Time management is an essential skill for success in your work and personal life. Without it, important things can fall by the wayside, appointments are missed, and you may find yourself stressed and constantly running around to keep up.
One popular misconception about time management is that, when done right, you’re able to accomplish an absurd amount of things over the course of a day. In all reality, this concept is about getting smarter in how you use your time, making you more productive and less stressed at the same time.
While your time management skills are something that you will need to work on to improve over time, you can give yourself a jump start by changing some of your habits right now. Check out the following 10 tips to polish your time wrangling skill-set and get yourself on the fast track to a more productive and less stressful life!
1. Start As Soon As Possible
Procrastination is a tempting mistress, but you’ve got to start as early as possible on the things you have to do. By getting down to work right away, you’ll give yourself time to do the job right and leave yourself room for tweaks and revisions.
2. Get It Prioritized
Prioritize what’s important in your day and go from the order of most vital to least. Unless you’ve got a very short to-do list or a time machine, you can’t get it all done in one day, so just make sure what must be done is addressed.
3. Handle Things One At A Time
Multitasking is a great idea in theory, but just doesn’t work for most people. You’re not giving each task the attention it needs if you’re spreading your focus across multiple jobs at the same time. Stick to starting and finishing one item at a time. Your quality of work will be higher, and you just may find you’ll get more done overall.
4. Set A Time Frame
It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you don’t give yourself time limits. Set a time frame for every task you’re going to do, and stick to it. For instance, if you decide to work on something for two hours, stop at that two-hour mark. This will help you stay fresh and on schedule, so other tasks don’t fall by the wayside.
5. Create Some New Habits
Make key tasks you do frequently a question of habit. If you turn those little jobs into part of your everyday routine, you’ll find it easier to both complete and remember them!
6. Limit Social Media
Checking your Facebook or Twitter feed for just a “minute” can easily turn into half an hour of time lost if you let it. Restrict social media use to your free time only. If you’re not sure about your willpower when it comes to that, try some free software and add-ons that will limit access during custom times for you, such as SelfControl and LeechBlock.
7. Start Saying “No”
Nothing is worse than letting other people waste your time. You don’t have to say “Yes” to everything that comes your way. Consider the time you’ll spend and what you get out of it before agreeing to an opportunity or activity that lands in your lap.
If the offer is of no real value to you or comes with baggage you’d rather avoid, like listening to a co-worker you’re not really fond of, don’t hesitate to decline.
8. Dump The Nonessential
Get rid of things that drain your time but don’t add to or aren’t necessary for your life. Hanging out with a friend you’ve grown apart from? It’s time to let that go.
Engaging in a hobby you no longer enjoy? Move onto to something else, an activity you actually want to do. Clutter in your life can waste your time just the same as searching through a messy closet each morning for clothes, so make sure you clean house.
9. Take Time To Rest
It can be all too tempting to skimp out on a couple of hours’ sleep or of down time, but you need to rest in order to tackle tasks efficiently the next time. Make sure you get the amount of sleep you need each night, and don’t be afraid to take breaks when you need them during the day.
10. Enjoy What You Do
Even little tasks can be enjoyable if you let them. Allow yourself to feel the joy of a job well done, even if you’ve just completed a task you do every day.