As we settle more into the New Year, time slowly becomes our biggest enemy. Social media becomes flooded with people complaining about how quickly the year is moving and how overwhelming it is trying to balance out various work priorities. In order to stay on track with your set goals/plans for the year whilst maximizing productivity levels, we have put together 7 helpful and practical tips to ensure better time management:
- START ON TIME
It is impossible to manage your time better if you’re leaving tasks to the last minute. As much as possible, set adequate time for each task and try to start it as early as possible. Asides from this helping with time management, it will also have a positive impact on the quality of your work and help to reduce procrastination.
- PLANNING & ORGANIZATION
As the popular quote says, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. This point is especially most useful when you have various tasks to work on. It can be helpful to break down the tasks into mini-tasks and arrange them in a schedule with deadlines for completion. This way, you are able to make little progress daily on all your tasks. Organization of your workspace can also help with better time management – keeping a clean environment and setting up easy access to all the things necessary for your work will reduce time wastage.
Similar to scheduling, it is important to decipher how important each task is and create an order of completion (by considering completion time and deadlines) as this is the key to efficient time management. By starting with the most important tasks, you are able to accomplish more within your set deadlines. Doing this can help you visualize which tasks need more effort and can help you better understand the pace at which you’re capable of completing your work. If these are recurrent tasks, you will find that they become easier to complete each time.
After setting your order of prioritization of tasks, it is important that you give your work undivided attention. Cutting off little distractions, time spent on social media, noise, and more will enable you to spend less time completing tasks.
The body, unlike a machine, will wear off or slow down after a good number of hours are spent on work. This is why most institutions (workplaces, schools) ensure that there is time allocated to rest (lunch, etc). As part of your time management routine, be sure to set a time to recharge and refuel. By creating a strict break time routine, it would be easier to focus on your tasks and ward off distractions outside break time.
- STRESS MANAGEMENT
Stress and stress-related issues are some of the biggest hindrances to productivity. When you give in to stress, either as a result of feeling overwhelmed or lack of sleep, you spend more time on tasks and are more prone to procrastination. The ability to recognize and act on personal stress levels will help positively impact your work.
- STAY ACCOUNTABLE
The use of time tracking devices and daily management software will keep you accountable and help you stay organized and on track with your deadlines. These tools can assist you in deciphering how long it takes you to complete each task, and time-tracking can prove useful when creating schedules and setting deadlines. These tools will allow you to create more realistic and accurate schedules and can help you catch yourself before becoming distracted or procrastinating for too long.