In this fast paced life where time is almost one of the most precious things we have in our day, we tend to believe that we never have enough of it. If you think carefully we do actually have plenty of it as for example the most successful people in the world have 24 hours in a day just like us. The secret lies in how you organise your time and how efficient you are to divide your time properly between specific activities and tasks. You must create a structure which enables you to not have just time to do everything which is in your to-do list but also to have time to look after yourself and spend it with your family and friends. We can’t be successful in life by just keeping busy and working hard all day because we are not robots and as humans we need the time to unwind and spend it with our loved ones too. So let’s begin to discover these brilliant ways to improve our time management skills:
Organise your workplace or desk! Before you start with your daily tasks make sure to have everything that you need in front of you such as a diary, to-do list, daily planner and everything you tend to grab frequently for work or study use. You could put all your post-it notes (which include all the tasks that need to be prioritised) on the side of your PC or in another place where they are visible and remind you of what needs to be done urgently or more importantly. Lastly having a good stationery easy to grab such as pens, highlighters, rubber, pencil, correction tape, stapler and any other necessary items will make your workstation more effective. That will save you so much more time during the day and help you to be more organised and stress free.
Don’t waste too much time on unimportant tasks! On this I used to be amazing in the past but I don’t proudly say that as being a perfectionist it is not always a good thing. I have realised in my own experience that it is time consuming, unnecessary and it will end up making you tired and you will not be able to complete all your daily tasks. It is good to double check your work to make sure that it has been done right but you mustn’t spend too much time with it otherwise you will run out of time and it will leave you with a list of unfinished tasks which you definitely don’t want.
If you are looking to improve your time management skills also check out "How to be more productive: 10 Simple perfect habits"
Track your performance: reviewing daily, weekly or monthly how well or bad you are doing in your personal performance is crucial to keep you motivated by seeing your achievements and recognising the areas where you need to improve. You could also increase your performance by asking for a second opinion from your colleagues, clients or even a friend or member of your family who works in a similar sector to yours.
Dedicate your full attention and focus to one single task! A great way to avoid feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated is to start by doing similar small, quick or simple tasks first and then once you start you will have the momentum to continue with more challenging and bigger tasks. In order to devote your total focus to each task it is important to also eliminate interruptions such as social media, mobile phones, people interrupting us etc. Some of these, even if they can’t be completely eliminated, should at least be controlled as interruptions can take away the focus and can be demotivating and cause you to take much longer to finish your tasks.
Prioritize your tasks! Even if I mentioned earlier, that doing the easiest and smaller tasks can help to not discourage some people and keep them motivated by crossing out some tasks from the to-do list, it is important that these tasks are part of the important and/or urgent category. If we can’t do the less urgent or relevant tasks at the end of the day it is not going to be as bad and stressful to the ones which have to be completed. But of course being able to complete all our daily tasks can leave us feeling satisfied, accomplished and happy with ourselves which can boost our self-esteem and eventually our productivity.
Look after your health and keep yourself stress-free! Managing your time and increasing productivity doesn’t mean we have to fit lots of different tasks or chores in our day but to make your life easier by working less but in a smarter and more organised way. So having great management skills doesn’t mean you have to wear yourself out and just think all day about work and keep busy but it is also about giving yourself some time to relax, doing something fun and having enough sleep. Sleeping 7-8 hours not only will keep you healthy but it will also save lots of time as you will be able to be more productive in a shorter time and get more things done.
Check out the post " Healthy life: how to prevent and manage stress effectively"
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Learn to say “no”. Many people underestimate the ability to say “no” to an offer, a question, an invite etc. but what we don’t really understand is that not accepting, for example an invite, does not mean that you are rude. As a teenager I felt bad saying “no” but growing up I have realised that by having the strength to do that your life quality and your self esteem will improve considerably. I am sure that people would eventually appreciate you more to be honest than accepting the invite and then look bored, worried, stressed etc. In this modern society time is very important and by not using it properly, by prioritising the tasks that need to be done and especially for our health, we will end up losing this great ability which is a must to master time management skills and have control of your life. You can always refuse an invite or an offer by showing appreciation but also at the same time explain or make them understand that you are busy, you need to finish an assignment, you have a deadline or maybe you are just tired and prefer to go home or spend time with your family. There’s nothing wrong in looking after yourself and remembering that you are not being selfish but actually if you don’t care for yourself and respect yourself how can you treat others the same?
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You might also be interested to read "How to turn your mood around after bad day"
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