You Have 24 Hours Today—Here are the 9 Best Time Management TIps
Time. It’s the one thing in life you’ll never get back, so managing it wisely is imperative. And while we can’t just abandon our responsibilities and tasks in the name of having more “free time,” we can learn a few essential time management tips to get more done. Then, maybe then, we will find a few extra hours in our days to do the things we enjoy. Here’s how what to do.
- Start with a game plan. By scheduling your day, you can leverage the times you work best in order to get the most done. If you’re a morning person, you plan your biggest tasks before lunch. If you can’t get out of bed to work out in the a.m., save it for the evening when you’ll be more successful. Scheduling your day will keep you focused and on track.
- Set time limits. Scheduling a time frame for each of your daily tasks and routines ensures that these things won’t start to overlap. Block out your schedule for an hour workout, but also the time it takes to get to and from the gym. That meeting that is always scheduled for a half hour but takes an hour Every. Single. Time? Yeah, put it into your calendar as an hour so you’re not rushing from one thing to the next.
- Stop multitasking. You heard us. Contrary to recent popular opinion heralding the benefits of doing 1.894 billion things at once, you can actually get more done by focusing on one task at a time. Once that task is accomplished, or your time limit is up for the day, move on to the next one. This ensures high-quality work because you’re not focused on 16 other things in the back of your mind.
- Begin early. We get it, you’re not a morning person, but the earlier you rise and begin your day, the sooner your responsibilities will be accomplished and the more free time you’ll have available in the evening. If it simply isn’t possible to wake up a moment earlier M-F, try doing so on the weekends in order to maximize those days and get things done around the house.
- Set no call/email times. Sometimes you just have to block out the extra noise, especially if big projects and deadlines are nearing. First thing at work, check your emails and messages. Allow yourself five minutes to get caught up (or slightly more if you need to respond) and then get out of your email, put your phone away, and focus on your tasks. The same goes for time in the evening at home. If you have things to do, put silence your cellular and focus on what’s important.
- Don’t get lost in a cyber wormhole. We all do it. The alarm goes off in the morning and the first thing we do is check our social media accounts. While it would be best to not do this at all, it is a nearly impossible habit to break cold turkey. Instead, set a second alarm to go off 10 minutes later that will remind you “HEY! GET UP! GET OFF FACEBOOK!” Each day, wean yourself off one more minute at a time until you are no longer checking it first thing and are instead taking advantage of that time to get everything prepared for a successful, smooth day.
- Set priorities. Sometimes you just can’t get everything done. You have to set priorities. At work, use a calendar and schedule in your deadlines, setting those that are due first as top priority. Out of work, prioritizing is important too. Binge TV watching should probably be less of a priority than cooking dinner or helping the kids with homework. Just a thought.
- Monitor your day. Until you’re the master of time management, it’s important to monitor your progress. Every night, look back on your day. Try to find the black holes where time simply seemed to disappear. Was it during your hour-long shower in the morning? Or your fourth consecutive episode of The Bachelor? How about that meeting that you really didn’t even need to be a part of? By examining your time, you can learn where to improve the next day in order to free up more moments.
- Value your time. When you start to view your time as a commodity you’ll never get back, you’ll see the true value in it. This will help you set boundaries with yourself and with others that will keep you focused and on track. It will help you embrace the things in life that, while they take up time, are important to you. It will also help flush out the other things that, well, simply don’t mean as much.
Everyone has 24 hours in a day. You’ll never have more. But with a few time management tips, you’ll be able to get more done and maybe even squeeze in some more of the things you love!