If I got a dollar for every time I got asked how I manage to get things done, Mrs. Alakija would have nothing on me.
In my own opinion, time management is a survival skill everyone should have. It saves you from a lot of unnecessary stress. In this article, I’ll share with you some tips that have worked so well for me. I am positive they would work for you too.
First, you need a schedule. Yes! ‘Let me check my schedule’ shouldn’t be some fancy phrase to you. Everyone should have one. If you don’t, people will inadvertently create one for you. Hence, you find yourself doing things that may not fit overall into your grand purpose. You need to be intentional about your schedule. Think deeply about things you want to get done and log them on. I built an app that will really help you manage your day effectively. Click here to download it. Your life may not be as busy as you think it is.
Putting a structure to it would help relieve most of your stress.
Secondly, work with time blocks. It is not enough to just write a to-do list. When are you going to get it done? It is always great to factor this in when drafting out your schedule. An example is: I will work out (strength training) every Monday and Friday from 6-7 pm. It is a lot like goal setting. It has to be SMART.
Nothing can stand in the way of someone who is laser focus. Knowing when to get things done gives you this focus.
Overall, your time management skill could determine if you can achieve your goals. You will notice a huge boost in your productivity when you create time blocks to focus on the things you want to get done.
Thirdly, try to avoid other people’s emergencies as much as you can. Some things could be impromptu but that is hardly ever the case. Some emergencies emanate from deficient planning or a total lack of it. When people find themselves in this state they then try to project it onto others. You have to be on a lookout for this. For example, a friend may want you to review their grant application which is to close in two weeks. But this person on filling it up and sends it to you on the same day it is meant to close. This right here is not your emergency. You would agree that no matter how hard you work on it, there would still be some lapses that may need time to fix. Not to talk about other things you have to get done within that time of trying to take a last-minute look at the application. If it is not a matter of life and death most times it is wiser to turn such things down. Sound brutal but the truth is, you have to be brutal with your time. Let everyone own the emergencies they created for themselves. This could play out in different ways, it may even be a casual outing, just remember to ask is this really my emergency? What am I giving up to do this? Would the trade be worth it in the long run?
Lastly, you may want to consider having morning and night routines. Most people are using are aware of morning routines but a night routine is also really good. This doesn’t replace other activities you do during the day, they help you do those things even better. It doesn’t have to be something intense. My mornings usually begin with taking water, then my devotion thereafter, I go through my schedule and get the day started. This helps me put on my focus lens for the day. What is a day without having a conversation with God first? In the evening, I take stock of my day and plan for the next one. I believe everyone should have these routines, whatever works for you. It is not really about the quantity, it is the quality that matters. A good friend of mine made a carousel talking about night routines, click here to check it out.
As I finish this article there are two things I must mention.
1) Be willing to try new things. Change is the only constant. Since 2019, when I wrote the first part of this article I have learn’t quite a lot on this subject by being open to change. Knowledge keeps evolving, but you will shut yourself out of endless possibilities if you keep your mind shut to new concepts.
2) Be ready to fail at these new things but don’t quit. Scheduling won’t be easy. No part of intentional living would ever come to you naturally. You’ve just got to be trying, it takes time for new habits to form. Hence, forgive yourself in advance for the times when you will forget to plan your day. Make the plans immediately it comes to mind. Be resilient and refuse to quit.
“Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved”. Matthew 24:13-14 MSG
Click here to listen to the podcast episode on the step by step method I use for my intentional scheduling.
Till next time,