If you’ve come here to learn the perfect way to organize your life and keep it that way, you won’t find what you’re looking for. Self-help books and life coaches will promise to give you the best time management tips and tools, always for a pretty penny, but effective time management skills don’t need to break the bank. All it takes is a little common sense and a lot of motivation. This article will equip you with 5 easy time management tips so that you can tackle the everyday with efficiency and confidence.
"You’re a human being, not a machine, and sometimes not everything needs to be the most efficient use of time possible..."
- Know what to change
Much of the beauty in life comes from the spontaneous, the unexpected and the unplanned – you’re a human being, not a machine, and sometimes not everything needs to be the most efficient use of time possible. The first step to efficient time management should be knowing what to change – look for repetitive things in your life that you need to do but don’t necessarily want to, times in your day where you get annoyed or impatient and figure out how to diminish those, that way you’ll have more time left over to enjoy what you like to do! Sometimes it’s more about how you’re spending your time, not how much time is spent.
How many times have you stood at a shop counter fumbling for your card in a clunky, disorganized wallet, cheeks growing red as the people in line behind you impatiently tap their feet? Try investing in a slim wallet with quick card access, like Ekster’s Senate Cardholder. The ejector mechanism means that all your cards pop up at the click of a button for easy access, turning moments of stress into moments of ease. (It’s also pretty fun, too!)
This is the one word you always hear when talking about time management, but it's easier said than done. Most of us don't know how to start de-cluttering. We often think we can’t work with what we have; that the only way to really organize is to throw everything out and start anew, but this isn’t necessarily true. Look around you. Do you need everything you have? Start to simplify your life by interrogating whether the things occupying your space and time are truly necessary with these two simple questions: “will I be using this item within the next month?” (Holiday decorations and winter sports equipment excluded) and “does this item bring me joy?” If you answer yes to one question, keep it. If not, toss it and don’t look back. Time management tools and techniques only work if we are truthful with ourselves. You know that one sock that has been circulating through your laundry for months without its partner? Yes, that one. Time for it to go.
Invest in solutions that restrict your ability to generate waste. If you looked in your wallet right now, how many discarded receipts, ripped business cards or old shopping lists would you find? If there is even one piece of trash, it’s already too much. The Ekster Parliament Wallet is a handmade leather smart wallet with space for cards, cash, a couple coins and nothing else, meaning you won’t be able to accumulate unneeded things.
- A place for everything, and everything in its place
Now that you’ve reduced your possessions down to the essentials, it’s time to create physical organization by having a place for everything and everything in its place. One of the most effective time management techniques is simply knowing where everything is. You should be able to go through your entire morning routine blindfolded, knowing exactly where to reach to find your perfume, face-wash, and deodorant. Not only does this reduce stress and save time when you’re going through your everyday routine, it also makes organization more long-lasting and easier to maintain.
How many times have you missed your bus because you couldn't remember where you tossed your wallet when you got home last night? Or maybe you made it to the bus on time, only to realize that your travel card had fallen out of your wallet and is probably sitting on the floor of your room. Ekster’s ultra-slim smart wallets are designed with a slip-proof cardholder and an ejectable mechanism for easy access; they also can be fitted with a GPS tracker that connects your smart wallet with your phone wirelessly. Not only can you use your phone to find your wallet, you can also use your wallet to find your phone, all at the click of a button. Never lose time looking for your valuables again.
"People usually fail to construct and maintain lasting organization because they forget the most important part of effective time management skills – human behavior."
- Make a routine
You’ve got only the things you need and they're all in their right place. Now it’s time to solidify your routine. People usually fail in constructing and maintaining lasting organization because they forget the most important part of effective time management skills – human behavior. We are creatures of habit, and habits are hard to break but easy to form. Once you create a system and routine that works for you, it will become second nature and you won’t have to worry about that frantic morning moment of trying to remember what you needed that day, and inevitably forgetting something important. Better time management starts with good habits, good habits start in the brain, and the brain is one of the best time management tools you’ve got.
- Go paperless
While this effective time management tip isn’t necessarily going to be right for every single aspect of your life, it is one way to help de-clutter and centralize the things you need. Not only do papers take up more space, but also they are bad for the environment. Instead of accepting paper receipts every time you go to the dentist or doctor, start asking for digital copies sent to your email. Choose a bank that allows you to do all your finances online, and preferably one with a good phone application so that you can transfer funds and check your balance on the fly. Instead of the day or two it would take you to organize a filing cabinet, you now only need an hour to systematize all the digital files on your computer.
The move from paper to digital is a trend that has been sweeping the world since the rise of the Internet as the dominant form of worldwide communication. It can be seen as much in the decline of the newspaper industry as it can in the move from cash to digital transactions. At Ekster, we've placed ourselves at the forefront of this movement, designing smart handmade leather products for an increasingly paperless future.