Manage your time, manage your life.2016-09-30
So often you hear people say “I wish I could do that, but I just don’t have enough time in my day.” Managing our time is one of the most difficult things to do, especially with us living such busy lives.
However, if you want to achieve a work/life balance, time management is an important skill to have in order to work more efficiently and get more done. Here are a few tips on how you can manage your time better and take charge of your life:
Work smarter, not harder
Arguable one of the most important pieces of advice concerning time management is that you have to work smarter, not harder. It’s something that can free up significant amounts of time. The thing is that we’re conditioned to believe that because we’re busy it means that we’re getting more things done, which is often not the case. Take a good hard look at the things you need to do, then see where you can improve like sending one email instead of five, or picking up the phone to sort out a problem quickly or arrange activities with friends instead of back and forth texting.
Make lists, then tackle one at a time
When it comes to time management, lists are extremely important for keeping us focused on the tasks we need to complete. Create a to-do list with the most important tasks first, then tackle one task at a time so you don’t lose focus, crossing them off as you go along. This will not only ensure you get everything done that you need to do, it will also show you how much you’ve accomplished as you work your way down the list.
Do the most difficult tasks first thing in the morning
Unless there are tasks that are deadline driven or time-specific, put the most difficult tasks at the top of your list and get them done first thing in the morning. In the morning your mind is still fresh and it’s still easy to get motivated as you start your day.
Set a time limit
Whatever you do, set a time limit on the activity. This helps both those people who like to be proactive, as well as those who suffer from so-called ‘deadline disease’, because it forces you to focus on the task at hand and not get distracted, because the more time you go over the set limit, the less time you’ll have for the next task.
Learn to say no
Arguably one of the most difficult things to do is to say ‘no’, but sometimes it’s necessary to help you manage your time most efficiently. Be honest with yourself regarding how much you can take on and if your schedule is already full, don’t try to squeeze in even more. You’re only human, and if you spread yourself too thin, you run the risk of losing focus on the tasks at hand.
Create systems routines
Identify things for which you can create a routine. Like cleaning the house on a specific day of the week, then starting in a the same part of the house, then working your way all around to doing the dishes, all this while your laundry is in the machine getting washed. Or schedule a specific time and day of the week to take care of your admin. Regular routines like this means fewer things to worry about and try to fit in.
Take a break
For athletes they say rest is one of the most overlooked parts of training, be- cause your muscles need time to recover in order for them to perform at their best. The same goes for your brain, it needs rest too. If you’ve ever studied for school exams you know that feeling where it seems like your brain simply does not want to take in any more information. When you’re tired you become tardy, which is not great for productivity, so get some proper sleep and take some time off every now and again, so you’re fresh and alert to tackle the next day.