If your are travelling to work, going to the supermarket to buy groceries, at work or at home, time is of essence. Most probably you also had the feeling that there are too few hours in a day to cope with everything, so I thought of writing a list with tips to improve the way one manages his or her time.
10. Make a List Before Going to the Supermarket
If you are going to the supermarket in order to buy groceries, it would be a good idea to make a list with the things you need to buy. Even better, when writing this list you can divide the paper in 2-3 categories such as: Food and drinks, House-cleaning products and let’s say personal hygiene product. This way, you avoid passing a aisle and then going back, because you forgot something. Another way to do it is to split the products taking into account the layout of a supermarket. This might seem complex, but will be really useful if you are in a hurry.
9. Review your New Year Resolution
In order to have a fulfilling year, it is time to review your New Year Resolution: the list with your personal goals and project prepared in anticipation of the New Year. This should be review regularly; else you might realize in November that there is not enough time to take the Photography classes you always wanted to take. In order to get as much things from the list done, try to include a date for each one. For example: Start German classes in March. Get language certificate by end of October.
8. Assess How you are Spending your Time
In order to see what needs to be improved, you need to have an accurate picture of what you actually do. The first step to effective time management is to track your daily activities for a couple of days: note down the time spend and the name of the activity. Try to analyze the final list: how much time do you spend reading your email? Or surfing on the internet? What about personal calls?
7. Setting your Goals at Work
At work, you can start by identifying your goals. By goals, I mean desired outcomes you identify to assist you in determining what it is that you want to do and when. When you know your goals, you can estimate the time needed to achieve them. Without goals, it is easy to spend time on tasks that have no clearly defined purpose. Example of an effective goal is: Obtain a law degree in 2 years time.
6. Prioritize your To Do List
Once you have a To Do list, try to give each task a priority. Try to understand the urgency behind each task and most of all, if you want to get everything done in a day, try to allocate some time for interruptions. Based on your job type, you might need to communicate this list to your supervisor. This way, you are aligned and he will not push you with delivery. If something very urgent pops up, try to discuss the possibility of extending one of more deadlines.
5. Planning in Advance
Plan the next day, next week and even next month activities. Planning will give you a sense of control and in the same time it increases your sense of power. This exercise is essential both professional and personal. For example, when going on holiday, most people avoid a stress-filled nightmare by planning. You need to know the average temperate for your destination, the amount of money needed, how you are going to book a holiday and other.
4. Limit your Distractions
If you are working on an urgent report, it is advisable to block the time in your calendar, close your email and put your phone on silent. This will help you to do a quality job. Doing the right thing the first time may take longer upfront, but correcting errors will take more time overall.
3. Avoid Time Stealers
The best tips I can provide here is to learn to say no when you are overloaded, try to check your email only 3-4 time a day (if your job type allows it to), delegate responsibilities and avoid procrastination. Most important, try to keep your workspace in order. This way you will avoid searching for files, invoices or other materials. A clean desk leaves the impression that the owner is a very organized person while preventing any leaks of information.
2. Prepare a To Do List for the Next Day
At the end of the day, before you leave the office, prepare a To-Do list for the day that is coming. A major benefit is that you will sleep more relaxed, as a major cause for insomnia is the fact that people tend to think about what they have to do during the next day. But once you have prepared the list, not only will you feel more relaxed, but also your mind will start thinking about ways so act, so you will wake up fresh and with new ideas!
1. Never Waste Time Waiting
If you are caught in a traffic jam, on the way to the gym or waiting for someone, make sure you take something to do with your: check the most recent report, download an ebook or try to stay in contact with friends. Taking into account how technology has evolved, your phone/PDA is all you need in order to stay in touch!