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Applying The Minimalist Lifestyle Values To Your Scheduling

White and black desk beside bed and window

Even if your head and heart have good intentions, you may run around tirelessly trying to meet all of life's demands. When you take a second to catch your breath, you may find that you have not been intentionally living. Instead, your life has been filled with unimportant items and activities that take up space in your life, otherwise known as clutter. Clutter keeps us from living the life of our dreams. It gets in our way and slows us down. The cost of clutter is that it keeps us from doing the things we most value. To live the life you want, exert your time, energy, and money on the things you value most. With a minimalist lifestyle approach, you focus only on those things that add value to your life.

What Is a Minimalist Lifestyle?


A minimalist lifestyle is about more than having a clean, neat living space free of distractions. More than anything, it is about intentionally making time for things we value and living a life we desire. Here are some important aspects of living a minimalist lifestyle.

Owning Less

People are unproductive, anxious, and ruminative in crowded and messy environments and work better in minimalist environments. The removal of unnecessary items from living and work areas frees up space for more important things to take their place.

Decluttering

A minimalists lifestyle approach does not stop at decluttering the environment; it expands to all areas of your life, including your diet and thoughts. To declutter your life, you may clean out that "junk" drawer or closet in your house so you can more easily find the things you need. You could also delete unused icons on your desktop so you won't get distracted when you're trying to work on a task.

Mindfulness

Having a clutter-free environment will help, but it won't do much if our brains are cluttered with unnecessary thoughts. When your environment is cluttered, you may not focus on anything but about how you need to clean it up. An uncluttered environment provides you with the ability to think with clarity and focus more clearly. You will not be living reactively, but instead will think about what you want and focus solely on that.

Freedom

By clearing room in your mind and space, you are free to create the life you want. You can pursue your passions and do things you've wanted to explore for a while now but haven't gotten around to. You can go to a coffee shop on a weekday afternoon without worrying about what you need to do or what you should do instead. The possibilities are endless.

Relationships Of Value

Taking a minimalist lifestyle approach can help create stronger relationships and friendships. When you spend your time intentionally, you connect with people on a deeper level than just hanging out and passing the time. Spending time with people who encourage and inspire you will bring great value to your life.

Applying It to Your Schedule


Young man wearing stripes sweater

image source: pixabay.com

Since everyone's life is different, everyone's approach to tackling their clutter will look different. Here are general tips on how to use a minimalist lifestyle approach to help you live the life you want.

Accept That You Can’t Do Everything

As much as we all want to be Superwoman or Superman, there is only so much we can do with our given time. There are countless ways to spend our time, but we have limited resources to do so. So, we must make crucial decisions about how to spend our time. We have to eliminate the clutter. We can't do everything, but we can do a few things of value intentionally.

Find What Makes You Feel Alive

Our lives are too short to be spent doing things that do not help us feel alive. Dedicate your time to the things that breathe life into you and pull at your heartstrings. These things could be anything you love to do, like painting, running, dancing, or playing guitar. Even if it is random and seems silly, if it has your heart, do it. It does not have to have a greater purpose.

Define What Is Important To You

Ideally, your time should be spent on things that are important to you. When you are not sure what those things are, you are not directing your time toward a valued path. You won't be able to plan how you spend your time if you don't know what you what to spend your time on and why. Ask yourself the following questions to become clear about what is important to you:

  • What type of person do you want to be?
  • What do you most want to achieve or experience?
  • What relationships, friendships, or commitments are the most important to you?

Determine How

Once you have defined your what, ask yourself how you can spend your time on what's important. Without a plan, your life will not be filled with things important to you, but instead, you will be a victim of time and circumstance. Remember, you decide how your time is spent. Figure out what actions are required to reach your goals and live your values and what tools you will need to accomplish that. Then, plan accordingly.

Learn To Say No

We may engage in unhealthy behaviors or spend our time with people who try to sabotage our efforts. Even good things that are not the best things for us can be a hindrance. We have limited time, and we have to make firm choices about how we spend our precious time Saying yes to our dreams means we have to say no to many more things to bring our dreams into reality. Get comfortable saying no. As uncomfortable as it may feel while doing it, the overall impact of doing so is positive.

A Minimalist Family Schedule


Family of three walking on grassy field

image source: pex​​els.com

As parents, we want our children to have as many opportunities as they can. Unfortunately, this often leads to an over-packed schedule that leaves kids feeling stressed out, less productive, and in need of more free time. Extended free time is essential for kids to explore their imaginations and develop awareness, self-regulation, and empathy skills. Here are tips to tackle your family schedule with a minimalist lifestyle approach.

Determine The Source Of The Motivation

Take an honest look at the activities, clubs, or whatever else is taking up your child's schedule. Is the motivation for your child or your child's best interests? Perhaps there are personal motivations, like trying to impress other parents or relive your childhood through your kid. Just because it was best for you as a child does not mean it is best for your child now.

Determine The Ideal Number Of Hours For A Planned Activity

Without looking at your calendar, ask yourself the ideal number of hours your child should spend in out-of-school activities. Individual needs, age, and personality are all factors to consider. Once you have determined a number, look at your current calendar. If the number is not about the same, consider what adjustments may need to be made to the schedule.

Plan For Family Dinner Time

Having dinner together as a family is a positive experience that will continue to shape the lives of kids well into adulthood. Eating dinner as a family encourages the growth of love and understanding. Even if you are not able to eat together every night, perhaps you could do it three times a week or maybe just on the weekends. Find a baseline number that works for you and plan your other activities around that.

Schedule Quality Time

Spending quality time with your child is crucial since you are the biggest influence on their life. Determine how much quality time you would like to share with your child. Raising children is a big commitment, so it is important to make room in your schedule for it by removing less important commitments.

Create Space

When you create space in your schedule, you allow time for relaxation and reflection. This may mean waking up early to relax before work or rearranging the scheduling of an errand so you can enjoy more time having coffee with a friend. By creating space in your calendar, you are also leaving room to add new opportunities or emergencies that pop up.

Develop A Weekly Routine

Start with school, sports, and other activities that cannot be worked around. Then, schedule things like bathing, chores, and family time. Intentionally make a routine that your family can rely on from week to week.

Conclusion


Black wooden chair

image source: pexels.com

Children, like adults, need space to be with themselves and explore the world on their own. The more you own and commit to, the more time you have to spend taking care of those things. In this busy, on-the-go world, adopting a minimalist lifestyle approach to your schedule can change your life and help you achieve your goals by removing the clutter. By decluttering your environment and schedule, you free up space and time for the things that add value to your life.

How To Prioritize And Make Your Life A Lot Easier

Does your daily to-do list feel like it goes on and on until it makes its way into tomorrow’s list? If it does, you’re not alone. There’s so much to do every day it’s easy to replace productivity with being busy. But, just because you’re working doesn’t mean you’re getting the right work done. To be productive and reach your biggest goals, you need to know how to prioritize.
checklist

A lack of prioritization leads to constant work but little accomplishment because it means you’re focusing your time and energy on tasks that aren’t priorities. In the end, you’re left feeling tired, stressed, and likely disappointed that you aren’t reaching your goals, but this is all avoidable. We know that you have a lot going on and you’re great at what you do, so to help you reach all your goals we’ve got what you need to know about how to prioritize, right here.

Secrets to Prioritization

post it notes reminders

In today’s world of busier and busier schedules, understanding how to prioritize is the secret to success. If you’ve ever felt like there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done, then you’re in the right place. The key is that you don’t have to get everything done in a day, you just have to learn how to prioritize.

Before we dive deep into prioritization and show you how to prioritize when everything feels important, let’s cover some key components of how to prioritize.

Focus on Growth

More often than not, people are busy but not actually productive. A huge step in learning how to prioritize is understanding that not all work is equal. To boost productivity, you need to focus on what helps you grow.

Whether it’s personal or business goals, determine the key drivers of growth that will push you towards your goals fastest and most effectively. Then always prioritize the tasks that most directly impact this growth. Chances are that while deeply considering the themes of growth for your personal and business goals, you’ll realize there are some tasks you need not focus on or even do at all.

Do the Hardest Thing First

checklist composition

To successfully learn how to prioritize you need to know to always do the hardest thing first. It’s tempting to push harder tasks aside and leave them for later, but this is not the way to go about productivity.

When you do the hardest thing first, you get it out of the way, tackle it when you have the most energy, and start your day with a sense of accomplishment. When the hardest task is completed, you can breathe easy knowing the rest of your day will be easier. The relief and accomplishment that will come from having your hardest to-do completed will fuel you for getting through the less difficult tasks.

Keep It Flexible

man writing a memo for a meeting

Unexpected work, last minute deadlines, or out-of-nowhere meetings happen, so when you think about how to prioritize keep flexibility on the mind. Being flexible will help you manage the unexpected aspects of life while still focusing on completing the tasks you’ve committed to.

Manage Your Time

Work often takes up the amount of time allotted to it, so when you take on a task, especially one you perform often, determine how long the task will take and give yourself a deadline. Setting deadlines for yourself will help you get things done much faster, so instead of spending four hours on something that could have been finished in two, you’ll be finished and on to the next task.

Keeping these foundations for how to prioritize in mind, let’s dive into prioritizing when everything is important.

How to Prioritize Work When Everything Is #1?

person writing her plan on a notebook

Sometimes it can feel impossible to prioritize because all of your work feels essential. When each task feels important, it’s especially useful to know how to prioritize to keep from getting burnt out. Heres how to prioritize work when everything is important:

List All Your Tasks

Categorize Urgent vs Important

Determine Value

Determine Effort

Understand That You Can’t Do Everything

Use These Prioritization Methods to Do Only the Work That Matters

to do list calendar agenda

Now that you know how to prioritize and the important steps to getting the most important work done, you can use these prioritization methods to make it all a little easier.

1. The Eisenhower Matrix

eisenhower matrix

Image via luxafor

We mentioned before that part of how to prioritize is determining which tasks are urgent and which tasks are important, and The Eisenhower Matrix is a method for doing just that. This method organizes your tasks into four categories:

  • Urgent and important: work on these tasks right away
  • Important, not urgent: determine when to work on these tasks and set deadlines
  • Urgent, not important: Delegate these tasks if possible
  • Not important, not urgent: Drop these tasks

Here are some factors for determining task urgency and importance:

Important Task:

  • Impacts many people if not completed
  • Needs to be completed in order for other task completion
  • Is high value

Urgent Task:

  • Is overdue
  • Is due soon
  • Demands immediate attention
  • Has immediate negative consequences if not completed

2. ABCDE Method

 ABCDE Method

Image via toodledo

When you have many tasks to complete that all feel like they are just as important, it’s useful to have a go-to prioritization method. Brian Tracy’s ABCDE method is great for prioritizing work when you have multiple tasks with similar priority levels. For this method list all of your tasks and give each item a letter from A to E, with A being the highest priority and E the lowest. Then for each item marked with the letter A,  assign a number and continue until each item has a letter and number.

Once each task has a latter and number assigned to it, get to work. You can’t move on to the next letter until the previous letter is complete. This simple method gives each task multiple layers of prioritization, really showing you what matters most.

3. The Goal Strategy

 The Goal Strategy

Image via adviso

The last method for how to prioritize comes from super successful Warren Buffett, so you’ll definitely want to try this one out. The premise behind this method is that it doesn’t matter how hard you work if you’re not working towards the right goals.

For this method of how to prioritize, make a list of your top 25 goals. These goals can be career goals, personal goals, education goals, etc. After you’ve got them all down, circle your top five goals and only focus on tasks that move you towards those goals. Forget about tasks that don’t relate to your top five goals, these are tasks that seem like priorities but aren’t moving you towards your main goals.

Conclusion

Whatever your big goals are and whatever important daily tasks you have to tackle you’re now equipped to crush them all. It’s time to replace feeling busy with being productive and achieving the success you deserve. Through knowing how to prioritize you can leave the busy work behind and focus on what matters.

How To Keep Selfish People From Stealing Your Time

One of the most precious things in life is your time. You can always make more money or more friends, but you can never conjure up more time. When a moment is over, it’s over, so it would be wise to take a hard look at how you’re spending your hours. Are you letting it be wasted by selfish people?

Since your time on Earth is limited, it makes sense to spend it with people who empower you rather than people who drain you. How do you know when you’re surrounded by selfish people, though? How do you avoid these emotional vampires? This is a skill that’s worth developing.

How Do You Identify Selfish People?

An Eye

Selfish people have certain patterns that become more obvious. In this sense, selfish people will often identify themselves for you. Here are some glaring signs of a selfish person to watch out for:

  • They never contribute to your life
  • They only call you when they need something
  • They get upset when you say no or draw boundaries
  • They try to manipulate you to get what they want
  • You find yourself avoiding them because they are just so emotionally draining

Selfish people make their world all about themselves. Since there’s no room for anyone else, your needs will rarely get met in the relationship. They are always taking from you and are full of excuses when you need help from them. When you ask for something, they make you feel like it’s a huge imposition.

Egocentric people show a lack of compassion and caring. In the selfish person’s mind, any agenda besides their own isn’t important. For instance, let’s say your friend asks you for a ride, but you cancel last minute because your spouse broke up with you, and you feel too emotional to drive. A selfish person may not hide their annoyance at being inconvenienced, or they may even get upset that you canceled. It doesn’t matter that you’re going through a crisis; the only thing that matters is that they didn’t get what they want.

Making Friends with Selfish People Is Not Worth It

Making friends with people like this — even if they are in high positions of authority — is usually a waste of time. You will get little out of such a relationship. Trying to squeeze any value or reciprocation from them will be like trying to milk a stone. Even if you can get something from them, it will never feel like a win-win situation. It will just feel like they are paying you back out of duty, and they will give as little as they can get away with. It will never feel like they are contributing freely as a friend.

Worse still, this selfishness can infect you as well! If you live in a world where people are constantly trying to drain you, it can make you defensive and you may think the only way you can meet your needs is by similarly taking advantage of other people. It turns into a vicious cycle. It’s also self-perpetuating since acting selfishly will attract even more selfish, low-quality people into your life.

Sometimes, when you’re surrounded by selfish people, you may not even realize that this behavior isn’t normal! Just as a fish doesn’t know what water is, you may not know your friends or family are toxic until you meet someone who treats you well for the first time.

Raise your standards. Real friends don’t get mad if you tell them no; they try to help you in any way they can, and they don’t make you feel used.

Why Should You Avoid Selfish People?

Selfish people can make your life miserable. You might not even realize how annoying they are until you finally push them out of your life. Selfish people could waste your time by trying to manipulate you into serving their ends and you might not notice all the mental energy you’re putting into dodging these manipulations.

For example, let’s say you’re improving your life and finally eating healthy and a selfish person in your life has grown jealous. Everything is a competition to selfish people. This person may criticize you or discourage you because they feel threatened by your success. After all, anything that doesn’t glorify them isn’t interesting to them.

As you can see, you should avoid selfish people for very practical reasons:

  • To keep yourself on track with your goals
  • To not let toxic individuals sap your energy
  • To avoid falling into the trap of competition and jealousy
  • To make room in your life for people that will help you, not hinder you

Every moment you spend with a selfish person is a moment you could have spent with a genuine friend who wants to cooperate with you and help you grow as a person.

Selfish people are like burdens that are constantly hanging over you, draining your energy and pushing you away from your goals. Therefore it’s important to avoid them like the plague if you’re trying to improve your life.

How to Keep Selfish People from Stealing Your Time

Time

Selfish people often ignore your wishes, so what should you do if they keep trying to steal your time?

Well, first, you need to recognize that unless someone is physically forcing you to do something, you are the owner of your time. You are 100% responsible for how you allocate your time, and no one can really steal it from you. Even if the selfish person is your time-wasting boss, you still have the option to leave the situation — even if you might fear the consequences. 

Sometimes letting go of selfish people who play an important role in your life can be scary. For example, maybe you’re in a relationship with a selfish person and you feel you have too much to lose if you let go. In cases like these, the transition can be slow and painful, but you will feel better in the end if you let go.

To let go of the selfish people in your life, follow these steps:

1. Draw Boundaries Often and Clearly

2. Be Your Complete Self and Don’t Apologize for It

3. Open Yourself Up to New People and Patterns

Conclusion

Selfish people are not just a waste of time, they are a waste of energy! You only have so much of both, so don’t squander it by spending your precious life with a toxic person who makes you feel drained. Look for people who will actually contribute to your life and who will celebrate your triumphs. Having upbeat people who are on your side will skyrocket your personal growth in ways you may not even imagine.

10 Great Time Management Worksheets to Keep You On Task

You cannot make more time, but you can feel like there is more time in your life by using an effective time management worksheet. This type of worksheet helps you to plan your day, week or month and filter out all the unnecessary noise, giving you time to focus on what is truly important.

Finding the right time management worksheet for you is critical in managing your time effectively, both in your personal and professional life. By getting your work done on time, you eliminate unnecessary stress, are looked up to by your peers and have more time to spend doing what you love

Benefits of Managing Your Time

There are many reasons you need a time management worksheet to help you manage your time more effectively. Here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy by learning to manage your time:

  • Freedom
  • Simplicity
  • Improvement of your reputation
  • Opportunity
  • Less time wasted
  • More free time gained
  • Less friction
  • Fewer errors
  • Accomplish more
  • Reduced stress

A great time management worksheet allows you to budget your time so you have the most quality time to dedicate to important things. Excellent time management skills also simplify your life. Who wouldn’t want to do something the easy way? A good manager of time will be regarded as highly reliable in both his personal and professional life. Your boss will come to you with more responsibilities, which may lead to a promotion or better title. This extra responsibility will not be a detriment because you are a master of your time.

The best time management worksheet allows you to use your time more efficiently. A slight adjustment in the time you leave for work could turn a 90-minute one-way commute into a 30-minute one. That is 10 extra hours a week to weed your garden or teach your child how to play an instrument. By planning and preparing your day, week or month, you avoid unnecessary stress in life. A little quality time management goes a long way in managing unnecessary friction in your personal and professional life.

The more organized you are in managing your time, the fewer mistakes you will make; which results in spending less time re-doing your work. Planning your day before you start it will also ensure you do not forget something crucial, like the donuts you promised for after your kid’s soccer practice.

Being able to manage your workload better and knowing when to delegate tasks to others allows you to be more productive, which leads to positive feelings and mitigates negative feelings. Also, knowing exactly what is coming eliminates stressful surprises and difficult, tight deadlines and leaves you better prepared for the curve balls live throws you.

Tips for Effective Time Management

Time management worksheets are a great tool to manage your time effectively, but there are lots of other tips.

1. Know Your Goals

2. Prioritize

3. Just Say No

4. Plan Ahead

5. Focus

6. Relax

7. Self-Care

10 Great Time Management Worksheets

Now that you know the benefit of excellent time management and tips on how to achieve it, here are the 10 best time management templates. Feel free to create your own if none of these are perfect for you.

1. Weekly Time Management Template

Weekly-Time-Management-Schedule

2. Weekly Time Management Template

daily-time-management-template

3. Daily Task List

Daily Task List

4. Daily Time Log

Daily Time Log

5. 90-Day Calendar

90_Day_Calendar

6. Chores Template

Chores Template

7. Daily Time Tracking Template

Daily-Activity-Time-Log3

8. Class Schedule Template

Class Schedule Template

9. Rolling Action Item List

Rolling Action Item List

10. Prioritized Task List

Prioritized Task List

Excel has more built-in templates for time management worksheets than you could ever use. The worksheets we linked to above may be either printed out or replicated using your favorite software. A good template will help you visualize the priorities of the tasks you need to accomplish and give you a great idea of when things need to be completed. Try to get a high-level view of how all your tasks work together.

Conclusion

Time management worksheets are crucial for reducing stress in your life and improving productivity. Time management skills will cause your peers to look up to you and trust you as reliable. You will be happier and have more time to do what is important to you. Taking care of your priorities quickly and delegating unimportant tasks positions you to take opportunities you would have missed if you had been crunching to meet a deadline.

Use a template to create the best worksheet for your needs, be it studying, working on a group project or completing chores around the house. Outline what needs to get done for the day and use a large worksheet with many days to see a high-level picture of where you are and what you need to accomplish.

12 Time Management Tools That Are Perfect For Professionals

Modern technology has made incredible advancements in how we function. You can be much more productive than ever before. You can also be easily distracted. Fortunately, there’s a growing list of time management tools that allow you to stay on your productivity path.

Benefits of Time Management Tools

You may already have a sense of how you can better manage your time and now you’ll have access to these helpful time management tools. These tools will ensure that you complete the most important tasks on your agenda. They will increase your productivity, allow you to limit distractions and improve your concentration. You’ll have a much more accurate depiction of the time you’re putting in and time you’ll need to remain successful.

12 Time Management Tools Perfect for Professionals

Pomodoro

Since we’re talking about the best time management tools, let’s start with time itself. Measuring time, that is, with a timer like Pomodoro. Do you think your productivity would improve if you had specified bursts of concentrated work with short breaks? If so, then the Pomodoro technique is an easy way to maximize efficiency.

The idea is to choose a task from your To-Do list and become absorbed in that task for 25 minutes. Using the Pomodoro app you’ll block out distractions and take notes to deal with any important interruptions when the time is up. Once the timer goes off, you’ll take a break for five or ten minutes to give yourself some rest. Then you can do the next 25-minute work session, fitting in as many sessions as you want on whichever tasks from your To-Do list.

Harvest

Do you ever wonder how much time it actually takes you to complete a task? Harvest is a multi-functional tracker, with the primary function of starting and stopping timers as you work through your To-Do list. All you need to is click the button for an allocated task for Harvest to begin the timer, then click it again when you finish a task for Harvest to stop counting. This helps you manage your time better so you don’t over-commit to certain projects or misjudge how much time it takes.

Another great feature that makes Harvest one of the best time management tools is that it will let you know how long it takes invoices to come in. You can also integrate Harvest into other tools you already use. If you’re considering using Harvest for your business purposes, you can sign up for a fully functional 30-day trial for free.

FocusMe

Do you have a hard time focusing when you’re doing tasks on your laptop or computer? Are you noticing that you are getting too distracted throughout your work sessions? FocusMe is an app and website blocker software you can download to help you make more progress with getting your work done.

Compatible with Windows, Mac and Android, FocusMe allows you to select which apps and websites you want to block for whatever chosen duration you prefer. You can set it to block for minutes or hours or days: even longer, if you wish. If you know you’re likely inclined to want to browse social media or reflexively look at certain apps or websites, you can eliminate this by allowing FocusMe temporarily block your access. FocusMe is effective in helping you avoid distractions and keeping you on track with the task at hand.

ToDoist

If you’re looking for something to help get everything out of your head and onto a list, then ToDoist is for you. It’s a daily checklist app that allows you to prioritize and set due dates. You focus on other important things in the meantime and don’t think about other items on your to-do list until they are due,

It gets to the heart of the simple need to free up space in your head from any mental distractions. This is one of the great time management tools for someone who’s an online seller or parent or student trying to keep track of day-to-day tasks, both professionally and personally. Rather than tracking big projects, you’ll find it best used to keep track of daily errands.

Unroll.me

Clutter is a definite time waster, so you’ll want to do whatever you can to clutter-free. Just as you’ll engage in clutter clearing practices in your physical environment, you’ll similarly want to take clutter-clearing actions for your online space. Nearly 90% of emails you receive are unwanted and contribute to cluttering your inbox. It can be a tedious task to unsubscribe from them, taking up valuable time.

By signing up to Unroll.me you’ll be presented with a list of the companies that are sending emails. It will help you unsubscribe from any newsletters you’re subscribed to. Unroll.me also offers you the choice to collate all regular emails into a single email so it’s easier for you to browse your inbox. With time management tools like this, a flooded inbox is a thing of the past!

Focuswriter

Sometimes the simplest change to your work station can be one of the biggest adjustments helping you manage your time. The Focuswriter program will take up your entire screen while only allowing you the ability to write. With only the sheet in front of you, you remove any distraction from toolbars, notes, tabs, links or files. You can also download some visually inspiring, high-resolution images for additional positive focusing.

Focus@Will​​

Focus@Will is ideal if you who find it difficult to focus while studying, working or reading. It will help you find music that eliminates other distractions and assists your brain with staying on task. Focus@Will provides different music to help your mind function at a higher level.

With Focus@Will, you’ll take a simple personality to test that determines which music is best for you. It includes music categories such as: up tempo, classical, electro Bach, ambient, acoustical, water, alpha chill, focus spa, drum zone, and others. Choosing a music that is specifically fit to you, makes Focus@Will one of the most intervals time management tools that will improve your focus and productivity.

1-3-5 List

The 1-3-5 List is a straight-forward approach that helps you arrange your task accordingly to their size. You will set up one big task, three medium tasks and five small tasks for you to complete. 1-3-5 List is a browser-based tool that allows you to enter your task for each day and arranges them for you to see clearly. You can visualize how to the importance level of the tasks are broken down and make progress incrementally throughout your day.

Mind42

Have you ever had a succession of great thoughts you wanted to visualize your thought pattern? Well, Mind42 is a tool that will form a structured diagram that visually organizing the data you give it. It uses mind mapping as a productivity technique to give you gain clarity on what needs to be done.

By organizing your thoughts in this visual way it will make it easier for you to understand and process what to do next. Especially if you’ve noticed that you learn better with visualization. this method will be beneficial for you when organizing various projects.

52-17

This interval timer is similar to the Pomodoro Technique but gives a longer amount of concentrated work time. If you’re looking to get a longer work session in, the 52-17 interval timer will give you three 52-minute concentrated work rounds over 3 hours and 10 minutes, with 2 rounds of 17-minute breaks in between.

Based on extensive studies, this time management tool states that, on average, people work most productively for around a 52 minute interval. Taking a break for the next 17 minute interval will give your brain enough rest and allow you to put attention toward. See if these intervals are the right break down for you.

Habitica

Gamification is a fun way to hack your brain, and it’s increasingly having more influence within the development of time management tools. If you like role-playing games and you want to be more productive with your time, then Habitica creatively combines these aspects for you. It’s a daily planner app that allows build habits as the character you’ve created within the game.

Whenever you complete one of your daily habits. your character earns points, skills or items. You can be anything for a warrior fighting monsters to a paladin battling skeletons, all in the name of doing your routine tasks. Completing your tasks through the Habitica daily checklist you’ll see your character get stronger while weakening your enemies.

My Life Organized

If you’re challenged when managing your tasks, following To-Do lists, and organizing your goals, then open yourself up to My Life Organized. It’s a task management system based on implementing the “Getting Things Done” model. It will help you target where you need to focus in order to reach your objectives. It will generate To-Do lists automatically, tracking your progress methodically based on the priority actions you’re given.

Conclusion

It can be hard to concentrate, but modern technology–which in part caused this problem–is now part of the solution. Find the app that’s best for you and get to work!

10 Time Management Activities To Try with Your Employees

Your employees are very busy! You want to do what you can to help your employees create an environment contributes to productivity. You want them to jump into their day’s tasks and be as focused as they can to get the job done. You can positively influence this in a fun, professional manner by engaging in the best time management activities.

time management

What Is It About Time Management?

Are your employees feeling like time slips by quickly and that the day goes by too fast before tasks get completed? If so, you’re not alone with wanting to get a firmer grasp on time and how to manage it. This is a major concern for people and fortunately there’s no shortage of time management activities you can try with employees.

It’s a matter of putting the right tactics into place. Time management also needs to be personalized. You’ll notice that one suggestion will feel more natural than another. Start with these activities so you can have your employees get engaged with various methods.

Benefits of Time Management

Managing your time is the basis of managing everything else in your life. The benefits of doing time management activities are that it helps assess where you currently allocate your time and what you need to adjust to re-allocate more productively. Time management activities help you identify what priorities to do first, how to avoid distractions and knowing when to have productivity bursts.

10 Time Management Activities to Try with Your Employees

The workplace is an ideal place for a manager to reinforce how to balance time through time management activities. Rather than give a lecture or make suggestions during a review, why not set up specified days to work on improvement? This makes the learning process more enjoyable and interactive where employees can build strengths together. Here are the top 10 time management activities that will inspire more focus and productivity.

1.Counting Minutes

Since the lesson is to use time effectively, then why not start with getting a firm grasp on how we measure and perceive time. Right down to how we perceive the length of a minute! For this activity, once you’ve covered any clocks or devices showing the time, have each person share their perception of how long a minute feels like.

With everyone siting quietly, you’ll start a timer and ask them to stand up when they think a minute has passed. You will see each person stand up at various moments, showing the range in perception of what a minute is. The results may surprise the employees about the accuracy of their perception.

2.Time Squared

Some of the best time management activities require writing. For the Time Square exercise, give your employees 3 sheets of paper that have 24 squares on each one. Each square represents an hour of the 24 hours in a day. For the first sheet, employees will fill in routine activities of their regular day outside of work.

With the second piece of paper, the employees must fill out the boxes representing the time they spend on non-productive time at their workplace on activities they may deem as time wasters. With the third paper, have the employees merge the first two pages together. Whatever empty squares remain on the third page will represent productive time. The outcome will help identify any time wasters and highlight the amount of time spent on routine activities.

3.Mayo Jar

When considering time management activities, you’ll want to consider one’s that have a visual component like the Mayo Jar. This activity highlights prioritizing with a hands-on approach to see the process. After dividing your group of employees into teams, give them each a glass container and the materials needed for the activity. The materials consist of varied size rocks and stones, and sand or gravel, or similar items you use.

The larger rocks will represent the most important tasks and smaller rocks will be for other daily tasks. You can define these more specifically based on your discussion with the group, delineating anything from home activities to work tasks. You can also use the sand to represent projects that need completion. This can help represent work/life balance for the participants.

You can let them choose which materials they want to represent the different life activities and tasks. Let them fill in their container without too detailed of instructions. When the containers are full, you can have them share about the order selected and what each of the materials represented.

4.Understanding Parkinson’s Law

Divided into 4 groups, your employee groupings will have 5 tasks to complete in 20 minutes. Have 2 groups do the tasks in an open-ended timeframe. Have the other 2 groups divide the 20 minutes into 4-minute segments for each task. See which of the groups complete all 5 of their tasks efficiently.

Since Parkinson’s Law states that the work will expand to fill the allotted amount of time, the open-ended groups will probably have a more difficult time fully realizing the 5 tasks. In contrast, Parkinson’s Law predicts that if you have several tasks with set timeframes, you’ll be able to work them into that amount of time since you have no other choice. Don’t let the group know about Parkinson’s Law until the end when assessing everyone’s experience.

5.Colored Blocks

Take a large bunch of colored blocks and scatter them over a surface. You will instruct each employee to gather as many blocks as possible within a minute timeframe. They can only grab one block at a time and they can only do so with their non-dominant hand.

Let each employee play multiple rounds. You can assign points to different colors after each round. As they play each round, you can discuss how high priority tasks are represented by the colored blocks worth the most points.

6.Circadian Rhythms

Have you ever tried to tap into getting a better understanding of your internal clock, otherwise known as your circadian rhythm? The idea is to determine when you are best energized for doing different tasks within your work day. Rather than pushing through periods when you have lower energy, you can schedule your tasks accordingly. You’ll want to work on your mentally demanding tasks when you’re at the highest energy levels and do your automatic and more mechanical tasks when your energy is low.

Have each employee write everything they did the day before while listing the energy level they had for each activity. You can use descriptive words and phrases to describe energy levels like: on fire, vibrant, cruise control, distracted, slowing down, tired and hungry. You can also signify energy levels by percentages like: at 100%, at 70%, at 30% or any rounded number to express the feeling.

7.Ace of Spades

This activity will have two volunteers using two decks of playing cards. You will give one deck of cards to each person with the goal of having them find the Ace of Spades as quickly as possible. With no one knowing, you will have one deck in order with all the cards facing one direction from Ace to King in each of the four suits.

The other deck will be mixed up with some cards facing opposite directions making it more difficult to find the Ace of Spades. The employee with the mixed deck is at a disadvantage, but it’s a fun way to show the importance of good organization skills to time management.

8.Organizing Cards

Give each group of employees a deck of playing cards. Have each team place the cards exactly as you outlined by the example. The aim is to complete the task in the fastest time while placing the cards neatly in a row without touching one another.

Give the teams 5 minutes to prepare a strategy and practice the task using any resources in the room to assist in the task. After the 5 minutes of prep time, each team must submit an estimate time in which they think they can complete the task.  Set a timer so the team will then try to complete the task against the clock. You can do multiple rounds to see if teams improve their time.

9.Breakdown and Prioritize

Employees need to juggle their commitments, so they need a time management exercises allows to plan quickly and stay on top of things. Once they’ve listed their commitments, have them take the big tasks and turn them into smaller steps. Next they must prioritize their tasks.

Organize each thing under 3 headings: now, soon, and later. Deadlines will be a top priority, but other minor important task can go under soon. It’s recommended to determine the top priorities and put them into the “now” heading, then go back to the other tasks and put them in order.

10.Ribbon of Life

Give one of your employees a ribbon that’s 100 centimeters long. Let everyone in the group know each centimeter represents a year. First have the employee cut it to the length that equals the average lifespan. Then have the employee cut off the group’s average age. This will show the group the amount of time remaining for that lifespan.

From there, you can instruct for things like sleep and obligations not related to work to be trimmed away. Eventually the employee will have a short ribbon left. This time management activity provides a perspective on the relatively small amount of time there is to get work done.

Conclusion

Time management is crucial to business success. Often we waste time mostly because we don’t realize it’s happening. Use these techniques to help your employees understand the importance of time and how to manage theirs.

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