People with successful careers understand how important managing your time better helps improve productivity.
In simple terms, time management involves deliberately taking control of how you spend the hours of your day. By practising it effectively, you can accomplish everything you need to do (or even more than that) in less time. It will help you achieve better results, avoid stress, and foster a better work-life balance. Having time management skills can also pave the way for more career opportunities, as professionals with these qualities are highly sought after by employers.
Even when you’re up against tight deadlines and heavy workloads, the right time management strategies can help you overcome every obstacle with ease. To help you get started, below are six winning tips for making the most out of each day:
Set Achievable Goals
The first step to managing your time is setting achievable goals. These objectives will give you a better idea of what you’re working towards so you can develop an appropriate course of action. With clear and measurable goals – you won’t need to waste time engaging in counterproductive activities.
Keeping this in mind, you can follow the acronym SMART when formulating your objectives. Essentially, your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Establish a Routine
While no two days are exactly alike, establish a routine that you can follow. Even if you have unexpected tasks, it can add more structure to your day. It can help you stay on schedule and avoid procrastination. A routine also encourages you to practice healthier habits consistently. For example, you might include wellness activities like journaling and exercise at the start of your day.
Plan and Prioritise Your Tasks
The two main requirements for good time management are proper planning and prioritising. Tasks can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t know where to start or where to put your focus. With that in mind, it’s best to make a to-do list before the beginning of a new day.
After work, set aside ten to twenty minutes for planning the next day’s tasks based on priority. Start by listing down three large jobs that need doing and prioritise the rest based on urgency and importance.
Tasks that are both important and urgent should be first on the schedule. Meanwhile, you can decide when to do the important but not urgent tasks. As for urgent but unimportant tasks, try to delegate them instead. Any that don’t fall under either category should be set aside and completed later.
Although you can’t account for unexpected responsibilities, planning and prioritising your activities in advance can help you stay focused even on busy days.
Allot a Specific Amount of Time for Each Activity
Besides planning and prioritising, it’s good to allot a specific amount of time for each task. By setting time limits, you can better meet deadlines and maximise your work hours.
After you have planned your tasks, remember to note how much time you need to complete each. It can help spot potential time constraints and make the necessary adjustments to stay on schedule.
For example, your work may require you to conduct research for three different projects before a meeting. After setting a time limit for each task, you realise that you don’t have enough time to finish researching for the third project. Since you spotted the issue before it arose, you can delegate the task to someone else before the deadline, ensuring that things stay on schedule.
Create a Distraction-Free Workspace
Distractions can eat up a large chunk of your time if not dealt with properly. These include activities like scrolling through social media or answering unimportant messages.
Keeping this in mind, try to block out distractions while working. You can do this by turning off notifications on your phone and laptop. Instead of checking your email every 10 to 15 minutes, try doing it every few hours to limit interruptions. If you have difficulty avoiding these digital distractions, you can also opt to download apps that prevent you from engaging with your gadgets during work hours.
Schedule Regular Breaks
It is hard to stay motivated and energised when you work continuously. Given this, managing your time includes scheduling regular breaks.
Why is that? A break allows you to refresh your mind and body and return to work in tip-top shape. You can spend this time doing relaxing activities like walking, napping, and meditating.
By scheduling breaks, you’ll have something to look forward to when work gets tough, encouraging you to focus on tasks in front of you.
As shown in the tips above, proper time management can improve the quality of your professional life in more ways than one. With these techniques, you can increase your productivity, boost your work performance, and achieve your goals. While you can’t add more hours to a day, you can make it productive by maximising every moment.
Team Focus Plus can help you with time management. Send them a message today to learn more.