Sitting for Microsoft Exam is not a walk in the park. We need to arrange time in order to ensure, there are sufficient time to go through the learning process effectively.
Instead of managing time, it’s all about managing our self. You need to make a decision where and the way you spend time and take actions to scale back or eliminate time wasters.
Here are 11 timeless ways to gain better control over your schedule and get more done instantly.
1) Learn to use the magic work: “NO”
If we do not set limits, we disrespect ourselves. It’s as if we’re invisible to ourselves, giving those around us the right to decide for us. If we do not learn to use the word no, our self-esteem may suffer to the extent where we feel lonely and destined to fail the exam.
While it’s great to be a team player, it’s also important to understand when and the way to be assertive and let people know you can’t handle their request now if it conflicts with you achieving your goals. If you really need to complete the task, negotiate a deadline that helps them achieve their goals without sacrificing your own.
2) Establish Prioritised Goals
All roads lead to Rome. Some interpreted this as having multiple ways to realize an equivalent goal. The reality is you’ll reach Rome no matter which route you’re taking, the key difference is the amount of time spent, effort and who you’re going with. Passing exam is a journey, some take longer when there is a lack of goal setting.
Without establishing the goals of how soon you want to pass the exam, you would possibly find that you simply tend to chase after whatever seems most urgent or the sparking object which caught your attention. To stop this, find out your true priorities in life. Want that career advancement? Want to increase the chances of being recruited? Move toward them by setting say yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals or desired outcomes. I find this grading system very helpful:
Importance: (A=high, B=medium, C=low)
Urgency: (1=high, 2=medium, 3=low)
Always work on the foremost urgent and important goals and tasks (A1) first, then advance down your list.
3) The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 Rule, also referred to as Pareto’s Principle. It says that 80 per cent of your results come from 20 per cent of your actions.
Are you focusing in on the 20 which produces the desired result? Or, are you look after activities that produce 80 of the distraction? By shifting focus we can be so much more productive and get things which contribute most to our success completed first.
4) Overcome Procrastination Using the “4D” System
The 4D here is not referring to Magnum 4D. We are looking at this 4D:
Delete it: What are the results of not doing the task at all? Consider the 80/20 rule; maybe you can just wipe out this task in the first place.
Delegate it: If the task is vital, ask yourself if it’s something that you simply are liable for doing immediately. Can the task assigned to someone else?
Do it now: Postponing a crucial task that must be done only creates feelings of hysteria and stress. Why not use the eat the frog method by Brian Tracey (illustrated more in item 4 below).
Defer: If the task is one that can’t be completed quickly and isn’t a high priority item, simply defer it, schedule to do it later.
5) Eat the Frog
To quote Brian Tracey from his book, “Eat That Frog”.
“Eat that frog!” means to start your day with most vital ” the most important and most dreaded task. Didn’t complete the 30 min learning today? Have you been procrastinating? After doing the most dreaded task, I notice my day feels so much more enjoyable. Probably because of the sense of achievement for completing the task. Try this out to experience it yourself.
6) Reduce the number of Meetings
Poorly run meetings or gathering are time wasters. Not just your time, but the time multiplied by the number of individuals within the meet up.
Confirm you’ve got an agenda and you are not just having a gathering for the sake of getting a gathering.
7) The Glass Rocks, Pebbles, Sand
This is a visible way to organising time. Fairly similar to 4D but more fun and visual. Categorise your task this way:
Rocks: Your most vital strategic projects.
Pebbles: Projects and tasks that are important but not the foremost critical.
Sand: Smaller, more insignificant tasks.
Tackle the rocks first. If I spend time tackling the tiny less important but easy things (the sand and pebbles), and not the important strategic items, the rocks, I realised the jar will quickly fill up with no room for the important rocks. It works great for visual learners.
8) Eliminate the Electronic Time Wasters
Everyone has certain distractions that interrupt them and take their time faraway from work. Is it your Facebook? Twitter? IG? Email checking? They’re addictive, actually, they’re designed to be addictive.
Instead of having to spend so much to resist it, why not schedule a time within your schedule, where you get to do it with peace of mind, free from guilt. Best to schedule it to later half of the day, when you are tired or working hard. It is a great reward. While reserving your precious morning where you’re fresh to handle the difficult or most vital task.
9) Let’s Get Organised
Clutter is a great source of distraction. To effectively manage time and be productive every day, you’ve got to create a productive environment.
The creator of Kondo’s approach, commonly known as the KonMari Method, is comprised of three parts:
- First, discard the belongings that not serve you.
- Then, designate an area for everything.
- Finally, limit incoming belongings to things which spark joy. It is a great pleasure to see things you like rather than that messy clutter which you want to sort out just didn’t schedule the time to it.
Eliminate useless clutter, create an efficient file system, have a close-by place for all of the work items you would use frequently, and utilise workflow management tools to create a productive environment.
10) Lookout for Your Health
A good night’s sleep, healthy eating, and exercise will offer you the energy, focus, and stamina much required to set you up for a productive day. It’s going to seem that task is more important and you’ll always catch up with sleep, food, and exercise later. If you lose your health, though, you cannot work, or do anything, so don’t skimp on taking care of yourself. Schedule exercise, sleep and right eating time and habit.
11) Keep a journal
Tony Robbins promotes the concept of Rapid Planning Method (RPM). it’s an easy system which specialises in the way to plan your day and manage time. The acronym RPM stands for results, purpose and massive action. This is offer structure to condition your brain to focus on result and result that you’re after.
12) Habit changer
Want to alter an old habit? You should! Studies show that over 40% of “decisions” we make in a day aren’t decisions. They’re habits. By identifying them you can swap the non-productive activities with productive ones.
Charles Duhigg in his best selling book “The Power of Habit” says every habit is predicated on an easy loop: cue, routine, and reward. The cue is that the trigger that, supported some craving, shifts your brain into autopilot and initiates the routine, to enjoy the reward.
“Must” is a feeling that results from a habit (eg. Checking Facebook). One way to change a habit is to first decide that “must” can actually be negotiated or even eliminated. Your routine is the manifestation of habits. Check Facebook whenever there’s a notification, with the reward of knowing you’re updated. We need to first realise there is this unconscious habit.
Now that you simply know your cue and your reward, all you’ve got to try to do is insert a replacement routine.
The easiest things to implement a replacement habit is to write it down. The format is simple:
When (cue), I will (routine) because it provides me with (reward).
In this example, the plan is:
When I get to work, I will check in with key employees first because that lets me take care of any urgent issues right away. Do this enough times, and eventually, your new habit is going to be automatic; and you will be so much more productive.
Different methods work for different people. There are 11 ways here. However, there is one consistent theme, which is self-control through planning and prioritising. By coming up with a plan, time management (ie. Self-management) is very achievable. Get more done. Reduce time spent on non-productive activities which sucked our precious time away. It is a life long habit, and the fuel to propel us to achieve that much-desired goal faster and easier.