Time Management Strategies – Begin Managing Your Time Better
Time management strategies are either one of those things that either comes naturally to you, something that you learn, or something that you may be struggling with. No matter when you learn it in life, learning how to manage your time is a skill that everyone needs. The benefits include increased productivity, less stress, more free time for other things, relating more positively to others, and feeling better about themselves.
It can be difficult to begin the process of managing your time in a more efficient manner, but using the steps outlined below will put you on the path to manage your time better.
Down below are ten steps to help you make better use of the limited time you have in one day.
Time Management Strategies – Monitor your time
First, watch and monitor how you spend your time with the use of a time log. Record what you do in 15-minute intervals for either one or two weeks. Then, you can assess your results and answer the following questions.
- Did you accomplish all of the tasks you needed to?
- What time of the day were you the most productive?
- Which tasks took the most time for you?
- What time of the day were you the least productive?
- What category of tasks took up the most of your time (work, personal, etc.)?
By determining the tasks that took up most of your time and finding if you are spending your time on the most important activities, you can make better decisions around time management strategies. The time log can help you predict how much time is required for some of your routine tasks. This can help you be more realistic when planning out your day and allotting time for individual activities.
In order to manage your time efficiently, you need to make a distinction between what tasks are urgent and which ones aren’t. Differentiate between tasks that are urgent and those that are not when making a list of the tasks you need to get done.
Use some sort of planning tool
Time management strategy experts recommend using a personal planning tool to improve your productivity and time management skills. Writing down tasks and your schedule for the day can help you focus on your priorities and have a list of the tasks you need to accomplish in one day.
The scheduling aspect can help ensure that you stay on track to finish the list of tasks you wrote down earlier. The important things to remember when using a planning tool include reviewing your planning device daily, creating a list of priorities in your planning tool, keeping your planning tools synchronized, and keeping some form of a backup system.
There are four categories of apps that could be helpful in planning out your day.
- Apps to track your time – Can help you gain more knowledge on how you spend your time
- Apps to save your time – Can increase your productivity and get rid of the habits that waste your time
- Apps to manage your tasks – Prioritize the tasks you have to keep you organized and improve time management
- Habit developing apps – Encourage healthy habits that can help you better your time management skills
Schedule your time appropriately
When scheduling out your day, make sure you devote an appropriate amount of time to each task. Block out time for high-priority tasks and ensure that you will not be interrupted during that time. Additionally, ensure that you are building time in for the things you want to do.
Time Management Strategies – Stop Procrastinating
This may be easier said than done, however, it is crucial to begin the process of managing your time better. You should try to get any unpleasant tasks you have done first to get them out of the way. Consider breaking down that large, unpleasant task into smaller segments and working to accomplish those smaller tasks. This will eventually accumulate to marking that large task off of the list. Using either of the aforementioned methods, use some form of a reward system to keep yourself motivated.
Do not multitask
Multitasking can lower productivity and performance so rather than trying to get two tasks done, focus on one at a time. Choose to devote all of your time to that one task rather than trying to split your time and focus between two tasks. This can help you finish that one task much faster, which increases your productivity and better your time management skills.
While it is not always possible to be in control of distractions around you, it is possible for you to remove some distractions that can inhibit your productivity. Consider putting your phone on silent and putting it away when you need to focus on your important and urgent tasks.
Time Management Strategies – Use a Timer
Setting a timer can be one of the most effective tactics to remind you when it is time for a break and set time limits for each task. Timing out the portions of your day and creating breaks for yourself can help you clear your mind and get ready for the tasks you have to accomplish.
Delegate work to others when possible
If you have a project or task that needs to be accomplished within a set period of time and you are unsure if you will be able to get the task done in the time period given, delegate some of the responsibilities of the project to other people and split up the work so you can get the task done in the given amount of time.
Take time off for yourself
Set some time aside for yourself to relax or better yet meditate. Taking a break from the normal chaos of daily life to rest your mind and body can help you reset and play a big role in remaining focused and energized. Whatever relaxing looks like to you, whether that be a hike, a picnic or a trip to a nearby river or lake, taking time off to yourself is crucial to improving your time management strategy skills.
Time Management Strategies – It’s Up To You
Learning how to manage your time better can be a difficult task, but it can be done, even if it takes a while to do. But using the steps listed above, you can begin the process to learn how to be more productive and manage the time you have in one day just a bit better.