Time Management Tips to Organize Your Life
If you can't stay on top of your day and are neglecting your schedule, you may feel like you need more hours in the day. In reality, time management tools and strategies can pack in. more productivity and free up more time than ever before. Here are a few ways to get started.
Track Your Time
The first step in prioritizing your time is tracking where you're spending it. Jot down what you're doing during the day, for how long, and what times of the day. The practice may seem tedious at first, but it reveals a wealth of information about where you can refine your time management.
Once you've got a handle on what you're doing with your time, you create a schedule that better aligns with your lifestyle. You may decide to stack your busy work in the morning when you're the most alert. Or, if you're a night owl, you may want to save creative tasks for when the sun goes down.
Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule is essential for bringing time management to life. Grab a daily planner or To-Do list and create a schedule for your day. It may be helpful to plan out your days the night before, weekly, or monthly. Use a system that works for you and is easy to follow.
Batch Your Time
Time batching is a helpful way to get on top of your time management. Group like-minded tasks together and complete them over a specific period of time.
The more you can batch things together, the easier it is to approach a large volume of work. For example, get all your bills done from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and update your financials. Or return your emails in the morning and set aside time to do it again in the afternoon. The goal is to avoid repeating tasks all day and losing control of your time.
Studies show that multitasking is distracting and could negatively impact productivity and time management. Instead, focus on one thing or like-minded tasks in a specific period of time. The more you focus, the more you get done. You'll probably find you can finish your work faster than before.
Use a Timer
Using a timer to complete your work helps keep you focused and stay on top of your time management. Try setting a timer for 30-minutes to update a report or make business calls. Known as the Pomodoro technique, the goal is to get a high concentration of work done quickly and then give yourself a brain break.
Adjust Your To-Do List
Some people thrive when scheduling the most time-consuming and stressful tasks off their list right away. Others will get into a state of brain lock where they can't seem to move forward. Consider adding a few quick wins to the top of your To-Do list to get some of those tasks knocked off your list right away. Once the momentum picks up, you'll find it easier to tackle more complicated tasks.
Schedule Down Time
You deserve to relax and find some quiet in your day. It's just as important to schedule some downtime as your daily responsibilities. Schedule time to take a walk, surf the Internet, or start a text chain with friends. When the time is up, get back to work feeling refreshed.
Leave Some Flexibility
Despite how crucial keeping a schedule and practicing time management is, you still need room for flexibility. Don't pack your schedule so tightly that you can't handle an occasional emergency or unexpected request. Otherwise, the stress of always being productive could lead to burnout.
Ready to put time management best practices into place? Get inspired by browsing our collection of planners, notepads, and other resources to help you stay organized and tame clutter before it spirals. Browse our entire selection here.