Five simple tips for effective time management
Everyone wants to be productive and efficient at work. Whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee, managing your time well is a must if you want to get the most productivity out of your day. It has also been proven that good time management can reduce stress, lead to more opportunities, help you reach your goals, and give you more time to enjoy your life. Who doesn’t want that!
Despite the benefits, proper time management skills can be hard to cultivate, especially in today’s world when many people are working from home and things are coming at you from all sides. However, while it may be challenging, it is possible to learn how to manage your time well.
Here are five great tips for effective time management:
Audit your time
The first thing to do when trying to increase your productivity and manage your time more effectively is to figure out how long your daily tasks usually take. If you haven’t done this before, you might be surprised about which tasks are taking up the most time in your day. Maybe you estimate that responding to emails usually takes you 30 minutes, when in reality it is eating up 1-2 hours of your time. Finding out how long everything takes will make sure you can schedule your day realistically and use each minute to your advantage.
Set some time aside at the end of each day to make a to-do list for the next day. On your to-do list, set a time limit for each task. For example, if you are planning on writing a blog post and it usually takes you about two hours, write out that you are going to work on it from 8am-10am. Setting a time limit for each task helps stave off distraction and procrastination. Make sure you put buffers into your schedule so that if a specific task takes you a little longer, it doesn’t eat up time reserved for something else.
Do the hardest things first
When planning out your day do the most important tasks in the morning. This is when you are fresh and have the most energy. The sense of accomplishment of getting your more challenging tasks done first will also help set you up for success for the rest of they day.
As much as this may seem like a time saver, studies have shown that multi-tasking actually overloads the brain and makes you less productive. Multi-taskers are more prone to errors, take more time to complete projects, and have less focus than people who deliberately do one thing at a time. By focusing on one thing at a time you will not only be more efficient, but you will also create a better end-product.
Scheduling buffer time between tasks and meetings will make sure you are also taking breaks. Taking a number of breaks throughout the day is essential for staying focused, as it gives the brain some time to rest and recharge. Use your breaks to get a drink or a snack, go for a walk, do some stretching, or meditation. By taking a few breathers throughout the day you will definitely be more productive and better able to manage your time in the long run.