Everyone works according to a different schedule, but at the end of the day, we all have the same 24 hours. As a wellness management company, we concern ourselves with all aspects of total health and we believe that time management is a skill everyone should master. In fact, the mismanagement of time is often at the root of stress and anxiety. So whether you are in school, working, or parenting a family, this is an important topic for you! The hours in the day can simply seem to pass you by if you do not have an organized manner for scheduling tasks and making the most of the time you have.
Many people develop bad habits when it comes to managing their schedules. Some items, such as eating, sleeping, and spending time relaxing or doing something enjoyable should always find a prioritized place in your schedule. Outside of that, the rest of the day is up to you to determine how and when you will complete the tasks before you. If you’ve been struggling to keep your time organized and orderly, consider some of these top time management tips.
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1. Lists Are Your Friend
Write down everything. Invest in a pack of sticky notes or a little notebook to carry with you everywhere. If you are forgetful, this will help you to remember important to-do items or appointments. Having a physical calendar or planner can also help you plan out your days and weeks in advance. If you prefer to work off your phone or laptop, create a digital document and update your schedule every week. If you have it written down somewhere, you are more likely to remember it. Consult your calendar on a daily basis to keep up to date with what is coming next.
2. Multitask (But Not Too Much)
Multitasking feels productive, but it has actually been proven to be too much for our brains to handle. While it may feel like you’re getting a lot done, in reality you’re getting less done than if you would simply focus on one thing at a time. However, there are times when you can multitask in a productive manner. If you have household chores to do, consider getting some phone calls in while you fold laundry or weed the garden. Or, if you are in the car for a long drive, listen to podcasts or talks related to your job. Any task that doesn’t require a lot of mental concentration (cleaning the toilet or cooking dinner), can be used as time to get something else done too. But don’t multitask when it comes to two tasks that both require your focused attention. Remember, the point is to make sure you are actually being productive!
As mentioned above, studies show that you get more done if you concentrate on one thing at a time. Work on one project at a time and then take a break. Your flow of thought will be more productive if it can continue uninterrupted for a period of time without switching subjects or topics. Pick one thing on your list to accomplish, take a short break and then move on to the next task.
4. Stop Procrastinating….No, Today!
Procrastination kills productivity. As you’re making lists and concentrating on one thing at a time, avoid procrastinating on the tasks you don’t like or the ones that seem difficult. Take them one at a time and stick to your list. If you need a break, take one. Working steadily with breaks is always better than avoiding or procrastinating. Don’t wait until tomorrow to stop procrastinating or it may never happen! You won’t be able to practice good time management skills if you can’t first break the bad habit of procrastination.
5. Set Deadlines and Stick To Them
Deadlines can help you stay motivated. If you need to, have an accountability partner for your more important projects or tasks. Set deadlines so that you can keep up to date with your schedule. This will allow you to complete tasks ahead of time as well as plan times to rest and relax. Deadlines also give you the opportunity to practice your time management skills by sticking with your schedule.
6. Delegate Tasks
Don’t do everything yourself if you don’t have to. Delegate tasks to your assistant or co-workers if your workload is too heavy. Delegating is a great way to show confidence in the skills of others, foster an atmosphere of teamwork, and even trade tasks between partners. It will also keep you from trying to do too much with too little time.
7. Rest to Avoid Burnout
For the last but not least of our time management tips, we recommend rest. Rest is often ignored. Some people don’t understand how necessary it truly is to let the body and mind simply take a break and rejuvenate. This includes sleeping, but it also includes breaks in between work as well as time to do things you enjoy. If you work all the time, you will eventually burn out.
Time management skills take time to master, but as you begin to practice these tips listed above, your schedule and days will fall into line. Hopefully these recommendations have inspired you to take control of your time and schedule accordingly!