Managing your time well means managing your life well. It is the key to success across your personal and professional life. In fact, good time management translates symbiotically to a good life. Some of the happiest people you know probably have some form of time management and aren’t all up-in-the-air, or out-to-sea with their schedules. Instead, some people will and do have their days meticulously planned out.
Steps To Better Manage Your Time
This doesn’t mean that this degree of meticulous planning will necessarily work for you, but there does exist a middle ground between hyper-organized and utter-chaos, and you have to find that middle ground. There are some simple ways in which you can do this, and the following tips are designed to get you in the right direction.
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Step 1: Make a list
One of the simplest things you can do for your time management skills is to make lists. You know this works because it works for you every time you go to the grocery store. You make a list and then you go around the store, following that list, buying things as they come up and then you leave.
Otherwise, you’d just be wandering around aimlessly. The same can work with your everyday life and work. Make a list of everything you want to do each day or week, and tick it off as you complete it. Keep a note of the priorities, so that you’re not stressing to get too much done in a day. Things can, and do, go wrong.
There are a number of tools that you can use to help you make lists to stay focused. If you’re on your phone, there are many tools that you can use to aid your list-making. Otherwise, a good old pen and paper will do the trick.
Step 2: Create block off times
One of the best things that proper time management will give you is the ability to manage your projects more effectively. Whether you’re at work or at home, ensuring that you block off time to dedicate to whatever your project is will increase your productivity and decrease your stress levels. By blocking off time, you want to turn off other technology, including your phone. Dedicate as long as you need to a particular job and see if you can get it done, without distraction.
Step 3: Create positive goals
One of the best things that time-management will give you is the capacity to think clearly and create goals for yourself and your life. The creation of goals is a great way to improve your focus and will allow you to create better time-management habits, which will propel you towards the accomplishment of these goals in a much more timely manner. It’s a cyclical pathway to success. Time Management > Accomplishing Goals > Better Time Management > Accomplishing Goals and so on and so forth.
Step 4: Allow time for yourself
There aren’t a lot of things that people do for themselves anymore. Particularly when you consider much of their work and day-to-day is spent in front of their computer screens. But an essential part of time management is also knowing when to plot out some time each day for you.
No matter what you do in the time that you give to yourself, do it consciously. Take a walk. Do yoga. Whatever it is that helps you step away from the near-constant allure of the screen and take some time for yourself. It is critical for your own health and is a key part of any time-management strategy for success.
Step 5: Hone your focus
Good time management requires focus. If you want to be successful in managing your time better, it’s vital that you narrow your focus. Don’t get distracted. Whatever it is that might be a distraction, lock it away. Seriously, put your phone in a timed lock-box so that you can’t access it until X time of the day.
This can be difficult to master if you’re working from home with children, but it’s important that you get your boundaries established. Tell the kids that mom or dad is at work and they must try and amuse themselves without interrupting you. Honing in on what you need to focus on is a key part of effective time management. You can’t manage your time well if you’re scatterbrained.
Life and work can be difficult to know how to navigate – and of course, there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done. But these relatively simple steps will hopefully allow you to take back control of your days, one well-managed day at a time.