How to Manage Your Time Better
Have you ever had so much to do, that you didn´t get anything at all done? Or at the very best, got very little done. It could be that you did a little bit of everything but didn´t actually get anything completed. On the other hand, it could have been that you became overwhelmed with the amount of tasks that you had to do.
Are you familiar with the expression, “I can´t see the wood for the trees”?
If you can recall using that on more than just a couple of occasions, chances are you could benefit from honing your time management skills. On a good day, you may well practice these skills without thinking. But honestly, most things are easy to do when things are going well and you are riding high. It´s when the odds and time are both stacked against you that stress and anxiety start to take hold. When this happens, even the smallest tasks seem to be insurmountable.
When you manage your time well, you have more time to devote to the nicer things in life such as family, friends or just some “you time”. Life is easier and the more you have to do, the more you get done.
Time Management Reduces Stress
The flip side is, when you don´t manage your time well. The less you do, the less you want to do. The less you want to do the more you neglect the things that you know you should be doing but can´t find the effort. Sound Familiar? When we slip into this downward spiral of lack of energy, desire and effort we start to procrastinate on our actions and important decisions. When that happens the tasks don´t go away no matter how much you put them off. They are still there, only now the importance and urgency become higher and the consequences of non-completion are compounded ten times over.
There is no doubt that managing your time leads to a happier and easier life.
Have ever sat and wondered how people get so much done and never appear to be worn out? The answer is in their time management skills. Yes it´s a skill because it´s something that can be learned.
Are you looking for ways to manage your time in a better way?
7 Time Management Tips
Realize your Strengths and weaknesses. This is a vital first step in time management. When you know your own capabilities, you understand how soon you can accomplish a given task. Other people may take a whole day to do something you can do in an hour. However, the opposite is also true. So understanding your own potential and limits is an essential first step.
Do a little time and motion study for yourself and time things that you commonly do. If you have to regularly do a particular type of work, then check how much time you need to do that. When you know how much of your time is used for a task, you can aportion that much time for it in your schedule. Knowing how much time particular tasks take is half the battle in learning to manage your time.
Don´t just do the things that are easy. Always prioritize your work into categories of, urgent – important – need to do. Some things may be important but not urgent and some things might be nice to finish but in the grander scheme of things not that important for the moment. Give priority to things that are urgent important or those that have an impact on other things. If there is something on your list that when complete will pave the way for another task to be completed earlier, then focus on that and get two tasks done in a short space of time. Learning how to prioritize will lead to better productivity and reduce the stress levels.
Allow time for every kind of activity that you need to do and not just the work-based tasks. Plan your family time, friends time, hobby time and anything else that you do on a regular basis. It is important to factor in all areas of your life. If you only concentrate on work-based tasks, your time management plan will fail, as you will undoubtedly be engulfed in the stress of all work and no play. Balance is the key when making a time management plan.
Variety is the spice of life as they say. Make sure that you include some variety in your tasks. If you do the same tasks all the time you will become bored. Chances are that if you are bored doing them, you won´t put the same amount of effort into them. Add to that, when something becomes boring, you end up putting it off and that puts you right back to square one. The reason you created this time management plan was so that things didn´t pile up and add to the stress.
Keep your deadlines in mind. Make a plan and keep to it. Factor in that things can change and deadlines can be brought forward. Prepare to finish a little ahead of schedule and take a pat on the back. You could use the extra time to finish another task or do something special as a reward.
Lastly, learn to say NO. You don´t have to say yes to every request. Remember, that you are not saying no to the person, just the request. You can politely let people know that at the moment you can´t oblige but there will be some time in your schedule on completion of what you are doing.
We could go on and on with time management tips but these are a good base to get you started. Once you have become adept at these you can always include others and become a master of your own time.
If you have been affected by the stress and anxiety that lack of time management can cause, drop me a email to the email address below. We will have you back up and running in no time at all.