Tips to Better Manage Your Time
Time management is all about making the most efficient use of your time and working smarter, not harder. The ability to manage your time effectively is important. Good time management skills can lead to improved productivity and efficiency, reduced stress levels, and greater life success. Although rewarding, these skills take much patience, discipline, and careful planning. It can be difficult to know where to begin with developing good time management skills. If you find yourself motivated but don’t know where to start, don’t worry! Here are multiple ways to get your time management skills underway:
Setting goals for the future motivates and inspires us to have something to work towards. When creating a plan for time management, it is important to set yourself some clear goals and also a timeline of how you plan to reach those goals. Setting a timeline gives you an idea of how long it will take you, and setting goals allows you to focus your energy on the things you would like to achieve. A timeline can look like a set of smaller goals or victories that feed into the larger goals that you have in mind. These smaller goals can easily motivate you to keep working hard towards your major achievements. To start off, brainstorm a list of things you would like to accomplish. These can be goals set for the day, the week, or even the year!
Create a Routine/Schedule
Just like exercise, the more you stick to a routine, the easier it gets. Create a daily flow that works best for you and stick to it! If it is easier for you to keep track of daily tasks in an agenda or calendar, then get into the habit of writing things down. With an agenda, you can easily keep track of what tasks need to be done that day and what the rest of the week will look like. Plan your tasks in a way that you know will be the most productive and get into the habit of writing down your plan at the beginning of each week. When you wake up each morning, you can just open up your agenda and know exactly what has to be done that day!
This one is probably by far the most difficult, because our day to day lives are full of various distractions. Text messages, social media, your favorite binge-worthy tv show, all of these things make focusing on your work that much more difficult. The best way to fight off distraction is preparation. It’s important for you to get used to the idea that the time you have scheduled is completely dedicated to work. This means turning off your phone and putting it away, out of sight out of mind. It may also help to close any irrelevant browser tabs on your computer that may become distracting. If it helps, turn on some music to get you into the groove of consistent work. If not, find a quiet, reserved space to dedicate your attention to the task at hand.
With so many things on your plate, it may be hard to know where to begin and what task to tackle first. Prioritizing tasks is one of the best ways to stay focused and accomplish your goals. Learning how to prioritize work affects the time you spend on each task and your overall success towards your goals. This is where the schedule you made would come in handy. Start off with a to-do list, or schedule, of tasks that need to be done. Consider which tasks must be done that same day and which tasks can wait until tomorrow or the next week or so. Sometimes it’s easier to tackle the most difficult task first, just to get it out of the way. Whichever way you decide to prioritize is up to you, but do so in a way you know you will be most successful.
Good time management enables an individual to complete more in a shorter period of time, reduce stress levels, and leads to overall career success. Managing time well leads to more opportunities and less time wasted. This is an important life skill that can be applied in any position at any point in time, so take these tips into consideration when working on managing your time!