You always need more time. There’s never enough time to deal with deadlines, chores, and tasks. Your to-do list becomes longer and longer and you don’t know where to start. What if you could gain an extra hour every day?
Here are 10 time management tips that will help you work more efficiently and squeeze more time out of your overly busy day:
1. Plan in advance. Make a list of your tasks at the end of the day and prioritize them so that you can dive right in the next morning. Break down your big tasks into smaller ones, and they will become more manageable. Be careful not to overload your to-do list for the day with 987 tasks; focus on accomplishing what really matters.
2. Stop multitasking. Set aside time for just one task, focus on it, and finish it. Trying to do too many things at the same time is actually counterproductive because it overstimulates the brain and creates more stress.
3. Say no and be selective – even if you have that deep need to be needed. Before you take on a new difficult project or a new client, think about how it will affect your week and your workload. You want to show up with your best self, so don’t overstretch yourself.
4. Take breaks. Taking a break is not a waste of time; it’s a great way to reduce anxiety and boost productivity. After an hour or two of work, you start to lose focus and become unproductive, so a short mini-break will help you recharge and refocus. The Pomodoro technique is a great tool to keep track of your work time and your breaks.
5. Use time management tools. If you are using your computer, it is all too easy to get distracted by notifications, Facebook, Pinterest, or the news. Use an app that allows you to block certain websites for times you set, such as Self-Control (selfcontrolapp.com), Freedom (freedom.to), RescueTime (rescuetime.com), or the extension StayFocusd for Chrome (chrome.google.com/webstore). Toggl keeps track of your time and it gives you an overview of the time you spent on different tasks. Try Momentum, a nice app that, when you open a new tab, provides you with a beautiful image, an inspirational quote, it gives you the time, and the opportunity to create a to-do list to keep you focused. Also, look at the tasks and processes you do repeatedly. Is there any way you could use a software program, or use a cloud-based application to automate them and do them faster and better?
6. Do things right the first time. When you get distracted, you make mistakes. When you make mistakes you have to go back and fix them. Try to get the job flawless the first time and you will see massive results.
7. Use your commute. If you have to drive to and from work, you can use that time to listen to great audiobooks and inspiring podcasts.
8. Delegate and outsource. See if you can delegate some of your tasks, then do it. Your time is better used on income-producing activities rather than ordering office supplies or answering emails. Do the tasks that you do best.
9. Just do it. Make a cup of coffee or tea, light a candle, find a peaceful place, and just do it.
10. Be optimistic and stay positive. You will be more efficient and you will get more done. Positive thinking can dramatically improve the decisions we make, and the opportunities we choose to pursue. When we think positively we are more curious, creative, and efficient.
I hope that these tips and management tools will help you work more efficiently, get more done, and ultimately accomplish your goals.
What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!
For more tools and resources on productivity check out my Resources page.