It is important to develop an effective strategy for managing your time. Sometimes it seems as though there is not just enough time to do everything that you need to. This can lead to stress, which is unproductive and can lead to you feeling unmotivated and procrastinating. Once we identify the ways which can improve our time management, we can adjust our routines, patterns and behaviours.
Use your time productively:
Identify your goals:
Setting goals is a key component of time management. Setting daily goals allows you to think about what needs to be done and mentally prepare for each task. Some people find it helpful to make a list of their daily tasks. Lists can bring order to chaos and help you organise what is otherwise overwhelming. Once you have worked out what you need to do, you can then work out short-term and medium-term goals. Setting yourself targets and breaking down bigger projects into small, manageable steps. Actively set your goals by deciding what you need to do, how you are going to do it, and when you need it done by.
Before you begin your work load for the day, prioritise. To-do lists are a great tool, but organise them a little rather than just writing down everything that needs to get done. Group tasks in terms of importance
Stephen Covey offered an organisational tool for your to-do list based on how important and urgent tasks are.
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 today. 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 less essential items.
One of the worst things you can do it jump into the workday with no clear idea about what needs to get done. The time you spend thinking ahead and planning your activities is trivial compared with the time you’ll lose jumping from one thing to the next (and rarely completing anything). Try one of these two options on planning ahead:
The day before – at the end of the work day, take 10/15 minutes to clear your desk and put together a list of the next day’s most pressing tasks. It’s a great decompression technique, and you’ll feel better sitting down at a clean desk in the morning.
First thing in the morning – arrive to work a few minutes early and assemble your prioritised-to-do list. This may prove to be the most productive part of your day,
Using an organiser helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organise information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items. Once you’ve set your goals, you need to break them down into milestones, so you know what you’re aiming for each month, week and day. With the organised goals into milestones, you now have a list in front of you, therefore making it hard to ignore the important daily tasks every day.
Do not multitask:
Many people assume that multi-tasking is a great way to get more done and mange time wisely. However, focusing on multiple tasks at once actually makes you less productive. Tasks will take longer, as you’re not giving one task your full attention. Focusing completely on one task at a time instead. You will get your tasks done quicker, allowing you to make the most of your time.
Shut off your phone:
When possible, turn your phone off. Phones can take up a lot of time throughout the day that you could be using to be more productive. As it’s easier to log onto social media or message friends. Help yourself, and turn off your phone whilst you’re focusing on other tasks.
Interruptions disrupt your workflow. If you’re in the middle of a task and stop to do something else, it can be hard to get back into the work flow you were previously in. when you’re on a task, try to complete it before starting to do something else. Other things can wait whilst you strive to complete something else. Remember that sometimes disruptions are inevitable. If you receive an urgent call during a task, you should take the call. Do your best to avoid interruptions, but don’t worry over the occasional distraction.
Following a daily schedule:
Using a digital calendar:
Technology is a great way to manage your time and keep track of deadlines, appointments and more. Make use of calendars in your phone and computer. Write down daily tasks, like appointments and your work schedule. Set reminders for yourself. In addition to a digital calendar, it can help to have a physical calendar as a backup. Keeping this in your desk, or carrying it with you in a planner.
Stick to a sleep schedule:
If you want to manage your time, a sleep schedule is vital. A good sleep schedule ensures you’ll wake up early in the morning and be ready for the day. Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep for their bodies and mind to function optimally. To maintain a sleep schedule, go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time each day, even weekends. Your body will adapt to your sleep/wake cycle, leaving you feeling tired at your bedtime and energetic in the morning.
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