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Here are 10 tips to help you better manage your time.
Tip No 1 Change your habits.
If you’re reading this, I think it’s a fair assumption you want to improve your time management skills. If you struggle with time management, the solution may be as simple as changing some of your daily habits.
If you are used to sleeping in until 6.30 am, start waking up at 5 am. I find this time of day the most productive. I can catch up with emails, work on any social media or blog posts I need to have ready all without being disturbed.
You may also want to wake-up earlier on the weekends and cut down the amount of TV or Netflix you watch.
“Perfection is often sought but never achieved.” Cliff Turner
Tip No 2 Stop being perfect.
Perfection is something sought but never achieved. When you are a perfectionist, what you do will never be good enough. This means you will keep going back to the same task over and over again. Doing this damages your productivity for the day.
So, stop trying to be perfect. It doesn’t exist. Do the best you can and move on.
“The trouble with time is, you think you have plenty of it”. Cliff Turner
Tip No 3 Don’t waste time waiting.
I’ll be honest. I can’t stand waiting. It’s partly because I am impatient, partly because if I am not careful, I can waste my own time so I don’t need help from other people to do it, but also because I know I could be doing better things with my time elsewhere.
I have, however, found ways to best use my time while waiting or traveling. For example, while I am driving, I have an audible book or Podcast playing. If I am waiting for someone to arrive, I can be checking emails or reading personal development blogs.
“Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation” Zig Ziglar
Tip No 4 Prepare In Advance.
Prepare your work list for the following day at the end of the current day.
The best thing you can do is to plan your entire day as the last thing you do before leaving work.
The best exercise is for you to plan your entire next day as the last thing you do before coming home.
One of the huge benefits of preparing your to-do list the day before is, you sleep better. One of the main reasons for insomnia is laying in bed thinking about what they have to do tomorrow — trying not to forget what they have to do the following day is another.
When you have everything written down on your to-do list, it clears your mind and allows you to sleep better. Good sleep will help improve productivity. This is a very simple tip, but also one of the most powerful time management tips available.
Tip No 5 Set a time limit for each task.
Setting a time limit for each task allows you to focus on the task and the time needed to complete it. People overestimate what they can achieve in a day and underestimate what can be achieved in a week.
Tip No 6 Learn to delegate.
Delegate. If the task is important, ask yourself if it’s really something that you are responsible for doing in the first place. Know your job description and ask if the task is part of your responsibilities. Can the task be given to someone else?
Tip No 7 Leave a buffer-time between tasks and meetings.
It may seem the best use of your time but jumping from one task to another or one meeting to another, but it actually has the opposite effect. We need time to recharge and clear our minds. It is well documented that the human brain can only focus for about 90 minutes at any one time.
By not taking a break, it is far more difficult to stay motivated and focused. When you schedule buffer time it can eliminate the stress of running late for your next meeting.
Tip No 8 Get organised and single task.
- Begin each day with a to-do list.
- Define a specific window to check email.
- Time block your major tasks
- Organise your desk.
Tip No 9 Follow the 80-20 rule.
The 80-20 Pareto Principle is typically used in sales, where 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers.
This principle can also be applied to time management. 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions.
Start looking at your to-do list every day and pick the top 3 priorities. When you do this and block out time to start and finish your top priorities, you will be amazed at how much can be achieved.
Tip 10 Eliminate 50: 50 work.
We live in an age of constant distraction. It is so easy to get distracted from what we should be doing to what are bombarded with daily i.e., email and social media.
It is rare we are fully engaged with a task because we are responding to outside demands such as messages and emails.
Examples of this are:
You are writing a report, but you get the urge to check your phone for no reason. (Sound familiar
You are talking on the phone while thinking I must check my email.
It doesn’t matter how you fall into the 50:50 trap; the outcomes the same you are never fully engaged with the task at hand, and it takes you twice as long to achieve half as much.
One of the best ways to eliminate 50:50 work is by blocking out time to focus on a project and eliminate everything else.
This is the best way I have found to eliminate 50:50 work.
I find good quotes encourage you to pause and reflect and increase your understanding of a topic. I have included a range of time management quotes over the last 3 blogs, just not by me but from others as well. Time management strategies and tactics are great and will work well, but only if you have a clear understanding of what time management means to you. What your goals are and what you want to achieve. I hope the tips and quotes provided above help you to understand