Whether you’re constantly late, perpetually punctual, or just struggling to find time for whatever needs to get done in your personal or professional life— we can all use some tips for better time management. Taking the time to assess where your strengths and weaknesses are in managing the time in your day can be beneficial to your productivity. We’ve compiled some tips for better time management:
1. Use a Calendar
Google Calendar works great. You can sync your schedule across all devices, set reminders, and locations so you know how much time it will take to travel to appointments, etc. Invite others to an event or a meeting, so everyone is on the same page. Make one calendar for work, one for kids, etc. and turn them on and off when you want to see or hide events. The more you can put on a calendar that can be read at any time, the more you will have a better understanding of how your time is spent.
2. Block Out Distractions.
Does checking your phone every 5 or 10 minutes keep you from focusing on the task at hand? Whether you are receiving notifications and emails or just looking for stuff to do, mobile devices are major time vacuums. If you have work to do, turn your phone on silent. Better yet, if you really can’t help yourself from checking, put your phone on airplane mode or off completely. All your texts will be there when you turn it back on.
3. Make a List.
I plan my life around Evernote to-do lists. From work to-do lists, miscellaneous items to buy at the grocery store, or restaurants to check out — this is a great platform for keeping track of any and everything. Your note can be as simple as a checklist, or can include photos, attachments, or be shared with other people. Like the Google Calendar, it’s automatically synced across devices.
4. Tackle Your Most Difficult Tasks First
Constantly dreading a task only breeds further procrastination. Do your hardest tasks in the morning and just get it over with. You will be thankful for the rest of your day.
If someone at work can help you accomplish a task, or a spouse or significant other can do more to pitch in at home — ask. Why shoulder the burden if you don’t have to?
6. Give Yourself Breaks.
Even the busiest people need a break and time to themselves. Clearing your head, whether it’s a long lunch, reading a book, or a walk around the block, might be just what you need to come back to work refreshed and full of ideas.
7. Say No.
You may feel compelled to say yes to every invitation that comes your way. If your time is stretched too thin, be okay with saying no. It’s better to say no and re-charge your batteries so you are ready for next time.
Make a list of the tasks that must be accomplished each day, and work your way from most to least important. Rarely will checking Facebook be at the top of your list!