You may have been told at some point that you need to manage your time more wisely. However, doing so can be more difficult than it seems at first. How do you make the most out of every day? Keep reading to learn more about the art of proper time management.
For many people, time management is a matter of multitasking. If you want to maximize your productivity, this might not be a good strategy to pursue. Multitasking splits up your attention so that no one subject gets the full benefit of your skills. Instead of splitting your focus, put off new tasks and continue to concentrate on the job at hand.
Whenever you don’t know how to manage time, you should look at the things you’re doing with your time. Time must be managed or it will manage you. Check your voice mails and emails only when you have set aside time for them. Checking either periodically can really eat into the time you’ve allocated for more important tasks.
If you have a very large task that you are facing, break it up into smaller parts. Create a list of everything that it will take to get the project completed. Once you have the list to work with, use the deadline and create a calendar that includes what you need to get done each day to ensure it is completed in time.
Do not approach a task with hours of work in mind. You can be more productive in short spurts. Set timers for up to an hour and focus on your task for that time. Get up and walk away for a short break when the timer sounds. Get your head back in the game and approach the task with new vision.
If you’re constantly in a bind for time, start cutting people off. If you let them, your neighbors, co-workers and others will eat more time off the clock than you can afford. Learn how to say no or politely excuse yourself from conversations and other unnecessary situations so that you can devote quality time to your own priorities.
At many moments where you are feeling overwhelmed with how much you have to do, the most effective time management tip is to actually do nothing for at least a minute. Catch your breath and let your mind clear. What is really urgent and needs done right now will reveal itself to you. The rest can wait and maybe even work itself out.
Make a list of the important tasks that you have to complete for the day. This will help you prioritize your tasks better. As you complete and check off each task, you will feel good about your accomplishment, and it will motivate you to move on to the next task.
Put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” if you really need to be efficient with your time. Phone calls are one of the biggest barriers to time management. You hear that phone ring, and the immediate impulse is to stop everything to answer. This can add minutes, if not more, to your projects.
Stress is a major reason why people have trouble with time management. It can cloud your thinking and make you feel overwhelmed. If you feel stressed out, you need to learn how to relax. This may mean taking a half an hour out of your day to meditate or do yoga.
Talk to your friends and family about how you feel you’re managing your time. If they can volunteer to pick up the kids or do your grocery shopping (for a small fee of course!), you may find that you can free up some of your time. You can even offer to do some errands for them in return.
Reward yourself. Sometimes it is hard to stay on task for the amount of time that you need to. Set a time limit that you will work and once that time has passed, give yourself a reward. It could be anything you enjoy such as going for a walk or taking a short nap.
Designate your daily tasks into four areas with a list. Label the columns as not important and important. Also put labels on the horizontal rows for not urgent and urgent. Spend as little time as possible on the not-urgent, not important tasks. The majority of time will be dedicated to the important/urgent section. Focus on setting aside time for activities within the important/not urgent section, as these may later become problematic.
Look at your long to-do list. Are any items bigger than you can mentally handle right now? Get a smaller pad or piece of paper and break it down into baby steps you can take. Using a sub-list for the coming week on a big item means you can at least whittle down a big task to something more manageable.
Look into the idea of grouping similar work together. Time management is often kicked to the curb simply due to ineffective use of resources. If you’ve got lots of things that need the same resources, then do them at the same time. It can give you back hours of your time if you”re effective about it.
Use an alert system to remind yourself of important appointments. Mobile devices have this functionality. If you are at your computer all day, you can install an app for that as well. An alert system will help you remember those appointments that you cannot miss. This will help you manage your schedule better.
Keep a diary of your daily activities for one week. Write down everything that you do, including drive time and dinners. Once you have completed a week’s worth of entries, look to see if there are any things that you can do differently to garner you more time for the necessary activities in your life.
Now that you have read this article, you should begin to understand the importance of managing your time wisely. By making the most out of every minute, you can achieve more and feel less harried. This way, you can get things done and still have enough time left over to relax.