How I Manage My Time

December 17, 2017

I really want to do it, but I just don’t have enough time to get to it!” This used be something that I would say often. I’m the person who always has lots of ideas but only ended up doing a few of them. Why? Because I don’t have enough time.


Well, that’s not completely true. For the most part, I do have enough time, I just don’t do enough planning to use my time wisely. After failing numerous times to do something that I want to do because I ran out of time, I finally decided to take some real actions and manage my time.


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Make a to-list the night before

To-do lists are such a game changer. If I don’t make a list, I could spend all my free time after working on social media or browsing on my phone, instead of doing other things like writing a blog post or practice another graphic design project. The last thing I do before I leave work and go to bed is to write down my to-do lists (work and personal) for the next day. Having a to-do list is very helpful because it gives me an idea of what my day would look like. I also have a visual of how busy my day will be tomorrow and how my time will be spent.


Another benefit of having a to-do list is that it prevents me from leaving things out. Before I started making to-do list regularly, there were days that I would just randomly think about things that I forgot to do, such as my credit card payment was due today or the call I need to make with the doctor’s office. This would always cause a little panic for me because now I have to quickly login to my bank account and transfer the payment or I have to call the doctor’s office right now, otherwise, they would be closed. But these could all be avoided if I wrote them down in my to-do list.


I like making the list the night before because I know exactly where things are left off today. I can record the progress on the list, and it’ll be easy for me to catch up right away the next day. Another benefit of having a to-do list


Assign time to and prioritize tasks

To be even more efficient and really manage my time, I like to actually schedule a time to do each task from the list. It can get hard for me to stay focused when I get a big to-do list if I don’t assign the time for the tasks. I would be working on task A but thinking about task B at the same time. It’s very distracting, and I noticed that it reduces my productivity as well. That’s why I started to put times down on my to-do lists. This way, during the scheduled time, I can commit fully to that one task because I know that I will have time later to get to the different items.


In order to be more productive, sometimes I would prioritize the items on my list. I based on the deadlines and the complexity of each task to determine which ones have higher priority. If I have task A that has a later deadline than the others, but I will need to send out some emails for more information, I would set it as my priority and work on sending those emails first. And while I'm waiting for a reply, I can move on to my other tasks on the list, so no time is wasted!


Take a break

This might sound ridiculous or impossible to do, but personally, I think taking a little break actually helps me work better and feel more productive. Being more productive means that I could spend less time on one thing and use my time more efficiently. When I'm planning my time, I usually try to plan a five minutes break in between tasks, so I wouldn't forget to take one. I would use this time to go down to the breakroom and get some water or just rest my eyes in my seat or anything that takes my focus away from my computer screen or whatever task I’m working on. After returning from my break, I can come back with fresher eyes and mindset for the next project on the schedule. Taking a little break in between things also gives me some time to stand up and stretch, so I'm not sitting down all day long.



Making the to-do list become part of my night time routine now. It might seem like a lot of work to write down everything you have to do and even to prioritize them. But believe me, it's really not. It takes no more than ten minutes to do this every night before I go to bed (or before I leave my work). And thinking about how much time it helps me save, I really think it's worth to try these steps out!

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