A lot of people struggle with time management, which is a huge source of stress for most individuals. Whether you are a busy parent trying to balance work, family, and life, or an office worker that has a job that never seems to slow down, timing can be difficult.
If you feel like you’re constantly being pushed and stressed out by deadlines, then it may be time to look into ways to solve your time issues. There are many different strategies you can use to improve this area of your life, but none of them work if you don’t use them.
Time is one of our greatest resources and wasting it is not okay. If you would like to see significant changes in both how you handle your own time and help others do the same, then there is something we can all agree on: we need to learn how to manage our time.
‘Time management’ is simply managing your time, whether you have one chunk of time or many, well ahead or behind, whether you are in work or not, and whether you have no resources or lots, at home or at the office.
It is being able to use all these chunks effectively, consistently, every day, that makes time management work.
And I bet you already do most (if not all) of this. You know how to be more efficient with your time when you have a lot of things to do, so why not apply those skills to the times you don’t?
Why should you worry about time when you are working? Because it will make your job easier! If we all had our time, we could spend it doing whatever we wanted to.
But we don’t, so some way needs to be found to reap the benefits without wasting what we have. Luckily, there are ways to do it.
Make progress toward your goals
The more you focus on what tasks need to be done, the faster you will get through them all. But how do you know which tasks are important and should be focused on?
That is where creating milestones comes in handy. A milestone can be anything from planning a trip to completing an assignment.
By putting deadlines into place, you create more urgency for getting things done. You also have a chance to evaluate whether or not you are meeting your deadlines!
Making progress towards your goal helps take some of the pressure off since you are starting to meet one of your objectives. It also gives you something to work with so that you don’t keep going without stopping.
Once you have identified your priorities, you can start focusing on only those projects. This way, you remain motivated as you move forward because you have planned time to complete what you want.
Planning ahead and being able to recognize and acknowledge your accomplishments make it easier to put away distractions and stay focused on achieving your dreams.
Consider using a time management app
A good time manager app will help you keep control of your schedule, organize everything, and make it easy to track what has been done and when.
There are many great time tracking apps that have features such as due dates, voice annotation, and even automated reminders where they’ll send an alert telling you that you’re running out of time for something.
These apps also usually sync across all your devices, so you can access and update the information anywhere.
Some apps even allow you to create groups which give you more flexibility in how you allocate your time. For example, if one group is for work, another could be personal projects or spending time with family.
By having different categories, you’re able to better understand how much time each takes and how you can prioritize them depending on the situation.
A few strategies that can help you manage your time are taking frequent short breaks. You may need to make changes to how you organize your work, and be willing to re-evaluate what tasks matter most to you and which must be given lower priority.
It’s important to recognize that no one else has your priorities but you – yourself. Don’t expect others to understand why certain things have higher or lower importance for you.
Take regular breaks. Give yourself some time away from the computer every couple of hours. This can mean leaving the desk area and walking around the room, or going out for a short walk outside.
Do something unrelated to work for a few minutes, then return and focus on your current task.
Add an additional hour at the end of each day to take care of all the other areas in your life that require your attention.
A helpful way to manage your time is by practicing meditation. This can be done anywhere, any time of day or night. You do not have to make it for one hour every week like most people do, but just start with 10 minutes each morning and afternoon and see what happens!
Meditation has many different names such as mindfulness, self-awareness, and relaxation. The term “meditate” usually refers to focusing on nothing specific and letting yourself feel relaxed.
Many use a word or short phrase as their focus while meditating. Some may choose to think about something related to their work or family, but there is no wrong way to do it.
Whatever you are comfortable with is what works best for you. It will also help you learn more about yourself and how much stress you place on certain things. More importantly, it will improve your overall health and wellness.
Learn to prioritize
One of the biggest things that get in the way of your time management skills is having enough sense of priority about what you should be doing next. You may also spend too much time trying to make sure everything has been done, which can easily become a looping process that adds more stress than it removes.
It’s important to learn how to prioritize. A lot of people have different definitions for the word ‘prioritize,’ but we’ll use our own here!
By this, we mean figuring out what is most important work (the top priorities) and then organizing your time so those items are completed first.
The rest of the time you have can be spread across the other less important tasks that need to get finished. This system will naturally create new priorities as needed.
You can refer back to the earlier section about creating an effective task list to help with this. Make sure to organize your lists using appropriate columns or tags so you don’t waste time looking through pages and pages of irrelevant info.
It’s easy to lose focus when you’re spending lots of time working on one project, so add a column to keep track of what else needs to be done.
This will help you identify any gaps in activity and give you some ideas for projects that can be added onto your current workload.
Create an action plan
A good first step in solving your time management issues is to create an action plan, designed to give you some quick wins. This can be anything from organizing all of your materials and apps in order of importance, reordering tasks or projects according to their priorities, outsourcing certain duties, investing in software that helps you organize and track time, etc.
It’s important to remember that no matter what changes you make, it will take some time for them to work. You may need to bear with poor results at first before realizing that they’re helping you and eventually changing how you manage your time.
By having short term fixes, you’ll soon find yourself closer to achieving your goal of finding the best way to manage your time.
Visualize your goals
A big part of solving time management problems is realizing that you’re spending too much time in front of screens. Technology has made us dependant on it, so using technology less can improve your efficiency.
You should be aware of how many hours each area of your life takes, how long it really takes to complete tasks, and what areas require more investment than others.
By investing time into these areas, you will have better quality time with friends and family, work will get done faster, and you will feel happier. You will also save money because you will get things done early!
Planning ahead and being realistic are two great ways to fix this problem. Make smart investments in yourself by changing how you use resources such as computers, phones, and tablets. Try limiting screen time to specific times of day or even switching between digital and non-digital tools for completing tasks.
How about doing without those expensive gadgets for once? It may help you realize just how unnecessary they are.