19 Tips for Managing Your Time
Life is nothing more than one task to complete followed by another. Life is busy. However, how you deal with your business can make a world of difference when accomplishing what you hope to achieve and reaching your goals.
If you’re tired of not having the time to accomplish your tasks, you’re not alone. A lot of people suffer from the inability to manage their time so that they can be more effective and productive throughout the day. However, the difference between them and you are that they aren’t trying to change their behavior.
With the right time management skills, there will always be time to do what you want and accomplish your goals.
Tip #1 – Take a Step Back
Many people tend to jump right into their day without thinking it through. They have a list of chores in their mind and are planning on when they can complete which chore. However, without fail, something gets forgotten. To keep this from happening to you, take a deep breath when you first wake up and take a step back from your busy mind. Take the time to write down your tasks so you have an idea of how much time each one will take so you can more effectively plan how you will tackle the list.
Tip #2 – Have a Plan
One of the easiest and most effective ways to ensure your success is to have a plan for accomplishing your to-do list. This is the one step that often gets skipped. Take time to think about where your tasks fit into your day. By planning and breaking down larger tasks, you can accomplish the more important tasks before tackling those tasks that might not be essential.
Tip #3 – Stick to Your Plan
If you throw your plan out the window at the first opportunity, not only have you just wasted your time, but you run the risk of quickly veering off track. When you make a plan, stick to it as closely as you can. While things will happen to prevent your day from going exactly as you planned, you tried to make your plan work the way you intended it to. Learn to quickly deal with the other stuff that comes up and find your way back to your plan.
Tip #4 – Allow Time for Rest
If you’re busy, rest might be a foreign concept. Too often, people will push aside their personal needs in order to accomplish what it is they set out to do. To keep your motivation and reach your goals, you need to make a point of taking a break during your day. Depending on your circumstances, this can mean treating yourself to lunch, having a coffee date with a friend, or finding some time to read a few chapters of your book. Make it a point to have some time to rest so that you don’t burn out.
Tip #5 – Prioritize
Sometimes, it’s just impossible to accomplish everything on your list on a given day. There will be those days when everything wrong will happen, eating up your time. When you plan out your day, make sure to plan to complete your most important tasks first. Give yourself enough time to accomplish them. If you have time to work on other things after you’ve finished, that’s great.
Tip #6 – Write Your Tasks Down
In order to properly plan your day, you need to know what you’re going to need to do on that day. Take some time in the morning to write down your tasks. By seeing what you need to do, you’ll be more likely to get it done. When we get busy, we tend to forget tasks that we needed to accomplish.
Tip #7 – Schedule Your Day
Take the list of things you want to accomplish and make a schedule. Consider how much time each task should take to complete. With this information in mind, aim to complete certain tasks at certain times during the day. While it might not always work out the way you plan, at least you have some structure to your day.
Tip #8 – Take Other Schedules into Account
If you don’t live alone, you need to make sure that you’re aware of the schedules of others in your household. If you have children, their extracurricular activities can impact your schedule. Make sure that you know what the other members of your household are doing and when they are doing it, to save yourself frustration later.
Tip #9 – Plan for the Unexpected
You may have the best laid-out plans, but it never fails that something will happen that ruins those plans. Make exceptions in your schedule for things that might come up that you hadn’t planned for.
Tip #10 – Carry a Schedule
Carry a schedule and record all your thoughts, activities, and conversations for a week. Doing this will help you to understand better how much you can get done during the course of a day. You’ll have the opportunity to see how much time is spent producing actual results and how much time is wasted on unproductive thoughts, actions, and conversations.
Tip #11 – Decide What Results You Want to Attain
Five minutes before you start a task, decide what results you want to attain. This will help you know what success looks like before you start. After completing each task, take five minutes to determine whether you achieved your desired results.
Tip #12 – Create Time Management Goals
Eliminate your personal time-wasters. The focus of time management isn’t actually changing time but changing the behaviors that waste time. For one week, set a goal to not engage in your biggest time-wasting activity, and see how much time you can gain.
Tip #13 – Utilize Time Management Tools
Whether it’s a software program, phone app, or Day-Timer, the first step to effectively managing your time is knowing where it’s going and planning how you’re going to spend your time in the future. Time management tools allow you to easily schedule events and set reminders, making your time management efforts easier.
Tip #14 – Learn to Say No
Making a lot of time commitments can teach you how to juggle various engagements and manage your time. However, it can easily be taken too far. At some point, you need to learn to decline new opportunities. You should only be taking on those commitments that you know you have time for and that you truly care about.
Tip #15 – Don’t Multitask
Multitasking doesn’t work. Rather than splitting your focus to accomplish numerous tasks, devote your entire focus to the task at hand. Find a quiet place to work and cut out all distractions. Concentrate on one task at a time, only moving on when you’ve accomplished the task.
Tip #16 – Be Organized
Being organized will save you a ton of time. Create a filing system for documents and make sure every item has a place to be stored. Unsubscribe from email lists that you don’t want and streamline everything you can.
Tip #17 – Batch Related Tasks Together
Different tasks demand different kinds of thinking, so you should allow your mind to continue to flow with its current zone rather than unnecessarily switching to something that is going to require you to re-orient.
Tip #18 – Eliminate the Non-Essential
If you want to stay motivated and reach your goals, you need to identify the excess and remove it from your life. By removing the non-essential tasks and activities, you can become more and more in touch with what is significant and what deserves your time.
Tip #19 – Leave a Buffer Time Between Tasks
Allow yourself downtime between tasks to breathe and clear your mind. When you rush from task to task, it can be difficult to appreciate what you’re doing and to stay focused and motivated.