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Useful Time Management Tools And Tips To Gain More Time

Useful Time Management Tools And Tips To Gain More Time

Have you ever had the feeling that time runs out so fast and you can’t finish everything on time? Or sometimes you have a super long to-do list and you have no idea where to start with?

You’re not alone.

Fortunately there are a lot of time management tools that can help. And we’ve also prepared some practical time management tips plus some common mistakes people make.

Time management tools

Toggl: Keep track of your time

    Forget about the traditional timesheet. Toggl is the best tool for you to keep track of your time spent on different tasks. It consists of a timer and a dashboard which gives you an overview of how much time you have spent for different tasks in the past week.

    Panda Focus Mode: Stay Focused On Your Tasks

      Panda Focus Mode is an extension for you to stay focused on your daily tasks. You can simply enter your tasks to be finished on the day and then whenever you open a new tab, you will immediately see them as a reminder.

      Hocus Focus: Hide your inactive windows automatically

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        If you always open many apps and they often distract you from your work, you should try Hocus Focus. It is a Mac menu bar utility that hides your inactive windows.

        Forest: To beat internet addiction

          Forest is an interesting app that helps you to beat Internet addiction. When you press the button to plant a tree, you can’t switch to another app unless you give it up. It helps you to make good use of 30-minutes to fully concentrate on your work and finish it effectively.

          Trello: Organize Your Tasks Well

            Trello is a productive app allows a team of people to monitor on the same task together. You can categorize different tasks according to their natures. Everything is just at a glance.

            TimeTree: A neat overview of your schedule

              TimeTree is a user-friendly app allows you to arrange your schedule with your friends and family. You can share events with them so that you can discuss and confirm plans together. Sorting your schedules by updates allows you to review any updates instantly.

              Wunderlist: Clear to-do list with reminders

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                Are you looking for an app which allows you to create a comprehensive to-do list? Wunderlist might be the answer. It allows you to create different to-do lists and you can even add hashtags on each item of the lists.

                Todoist: Distraction-free to do list

                  Todoist has a simple and distraction-free design for you to stay focused and motivated. By breaking big tasks into smaller sub-tasks with multi-level, you can organize and review tasks in a better way. You can also easily add due dates using normal language, such as “monday at 2pm”.

                  Noizio: Ambient background sounds

                    Perhaps sometimes the noise of surroundings is the reason why you find it difficult to focus on your work. Here’s the solution: creating an ambient background sounds to find your comfort. You can even mix the sounds on your own.

                    Best time management tricks

                    Apart from the tools, there are also a number of tips that can make us much more productive.

                    Spend The First 90 Minutes On The Most Important Task

                    As our brain are most active in the morning, we should spend the first 90 minutes of the day on the most important task so that we can finish it efficiently. Stop doing trivial matters like scrolling the to-do list or checking emails in the morning. You would miss the golden time of getting things done.

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                    Have A Timesheet To Keep Track Of What You Have Done

                    A timesheet is the simplest and perhaps the best tool to have a clear picture of what you have done in each time slot.

                    By dividing your day into different time slots and filling in what you have done, you can compare the reality and the expectation. Did you finish your task as expected? Or did you spend too much time on it? And why? You might also see how much you have improved on your efficiency day by day.

                    Create A Stop-doing List

                    Instead of a to-do list, which most people have, a world-class productive person should have a stop-doing list.

                    You might find yourself spending too much time on things that don’t really matter. That’s probably the key to manage your time in a better way and become more efficient. Stop scrolling social media at work and quit doing all those meaningless things. These might be the items you would write on your list.

                    Set Time Limit

                    Work expands itself if we allocate more time to a task. That’s what the Pakinson’s law about. In other words, as Cyril Northcote Parkinson writes, [1]

                    If you give yourself a week to complete a one day task, then (psychologically speaking) the task will increase in complexity and become more daunting so as to fill that week.

                    So set time limit. If you can finish a task within an hour, then next time, try to finish it with 50 minutes. By allocating less time to a task, you would gradually figure out the actual time needed for you to finish it without wasting any time.

                    Identify Your Peak Hours And Schedule The Most Important Tasks For Those Hours

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                    Everyone has different working patterns. What’s important is to identify your own peak hours.

                    Our brain has limited attention span and it varies among people. So it’s important to organize your day around your body’s natural rhythms. Try to schedule your most important task for this period and work on minor tasks during your non-peak times. For example, arrange an appointment with a client during your peak hours and check emails during your non-peak times.

                    And Here Are The Don’ts:

                    Make Checking Email The First Thing To Do At Work

                    Checking email seems to be the vert first thing you have to do at work. But that’s not the case.

                    It is not the most important thing at work and it gives you an illusion that you’re achieving something. Think about it: what have you achieved actually after marking all emails read? Probably you have something more important to work on.

                    Multitask And Think That Would Make You More Efficient

                    Some people believe multitasking do work. But expert tells us that it brings harm to our brain: [2]

                    In fact, multitasking was found to increase the production of cortisol, a stress hormone, as well as adrenaline, which can overstimulate the brain and cause “mental fog”.

                    Put simply, the more information you have to handle, the less time you have to give it the thought it deserves. When you enter a “mental fog”, you start making poor decisions or responding irrationally. So don’t try to do research for an article and write it at the same time. This probably takes you a longer time.

                    Not Taking Breaks

                    Taking breaks is not a waste of time. In fact, it boosts our productivity.

                    As we know our brain has a limited attention span, there is no use in working for consecutively for a long period. After an hour or two, we begin to lose focus. That’s the time for you to take a little short break and give your brain some fresh air to recharge. Have a cup of tea or grab some snacks to eat. The valuable down-time enables you to think creatively and work effectively.

                    It is fair for everyone. Regardless of age, gender, occupation, and anything, everyone has 24 hours a day. But why some people can do that much within just a single day? The key is time management. With suitable tools and smart tricks, you can maximize your productivity and succeed in whatever your goal is.

                    Reference

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                    Sheba Leung

                    Translator. Sport lover. Traveler.

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                    Last Updated on June 29, 2020

                    How Does Setting Goals Lead to Success?

                    How Does Setting Goals Lead to Success?

                    As well as being the founder of Lifehack, I also help people on a one-to-one basis through life coaching.

                    I’ve been doing this for more than 10 years now and have helped hundreds of clients reevaluate their lives and turn inertia into progress and failure into success.

                    A common theme I’ve noticed with many of my clients is that they don’t have any definite goals to aim towards.

                    This has always surprised me, as goal setting is frequently recommended by self-improvement gurus, performance coaches, and business leaders. It’s also something that I learned at university and have implemented successfully in my life ever since.

                    If you’re similar to the majority of my life coaching clients and you don’t have any definite goals to aim for, then you’re missing out on what is probably the most powerful personal success technique on the planet.

                    The good news is—you’ve come to the right place for help with this.

                    In this article, I’ll explain exactly what goal-setting is and how you can put it into action in your life. As you’ll discover, it’s a key that can open many doors for you.

                    An Introduction to Goal Setting

                    Goals can be big, small, short-term, long-term, essential, or desirable. But they all share one thing: They will give you something to aim for.

                    This is important. As just like a ship without a destination, if you have no goals, you’ll end drifting aimlessly.

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                    Goals give you purpose. They also give you drive and enthusiasm. In other words—they make you feel alive!

                    If you’ve never spent time setting goals before, then here’s what I recommend you to do:

                    1. Take some time to evaluate all areas of your life (health, career, family, etc.).
                    2. Determine which of these areas need a boost.
                    3. Think of ways in which to achieve this (for example, if you want to boost your health, you could eat less and exercise more).
                    4. Set some definite goals that you would like to achieve.
                    5. Write down these goals, including the date you want to accomplish them by.

                    Now, before you get started on the above, I want to make one thing clear: Goals are not wishful thinking!

                    By this, I mean that while your goals should be ambitious, they shouldn’t be unrealistic or verging into fantasy land.

                    For example, wanting to be promoted at work would be a realistic goal while wanting to be President of the United States might not be. (Of course, feel free to prove me wrong!)

                    If you’re new to the world of goal setting, then I’d recommend you start with easy-to-achieve goals. These could be things such as eating a healthy breakfast, walking more, taking regular breaks from your screen, and sleeping early.

                    These simple goals might take you a month or so to achieve, including making the daily practices a habit.

                    Once you’ve successfully accomplished these goals, you’ll find your self-confidence grows, and you’ll be ready to set yourself some bigger goals.

                    Here are a few examples that you might want to choose or adapt to your personal circumstances:

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                    • Run a marathon
                    • Buy a new car
                    • Learn a new language
                    • Travel around the world
                    • Change career
                    • Retire early
                    • Write a book

                    I’m sure you can think of many more things that you would like to achieve. As the famous Shakespeare line neatly states: “The world is your oyster!”

                    Now, the trick with big goals (as I’ll show in an example shortly) is to break them down into small, bite-sized chunks. This means you’ll have a big end goal, with smaller goals (sometimes referred to as objectives) helping you to gradually achieve your main aim.

                    When you do this, you’ll make big goals more achievable. Plus, you’ll have an easy way to track how far along the road to your goal you are at any given point in time.

                    Let’s see this in action…

                    Going from an Idea to a Global Success

                    Everything starts with an idea.

                    And there appears to be no shortage of good ideas in the world. But there is a shortage of people willing to put these ideas into action!

                    This is the essential step that will move you from being a dreamer to an achiever.

                    Back in 2005, when I first had the idea for Lifehack, I really only considered it to be a platform to record some of my productivity and self-improvement techniques. I’d developed these during my time at university and as a Software Engineer at Redhat.

                    However, based on the number of views and positive feedback I received on the first few articles, I quickly realized that Lifehack had the potential to be a popular and successful website—a site that could help transform the lives of people from all across the world.

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                    It was at that point that I decided to set some goals in place for Lifehack.

                    The way I did this was to set specific targets for different areas of the business:

                    1. Number of articles published
                    2. Amount of time spent writing and promoting the articles
                    3. Number of new readers
                    4. Number of new email subscribers
                    5. Revenue generated from ads

                    For each of the above, I set weekly, monthly, and yearly targets. These targets were realistic but were also ambitious. In addition, I wrote down the necessary steps to take to achieve each target within the specified time frame.

                    This goal setting had a powerful impact on my motivation and energy levels. Because I could clearly see what needed to be done to achieve each goal, I found a purpose to my tasks that made them exciting to complete. Each small target achieved took me closer to accomplishing the bigger goals.

                    For example, my initial goals for writing articles were for just five a week, which equated to 20 per month and just over 100 per year. However, as I dedicated more and more time to Lifehack, I found I was able to exceed my initial goals.

                    This led me to increase the numbers. Of course, there’s a limit to how many articles one person can write. So when the readership began to exponentially increase, I started to hire other writers to help me out with the site’s content.

                    From my initial goal of just over 100 articles per year, I’ve used goal setting to help Lifehack publish more than 35,000 articles to date. This is now the largest collection of original self-development articles in the world.

                    And in terms of readership—this has skyrocketed from a few dozen in 2005 to several million in 2020.

                    And of course, I have many new goals for Lifehack, including expanding our range of online courses.

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                    My original goal has always remained the same though: To change people’s lives for the better.

                    Goal Setting Can Transform Your Life

                    If you haven’t yet experienced the incredible power of goal setting, then now’s the time to get started.

                    Build a definite picture of what you want to accomplish, break it down into small, achievable steps, and then start taking action!

                    You’ll be able to change all areas of your life using this method, including boosting your health, improving your relationships, and transforming your career. You may also want to use goal setting to start a new hobby or plot a path to a prosperous and peaceful retirement.

                    So please don’t wait for success to drop in your lap (which it is highly unlikely to do). Instead, decide on exactly what you want, then make a plan to get it. This is the secret to lifelong success.

                    Legendary motivational speaker and author Paul J. Meyer said it well:

                    “Goal setting is the most important aspect of all improvement and personal development plans. It is the key to all fulfillment and achievement.”

                    Final Thoughts

                    Now, let me leave you with five questions that will help you think about your future:

                    1. What would you like to be doing in 3, 5, and 7 years?
                    2. What things make you happiest?
                    3. How can you share your knowledge and experience?
                    4. Who can help you achieve your goals?
                    5. What would you like to be your legacy?

                    Take plenty of time to think about these questions. When the answers come, you’ll be able to start building a picture of how you’d like your life to be—and what goals you need to set to make this picture a reality.

                    More Tips on Setting Goals

                    Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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