If you’re looking to manage your time more effectively, this article offers some top tips on how you can regain control of your day and better accomplish your goals this year.
Good time management can really make a huge difference in both your personal and professional life. Not only can it improve your performance and help you become more productive and organised, it can also reduce stress and anxiety.
Below, Sundial SOS shares 6 ways to become a better time manager:
Make a list
Start your day by emptying your head onto a sheet of paper and creating a to-do list for the day ahead. Jot down everything from making a phone call or sending an email to attending a meeting. Cross each task out as you complete it. This will allow you to stay focused and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you’ve worked your way through them all.
Prioritise important tasks
Prioritising is one of the most important factors in time management. When you are bombarded with tasks, it can be difficult to know which one to tackle first, especially when each one is flagged as ‘urgent’. Rank your tasks in order of urgency and determine the priority of each one. Firstly, concentrate on the things that may lead to significant consequences if not done today and move these to the top of your list. As you make your way down the list, see if there are jobs you can delegate to other team members.
Use a calendar
Whilst having a paper calendar to hand is useful, making use of a digital calendar on Outlook or Google can bring greater benefits, one of the main being that you can access your schedule wherever you are when synced to you mobile phone. Record everything on your calendar whether it is your next meeting, a scheduled telephone call, doctor’s appointment or family birthday.
Set personal deadlines and goals
It can help to set personal deadlines a few days earlier than the actual completion date. This way, if the work takes longer than you think, you’ll still meet the deadline. Try to set specific goals too, for example, for one week, set a goal not to take personal phone calls whilst you’re working. Goal setting not only serves as a guide in making decisions but it makes you aware of your own strengths and helps you to visualise and plan actions. Ensure that your goal is realistic, and do everything in your power to stick to it!
Get Better at Saying ‘No’
When you are working towards an important deadline and someone asks you to do something that you really don’t have time to do, say no, politely, but firmly, and don’t feel guilty! Always check your schedule before agreeing to take on any extra work.
Block out distractions
Block out any distractions such as your phone, Facebook and other forms of social media, unless you use these tools to generate business. Ensure all of your bookmarks and quick links that include social channels or distracting websites are hidden or deleted so you can’t get distracted. If you need to, switch off your phone to avoid calls and work in a different area to steer clear of interruption. This will help you to stay focused on the task at hand and increase your concentration levels.