Some people already have excellent time management skills, while others struggle daily with creating a good schedule that allows for the most productions. Time management can be taught, but everyone will still need to figure out what system works best for them.
Do you ever feel like you just have too much to do and not enough time to do it? Do you feel the stress building up because you don’t want to forego any of your responsibilities, but you just don’t know how you’ll accomplish everything?
Time management can help you determine where to spend your time to accomplish the most, to help reduce the stress you are feeling, and to help you prioritize what it the most important things that need to be accomplished.
First, becoming aware of how you are currently spending your time will help you start determining where and what needs to be changed. Many years ago I noticed that I was bouncing from one thing to another without fully completing a single task. I also noticed that when I would go out to run errands I would find myself backtracking to go back to stores I missed. I was wasting time, gas, and still not accomplishing as much as I wanted to.
Write down everything you’re doing and in what time blocks you’re working on these tasks. Write down if you’re back tracking on anything, if your concentration was broken by other tasks that caused you to take longer to get back on track, or if certain tasks require more concentration than other tasks.
Second, try out lots of different ideas…one at a time, of course. Here are six time management tips that I have used or currently use to help me manage my time effectively.
Create to-do lists: this can be on a piece of paper, in a phone, in a calendar, or whatever you find is the most effective for you. On that list determine which items are the most important. Many people choose to complete the easiest tasks first. This works for some, but if you have 20 easy tasks and five time consuming or difficult tasks that are extremely important to get done, they may never get completed. Prioritize the list to determine what order the tasks will be completed in.
Create a separate place to concentrate: create a separate place for you to be able to sit down and concentrate at. Some people are great at multitasking in front of the television, but not everyone can concentrate and be productive. Whether it’s at the dining room table or a desk in a room, use this space to help you concentrate on the task you’re working on. This can also help in reducing unwanted distractions. If you do find yourself doodling or getting sidetracked easily it might be time to switch tasks that will hold your attention for the duration of the task. Only do this once or twice. Don’t give in every time you get sidetracked.
When are you the most productive: some of us are morning people and some are night people. Personally, I’m more of a night person. This is when you’ll be the most productive and should schedule your most difficult tasks. Be sure to block off this time in your calendar so others will be less likely to interrupt you during that time.
Say No when you need to: you shouldn’t be compelled to add everything everyone wants you to do on to your list. If you know you won’t have time to complete that task politely explain this and ask them to find someone else to complete it. This won’t always be taken well by everyone, so be careful of who you say no to.
Be sure to schedule relaxation time: to help reduce the stress that builds up from work, school, and family, be sure to schedule some relaxation time. I have found that it is difficult to find this time for me if I don’t schedule it. Because there’s always something to do, you may find yourself always going, going, going and not taking time for yourself. This will add to the stress and cause you more problems.
Schedule social media time: social media is one of the biggest ways to waste time and not get much of anything accomplished. Social media is important, though, especially if you’re using it to promote your business. Scheduling blocks of time to be on social media, post ads or promotions, and respond to friends and customers will help reduce the time suck of social media.