Do you, like me, find that sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you set out to do? Some days I find myself wishing I had a little more time to get everything done. While we can’t add more time to the day, we can work on our time management skills to clean up the time it takes us to accomplish individual tasks.
Recently I read an article from The Creativity Post titled, “Work Smarter, Not Harder: 21 Time Management Tips to Hack Productivity.” I wanted to summarize for you what I learned in reading this piece by posting my Top 10 Tips to Time Management.
Before reading through this list I think it is important to recognize that time management is a skill which can be improved through practice like any other skill. The more you implement these tips and practice your time management techniques, the easier it will become for you to get things done.
#1. Complete the most important tasks first.
- When you have a lot of on your plate, it is important that you identify which of these tasks is most important. By completing these important tasks first you have already tackled the toughest part of your day. From here the rest should be smooth sailing. In contrast, pushing your most essential tasks to the end of the day may leave you feeling unaccomplished and place a drain on your motivation to get things done.
#2. Don’t allow unimportant details to drag you down.
- As one of my favorite sayings goes, “don’t major in the minutiae.” Some times we dedicate large amounts of time to details which don’t actually have a large impact on the task at hand. Try not to get hung up on unimportant details by focusing on the big picture, and then coming back to revise the minor details after you have gotten the bulk completed.
#3. Turn key tasks into habits.
- Learn to transform key tasks you find yourself doing daily into a routine. When you get in the habit of doing these tasks it will make them much easier to complete on a daily basis. Creating a habit takes time, and a conscious effort to follow through on something every day for quite some time, but once you have the habit in place you will find your key tasks becoming a natural flow of your daily life.
#4. Get an early start.
- When you find yourself with a lot that you wish to accomplish, it is best to get an early start. The longer we wait to get things going, the less time in the day we will have to complete our tasks. I have found personally that it is best to get an early start, because sometimes tasks take unexpected turns and require more time than we initially accounted for.
#5. Devote your entire focus to the task at hand.
- Concentration can make a huge difference in the amount of time it takes to get something done. When your focus is divided among multiple things, you will often find that it takes longer than if you had just focused on one task, completed it, and then focused on the next. Also be aware of potential distractions and work to eliminate them when focusing on the task at hand.
#6. Exercise, eat healthy, and get enough sleep.
- Numerous studies have linked a healthy lifestyle with work productivity. Getting proper amounts of sleep, exercising consistently, and eating healthy will help to boost productivity by giving you sustainable energy throughout the day. You will find that you have a clearer mind which will allow you to focus more easily.
#7. Utilize the weekends.
- While many people view the weekends as time for relaxation and recovery, doing a little bit on the weekends can really lessen your workload for the upcoming week. By dedicating even just a few hours to preparation, or getting a head start on upcoming tasks, you will find yourself with a less stressful, more manageable week ahead.
#8. Do something during waiting time.
- When you find yourself waiting to do something, this is a great time to get little things done, and will save you from having to dedicate time to them in the future. Maybe you are waiting in a doctors office and there is an article you have been wanting to read, or maybe you are in line at the supermarket and have an email that needs responding. Taking advantage of these small amounts of free time can help to free up time in the future.
#9. Batch related tasks together.
- Try to do like-minded tasks in groups. This will improve efficiency, rather than switching back and forth from one task to another. If you find yourself repeating similar tasks throughout the week, it may prove beneficial to group these tasks together.
#10. Find time for stillness.
- It is important to find a balance between stop and go. Always acting can be stressful and in the long term can slow us down. Finding time for silence and stillness can be rejuvenating and allows us to sustain energy over longer periods of time.
I hope these time management tips will help you to follow through on the tasks at hand this year! To receive email updates of our blog and signup for our weekly newsletter please click here. To read the full article from The Creativity Post, click here.