Time management can be tricky, especially for those who have become accustomed to engaging in time-consuming activities (like constantly browsing social media, browsing online, choosing projects, etc.). There are many ways each of us wastes our time, but let’s talk about some expert time management tips that can help us become better and more efficient day by day.
Have you ever had one of those days when you leave work and think to yourself, “What did I actually accomplish today? Sure, you have some big projects coming up this week, but somehow you feel like you haven’t completed anything on any of them. Then the fear sets in for the next day when you’re going to have to stress out to finish the things you haven’t made progress on today. Situations like this happen to the best of us, and often it’s due to our lack of time management skills. Maybe we don’t plan our days properly, for example, and that wastes a lot more time than we should. Or, it’s possible we’re not getting enough sleep (yes, time management and sleep can go hand in hand, as we’ll see below). Whatever the reason, chances are you want to make a change to turn things around and manage your time better. Just think about the productivity and efficiency of your work if you manage to manage all that time. Let’s go. Here are 10 expert tips for time management.
1. Stay as organized as possible
Organization is extremely important when it comes to time management. Think of it this way: if you spend time digging through files on your computer to find the document you’re supposed to be working on, you’re wasting a lot of valuable time that could actually have been spent. job above. WebMD spoke with Tracy Lyn Moland, time management consultant and author of Management of mom, management of mom before everyone else, who said something as little as “knowing where your keys are in the morning, knowing where your child’s library book or homework is, will reduce a lot of stress.” If you’re a very busy person, it may seem like a real challenge to stay organized all the time, but think about how much time you’ll save in the long run by doing so.
2. Plan your day wisely
When it comes to time management, we all know a big part of success is planning ahead, right? However, did you know that there is actually a planning method that can help you get the most out of it? Fortune spoke to Chris Bailey, author of The Productivity Project , who suggested what he calls the “rule of 3”. Bailey said: “At the start of the day, before you start working, you just step back from your work and ask yourself: At the end of the day, what are the top three things I wish I had accomplished. ? Then, stay focused on those three big things and try not to waste time on other smaller time wasters that come your way.
3. But don’t plan it too much
By describing what is essential to accomplish on a given day, avoid over-programming yourself. Contractor quoted time management expert Julie Morgenstern, author of Time management from the inside out, who said you should avoid scheduling your day to the exact minute because if something unexpected happens (which it will), it will leave you feeling frazzled and can disrupt your whole game plan. Instead, Morgenstern suggested creating time buffers based on the type of work you do (for example, if your job involves crisis management, plan only a few hours out of your day, because you can be certain that random things will appear throughout the day).
4. Get enough sleep
According to Today.com, sleep can actually play a big role in your time management abilities. The outlet spoke to Cheryl Richardson, life coach and author of The art of taking care of yourself to the extreme, who discussed time management as it relates to lack of sleep. “…that chronic sleep deprivation has a huge impact on memory, creativity, concentration, and problem-solving abilities – and it can double the time it takes you to complete difficult mental tasks,” Richardson told the outlet. “If you want to be productive tomorrow, sleeping eight hours tonight has got to be far more important than folding the last load of laundry.”
5. Manage your time for the good
I received additional information via email from Maria Sirois, Psy.D., clinical psychologist at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. According to Sirois, devoting time to the things that make us feel good in our personal life can have an overall positive effect on our level of engagement at work. “We know that time is both precious and fleeting, and we consciously create what we do with our time, especially our free time,” says Sirois. “Engagement at work has been shown to increase when employees devote time to outside activities and prioritize the positive, such as actively planning weekly activities that engage our minds, energize our bodies, and improve our relationships.”
That said, by planning and dedicating this necessary time to our personal lives, we become better and more efficient workers because of it. It looks like a big win-win.
6. Know that when something is done, it’s done
Are you a perfectionist? While this may seem like a beneficial thing, it can actually harm you, especially when it comes to time management. CIO.com spoke with work performance expert Jason Womack, author of Your best just got better: Work smarter, think bigger, earn more, who said a huge way to stop wasting precious time was to think about the question, “When am I done?” Rather than keep picking a certain project, try to be realistic about when it’s done and move on to the next thing.
7. Put yourself in a “work bubble”
Another great trick (and one I use all the time) for time management is to put yourself in what The Girls Mean Business founder Claire Mitchell calls a “work bubble.” Mitchell spoke to United Kingdom on time management tips, and noted that it’s very easy for us to get distracted throughout the workday with things like calls, emails, social media, etc. To do as much work as possible in a timely manner, try to put yourself in that bubble and make it happen, she suggested. “If you really need to do things, turn off your phone and close your voicemail for 30 minutes,” Mitchell told the outlet. “Set a timer to work against the clock and give yourself a deadline to complete something important. To prevent your colleagues from interrupting you, insert headphones.
8. Keep your meetings short and sweet
Consider for a second how much time you waste on meetings in your office. It’s probably a lot. To combat this and better manage your time, Shari McGuire, author of Take Back Your Time: 101 Simple Tips to Shorten Your Workweek and Conquer the Chaos in Your Life suggested to Forbes Keep your meetings as short and to the point as possible. For example, don’t host a 30-minute meeting for your team if you know the updates you need to share will only take 15 minutes. McGuire also suggested sticking to the meeting start time, even if others are late (unless it’s your boss, in which case I’d recommend making an exception). This avoids that wasted time at the start of meetings. Of course, if you think something can be treated as an email rather than calling everyone for a meeting in the first place, go for the email option. Everyone will be much happier having that extra time to work on important tasks.
9. Limit your time online
Some jobs require people to be online regularly, but if yours doesn’t, try limiting the time spent online at your desk. Today.com spoke with Suzanne Peterson, Ph.D., associate professor of management at Arizona State University’s WP Carey School of Business, who suggested scheduling specific times when you’ll allow yourself to be online. during the day. Peterson also suggested limiting time slots to a specific time frame so you don’t get lost in the abyss that is the internet.
10. Make sure to take a break
Taking a well-deserved break is necessary for good time management. The UK’s National Health Service spoke to occupational psychologist Emma Donaldson-Feilder who said working on your lunch break, for example, can in turn work against you. “As a rule of thumb, taking at least 30 minutes away from your desk will help you be more efficient in the afternoon,” Donaldson-Feilder said. “Go for a walk outside, or better yet, exercise. You will return to your office invigorated, with a fresh outlook and renewed focus. Then watch how you spend the rest of your day efficiently and quickly.
If you feel like you constantly have trouble managing your time, especially when it comes to work, there are steps you can take to start reversing the trend. By using some of the tips we talked about above, you may quickly notice that your time management skills have increased tenfold.
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