Increasing Productivity: 10 Tips to Improve Your Time Management Skills
Managing our own time can be the most difficult task. Especially when you feel like you are overwhelmed and have tons of things to do. It’s seems like the 24 hours in our day is never enough. Some people can do everything they plan to do and more and never seem overwhelmed or frustrated. That’s because they master their time management skills like a pro. You can set personal alarms for anything that you have to do with online alarm clocks or whatever method you choose. Here are 10 tips to improve your time management skills.
- Create a daily plan
- Set time limits for tasks
- Use an organizer
- Do your most important tasks first
- Change your schedule
- Use an online calendar
- Learn to say no
- Batch similar tasks together
CREATE A DAILY PLAN
Plan your day before it gets started. Plan it before you go to bed that way, you’ll be ready to get a jump start on your day when you wake up. If you have an exercise routine, make sure to include that as well. Make sure to account for all of your time for the day, including breaks. If you need help accounting for your time, you can always do an audit of your time. Apps like RescueTime and Toggl can track everything you do in your day. All you have to do is download them and get started. Track your time for a week to see what you’re giving the most time to, that way you can better assess your daily schedule.
SET TIME LIMITS FOR TASKS
It’s easy to just start a task without thinking and before you know it you look up and you’ve spent hours on something that you had no intention of spending that amount of time on. Start setting time limits for each task and stick with it. If you have a paper to write or need to do research and you give yourself two hours. Once the two hours are up, move on to the next task. However, put buffers between your task so that you have a chance to go to the restroom, eat or whatever else you need to do, plus if you run a little over on one task, it won’t run into the next one and you’ll still be on schedule.
USE AN ORGANIZER
An organizer helps you to be efficient in every area of your life. Make sure to jot everything down that you need to do. Color code them, highlight your important events and make sure you look at it daily. Cross off things that you’ve completed so you can see your progress.
DO YOUR MOST IMPORTANT TASKS FIRST
It’s best to start off with your most challenging, important or hardest tasks first thing in the morning when your energy levels are up. As the day goes on, you’ll start to feel drained and that challenging task will not seem too overwhelming and you may put it off until the next day. If you get it out of the way first thing in the morning, not only will you feel accomplished, it may motivate you while you’re doing the rest of the tasks you need to do.
There’s nothing wrong with delegating certain tasks that you have to do. As a matter of fact, it’s part of being efficient. I know it can be hard to let go of certain things because you want to make sure they’re done right, or you just aren’t used to letting anyone do anything for you. Being independent can work in your favor, but it can also work against you. Delegating task can be a huge time saver for you. It can lighten your workload and you can work on other important things. Try hiring a freelancer!
CHANGE YOUR SCHEDULE
Sometimes changing your schedule is all you need to do. Try waking up an hour earlier during the week and on weekends. If you’re a big television watcher, limit how much time you spend watching. Once you do this, you may find yourself getting more done.
USE AN ONLINE CALENDAR
Online calendars can be a great tool to use. You can access your calendar from different devices, you can schedule appointments, meetings, create reminders, recurring events and you can even create time blocks. You can also color code everything you need to do. When you look at your calendar in a monthly view, you can quickly glance over everything and immediately know what you need to do. Online calendars will always keep you on track especially if you set reminders for the day before or a half hour before.
LEARN TO SAY NO
Often times, we may not want to upset anyone, so we will allow them to bombard us with their mess. Sometimes, we just have to say no to people. It doesn’t mean that we’re mean, it means we need to prioritize and get what we need done for us. No matter how much of a superwoman or superman we are, we can only handle so much. If you don’t have the time to help someone, politely decline and don’t feel bad about it. I’m sure they will understand.
If you’re a multi-tasker, you may need to just focus on one thing in order for the big picture to come together. Focus solely on the task you are doing and leave everything else alone. Sometimes multitasking can become a problem, especially if you’re doing ten things at once, but you aren’t completing anything.
BATCH SIMILAR ITEMS TOGETHER
If you have similar work items, batch them all together and complete them together. If you have phone calls to make, allocate a time so that you can make all your calls. You’ll find that batching similar items together can pretty much streamline your management skills. When you put all the above-mentioned tips into action, you’ll soon become a pro at time-management. Your time will be accounted for and you’ll be getting things done in the process.
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