4 ways to use technology for better time management

Whether it's a few minutes on a social networking site or long hours sleeping in, we often feel our time could be better spent. These are four ways that you can start using the technology around you to increase your productivity.

4 ways to use technology for better time management

1. Build a schedule on your computer

  • The first step in creating an effective schedule is recording your ideal ways to spend your time. That way, you'll have a goal to reach with your time management
  • Create a spreadsheet or table that breaks down your day into half-hour blocks. Fill each block with the activity.
  • Start by writing in fixed times like work, classes or appointments.
  • Don't forget to include necessary spending like meal times, showering and sleep.
  • You should see a surprising amount of "free time" in the space remaining.

2. Look at what tech you use to waste time

  • Your schedule won't be fixed, life is full of surprises after all. The important thing is that you'll see how much time you're required to spend on certain things each day.
  • Once you have an idea of what you can't avoid spending, you'll be able to see how you naturally fill in the extra time.
  • Try writing in what you did each day in the empty space in your schedule template. You'll see how much of it filled up with wasteful activities like watching TV, playing video games, etc.

3. Use the timer on your smartphone or computer

  • Here's where the timers come in handy: If you have a kitchen timer, a smart phone or a computer, you can set a timer once you begin an unproductive activity.
  • When the alarm bells ring, it means you've run out of time to spend on that activity.
  • Now you'll have no choice but to spend your evenings writing your novel instead of binge-watching TV or streaming services.

4. Get time management apps and extensions

  • There are some great programs you can use if most of your time-wasting is done on a computer.
  • Free timer sites can keep a record for you every time you use a timer.
  • Some browser extensions limit your time spent on undesirable websites, cutting you off after you reach your spending quota.
  • Gamified to do lists help you keep track of activities you want to do, for when you have trouble thinking of how to fill in all your newly available time.

Setting timers, creating schedules and signing up for apps and extensions all take very little time, so your time investment is sure to pay off in the long run. Remember, each person's time management needs are different, so you may have to experiment with scheduling to find the system that best fits you.

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