Do you sometimes feel you would benefit from an extra hour each day? If you aren’t managing your time properly, that extra hour won’t help much. Use these 30 little ways to better manage your time and you just might find you get everything done and still have time to enjoy your life, too!
Who wants to be stressed and worried about what needs to be done all the time? Combining tasks, streamlining and delegating can help you cut back on wasted time and do more of what you love. Introduce the inner you (the one that craves efficiency) to this list to get started.
Make the Most of Every Minute With This Helpful List.
- Audit your time. Use a program such as Toggl to track your week, then take a hard look and see how to trim your time.
- Pomodoro that stuff. Set time limits on tasks. This can help you focus on that task without being distracted until the time is up.
- Limit social media. Or at least lower your use of social networking during work hours. Close Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Put the phone down. Store your smartphone in a drawer until a scheduled break.
- Schedule time for each task. For example, schedule half an hour to check and reply to all emails in the morning, and don’t check again outside that time.
- Make lists. Avoid forgetfulness and last minute rushing when you make a to-do list and work it into your schedule for the day.
- Combine errands. Don’t make 4 trips out of the office or to run errands. On your way in why not grab your coffee, pick up something for lunch, and go to the post office at the same time?
- Set a break timer. When you take a break make sure you set a timer to remind you to get back to the job at hand.
- Delegate tasks. If there are some tasks that do not have to be performed by you specifically, delegate.
- Include housework in your schedule. Don’t sit around wondering when you’re going to have time to load the dishwasher, put it on a schedule.
- Morning and evening organization time is invaluable. Spend some time each morning planning the day, and in the evening mark off items that are finished and close out anything regarding those items so you don’t have to deal with them in the morning.
- Tackle the worst first. Do your most important and most challenging tasks first thing in the morning. This helps you avoid procrastination and stress over completing items that require your full attention.
- Stop multitasking. You can’t fully engage with a person on the telephone while checking and replying to emails and researching.
- Take five minutes between tasks to de-stress. Sit back and relax or take a quick walk. You’ll move to the next task refreshed and with a clear mind.
- Take advantage of technology. Use an online calendar, cell phone alerts and timers such as TomatoTimer to keep yourself on task.
- Learn to say “no.” If you don’t have time, if it will make you rush to complete another task or take your valuable free time, or if you just plain don’t want to do something say “no.”
- Use waiting time to be productive. While you are waiting to be called in you can check emails or return phone calls, research, write, or make lists.
- Telecommuting is a great way to save a lot of time. You may not be able to do it every day but even one day a week will give you extra time. Time that you would normally spend commuting can be used more efficiently.
- Accept the things you can’t change. There may be some things you can’t get done during each day. Make sure anything you were unable to accomplish goes at the top of your to-do list the next day. Even if you feel like you’re behind, you are learning as you go and managing your time wisely.
- Don’t waste time on the small stuff. If you can’t get the font to exactly match your vision for a project, let it go. Choose another font and move on.
- Reward yourself. Schedule 90-minute blocks of work and then reward yourself with playing a game for 5 to 10 minutes or make a personal call to connect with someone you love.
- Organize your email with actionable labels. You can see, at a glance, what is done and what needs doing.
- Get in a routine. If you follow a routine it will become, well, routine. You may be able to move through most of your day without getting stressed or behind because you’re automatically doing tasks that you do the same way every day.
- Don’t look at your to-do list. …at least, you shouldn’t if all you do is count how many more things you need to do. This is counterproductive. Simply focus on the next task until it is done, mark it off and go to the next one.
- Organize so you can find things in a few seconds. You shouldn’t have to search for a document on your computer for 10 minutes because you have no idea where you saved it. Create a workable organization system for your filing, computer system and home.
- See tasks through. Don’t stop in the middle of a task and plan to pick it up later. This saves you from attempting to refocus when you come back to the task.
- Keep your desk stocked up on supplies. How long will it take you to find a box of paperclips in the supply closet when you need them? Long enough to get distracted and lost in the joys of collecting desk supplies while forgetting the task at hand? Keep your desk stocked and schedule the time to check your supplies.
- Be antisocial. Working in an office means that coworkers may stop by your desk and want to chat. Make a “Do Not Disturb” sign and save being social for breaks and lunch.
- Eliminate the things you don’t need each day. If you have a friend who calls and wants to talk for 40 minutes in the mornings, ask them to call when it’s less likely to take a chunk out of your most productive time.
- Get up earlier. I know, you sleep best between the alarm and the snooze alarm right? Wrong. Not only is that a terrible way to wake up, but it can also leave you rushing to get ready for work. Wouldn’t it be nice to feel like you have enough time to do everything you need to in the morning and get to work feeling good?
Using these tips to streamline your days and manage your time can leave you feeling more relaxed and able to use your free time as free time. Imagine being able to sit back and read a book without any guilt over what you should be doing. Make it happen for yourself!