Do you ever look back at your day and think, “I really could have finished this work had I not got caught up with that.” Realizations like this one are always a bummer. They show you how you could have done better and been more productive, but due to indiscipline or some distraction, you could not. Over time, this lack of efficiency with time can seriously undermine how well you do in studies, career, personal life, etc. If you wish to avoid that, here are six hacks you must employ on a daily basis:

1.     Set realistic goals

Do you know what the biggest mistake we make when creating a to-do list? We assume that we will be able to do everything. Even if we know that certain tasks won’t be possible for us to go through, we add them anyway. This mindless addition of tasks and reminders clutters our agenda for the day, brings in worry, and stops us from giving enough time to the task at hand. Hence, you should add tasks that are realistic and attainable. Instead of deciding to go through all your business emails on a work night, decide to go through half of them – and finish the rest the next day.


2.     Your to-do list should be specific

A task that has not been specified properly will lead to wastage of time. For example, having the next task on your to-do list be “buy vegetables, ice-cream, and notebooks” instead of simply “go to the supermarket” will save you time, money, and effort. You will be more likely to get all your groceries without forgetting. Giving yourself a clear motive helps you focus on just that.


3.     Break your tasks down

Do you often get so anxious over a big task that you end up abandoning it for hours on end? If yes, it’s time you learned about subtasks. Instead of “clean the house” let your task consist of subtasks as well. For example, you can add:

  1. Dust the living room
  2. Vacuum clean the floor
  3. Tidy the kitchen sink, and so on

This way, you can focus on just the task at hand – be it mopping or washing.


4.     Wipeout distractions

If you work on your smartphone or laptop, disabling notifications or logging out of apps like Instagram (your personal account) for the duration of the task can be very helpful. You won’t be distracted by every other like or comment you are getting, thus speeding up your work. If you have a pet or a child, leave them under someone’s else’s supervision, or get them occupied with something.


5.     Learn when to say no


There will come a point in your life when you will go from looking for opportunities to sorting out which ones to accept. Among the offers you come across, many will be interesting and will promise great experience and challenges. But before you give in to the temptation and say yes, you must assess your current situation. Do you have the time to give this opportunity the attention it needs? Stepping outside our comfort zones is a great idea and practice. It lets us hone our skills and experience new things. But at the same time, it should not lead to us pushing ourselves beyond our limits. Because if that happens, we won’t be able to give our absolute best to the very things (and people) we love.


6.     Install a time management app

There are quite a few helpful and engaging apps that you can install to help you manage your time and tasks more efficiently. Apps like RescueTime, Workflow, Timely, etc. give you detailed reports of how you spent your day, which activities left you lagging behind, how you can improve, etc. Time management essentially refers to how we manage our own self and activities. Being mindful of how we go about our day and knowing how we can improve will definitely lead to you getting your work completed without hurry or rush.