Regardless of where you are in life, having a toolbox of time management strategies is crucial for every person’s success.
If you haven’t seen part one to this article, click here to check out five additional tips to take your efficiency to the next level.
Great time management lies in maximizing productivity and focus. For some this can be a challenge, which is why professionals need to create and commit to a set schedule. In this way, they can establish a healthy routine and manage their workload efficiently. The key to this is in planning ahead, setting aside enough time for each task.
It all begins with creating and committing to a schedule. Schedules allow professionals to define their goals and their priorities. Schedules also provide a way to measure progress. In preparing these, even procrastination breaks should be included. By jotting these down in the calendar, people can use these short breaks to refresh and refocus their energy.
These “master schedules” allow professionals to better visualize the time they have. In this way, learning to measure how much time they need for each task.
Agendas can be used to schedule social activities and breaks from work. This is how individuals can better understand how much time they spend (or waste) on any given activity.
It’s recommended that professionals jot down the activities they wish to do in a given day. In addition they should jot down the time it takes to accomplish each task. This alone can help build valuable organizational habits.
When setting goals, it is important to do it the correct way. Though this may differ from person to person, many make the mistake of only recording their long-term goals. This makes it much easier for them to procrastinate. Particularly because this makes projects feel like massive tasks!
In this case, individuals place their entire focus on the end-result. Rather, they should focus on smaller tasks that can easily fit into their daily routines. These small steps will ultimately lead to the result they seek. When large goals are broken into smaller tasks, it is easier to record progress and make these goals seem less daunting.
As mentioned above, the best approach to achieving large goals is to break these down into smaller, more manageable steps. Once this is done, try breaking each step into even smaller bits, and then setting a deadline for each task.
By setting these small, actionable goals, professionals can easily complete the tasks on their daily to-do lists in a timely fashion. As well, they can record their progress along the way.
Everyone is different. Some people are early birds while others are night owls. Regardless, getting ahead is advantageous to anyone. Rather than literally “starting early in the day,” try to focus on setting deadlines and consistently beating those deadlines.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by a project and choose to put it off. However, this only makes the task more difficult! By breaking projects into smaller tasks, and setting deadlines, you can choose to beat those deadlines so you are always a day ahead. These efforts can help you get weeks ahead of your work and have plenty of time for shifts or creative decisions.
As we have likely all experienced, procrastination leads to unnecessary stress, frustration, and poor performance. Late starts and unfinished assignments tend to snowball. What’s worse, if not taken seriously, these can develop into detrimental negative habits.
For this reason, establishing a “master schedule” is ideal. By identifying priorities and scheduling them accordingly, you can instill positive habits that can literally change your life for the better. This can be as simple as asking yourself, “What absolutely needs to be completed tomorrow?” By writing this down, you can visualize the tasks that would subsequently follow. Adopting these techniques allow for making the best possible use of your time.