7 Ways to Improve Your Time Management
Warren Buffet once said that “Time is money.” It is a commodity that we all desire more of, but never seem to have enough of. You can improve your time management skills by following a few simple tips. You can maximize productivity by paying attention to how much time you spend each day and have more time for relaxation and rest.
Even though we all work the same hours, there are simple ways that each day can feel more rewarding. This involves getting rid of and focusing on what makes our day more enjoyable. Are you unsure where to begin or looking for motivation? These seven tips will help you get started.
1. Create a routine
Even though your life may require a different schedule, you can still benefit from a routine to help you stay on track and optimize your time. Start your day with a healthy breakfast, a workout, journaling, meditation, or journaling. This can help you get into productivity mode.
You can also create a routine to wind down by taking a bath or cooking dinner. This will signal the end of the workday. Healthy habits can help you feel more in control of your time.
2. Prioritize activities
Spend 10-20 minutes each night getting ready for the next day. Start by writing down the top three tasks you want to complete each day. Next, prioritize the remaining tasks according to importance.
There are always unexpected events that cannot be predicted, but having a plan helps you to keep your eyes on the big picture and not get distracted by all the details. Time management is all about efficiency and effectiveness. Although we all want to accomplish as many tasks as possible, having too many can cause us to feel overwhelmed and behind.
3. Assess peak productivity hours
It is important to evaluate your peak productivity hours. Everyone has a different 9-5 schedule. Some days are more productive than others. Are you at your best in the morning? Next, schedule your most difficult tasks at a time when you are able to focus and have energy. You can leave the more mundane or easy tasks for later in the day and use that time to plan, strategy, relax, or spend time with your family.
You can limit the time you spend on “time-wasters” by knowing when your energy is highest. Start slowly shifting your schedule to match your prime productivity hours. Then, evaluate your feelings about the changes. Are you more focused? Do you feel more focused?
4. Optimize technology
You can stay on track with online calendars, digital timers, and smartphone apps. Google Calendar is an easy-to-use scheduling tool that allows color-coding and notifications to be sent for reminders and deadlines. Toggle Track, a time management app that’s free for up to five people, is also available. You can track your time and create reports to show where you are spending most of it.
If you want to reduce your time wasters, apps can help. You may find yourself distracted by social media for long periods of time without realizing it. If you work remotely, this applies to housekeeping as well as long desk conversations with colleagues when you are in the office. You can narrow down the distractions that most affect you and reduce the amount of time you spend on them.
Online project management tools such as Trello or Basecamp can give you a central overview of your tasks and deadlines. These tools can be used for more than just work. These tools can be used to help you manage your time and achieve your goals. Technology can be an important tool in improving time management if used properly.
5. Find your own rhythm
While there are many apps and online tools that can help you track your time, it is sometimes just as effective to write down a list on pen and paper. Once I complete a task, I write down a list and then cross it off my list.
Some days are more important than others. Other days, however, require that we prioritize our families. There is no single path that everyone should follow. It is important to create a system that allows you to discover your own rhythm.
6. Avoid interruptions
Interruptions can take away valuable time and make it hard to flow. You can manage your time better and stay in the zone by avoiding them. To eliminate background noise, find a quiet place or purchase noise-canceling headphones. This will signal to others that it is not your intention to be interrupted.
To avoid looking at incoming messages, put your phone in airplane mode. Close all tabs on your computer you aren’t using. Incoming chats, emails, and notifications can be a distraction that takes up too much of your day.
7. Block your time
Although it sounds like planning an entire day hourly might help you manage your time, it is more likely that it will leave you feeling overwhelmed and eventually exhausted. Meetings can be long and interruptions are common. Tasks can also take longer than expected. Time blocking allows you to block out time for multiple tasks in one block.
You can, for example, set aside time each morning to exercise, respond to emails, and conduct meetings. You can also set aside time for work that requires complete focus such as writing, strategy, research, or any other task that may be required. This is a great way to make sure you have breaks and practice self-care. It allows you to focus your attention on just a few tasks at a time, rather than trying to do everything.
You can improve your time management by implementing daily habits that are geared towards making positive changes. These tips will help you create structure and look at where your time is being spent to determine where you can make changes that add value to your life.