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Do you ever find yourself complaining about how there is never enough time in a day to finish up work? 24 hours seems like a lot, but many people don’t exclude the factors of sleeping, eating, showering, and doing basic necessities a normal human being has to go through in a day. Here are just a few ways to be productive in a day and avoid wasting precious time.

Plan out your day

Planning out your day not only helps you keep track of your workflow, but it can also help you figure out what can be done within that time frame. This can also be applied for the day after, planning your outfit for the day or preparing meals the day before. This saves you time in the morning and you’ll be more mentally prepared for the day ahead. 

Know the difference between ‘urgent’ and ‘important’

The hardest part for most entrepreneurs is trying to differentiate tasks that are urgent and tasks that are important. By using a method called Eisenhower’s Matrix, you can now easily take control of your time management. Eisenhower’s Matrix is divided into four categories:

  1. Do First : These are important tasks that needs to be done within today, tomorrow, or by the end of the week. 
  2. Do Later : These tasks are equally important, however they don’t need to be done immediately. Schedule them into your calendar so you don’t forget, and you can do it at a later date. 
  3. Delegate : These are tasks that are deemed necessary however you will able to pass it on to someone else.
  4. Eliminate : These are tasks that aren’t important or urgent, and not even worth your time. Delete them off your schedule and if you’d like, get back to them at a later time when your schedule is clear.

Proper delegation

If you’re absolutely sure you won’t be able to slot in a certain task into your schedule, be sure to delegate properly. If you don’t have the right staff for the task at hand, outsource and find a suitable and appropriate freelancer to assist you with your work. Don’t assume you’re a jack-of-all-trades and take on all pending tasks. This will cause you to eventually burn out and fall behind on your own work due to trying too hard.

Find out when is your most productive hour

Don’t assume that just because you wake up early, you will have a productive day. It’s true that some people wake up early in the morning and are immediately ready for the day, but it’s not for everyone. Find a suitable time for you to be at the peak of your productivity, when you have the most amount of energy and focus, and make use of that hour. 

Find a time management system that works for you 

Similar to your most productive hour, find a system that’s easy and works for you. This way, you will be able to stick to it more effortlessly and not waste any more precious time when completing tasks. Take chances and experiment with your scheduling until you find a suitable one for you. 

Be flexible

Always expect the unexpected. More often than not, your schedule won’t go according to plan and you’re forced to think of a solution on the spot, or push what you planned to do today to tomorrow. In these situations, make it a habit to always leave out an hour or two of free time just in case an emergency comes up.

Don’t pressure yourself to be perfect

Everyone struggles with being a perfectionist. Who doesn’t want their product or service to be perfect? However, people often use up too much time trying too hard to improve a product that they leave out other important things. Don’t extend the duration of development for your product and push aside other essentials, because if you put off something that needs to be done, someone else will beat you to it. 

Estimate your timing

Always have a rough estimation of how long a certain task will take to finish. If you can’t calculate how much time it will take to finish something, do an experiment for a week to time certain tasks and you will figure out how much time you need to end the task. 

Take breaks

You may think that by putting in a lot of hours for your start-up or business, you will improve your product or service significantly. It’s true that it’s a good thing that you’re focusing tremendously on your business, however give yourself a break and take it slow every once in a while. If you burn out, it’ll be even more difficult to continue with your tasks and you’ll take an even longer time to finish them.

Don’t procrastinate

This is one example of ‘easier said than done’. You’re constantly reminding yourself to stop holding things off, or in other words, procrastinate. But our human body can sometimes be lazy, and things that were supposed to be done by the end of today has to be pushed off until tomorrow. Avoid procrastinating, take a five minute break to refresh your mind or drink some tea if you need to, but always go back to work when necessary.