Imagine the luxury of having a couple of extra hours in each day. It’s not difficult to imagine what you would do with that extra time, is it? Time management is an issue for almost everyone. The reality is that with a bit of planning, organization and time management skills, you can easily squeeze out more time in your day. Here are some tips:
Take immediate action. Deal with issues and other tasks that come up immediately instead of putting them off until later, when they might require even more time. When it comes to email, voicemails or mundane paperwork, do it now instead of coming back to it later.
Scheduled breaks. Try scheduling short breaks throughout the day, so that you’re able to stay focused and productive while working and you’re mind isn’t wandering. Scheduled time might save more time than impromptu breaks.
Avoid interruptions and distractions. Multitasking is a myth, so concentrate on one thing at a time. Turn off your phone and email or any other interference that interrupts your work, and wastes time.
Say No to Social Media. Identify the biggest time wasters in your day and eliminate them. If Facebook and Twitter are not crucial to your work, wait until the end of the day to find out what your friends are doing.
Stick to a morning routine. Don’t turn on your television or check email in the morning. They only slow you down. Instead, get ready for the day and get out of the door. Record TV shows you want to watch and check email during down time.
Dissect big blocks of time. What do you spend the most time doing during a day? Take a hard look at what you’re doing and take back what isn’t being put to good use. Reclaim work or leisure time by shaving down things like TV, internet, games, schoolwork, and email into smaller chunks.
Make use of down time. There is a lot of “gap” time during a day – when you’re on hold, in line, waiting for an appointment – to take advantage of. Fill up that time by checking emails, creating to-do lists or planning your next day.
Learn to say no. Don’t overcommit yourself to things that are not as important as what you need to get done. You can say no to requests from others when it doesn’t fit within your plans. Focus on what is most important.
Manage your sleep. Are the final hours of your day productive? Try going to sleep an hour early and waking up early – you might find the morning hours extremely productive or just gain extra time.
Constantly prioritize. Really, you always want to spend your most valuable time on things that are most important. Be aware of the real value of your activities, and either simplify or eliminate what doesn’t belong.