Good time management helps you get things done in less time
It’s 5:15 p.m., and you’ve still got to meet a deadline and clear out your inbox before you can even think about heading home for the day. Sound familiar? To be successful in your career, you need to learn how to deliver on projects early and focus on the tasks that are most important.
It’s easier said than done. Without good time management strategies, you can end up spinning your wheels trying to stay on top of everything you need to accomplish.
The better you are at managing your time, the more you will achieve, grow, and thrive in the office and in life. You’ll also find that stress and last-minute assignments are easier to deal with when you’re prepared and ready instead of treading water.
Here are five key strategies to good time management.
1. Start your day on the right foot
Start by making over your morning routine. Resist the urge to hit snooze and roll out of bed late. Give yourself time to wake up, have a cup of coffee, and start your day with intent.
Take some time for yourself in the morning. Try to do something that clears your head, like journaling, watching the news, a stretching routine, etc. Whatever you like to do that can lift you up mentally and emotionally in the morning, do it.
It is so much easier to face the demands of the day when you’ve had some time to reflect and relax first thing in the morning. Resist the urge to skip breakfast and rush out the door. Fuel your mind and your body with a meal that will give you energy for the day.
It may seem like such a simple fix, but starting your day off right can have a huge effect on the rest of your day.
2. Create a to-do list first thing
Your first task at work should always be your to-do list. Jot down your tasks, deadlines, meetings, and projects for the day.
Making a habit of lists can help you stay organized and on track as you go about your day. Writing down your tasks can take as little as five minutes, but it has a big impact. Writing a to-do list can keep you on schedule.
Revisit your list throughout the day to make sure you’re not missing anything. It’s also a good idea to include relationship-building tasks in addition to your work assignments.
3. Focus on the most important tasks first
Before you tackle your list, take a step back and identify the key priorities for the day. Keeping a pulse on your most important tasks can have a positive effect on your projects and your team.
You may be tempted to clear small, easy items off first. It gives us a boost to cross things off the list, so it’s tempting to tackle a bunch of unimportant tasks just to feel like we’re making progress.
Falling for this trap can lead you down the rabbit hole of emails, phone calls, and time wasting. Identify your important tasks right off the bat and start with what is most important. You can go back and tackle the easy items on your list when you’ve finished with the important stuff.
4. Limit multitasking
Lots of us try to multitask to maximize our efficiency. It really feels like you’re being super productive when you’ve got lots of things going on at once. In reality, most of us can’t effectively focus on several tasks simultaneously.
It’s better to do one thing at a time and really focus on it than to juggle several tasks at once. Instead of doing it all together, set aside blocks of time in your schedule to really home in on each task as you cross things off your list.
5. Manage interruptions
It’s probably no surprise to you that lots of interruptions can derail your time management for the day. With phone calls, coworker chit-chat, and last-minute meetings, sometimes limiting interruptions is easier said than done.
Try to identify activities that usually get in the way of your working time, and brainstorm a solution. It may be that you need to avoid emails and phone calls for a certain period of time during the day. Or, you might need to come in a bit earlier to avoid getting distracted by chatty morning coworkers.
Whatever you do, try to discipline yourself to limit distractions and interruptions to your workflow.
You’ll be more productive with good time management
Take back your workday with these five strategies for better time management. You’ll get more done in less time with a few simple tweaks.
Want more tips on life, passion, and success? Contact Gigi to find out how to get beyond your limits and be unstoppable.