Do you wish you could manage your time more effectively? Many people struggle to do everything that they want to during the day. It can be even more difficult if you are busy and have other priorities. However, a few simple time-management methods can help you to find more time in the day – check out these 20 quick time management tips for really busy people.
1. Start tracking how you spend your time
Every day for a week, track your work and your spare time and see how long you spend on different tasks. When you look over how you track your time, you may notice that some activities take much longer than you expected. This can help when scheduling and prioritizing.
2. Do your work in chunks
Break your working day down into hour-and-a-half-hour chunks, and assign different tasks to these chunks. This will help you to stay focused and less overwhelmed by your work.
3. Schedule some empty time
Make sure to schedule some empty space for thinking or possible interruptions. This will help you to stay on top of your work without stressing, and it means you are less likely to feel like you are falling behind.
4. Erase any distractions
If you struggle with social media distracting you, consider downloading Cold Turkey, an app that can block social media websites temporarily while you work.
5. Don’t be chained to your email inbox
If it is going to be a busy work day, ignore email completely for a few hours so you can focus on finishing off your other, more important tasks.
6. Prioritize your tasks
Choose three things every day that you must complete, and don’t leave until they are finished. Prioritizing will help you to make sure you have a productive day.
7. Schedule your weekly priorities
At the beginning of the week, choose your top five priorities for the week, then decide how much time should be spent on each.
8. Tidy your workspace
Keep your working space tidy – one of the biggest office time killers is searching for misplaced objects.
9. Track your time
Continue to track and evaluate the time you spend working on different tasks. Use the results to work out if you are working effectively, and note which bad habits suck up your time the most.
10. Schedule time between tasks
Take some time to yourself between your tasks and restart before you can get distracted. Remember that taking a break isn’t about slacking, it’s about recharging.
11. Do things that you can start easily first thing
If you struggle to get started with a task at the beginning of the day, switch to a task you can immediately and easily start. Once you are in the working zone, other tasks will be easier for you to start and complete.
12. Start your work day by planning the whole day out
Start working once you know exactly how your whole day will be spent – planning out your day will actually save you time as you always know what you need to do next.
13. Use your commute wisely
Do some tasks while you travel to work. If you’re on the train, you can check your emails. If you are driving, you can make hands-free phone calls. This saves you time once you arrive at the office.
14. Focus on one task at a time
Most people actually struggle to multitask and often waste time when they try. Stick to one thing at a time to maximize your productivity.
15. Send others what they need to prep for meetings
If you set meetings, share the agenda with your co-workers in advance so they can prepare questions or comments. This saves everyone time and makes the meeting more efficient.
16. Learn to say “no”
Say no to any extra tasks that may disrupt your work schedule. It may feel like you are being rude, but your ultimate priority is to have a productive day. If you feel guilty, offer to help with the task once you have finished with your other projects.
17. Batch similar tasks
If you have related tasks, batch them together to increase your efficiency.
18. Break up your tasks
Break up more difficult tasks with smaller, easier ones. This will help your mind to stay fresh — avoiding that feeling of being mentally exhausted.
19. Take breaks
Stretch your legs every two hours – both your body and your mind will appreciate the break.
20. Use easy tasks to get working
Remember that the best way to be productive is to get working. If you are struggling, start with the easiest task to get you into the working mindset.