Managing your time better in your 20s is not about doing “more” but about being productive.
Reading 100 books a year may not change your life; but implementing just three of the most impactful ones will.
MORE doesn’t always EQUAL better. The most productive people including students in their 20s have succeeded in eliminating non-important activities that otherwise seem urgent and important.
There is a point where adding more effort no longer yields additional results. This is where more doesn’t equal better and the law of diminishing returns takes effect.
1) Wake up early:
There’s always an advantage to rising early.
Getting up earlier gives you more time to get things done before the chaos of the day begins.
More important, I’m also a fan of knowing your peak productive hours even in your 20s- so you can schedule your work to optimize these periods.
2) Start each day with the Rule of Three:
Think of what you have to do on any given day:
- Side hustles
List all and pick the most important three.
What three things on your to-do list do you want to accomplish for the day to take your business or studies to the next level?
Anything more than that is just overwhelming.
3) Quit Multitasking – Learn The Pomodoro Technique
The key is deeper focus on one task at a time and eliminating multitasking.
Pomodoro technique is a time management technique that helps you break down work into intervals of 25 minutes, with 5-minute breaks in between.
Studies have shown that when you focus your attention and energy on one task, you are more likely to achieve better results than if you try to do too many things at once.
3) Focus on the 20% of tasks that will produce 80% of the results (80/20 rule)
Its your duty to determine what is most important and focus on completing those tasks first to manage your time better in your 20s.
The law of three as earlier stated is an application of this law. But it goes beyond your to-do list and can be applied in almost anything you can think of.
For many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Since 20% of your effort will produce 80% of the results.
Therefore, you should focus your efforts on the 20% that will produce the most results.
4) Schedule specific time blocks for specific tasks.
Don’t just jump into activities randomly. You should learn to separate them into time blocks and give you full focus for such periods.
Dedicate blocks of time to specific tasks so that you can complete them more efficiently.
5) Prioritize tasks by urgency and importance (The Eisenhower Matrix)
I first learned this principle from Steve Covey – 7 Habits of Highly effective people. Fact is if you ignore this principle, you might find yourself always on the second to the last & last quadrant – pursuing things with urgency yet not important.
The keys is everything on your to-do list is NOT equally important:
This is a simple way to prioritize your tasks by dividing them into four categories: urgent and important, not urgent but important, urgent but not important, and not urgent and not important.
-Do Urgent and important tasks immediately,
-Schedule important but not urgent tasks
-Delegate unimportant but urgent tasks
and unimportant and non-urgent tasks should be eliminated.
7) Say “No”
People around you – family and friends and even potential clients have little knowledge about your schedule and priorities – its your duty to say no to the ‘good’ so you can focus on the ‘great.’
Be more selective with your time and energy to avoid burnout.
8) Manage your time better with the Parkinson’s Law:
Use the power of deadlines.
Set artificial deadlines and reevaluate your time according to your priorities often.
Today i was listening to a podcast by Tom Bilyeu and talked about how he reevaluates his time every 3 hours. The average guy waits till his 24 hours is almost over to revaluate his day.
Work expands to fill the time available for its completion. It hits your brain different when you give it a smaller deadline.
If an essay requires 5 days for submission, schedule it to be done in 3 days and see how far you go when the 3 days is over.
9) Delegate and Outsource:
You may not have this luxury until you’ve built something substantial that can pay for itself.
But when you prove yourself in any market and want to scale – Identify which tasks can be delegated or outsourced to others in order to free up your time.
Whatever you don’t enjoy or have little expertise but consume the most time should be outsourced or delegated to help you focus on your core and give you the most joy.
10) Schedule breaks
Schedule breaks into your day so that you can recharge and come back to work refreshed and ready to focus.
I use breaks for
- Taking walks
- Doing something fun
11) Simplify Your Processes:
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Streamline your processes by eliminating unnecessary steps or automating repetitive tasks.
At a point – we applied a single automation to our business that 10x our Revenue.
Be open and always willing to learn in your 20s so you can manage your time better and get more done in less time.
I help entrepreneurs optimize their focus, energy & health.