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.
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.
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.
Start to eliminate distractions, start paying attention to the number of times someone interrupts you when you’re in the middle of an important task. Track self-induced interruptions, too, particularly those that involve social media. Even though smartphones are extremely useful, it is also addictive and one of the biggest time-wasters known to man. It may take a large amount of will power but shutting your door and turning your phone off with maximise your time. Make a conscious effort to shut down distractions, at least for an hour, will dramatically increase productivity and overall performance. Do this every day and you will start to see results, rather than spending time on day-to-day tasks without getting anything done.
One of the hardest parts of time management is procrastination. To overcome procrastination, you need to be completely aware of what needs to be done, set clear goals, get organised and prioritise your time. Another option is to try the 15 minute rule, where you set you your timer for 15 minutes and you complete a task which you’ve been putting off, committing it to it for 15 minutes. Hopefully once you’ve started you’ll keep going, since the hardest part is getting started.
Paperwork can take up a lot of time, especially if it isn’t organised. A typical employee spends 30-40% of their time looking through documents in a filing cabinet. This is a lot of time wasted looking for documents. One way in which you could save time is through a document management system. This is where documents are stored online, also known as an electric filing cabinet. Users can search for documents on the index, and the results will be found in seconds. This is a lot more efficient, saving time looking for documents which may have been misplaced. To find out more about Document management systems, click here to view what DMS we offer. We also offer a document scanning service, which allows you to save time and continue to work, whilst we scan your documents for you, click here to view in greater detail.
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 body 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.
To find out more, please ring us on 01785 785650 to chat to one of our experts.