Every person gets 24 hours in a day. Some people use their time wisely, while others let it slip away. If you’ve ever wondered why you can’t seem to get as much done in the day as others around you do, it’s time to rethink your approach. You aren’t a victim of some universal conspiracy or bad luck. To be productive, it’s simple as prioritizing the right things.

6 Tips to Stop Wasting Precious Time

Children, students, professionals, retirees – we all waste time. Some of us are exceptionally proficient at it, while others only slip up occasionally. But regardless of where you find yourself on this spectrum, the following tips will help you gain more control over your daily life and routine.

1. Identify the Source of Procrastination

In order to increase your productivity, you need to start by identifying the source(s) of your procrastination.

“Procrastination is not just avoiding or delaying a task,” says David Ballard, head of the American Psychological Association’s Center for Organizational Excellence. “It also has to include an aspect that’s counterproductive, irrational or unnecessary.”

The triggers of procrastination can typically be linked back to one of four different categories: expectancy, value, time, or impulsivity. When you understand where your procrastination plants its roots, you can refocus your energy and establish frameworks that allow you to be more proficient with your time.

2. Keep a Time Diary

Entrepreneur John Rampton is full of time management tips. He’s constantly focused on ways to improve his productivity; one method he often suggests is the use of a time diary.

“A time diary is a simple way to find out how you spend your time,” Rampton explains. “By recording how you spend your time for a month or two, you’ll see where you’re wasting time and what influences productivity.”

3. Have a Plan

Whether it’s a Monday or a Saturday, you need to start every single morning with a plan of attack for the day. If you’re someone who needs a very specific schedule, you may decide to structure every single hour. If you’re a little less anal retentive, this may simply look like three or four bullet points on a notepad. Whatever the case may be, develop a plan to keep yourself on track and regularly check in with throughout the day.

4. Eat the Frog First

Another favorite time management tip Rampton follows is actually one that Mark Twain made famous. He once said that if you start each morning by eating a live frog, you can go through the rest of the day with the satisfaction that you’ve already done the worst thing that’s going to happen all day.

While you obviously won’t eat a live frog each morning, the point is to do the worst/most important task on your list first. By removing the task that you’re most likely to procrastinate, you automatically boost your productivity for the day.

5. Follow the Five-Minute Rule

Want to knock out as much as you can in the course of a day? Follow the five-minute rule, which says that you should immediately perform any task you encounter that requires five minutes of your time or less. If something takes more than five minutes, continue what you were doing and add it to your to-do list for later in the day.

6. Disconnect From Media

The rise of social media, the internet, and email have introduced many positives into our society. They’ve also exposed us to a number of negatives. When it comes to productivity, they seem to have an adverse impact. For best results, log out of all of your accounts and disconnect as much as possible.

Give Yourself a Chance to be Successful

You have the same 24 hours as every other person on the planet. But it’s not about the time you have – it’s about what you do with that time. In order to give yourself a chance of being successful in your personal and professional pursuits, you need to become a better manager of your time. In doing so, you can maximize your productivity and regain control over your life. Hopefully these tips have provided you with some practical guidance on instigating positive change.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Jessica and I am an independent journalist, freelance blogger, and technology junkie with a passion for music, arts, and the outdoors. One of my greatest passions and joy is assisting communities and business owners. My utmost desire is to help people and business owners to succeed and prosper in their personal and business affairs. I share, comment, write and edit popular news stories.