So let’s agree on one thing, everyone on this planet has exactly 24 hours in a day. Not one second more or less. What’s not equal is how people use this time. While some use the day effectively, others waste so many hours under the pretext of not having time.
Of course I’m not into the ‘the more we work the better,’ reasoning. What matters is realizing the things that satisfy and make us happy. As a first step, we have to distinguish our priorities. I usually start my day specifying the most important task. After completing it through 50-minute-work sessions with 10-minute-breaks (with such a system a task can last two or even five sessions), I move onto my smaller tasks. For these I mostly use the 10, 20, 30 technique. I write down a maximum of four tasks and write 10, 20, 30 next to them. Setting the timer on my phone for ten minutes, I focus on the first task. When I first began to adopt this technique, I had thought about what ten minutes would be sufficient for. (Just like a lot of you are thinking right now). However, when I didn’t hear anything for a while from the timer and worried whether it was broken, I noticed that only four minutes had gone by. Yes, four. I think this is when my perception of time gained a different dimension. That’s why I learned to never underestimate minutes and to never fall for the ‘I’ll do it when I have a few hours time’ illusion again.
Returning to the technique, after having designated ten minutes to the first task on your list, move onto the next task as soon as the timer goes off and set another ten minutes, continuing this process for tasks three and four. When these are done you return to the first task but this time set the timer for twenty minutes. You may be surprised to find out that thirty minutes (10+20 minutes of full concentration) was enough for something that you were ruminating on for a while. And if not, then no problem because you still have another 30 minutes for each task ahead if necessary. If you still can’t complete them in that timeframe, enjoy the fact that you spend an hour working on these tasks with full concentration and then do another round.
Whichever technique you use, the key to time management is concentration. For example, if you need to write an article and interrupt the process with two e-mails, 3 WhatsApp messages, and one phone call, then you’ll notice that the day is over without you having put two words together. When your concentration jumps from one place to another, the energy you would usually use is doubled and wasted.
Just as good time management allows for quality work, it also leaves time for enjoyment. From now on, think twice before you say ‘I don’t have time.’ Did you really make the best of the time you had?