Time management techniques can help you be more organized and more productive. Spending each day in a frenzy of activity often isn’t the smartest way to accomplish what you need to get done, and can leave you exhausted and unhappy.
The first thing you need to realize is that you can’t literally create more time in each day. You can, however, manage each 24 hour segment to get the most out of it. If you can start getting more done in less time, it will feel like you just added hours to your day!
The second thing you need to figure out is where you are wasting time. The key to time management is getting rid of time waster activities that do nothing but encourage us to procrastinate. In today’s world, many of these are web-based - we ‘surf’ chat and check our email constantly.
The third thing you need to do is set some goals for time management. Plan by the end of a week to have quit checking your personal email during working hours, and by the end of the month have a specific time of day and limit on how much you socialize online.
The fourth thing you need is some time management tools. A software program to help you with bill paying and a day planner to help you with scheduling can both assist you in streamlining your days!
The fifth thing you need to consider is how to prioritize tasks so everything important gets done. If your to do list is 25 items long, pick the three most important and put them on a post-it stuck on top. Once those tasks are accomplished, select the next three most important, and so on.
The sixth thing you need to learn is how to delegate. Don’t carry the entire burden on your own shoulders - there are often people all around you who can each help a little and lighten your load. Outsource items that don’t need your personal touch to free up time for prioritized tasks.
The seventh thing you need to establish is routine. Figure out which parts of your day you can do on autopilot, and fit them together so you can multitask and get mundane tasks out of the way. For example, empty your physical and online inboxes at the same time, or put dishes to soak while you sort laundry.
The eighth thing you need to prepare is an organized workplace - whether you have an office job or are a homebody. Important papers should always be filed instantly; the same with laundry, whether you are sorting dirty clothes into bins or taking them out of the dryer and delivering them to the appropriate rooms.
The ninth thing you need in your day is limits. Set time limits for tasks, and even for personal phone calls. Set boundaries for being interrupted when you are on task, and set limits with those who assume you won’t say no and stand your ground when your plate is too full to take on extra work.
The tenth thing you need to remember is to reward yourself for staying in control of your time - give yourself an hour of me time. You can afford it after implementing the time management techniques described above!