In today’s world, where there are so many things vying for our attention, it is more vital than ever to practice good time management.
Below are 12 tips to help you become a Time Management Guru!
- Take every Friday to plan out the following week and enter your activities onto a calendar. Even though taking the time to “plan” can seem like you’re not being productive, I promise that if you get into the habit of doing this, you will begin to use time much more efficiently.
- Use some sort of system to help with time planning. Your outlook calendar, your mobile device, a day planner, or whatever works best for you.
- Pick out the things that are most important (both personally and professionally) and put items on your calendar that will help move for those important tasks forward. I call these important tasks your “pillars.”
- Throughout your day look for little things that you can be consistent with. These can be things like making large batches of food on Sundays so you can quickly reheat meals during the week, limit color variation in your wardrobe to make outfit selection quicker and easier, combine appropriate activities (like eating lunch and watching a webinar), etc.
- LEARN HOW TO SAY NO! It is very tempting to say, “yes” when asked to do something but you need to compare those requests with your stated goals and pillars. Do they sync up? If not, JUST SAY NO!
- WAKE UP EARLY! This one is very tough for me as I’m a nighttime guy and morning guy HATES nighttime guy. I promise though, if you get up just an hour earlier every day (and go to bed an hour earlier) you’ll get a lot more done.
- Limit distractions. If there are important things you need to be focused on, put a “do not disturb” sign on your door or tell people in your home or office that you are not to be disturbed under penalty of death! You must jealously guard your time.
- Get at least eight hours of sleep! I know this is not always possible but for some reason, not getting enough sleep has become a badge of honor in our society. I have heard stories about many high-powered tech CEOs who were passing away in their 40’s. When autopsies were conducted, they found scarring over their hearts due to lack of sleep. Not to mention that if you are tired throughout the day, your productivity will suffer.
- Turn off the alerts on your devices. You don’t need to know every time you get a new e-mail. It is very tempting to emulate Pavlov’s dog and salivate every time you get an inbound e-mail. Schedule a specific time in your day to do an e-mail sweep but do not check continuously.
- Consistency! The longer I live, the more I come back to this word. Consistency. Everything seems to come back to it. From working out to raising children to relationships, it’s all about consistency. In the same way, to become a time management expert, you must also be consistent.
- Avoid time wasters like surfing the internet and playing video games. These are fine for an escape but just like anything else, set strict time limits as to how long you engage with activities that are not urgent and not important.
- You should plan time for personal improvement every week and must include it in your schedule. There’s always room for improvement. Make time for continuing education can give you ideas on how to better yourself and create greater productivity in your work life.
Hopefully, you found these tips helpful and can put them to use so you can “run your day” and not “let your day run you.”
For those who feel like they can never realistically practice time management and think their days are too crazy, remember this quote from H. Jackson Brown: “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Theresa, Thomas Jefferson, and Einstein.”
Thank you for reading and here’s to wishing you nothing but success in becoming a Time Management Guru!