Time management principles are important and we need to be reminded of them from time to time. Often we go about our work and business in a hap-hazard way, leaving what needs to be done for another day. The problem is that often that day doesn’t come in time and we find we are behind the proverbial eight ball. It is important that we understand our goals, how we action them and the tasks that we need to complete them. The following seven tried and true time management tips may help you be more effective as you go about those daily tasks.
1. Prioritize Your Tasks Each Day
Before you start each day, or the night before the next day, identify the top three most important goals you have to accomplish. Each of these should be moving you toward attaining a long-term goal. Also identify the tasks you didn’t accomplish that day and determine whether they are still relevant, can wait for another time, or can be delegated for someone else to complete.
2. Use Music to Boost Concentration
When you have trouble focusing, try low-level music or even white noise to block out distractions and help you stay engaged. Music that has helped me in the past includes classical music, soft jazz, and Gregorian chant.
Low-level music can improve creativity, lower your stress level, and allow you to concentrate for more sustained periods.
3. Put Your Phone on Hold
Today’s great distraction fits in the palm of your hand. Put it on hold when you are working on something important. There is no need to respond immediately to most text messages, emails and phone calls. It is best to work in 90 minute spurts and then attend to your phone calls, emails and text messages. It takes a bit of discipline to do this but you will find it is worth it in the long run.
4. Stop Multi-tasking.
Here is the thing. When you try to focus on more than one thing at a time, you don’t actually do a very good job of either one of them. Studies consistently show that multi-tasking results in poorer outcomes and higher levels of stress. People believe that they can multi-task but the reality is that they can only concentrate on one task at a time. Learn to schedule your tasks, give them a priority and deal with them one at time.
5. Complete The Hardest Thing First
After you have prioritized your tasks each day, tackle the most difficult or the least appealing task first. Often people start with the easiest task and then procrastinate on the more difficult ones. This is not the best way to go. You usually have more energy earlier in the day and hence working on the more difficult piece of work is more effective. Think about it this way, by leaving the more difficult task to later in the day the more you will be filled with anxiety, particularly if you are not leaving enough time to complete it.
6. Be Aware Of Your Mental Chatter
Keep notes about how you talk to yourself for a few days. Make special note when you are beating yourself up or being critical of your actions. Also, document when you are praising yourself and acknowledging your accomplishments. Note how you are feeling at the time, and what set off the chatter.
You can learn a lot about your mental state, your emotional responses, and how to be kinder to yourself when you pay attention to the thoughts you express to yourself.
7. Improve Your Environment
The space around you influences your thinking, motivation, and outlook. Improve them all with these simple suggestions for improving your environment.
I hope these seven tried and true time saving tips have helped you. If you find that you can’t do them all at once then think horizontally and put one of them on your list each day and in seven days you will find you are better organized, sleep better, and have less stress.
Thank you for reading and continue becoming the best version of yourself. Stay safe, keep well and enjoy your day.