A listener wrote to me by email asking about how to have good time management to allow for more efficient studying. It’s a really good question and a topic I love to think about. In this episode, I share my top tips on having good time management.
If you have more advice, leave it in the comments at the bottom. I’d love to hear from you too!
1. Do important stuff first
What needs to happen for you to call today a success?
Write them down and schedule them for the beginning of the day. Even if you have no time to do anything after that, at least you’ve done the important things.
2. Work smarter, not harder
Is there a more efficient way to do what you’re doing? Maybe you can take a step back and analyse or write down each task you’re doing. Are they all essential? How can some be made simpler? What things can you not compromise on?
My examples: I will never reduce sleep time to get work done, but I did reduce my daily walks so that I have time to exercise at home.
In terms of making things efficient, I no longer post images to my Instagram page. It’s a small change and most people won’t mind, but I decided it wasn’t essential and now I have more time for more important things.
3. Set deadlines
Parkinson’s Law – “work expands to fill the time allotted”
I used to say “Do as much work as I can before dinner time”
Now I say “Work for 1 hour”
I actually get a lot more done than I used to. I also don’t burn out. The danger of not setting deadlines if you might work or study for hours on Monday and then become so exhausted that you need to take a break for a few days. It’s just like a marathon runner who has to pace themselves and not sprint at the beginning only to find they are too tired to finish.
Batching has been so helpful for me. This is when you do many tasks at once rather than doing a little bit every day. The biggest impact this has had on my life is batching my Instagram DM replies. I get a few messages every day and I used to spend a lot of time replying to all of them. Now I give myself 10 minutes at the end of each day to reply and it’s all done in one go! This saves so much time.
5. Record Your Days
I was really surprised at how much of my day I was wasting without even realising it. You may think you have no free time, but a few minutes of social media browsing or snacking here and there adds up and takes up a large part of the day. Somehow record what you do in a day and you’ll have a better idea of what you’re doing and where you can improve things to make life more efficient.
6. More breaks = More productivity
There was a really cool study I heard about recently where workers were given more days of work and this actually led them to do more work in the office! I don’t have a reference I’m afraid so you’ll have to trust me, but I love this idea.
It basically means if you are more relaxed and take time for yourself, you can get more done in your working time.
The same goes for sleep. Don’t steal from your sleep hours. It will only decrease your output in the end.
More time spent studying or working doesn’t mean you have done more. It just means you have wasted more time.
7. Don't burn out!
A final warning – efficiency and productivity isn’t everything. Having a healthy mind and body is far more important than studying or working well. Always prioritise your health. If you are feeling stressed and stretched too thin, then just take a break and access what tasks are really worth risking your health.
I’ve had to think about this myself. Working for myself, there’s no limit to how much I work. If I wanted to, I could do 7 days a week for many hours and make a lot more money, but I value my health too much to do that.
Some of the harder vocabulary I mentioned in this episode.
- To Juggle – To do many different things at the same time
- To compromise (on something) – To accept a standard on something that is lower than it should be
- To allot – To allocate or assign something (often ‘time’)
- To burn out – to work too hard and become stressed with no more energy
- To stretch yourself too thin – to try to do too many things at the same time, so that you cannot give enough time or attention to any of them