Time is the one most valuable resources in business and more importantly, in life. Once time is gone, it’s gone; there’s no bringing it back. In today’s busy society, successfully managing time can seem to be a daunting task. With the full schedule you already have, it probably seems like more is added to your plate daily. Even though those things that come up are usually small, they also are usually unavoidable and could tremendously throw off your schedule. Well don’t fret because here are 5 tips and strategies that will help you successfully manage your time and get the most out of your day.
1) Realize that you’re always on the clock. One of the most important things in time management is realizing that you are always on the clock. You are always on it because the clock is always ticking. Realizing this will motivate you not to waste valuable time. Time lost is potentially money lost. The time you spend scrolling through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or watching TV, can be time you spend developing a new idea, maximizing on your gifts or perfecting your craft. There is absolutely no time to waste. And, by making a few changes to your schedule and lifestyle, you can successfully manage your time and maximize your day.
2) Write a to-do list. First, make a list of all of the things that you need to get done. Initially, don’t try to put them in any certain order. Just write them down to get them out of your head; because I’m sure it’s a lot of them. After you have them all written down, then go back and organize them from most important to least important. Using a numbered list usually works best. If you’re on a computer, you can just move them around using copy and paste.
Here are a few apps and software that will help:
ToDoIst – This is a task management software. You can create to-do lists and give tasks due dates. You can incorporate it with Google Calendar and use the mobile app to manage tasks on the go.
Teamworkpm – This is a project management software that allows you to manage projects, team, clients, to-do lists and track time.
Google Calendar – Keep up with events, meetings and consultations with Google Calendar. Of course it integrates and synchs across all of your devices (iPhone, iPad and Mac computer). It also has a task list, but it’s very basic.
iOS Reminders – Quickly set timely reminders with iOS Reminders app. It also has location-based reminders that can reminder you to do something when you leave or arrive at a specific location.
3) Stick to the plan. After you’ve written your to-do list, you’ve automatically created a plan of action. Having a plan will definitely help you manage your time. If you don’t plan to do something, it will never get done. You can’t expect things to get done without putting them in some type of organized plan. Things don’t just happen, they must be planned. Planning is essential in successful time management. If you don’t have a plan, then you don’t know what you’re going to do. But, when you do have a plan, you actually predict the future. You know what’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen and more than likely, when it’s going to happen.
However, don’t get so caught up in your plan that you don’t leave time for accidentals. There’s always going to be something that comes up that’s not on the list. There will always be something or someone to break your flow and throw you off track. So, you have to be flexible enough to handle that. Don’t come undone at the seams. Keep it together and stay focused. Which brings up the next point: the most important thing about a plan is staying focused and sticking to it.
4) Stay focused. You must remained focused on the task at hand to manage your time successfully. Things that aren’t on your list will come up; that’s inevitable. But when it does, determine if it’s important enough to break away from your list to complete. If it’s not, then put on the bottom of the list and re-organize it later. Working on tasks that aren’t on your list is one of the most time-wasting, time-consuming pitfalls that everyone falls into. If need be, turn off your phone, lock your office door or shut off all outside communications. Do whatever you need to do in order to remain focused. Sometimes you have to tell yourself that. Stay focused! Whispering to yourself may sound a little weird or off-pudding, but it actually helps.
5) Pick up where you leave off. The reality is, you’re not going to finish everything on your list, every time. You may not get done with the entire list in one day, and that’s okay. Just pick up tomorrow where you leave off today. But, be sure to organize your to-do list again since you’ve completed some tasks and possibly added others.
Don’t pressure yourself to get everything done in one day. Most people don’t get everything done in one day; especially if your list is long or the things on your list take a long time to complete. Do you know what happens when you pressure yourself? Two things happen. 1.) You tend to loose focus and 2.) you get in a rush. And, we all know what happens when you rush. Things get out of order, work doesn’t get done or get done incorrectly; and that’s just a bad situation altogether. That’s why it is so vital for you to write your to-do list in order of importance; this way, you know at least the important stuff gets done early.
If you have any time management tips or strategies, leave them in the comments section below.