Have you ever sat and thought that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day? If so, don’t worry, you’re not alone. From parents to college students to entrepreneurs, there are so many times in our life where we simply run out of hours and can’t get everything done.
However, by proactively taking steps to manage your time, you’ll soon come to realise that it’s not about working harder every day, it’s about working smarter. Here to get you off on the right foot are a collection of essential habits and tips that can help you manage your time better.
One of the best ways to manage your time is by setting goals for you to achieve that day. This could be anything in your life, whether it’s job-based, and you’re setting goals to what you want to achieve that day, or even in your personal life, such as going for a food shop, seeing friends or going to the gym.
Set your goals before you start your day, whether it’s the first thing in the morning or even the night before. You can use printable planner pages or make the wall of your goals. This will help you to visualise your goals and give you something to strive for. Make sure they’re realistic.
“When it comes to setting goals, it’s essential that you set goals that balance your life. For me, the main areas of my life are work, teaching and family, so I need to set goals every day that keep these things balanced” shares Derek Mattinson, an educator for Academized and entrepreneur.
Additionally, when setting these goals, you’ll need to go through and prioritise the most important first. Once you get the most important jobs done first, you’ll release so much stress, so you can focus on other things.
This is such an important aspect to remember no matter what you’re doing in your daily routine. It might seem time-effective to work for 8 hours solid, but your productivity levels will dramatically over time.
Instead, try working for an hour and having a 15-minute break at the end of every one. This will help to keep your mind and body refreshed and focused on what you’re trying to achieve. This is called a ultradian rhythms phenomenon, according to study. Don’t forget to eat lunch and drink enough water.
For example, if you’re a writer, freelancer or a copywriter, you can use tools like Easy Word Count to track the number of words you’re typing, setting yourself a goal of when to have a break. Doing little but systematically and everyday will help you to achieve your goals faster.
Look for Improvement Areas
Everybody lives their life differently, and each of us will have our own routines, our own habits and our own way of doing things. However, that doesn’t mean that the way we do things ourselves is necessarily the right way.
When trying to improve your time management skills, look at the way you do things to see how you can improve. You could be taking your phone to the bathroom with you and sitting there for too long, or maybe you’re listening to music while you work, and you find it distracting. Whatever it is that you do, look for areas in which you can improve what you’re doing for more hours in the day.
One example of how effective this is referring to writers. Many time managers are starting to use tools that can help them with certain processes. For example, State of Writing and Via Writing are blogs full of posts on how to improve your grammar; a quick reference for writers trying to save time. You can find those little helpers for every field of your activity.
Work on One Thing at a Time
When it comes to work, it can be easy to fall into the trap of multi-tasking, even if you’re very good at it. However, when it’s time to get your head down and start powering through some work, multi-tasking can actually hold you back.
“Imagine you’re working on a report and you keep stopping to take phone calls and to reply to emails. You’ll lose your ‘flow’ when you’re working, and it’s far more beneficial to keep your head down and pushing forward”, explains the time management coach at Big assignments.
When working away on a project, it’s important to keep your head down. If you keep breaking up your thinking pattern, you’re going to find that you’re so easily distracted which puts you off being productive.
Don’t Take Too Much On
One of the best ways to overpower ourselves and to lose precious hours in the day is to take on too much work in one go. And one of the best ways to overcome this is to learn when it’s appropriate to say no.
Whether it’s your family, your boss or your teacher asking you to carry out more work, when you’ve got too much on your plate, the worst thing you can do is to take more on.
As you can see, managing your time properly isn’t complicated, but it does take a certain degree of willpower and discipline. Get your mindset into an active state where you’re willing to achieve anything you set out to do, and you can be sure that you will!
Want to be reminded to be wise with your time every day? Download this free motivational time management quote print below and hang it up in your office.
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Article written by: Brenda Berg. She is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs at Oxessays. Also, Brenda is a part-time Editor in Chief at Paper fellows. She is passionate about covering topics on productivity, self-development, blogging and others.
Photos by: Creative Convex, Just Darlin’ Yall and Death to the Stock Photo