Analyze your activities and pick out the biggest time wasters. Then total the amount of time wasted.
- Make some changes. List down your priorities.
The day planner starts at 7:00 AM though. My day starts at 4:00 AM. I might as well copy their format on my Evernote and make the necessary changes.
We All Have 24 Hours
We all have 24 hours. A third of which must be reserved for rest. Therefore we use a have at least 16 hours of waking hours per day. 16 hours of work. That’s the amount of time that I have to get things done in a day.
The question is, do you make the most of your 24 hours? Or you spend most of it on unproductive activities?
24 hours per day. 365 days. 60 minutes per hour. This reminded me of this song.
Ok, that song doesn't really have anything to do with time management. However, it reminds us of the value of time.
As I have mentioned above, I am no expert when it comes to time management. However, I have been testing several ways to manage my time effectively. So far, here are some tips that worked for me.
- Organize your day using Evernote
- List down the more important to-do things first.
- Keep things balanced - between earning money, family time, health and friends.
- Allow a little distraction for relaxation. However, you must limit the time.
- Use fast and reliable equipment that you can afford.
- More importantly get a stable Internet connection.
With the last two, you will be able to do more with less time.