Time is the one thing we’d all like to have more of! But our time is limited. It’s how we manage our time and how we perceive our time that makes the difference in feeling rushed off our feet or on top of things. Here are 12 time management strategies to ensure you are making the most of your time and not feeling stressed out!
Set goals in each sphere of your life. For instance your work, relationships, personal health and wider community. Have long-term and short-term goals. Write them down and put them somewhere where you can easily read them! Try to review your goals each morning as you plan your day. Prioritize your most important tasks for the day and ensure these are in sync with your long-term goals. By doing this you are taking action every day in alignment with your goals and your vision for your life.
Use a diary
Be organised and keep track of your daily tasks; deadlines; and commitments in a diary and/or calendar. Some people love digital versions or a good old note book still does the trick!
Chunks of time
Schedule your day into small chunks of time. It’s better to break up your day into chunks of time, spreading your tasks across these, than to leave your day open ended. Take plenty of breaks as you go through your day. Do the most important tasks first and try to vary your tasks each day so that you don’t get stuck or bored on one task.
Learn to focus and stop multi-tasking. This is probably the biggest obstacle in the way of getting things done! It’s so easy to procrastinate and check Facebook or catch up on the internet. Our minds wonder from the task at hand and it ends up taking us much longer than it should! When you are focusing on one task, block out distractions like your email, phone, the internet, background music or the TV. This should help you get the task done quicker!
Learn to say no to things and simply do less. This applies to both your personal and professional life. When you overcommit you end up spreading yourself thin. Maybe it’s a social event that you end up canceling at the last minute, and annoying those who you promised you’d be there. Or it’s a work task you do a disservice to as you didn’t have the time and energy to do properly. Rather learn to say no and clearly communicate your constraints. Keeping people in the loop is better than simply saying yes then disappointing them later on.
Don’t skimp on sleep even if it feels like you have too much on your plate. Try to get 7 to 8 hours of solid sleep each night. You can accomplish more during the day time if you have had a proper rest the night before. Our brains and bodies need time to repair and rest.
On average, you should exercise at least three times a week for over half an hour. But you can also try to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine. By going for a short walk during your lunch time break or taking the stairs instead of the lift. Breathe deeper. By doing this you inject natural energy into your psyche helping you to focus more on your next task.
Value your time
Value your time by not funneling it into things that drain you of energy and which don’t contribute towards your ultimate goals. Cut out the drama and energy vampires. Don’t get sucked into a conversation with the office gossip! Don’t allow yourself to be forced into doing something because of a guilt trip! Focus your time on uplifting experiences and people that excite you and intrigue you!
By working smarter this means we need to assess the importance of tasks to see if we are best suited to do it. It may be better to delegate the task, delete it or defer it. We shouldn’t aim to be constantly busy but rather to be productive with our time. We also need to learn to let go of smaller details and kill the perfectionist within us. If 95% of a project is complete, laboring over the last 5% is not going to make a difference to the outcome, it’s time to let it go and move on!
A clean orderly space is a reflection of our state of mind. Clear out the junk and old items, to create space to allow the creative energy flow! Our workstations should be neat and not cluttered. Everything should be stored in its home so we know where to find it. In fact, this philosophy should also be applied to our home environments. Having an uncluttered environment will save us time when we are looking for something.
Find the love in what you’re doing
When we get into a repetitive work mode pattern it can sometimes feel mundane, monotonous and boring. For this reason, it’s important to find love in what we are doing. Sometimes we need to let our minds wonder on a creative trajectory and see where it takes us. Sometimes we need to forget about the clock. Sometimes we need to learn something new just for the sake of learning. Do something different and experiment to keep it interesting!
Do something that you love each day
It’s also a good idea to do something that you love each day, whether it is creating a fabulous meal, going for a run, listening to loud music or watching our favourite comedy show. Remember to schedule in enjoyment and fun into your everyday routines. Find reasons to laugh more!
I hope these time management strategies help you to feel in control of your time, on top of things and in the flow of life. These time management strategies should help you enjoy and appreciate each moment of your day.