In a world where we have so many devices at our fingertips to save us time, it seems ironic that people seem busier than ever. We always have stuff that needs to be done and a lot of us are constantly nagged by the feeling that we’re forgetting something.
Time is precious and we only have 24 hours a day. So how we spend that time is very important. In the never-ending resources full of time-management and productivity tips, here are 7 that I find most useful:
1. Write out a to-do list every. single. day.
You’ve probably heard it before, but it’s so important. If you don’t have a daily to-do list, you’ll realize how important it is if you start keeping one with you every day. Put your most important tasks at the top of it to make sure that you at least get them done. Focus on just one task at a time and cross them off as you complete them; doing this keeps you more motivated.
2. Say “no” when you need to
If someone asks you to do something that you don’t have time for or don’t have the skills to do, don’t be afraid to say no. This can be hard if you’re a real people-pleaser, but it’s very important. You’ll be much better off if you learn to say no when you need to.
3. Find your most productive time and do things then
We’re all either more “early bird” or “night owl.” If you find you’re more productive and do your best work in the morning, start waking up early to get things done. If you find you’re more productive at night, then do things then. If you’re more of an “afternoon” person, that’s fine too. Whatever works best for you!
4. Remember your goals
If you don’t have goals, then you should probably consider setting some. Not only do goals give you a bigger picture to work towards, they also make life more fulfilling and exciting. And remember to always keep your goals in mind. Make sure you’re doing something every day to move you closer to achieving them so you’re not wasting so much time.
5. Try not to multitask unless it makes sense
This is a tough one for a lot of people. Working on two things at once – what’s wrong with that? It saves time, right? Wrong. Multitasking overwhelms your brain. It not only takes you longer to do the things you’re multitasking, it also lowers the quality of the work that you’re doing. So never multitask unless it doesn’t matter. Meaning, listening to podcasts while you’re driving, watching TV while you’re folding laundry, or other similar instances.
6. Eliminate non-essential tasks
I know this one is really a no-brainer, but it’s often overlooked. Do you need to spend hours on social media? Unless that somehow moves you closer to your goals, try to avoid doing it. When you’re writing out your daily to-do lists, only write down the essential tasks and stick to that list. This simple little tip will not only save you time and energy, it will also help you accomplish so much more.
7. Get (and stay) organized
Studies have shown that clutter can actually affect your mind and your mood. So when you’re working in a messy, disorganized environment, it’s safe to say that your mind will feel messy and disorganized. Putting simple and easy organizational systems into place can totally change the way you work and how productive you are. So clean up your clutter, put a few filing systems into place, and try to stay organized. This will save you time and your sanity.