If you’re fed up with not having enough time in the day to accomplish your tasks, you’re not alone. Many people suffer from the inability to manage their time to be more effective and productive throughout the day. However, the big difference between them and you is that they aren’t trying to change their behavior. With the right time management skills, you will always find the time to do what you want and accomplish your goals. We’ve put together 15 tips for managing your time to get you started.
Tip 1 – Take a Step Back
Most people tend to jump right into their day without thinking it through. They have a list of things to do in their mind and are planning on when they can complete each task. However, something always gets forgotten. To prevent this from happening to you, take a deep breath when you first wake up and take a step back from your busy mind. Take 5 minutes to write down your tasks so you have an idea of how much time each one will take. This will enable you to plan how you will tackle the list effectively.
Tip 2 – Have a Plan
One of the simplest and most effective ways to ensure your success is to have a plan for accomplishing your to-do list. This is the one step that often gets skipped. Take some time to think about where your tasks fit into your day. Planning and breaking down larger tasks will help you accomplish the more important tasks before tackling those tasks that are not so pressing.
Tip 3 – Stick to Your Plan
If you throw your plan out the window at the first opportunity, not only have you just wasted your time, but you run the risk of quickly veering off track. Once you’ve made your plan, stick to it as closely as you can. Learn to deal promptly with other stuff that comes up and find your way back to your project.
Tip 4 – Allow Time for Rest
If you’re a busy person, rest might be a foreign concept. Too often, people will push to one side their personal needs to accomplish what it is they set out to do. To keep your motivation and reach your goals, you need to make a point of taking a break during your day. Depending on your circumstances, this can mean treating yourself to lunch, having a coffee date with a friend, or finding some time to read a few chapters of your book. Make it a point to have some time to rest so that you don’t burn out.
Tip 5 – Prioritise
Sometimes, it’s just not possible to accomplish everything on your list in a given day. There will be days where everything that can go wrong will go wrong, eating up your time. When you plan out your day, make sure to plan to complete your most important tasks. Important: Give yourself a realistic timescale to accomplish them. If you have time to work on other things after you’ve finished, that’s great.
Tip 6 – Write Your Tasks Down
In order to efficiently plan your day, you need to know what you’re going to be doing. Take some time in the morning to write down your tasks. By seeing what you need to do, you’ll be more likely to get it done. When life gets busy, we tend to forget the tasks that we needed to accomplish.
Tip 7 – Schedule Your Day
Take the list of things you want to accomplish and make a schedule. Consider how much time each task should take to complete. With this information in mind, aim to complete specific tasks at certain times during the day. While it might not always work out the way you plan, at least you have some structure to your day.
Tip 8 – Take Other Schedules into Account
If you don’t live alone, you need to make sure that you’re aware of the schedules of others in your household. If you have children, their extracurricular activities can impact your plan. Make sure that you know what the other members of your family are doing and when they are doing it to save yourself frustration later.
Tip 9 – Plan for the Unexpected
You may have the best laid out plans, but it’s amazing how often something will happen that ruins those plans. Make exceptions in your schedule for things that might come up that you hadn’t planned for.
Tip 10 – Carry a Schedule
Carry a schedule and record all your thoughts, activities, and conversations for a week. Doing this will help you to understand better how much you can get done during a day. You’ll have the opportunity to see how much time is spent producing actual results and how much time is wasted on unproductive thoughts, actions, and conversations.
Tip 11 – Decide What Results You Want to Attain
Before you start a task, decide what results you want to attain. This will help you know what success looks like before you begin. After completing each task, take a few minutes to determine whether you achieved your desired results.
Tip 12 – Create Time Management Goals
Eradicate your time-wasters. The focus of time management isn’t changing time but changing the behaviors that waste time. For one week, set a goal to not engage in your most prominent time-wasting activity, you might be surprised how much time you can gain.
Tip 13 – Utilise Time Management Tools
Whether it’s a software program, phone app, or Day-Timer, the first step to effectively managing your time is knowing where it’s going and planning how you’re going to spend your time in the future. Time management tools allow you to easily schedule events and set reminders, making your time management efforts easier.
Tip 14 – Learn to Say No
Making a lot of time commitments forces you to juggle various engagements. However, you can go too far. At some point, you need to learn to decline new opportunities. You should only be taking on new commitments that you know you have time to honor.
Tip 15 – Don’t Multitask
Trust me; multitasking doesn’t work. Rather than splitting your focus to accomplish numerous tasks, devote your undivided attention to the task at hand. Find a quiet place to work and cut out all distractions. Concentrate on one task at a time, only moving on when you’ve finished the job.