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20 Quick Time Management Tips For Really Busy People

20 Quick Time Management Tips For Really Busy People

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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