“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Do you finish tasks in the timeframe you allocated? Do you end your day with an empty to do list for that day?
If you answered ‘no’ to the above questions, you may benefit from our time management tips on how to become better at managing your time.
1. Create a realistic to do task list
At the start of your day, take 10-15 minutes to look at the tasks that need to be done that day and assess roughly how long each task will take to complete, taking into account issues that could arise. I personally think about what needs to be done whilst I am on my way in to work. That way, I don’t spend too much time analysing it. It is important to think about the next few days as well, that way you can prioritise your work efficiently.
Create a realistic and manageable task list that you know you can complete in the time you have to do it all. It’s no good having 10 tasks that take roughly an hour each if you only have an 8 hour day. This is unrealistic and is likely to make you feel like you need to rush and that you’re underachieving.
2. Complete the most important tasks first
When making your to do list, keep in mind the one or two tasks that must be completed as soon as possible. Put these tasks to the top of your to do list and ensure that they are completed before anything else.
3. Concentrate solely on the task in hand
It is easy to let your mind wander or to get distracted by small things, especially if the task isn’t the most enjoyable. Try your best to concentrate on the task you are carrying out so it’s completed as quickly as possible and doesn’t get forgotten about or pushed aside.
4. Learn to say no
Accepting any task that’s asked of you can look like you’re willing to work hard, but if you’re overloading yourself then it will end up working the other way. It is beneficial to stick to your to do list (as in point number 1) and only take on more tasks once these are completed.
As well as saying no to overloading yourself with work, it’s important to remember to say no to procrastination. It’s easy to find yourself doing anything but the task in hand, but it’s important that you say no to yourself and focus on getting the task done.
5. Schedule your social media updates
If you use social media in your job and you tend to post updates at roughly the same time each day, take some time out to write out in bulk some of the posts you wish to do and schedule them for the week ahead. There’s no need for you to interrupt what you’re doing at 4pm to send the same 4pm tweet if you can schedule it to post automatically. Or save even more time by getting us to manage your social media for you 😉
6. Let your computer help
Do you find yourself searching through endless piles of paper for that one tiny post-it note with a telephone number on? Or looking through your desk bin because again you’ve accidentally thrown away the business card of your new client? If your answer is yes to either of these frustrating scenarios, why not try using your computer to store all that information as soon as you are provided with it. That way, you won’t be wasting time searching for bits of paper you’ve misplaced.
7. Don’t over-work yourself
Ensure you have a fixed time to stop working. If you over-work yourself you won’t be as productive the next day. Sometimes you may not be able to leave on time, so set a time that’s the latest you won’t work past.
8. Sleep for 7-8 hours a night
Don’t underestimate the value of sleep. It doesn’t hurt waking up early to start your day, but try your best to ensure you get at least 7-8 hours’ sleep a night to regenerate.