Sure, you organize your coat closet, your files, and your garage. But, what about organizing your time? You know that effective time management is crucial for being productive and efficient, no matter what you’re working on. However, successfully prioritizing and making great use of your time isn’t always as simple as it seems. Have no fear! Here are a few quick tips that will transform you into a time management pro.
1. Use a Calendar
I’m always amazed by the amount of people that claim to be “deadline-driven”, yet don’t utilize any sort of calendar system. I simply can’t function without my planner.
Not only does a calendar help keep me sane, but it’s also incredibly important for great time management skills. A calendar allows you to see important dates, reminders, and upcoming deadlines all in one place. This will keep you on track, as well as help you determine your time-pressing priorities.
Whether you want to use a traditional paper calendar or an electronic version is up to you. The important part is to remember to keep it updated!
2. Eliminate Distractions
Does this scenario sound familiar? You’re using your computer to complete a work project or draft an important email. You type about two solid sentences and then decide to quickly check in on what’s happening on Facebook. In your newsfeed, you see an article about some celebrity gossip that you just have to read. From there, you fall into the YouTube black hole — and then that somehow reminds you to check the weather for tomorrow. We’ve all been there.
Eliminating triggers and distractions is key for effective time management. If you’re less productive with the t.v. on, then turn it off. If you find yourself clicking around too much on the Internet, enforce a new rule that you can only have one tab open at a time.
Do whatever you have to. Just get rid of as many potential distractions as you possibly can.
3. Make a List
Perhaps not everybody agrees, but I would argue that there’s nothing as helpful as a good, ol’ fashioned to-do list. It’s a tangible reminder of the things that you need to get done. Plus, you get the satisfying feeling of crossing things off.
A written list is particularly helpful if you’re feeling overwhelmed by how much you need to do. Getting all of that information out of your brain and down on paper will help free up some necessary mental space, as well as give you a clear idea about what tasks should be prioritized.
4. Take Breaks
This might seem counterintuitive, but taking short breaks can actually help to boost your productivity. Studies show that taking a quick break from the task at hand is a proven way to sustain concentration and energy levels throughout the day.
Think of it this way: your brain needs a chance every now and then to recuperate and recharge. If you’re constantly zoned in on work, your brain never gets the break it needs.
So, don’t hesitate to get up and take a quick breather every now and then. Just make sure that your break doesn’t turn into a two hour trip down the Internet rabbit hole. Mark my words: just stay away from YouTube.
Time management can be a tough skill to perfect. But, these tips will get you on the right track. Put these into motion and you’ll be more productive and efficient than you’ve ever been before!
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