Throwing time management by the wayside can wreak havoc on your life, both professionally and personally. Our calendars are full and the tasks keep adding up but you don’t need to feel like your drowning. With these simple tips you can effectively manage your time and make the most out of each day!
1. Know your goals.
Whether this be a concrete goal at your workplace or just wanting to make your life seem less hectic, it’s hard to measure your progress if you don’t have an end goal in mind. To keep from feeling overwhelmed, start with something small and work your way up to bigger goals.
2. Plan ahead.
Planning is essential to make sure you’re getting the most of every minute. Take 15 minutes at the end of each day to prepare for the next.
3. Prioritize wisely.
Sometimes planning can be hard but if you prioritize your tasks the plan seems to fall together quickly. Stephen Covey, co-author of First Things First, offers an organizational tool for your to-do list based on how important and urgent tasks are.
Looking at what goes into making up your day, where do your activities fit into these categories?
- Important and urgent — Tasks that must be done. Do them right away.
- Important but not urgent — Tasks that appear important, but upon closer examination aren’t. Decide when to do them.
- Urgent but not important — Tasks that make the most “noise,” but when accomplished, have little or no lasting value. Delegate these if possible.
- Not urgent and not important — Low-priority stuff that offer the illusion of “being busy.” Do them later.
Write down your three or four “important and urgent” tasks that must be addressed. As you complete each one, check it off your list. This will provide you with a sense of accomplishment and can motivate you to tackle other things.
4. Eliminate distractions.
It’s easy to fall into a social media black hole but don’t let your phone distract you from the task at hand. Taking a quick break after an hour of work is a great way to motivate yourself but try to limit those diversions to less than 10 minutes.
5. Get in the habit of setting time limits for tasks.
Time can tick away so quickly. If you have a full day it’s important to set time limits for each task. Setting these limits can ensure you don’t dally or waste time on less essential tasks.
6. Just say no.
Sometimes this one is easier said than done, but remember as the star player of your life you’re allowed to draw the line!
7. Take care of yourself.
It’s impossible to get everything done if your mind isn’t in the right place. Making your health a top priority will keep your mind alert and less prone to time-wasting activities.