On average, workers only spend 2.8 hours a day on productive tasks.
Good time management is the key to producing high-quality work, hitting targets, and avoiding stress. Perhaps you’re hoping to brush up on your time management skills but you’re not sure where to start.
Sounds like you? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how to improve your time management skills.
Make a Schedule and Prioritize Your Tasks
The first step towards better time management is to organize your days and week in advice. Although life is full of surprises, you’ll still have a clear idea of the types of responsibilities you must do every day.
If not, make a simple to-do list at the start of the day so you can prioritize your tasks and focus on the essentials. Be realistic to avoid disappointment so if there’s a big goal then spend the day working towards that and push the smaller tasks onto the next day.
Decide how long the task will take with a realistic deadline so you can visualize which tasks need more time and effort. If you’re struggling, check out this time management program to guide you throughout the process.
Not everyone can start their day at 5:30 AM but it doesn’t mean you can’t start early.
If you’re not a morning person then set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual and you’ll be surprised how much you can squeeze in that time. It doesn’t have to be for work-related tasks either, you can exercise and eat a nourishing breakfast so you have a great start to the day.
Organize Your Workspace
One of our top productivity tips is to organize your workspace. You waste time trying to find your favorite pen or the right file so keep the most important tools within arm’s reach so you’re not distracted.
Plus, when you train yourself to be more organized then it’ll also improve your planning abilities.
Not sure how to be more productive?
As a general rule, if the task can be completed today then get started. Live by these rules so if your schedule changes and you have extra time, instead of binging Netflix, start on the next day’s tasks so you’re a step ahead.
Remember, it’s better to finish your week earlier than getting stuck working over-time on a Friday night. If you struggle with procrastination, schedule easier tasks between the more difficult tasks so you stay on track.
One of the best time management strategies is to avoid multi-tasking because you compromise the quality of the work. Instead, focus on one goal at a time so you can achieve a flow state. This is where you become fully immersed in whatever you’re doing so it feels seamless.
Create a Time for Distractions
If you’re after constructive time management tips, set time aside where you can succumb to your distractions. So after two hours of fully focused work, give yourself 10 minutes to make a coffee, stretch, or go outside for fresh air.
Struggling with distractions? Then put your phone in a different room, minimize your social media use, and don’t check your emails until you’ve finished. You should switch off email notifications, only check them twice a day, and set aside 20 minutes to respond to messages unless they’re urgent.
Take Regular Breaks
When your concentration falters or you feel stressed, take a break for 15 minutes to recharge. Breaks are a great way to encourage motivation because if you know it’s coming up then you can power through the task at hand.
Instead of scrolling through social media on your break, do quick stretches, take a walk, or chat with your loved ones.
Learn to Say No
Don’t be afraid to reject tasks if you already feel overloaded with work. Always check your to-do list before accepting another project as it’s a key factor to good time management.
Remember, saying no doesn’t look selfish, it simply gives you more energy devoted to important tasks than doing a poor job on your co-worker’s task.
If you’re swamped with tasks and you’re unable to complete them, delegate work to your team. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy, it simply frees up time and helps your employees work together as a single unit. Otherwise, you could become stressed and burned out which can take a toll on your physical and mental well-being.
But it’s important to choose the right person for the task. To help you, figure out the skills needed to finish the task and delegate the employee who is the best at that skill so you know they’ll do a great job.
Use Apps to Help You
There are many time-tracking apps and daily management software to try. These will show you how long each task will take which encourages you to concentrate on the task at hand. When you use both then you’ll create a realistic schedule with attainable goals that will stop you from procrastinating.
That’s How to Improve Your Time Management Skills
Hopefully, this post has taught you how to improve your time management skills.
Start by waking up early, having a clear schedule, and avoid multi-tasking as it’s less productive. You should have regular breaks and set aside time for distractions so you can concentrate on the task at hand. And don’t be afraid to say no or delegate tasks to the team because it ensures you work smarter not harder. Good luck!
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