Tired of feeling like there aren’t enough hours in a day? It’s a common complaint and yet we all get the same 24 hours, so where does the time go? Here’s our crash course in time management that’s just 4 essential tips to get you on the right track.
1. Start tracking.
This is the most important tip: figure out where your time is going.
We’re often too close to critique our own schedules and over/under estimating how long tasks take to complete. Getting a baseline for where you are will help you get a true representation of where you’re the most productive and help you prioritize better. Documenting what you’re doing will help you identify patterns and create systems that will help you make the most of your time. There are some really useful free time tracking apps that can simplify this process (but even just a timer over the course of a week will do) to help you see where most of your time is being spent.
2. What’s worth your time?
It’s needless to say that most of your time should be spent in the areas that produce the most results. When prioritizing your tasks think about what result you’d like to attain from it. After having tracked your time, you’ve got an idea of where you’re at and you can pin point when you’re the most productive and schedule your most important tasks for that time. Make sure to create a time plan (the night before or at the beginning of the day) and set time limits for each task to ensure you’re making the most of your day.
3. Schedule down time.
Unwanted constant interruptions throw you off and make you lose focus. Instead, plan for interruptions and block distractions. Commit to the task at hands and don’t stop to take calls, go on social media, read emails or anything else. Designate time for these tasks and schedule buffer time between tasks so you don’t end up feeling overwhelmed. (You’ll also end up looking forward to the downtime and can use this as encouragement to stay on course!)
Many small tasks appear to be different but can actually be categorized when looked at more closely. Instead of constantly making yourself wonder what’s next, set up systems to batch similar tasks together and streamline your activities. Eliminate non-essential tasks and delegate when possible.
Hopefully some of these tips are helpful for getting your head above water. Bonus tip: You’re picking up a new (good) habit and learning to effectively manage your time will require consistency and discipline.
Do you have any time management tips? Let us know!