There are 24 hours in a day. There are 60 minutes in an hour. There are 60 seconds in a minute. That gives us 86,400 seconds in a day.
Before diving into ways to properly manage our time better, it's good to use a variety of examples to get the brain working.
Electric toothbrushes operate for two minutes to brush your teeth. A snooze button generally lasts for 5-10 minutes. A dinner entree at a nice restaurant usually takes 15-20 minutes to arrive at your table. Your favorite sitcom is likely 30 minutes (commercials included). The newest Star Wars film is 2 hours and 15 minutes long.
The examples above are all ones that should be the same for everybody. Now for some examples that vary from individual to individual.
Driving to and from work. Your commute could be ten minutes, an hour or possibly even longer. Going to the grocery store. You might be single and simply shopping for yourself. You could, on the other hand, have a family of six; which would turn grocery shopping into more of a scavenger hunt—taking up to two hours if you're trying to go for the bulk deals once a month.
So why all these examples?
It's important to know where your hours and minutes are allocated in a day. That's the first step to managing your time at the most efficient rate.
It's the same thing as money; knowing where all your dollars and cents are going.
Take notes for an entire week and see what you're doing with the 24 hours of your day on Monday-Sunday. You'll likely be surprised by a few things.
After you've done that, here are a few things to consider:
WHERE/WHEN IS MY TIME BEING WASTED?
You might be watching too much television at night, on social media too often, going to the bar one time too many in the week etc. It's important to first see where your time isn't spent wisely.
AM I GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP?
I'm no sleep expert and I'm not here to tell you how may hours of sleep you should get at night. However, you may not be getting enough sleep or sleeping in too much. That's for you and your doctor to decide after evaluating what you do with your time.
WHAT AM I MISSING OUT ON?
We all have high-priority things we miss out on or don't get enough of. Whether it's not enough time with family and friends or not enough exercise in a week, it's important to see what activities need more attention in your life.
AM I WORKING TOO HARD OR NOT ENOUGH?
This one might be a little personal, but it's important to "look yourself in the mirror" (if you will) and see if you're taking whatever work you do serious enough, or possibly, too serious.
There are billions of humans on this planet, none of which perfectly manage their time. There's no magic potion or formula to get the perfect results. Here are a few things you can do to manage your time better:
CREATE POSITIVE HABITS
Whether it's waking up 15 minutes earlier in the morning or getting to the gym an extra hour per week, positive habits help your overall lifestyle and make you feel better about how you spend your time in a day. That being said, I advise you try only one (or maybe two if you're very serious about it) habit at a time. Trying to start too many habits at once can cause unrealistic expectations and/or be overwhelming.
TALK ABOUT HOW YOU MANAGE YOUR TIME WITH A SIGNIFICANT OTHER, A CLOSE FRIEND OR A FAMILY MEMBER
Nobody knows you better than yourself, but it's often times a smart idea to get a second opinion from someone who knows you well. You might be too hard on yourself, or, you could be riding first class on the excuses train. Hearing another perspective is most likely a good idea.
TAKE THE TIME TO CONTEMPLATE, WRITE DOWN OR VISUALIZE HOW YOU WANT YOUR DAY TO LOOK
In the moment it might be difficult to remember all of the things you're doing right and wrong with your time. Taking the time to remind yourself at the end of the night of your goals and aspirations when it comes to time management will help you get in the right state of mind when you wake up the next morning.
I hope all the advice above on time management helps you live your life to the fullest.