Do you ever find there is never enough time in the day to complete all the tasks you are required to do? With our increasingly busy lifestyles, effective time management is key to fulfilling your potential, avoiding stress and working productively and accurately. Here are some useful tips to improve your time management skills:
Analyse your current use of time
In the midst of a busy working day, it can be difficult to pinpoint the areas in which you can improve your time management. It is therefore important to take a step back and consider the exact time you are spending on your daily activities. Remember to include work-related tasks such as reading and sending e-mails, daily commute, social time and even sleep. Jotting them down, creating a time spreadsheet or using an App such as Rescue Time can be helpful to discover where time is being wasted.
Create a schedule in advance
Effective time management relies heavily upon good planning. Once you have a clear idea as to where you can make changes and improvements, you can begin to take control of how you want to manage your time. Creating your own daily schedule with time slots for your specific tasks from waking up to going to bed will enable you to approach your day with ease and confidence that all tasks will be completed. It is important to allow for “buffer time” in between tasks so you can move from one task to the other without feeling rushed.
Social media time
The pull of social media is alluring and it can be easy to lose hours of valuable time immersed in it. Be mindful as to how this affects you and consider taking action such as putting the phone out of sight if necessary.
Delegate, where possible
When overloaded at home or at work, find a way to delegate to a family member or colleague. Although not always easy to do, it would save a lot of time and you can always offer to help them in return when you are able to do so.
It is not always possible to accommodate all the requests that come your way. It is OK to be assertive and say “no” or “I will look at it as soon as I have time” when you need to.
Look after yourself
The healthier you are, the more productive you will be and it is vital for you to make time in your schedule for regular breaks and activities that will replenish you. This could include a walk in the fresh air, a workout at the gym, reading a good book, enjoying a round of golf, meditation or a chat and a coffee with a close friend. Making time for yourself has been shown to have a positive effect on you and your productivity.
With regular use of the above tools, effective time management will become second nature and stressed out days and procrastination will be a thing of the past.