Time management can be one of the hardest skills to master, but it can also be one of the most crucial to have in your skillset.
We’ve all had those days where it seems like the day ended so fast, but we can’t think of anything we accomplished. With these simple tips, managing your time can be a much less daunting task, even for the biggest procrastinators.
Carry a Planner
Planners are required in some elementary schools for a reason. They help keep you on track and organized, which is what time management really boils down to.
Don’t just use a planner for your “To Do” list, though, write down any important conversations, thoughts, ideas or activities that you will want or need to remember later.
To even further make use of a planner, block out time for the important thoughts or conversations that you’ve written down to make sure you are spending some time on the things that really matter.
Did you have conversation with your boss about a new project that is coming up? Don’t just jot it down, make sure you block out an hour later in the day or week to brainstorm ideas for how to start it. You will thank yourself later, and your boss will too.
Plan Your Day Everyday
Before you even start your day every morning, you should sit down and plan what you need to get done. Your planner will come in handy here, as you can reference it for things already written down that you know need to be completed.
By mapping out what needs done and having a game plan before hitting the ground running, your day will be much more organized and managing your daily tasks will be simplier.
Try to Plan Interruptions
It’s common knowledge that interruptions or distractions are one of the biggest ways to get off track. By trying to plan daily interruptions, time management is a much easier task.
If possible, have “office hours” for a few hours every day, that way if people have questions they know when they can come to you. Alternatively, try putting a “do not disturb” sign on your door when working on important projects or tasks, that way you can get everything done you need to without unnecessary disruptions.
Planning around technology is also smart when trying to increase time management. Just because you got a text message doesn’t mean you have to read it and reply right that second.
Try to limit responding to emails 2 or 3 times a day, in one sitting. The constant distraction of having your inbox open all day long kills your time management.
Don’t Talk About Your Lack of Time
A lot of people like to complain about not having enough time for everything. This is a trap! Instead of focusing on what you can’t get done, focus on what you can.
Only have 15 minutes before your next meeting starts? Maybe you could put the finishing touches on the magazine ad that you’ve been working on, or send that follow up email to a potential client.
By focusing more on what can be done, instead of what can’t be done, your time management and productivity will skyrocket.
Consider Doing a Time Audit
Record what you spend all of your time doing one week. My guess is that you will be very surprised how much time you waste. When you document exactly what you do every day, it’s easy to see what can be trimmed out to make time for the more important things.
These are just a few tips on how to manage your time more wisely, but the list goes on and on. By finding a few tricks that are easy for you to accommodate into your daily schedule, you can master time management in no time at all.