It can be a real challenge to manage your time more effectively. Our lives are increasingly becoming busier and busier, we go to work, have a social life, see family, study, watch events and so on.
Sometimes it can be difficult to fit everything into place, it’s important that you develop an effective strategy to manage your time much more easily so you can do everything you want to do and so you don’t let a section of your life deteriorate. Inside our bodies when we think there isn’t enough time we can quickly build up STRESS which can hamper our ability to effectively manage our lives.
Remember nobody is “superhuman” and it’s perfectly acceptable to take some time out from a busy schedule or overflowing workload.
Keep a To-Do List
The best time managers always have some sort of system in place to help them, when we try to organise everything in our head it can quickly be forgotten as quickly as we remember. It’s a good idea to plan using a smartphone, tablet or even a pen and a piece of paper to organise your life more easily.
Think about implementing a diary for important events, appointments and deadlines, equally you can also use this method for a daily list of tasks that need to fulfilled, at the end of each day simply ‘tick’ or ‘cross off’ which tasks you completed so you know exactly what you still have to achieve. Some people like to highlight urgent or important tasks in a different colour pen or use a asterisk if on a media device.
There’s plenty advantages of using a to do list, firstly you’re less likely to forget a task, you’re able to see the ‘bigger picture’, it saves valuable time, you feel more in control of your life and you always have a record of what you have done.
Remember the whole idea is to set yourself manageable goals which are specific and clearly defined, it can be easy to ‘over stretch’ ourselves so a list will keep your actions under control.
Start a Time Log
If you feel like your constantly wasting time either through being lazy or procrastinating then it may be time to implement a time log into your life. A time log is simply a hour-by-hour breakdown of your day ahead, think of building a house, you start with the foundations then brick by brick it begins to emerge. A time log is very similar a lot of smaller goals add up to one large goal.
Here’s a great example of a time log:
7.30 Get up
8:00 Shower and Dressed
8.30 Leave for work
9:00 Arrive at work
11.00 Coffee Break
2.00 Afternoon Coffee Break
5.00 Leave for home
6.00 Have dinner
7.00 Go to the gym
8:00 Arrive back at home
A time log may sound pathetic to some, however it can be great tool for data collection, it helps you to identify exactly where you’re losing time or being ineffective during your day to day life. Once you have pinpointed the areas you need to improve strategy can be clearly defined much more easier for positive overall results.
Persevering With Your Plan
Now you’ve set the wheels in motion you need to preserve with your plan, you may not see results within the first week or even the first month, but that’s OK sometimes change takes time to fully take effect. For some this lack of progress can lead to frustration and failure, however it’s extremely important that you keep a positive mental attitude and see your plan through to the end.
If you’re experiencing a large amount of stress it could be a great idea to seek ‘stress busting exercises’ such as going to the gym, seeing friends, relaxation such a Yoga or even having a massage.
It’s time you took control of your own situation because nobody is going to do it for you, remember your own personal satisfaction will be rewarded from both completing and pursuing your goals, share you achievements and learn from your mistakes. That’s the only way you’re going to improve.
Top Tip – Sharing tasks with others can help to spread the burden and bring a new understanding to the situation.
Work – Time Management
Think of all the hours we waste through poor organisation, we can spend a majority of our day shifting through papers, documents and emails finding information we have simply misplaced. This can make us annoyed, tired and unproductive.
It’s time you started a new system of organising your work life much more easily, for example everytime you open a letter, email or assignment sheet make a decision of how important the piece of information is. From this you simply grade it from A to D
A – This information is really important
B – I think i’ll need it sometime soon
C – It’s not unimportant but equally I may not need it straight away
D – I don’t need this at all.
When any of the above statements apply simply do the following:
Transfer – If the information can be better dealt by a co-worker, send it their way
Do – If the job is urgent or can be completed quickly, you better handle the situation
Defer – Add the job to your ‘to-do’ list or ‘time log’ so you can spend quality time on it at a later date.
It’s always worth remembering that no matter how big or how small a task is, we can always complete it, sometimes its worth to take a step back from the situation to clear our minds. That’s why its highly recommended to take regular breaks from your work, whether that’s going out for lunch or taking a brisk walk around the office.
Even though our minds are powerful machines they can overload just like a computer and sometimes we simply need to ‘restart’ the system before we can effectively work correctly once again.
Remember nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it, confidence, persistence and planning are the three main keys to unlocking your full potential, remember the only person who is currently stopping you is yourself.