Do you often find yourself juggling a million things at once? It’s not your fault. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, yet most of us never seem to be able to get everything done. If you want to learn some helpful time management tips that will help boost your productivity and reduce stress, read on!
Table of Contents
- 1. Set realistic goals
- Be specific about the goal
- Break your goal down into smaller steps and assign a time frame to each step
- Make sure you know what resources are needed for achieving your goals
- Tell someone else about your goals. They can help you stay on track.
- Track everything
- Keep a journal
- Most importantly – celebrate your successes!
- 2. Prioritize your tasks and organize them into lists
- 3. Use a timer or alarm on your phone to keep you on task
- 4. Only check your email and notifications every hour, not every five minutes
- 5. Take breaks when you need them so that you don’t get burnt out too quickly
- 6. Turn off notifications for social media apps unless they are necessary for work
- 7. Be aware of how much time you are spending on certain tasks
- 8. Learn to say no
- 9. Do one or two things at a time instead of three
- 10. Take care of yourself
- Bonus Tips On How To Be Better At Time Management!
- Bonus Tip #1: Plan ahead
- Bonus Tip #2: Remove non-essential tasks/activities
- Bonus Tip #3: Delegate tasks
- Bonus Tip #4: Put your phone away
- Bonus Tip #5: Follow the 80-20 rule
- Bonus Tip #6: Try Pomodoro Technique!
- Bonus Tip #7: Use a calendar
- Bonus Tip #8: Stop being perfect
- Bonus Tip #9: Embrace automation and technology
- Bonus Tip #10: Clean up your workspace
- Bonus Tip #11: Create a daily and weekly to do list
1. Set realistic goals
Setting realistic goals is a great way to start off. If your goal seems too large or unrealistic, chances are it will be poorly executed and you won’t be motivated to go after it. It’s hard to get an A in a class if you don’t know what the requirements for getting an A are.
In the same way, it’s hard to achieve a goal if you don’t know what steps you need to take.
Let’s dive a little bit deeper into the concept of setting realistic goals as this is a crucial time management tip and is such an important task to help you save time.
Be specific about the goal
Be specific about the goal and identify what you want to achieve and what you need to do to achieve it. For example, “I want to be a more confident person” is not as concrete as “I want to increase my self-confidence by doing at least one new thing that makes me feel empowered or empowered each day.”
Break your goal down into smaller steps and assign a time frame to each step
For example, I want to improve my strength and fitness by going to the gym for an hour every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 PM. This could be an achievable goal that I could start working towards immediately.
Even if you think that your goals are not that big or they’re not really all that difficult for you to achieve, take the time to break them down into small steps with a time frame attached to each step.
This little task will help you stay motivated and focused on completing your goals without feeling like you’re always struggling to do so!
Make sure you know what resources are needed for achieving your goals
This is often overlooked and leads to procrastination because you think you can do it without knowing what resources are required.
For example, resources needed to complete an online course or class can include: time, money for books and course materials, other people’s time (eg. to work on group projects), and transportation to the place where you take the class.
Tell someone else about your goals. They can help you stay on track.
It’s important to share your goals with someone who will hold you accountable and help you stay on track if necessary.
Are you trying to study more, but find that it’s challenging for you? Find a friend who is studying or working on the same things as you are and tell them about your goal.
Ask them to give you feedback on how well they think you are doing each week. If they can’t keep up with you, find another accountability partner who can.
I’ve found that setting and tracking my tasks and projects is one of the most important time management tips I can share.
Track everything with reminders and alarms will help you keep track of deadlines and important tasks.
It’s easy to set up reminders and alarms for yourself as it only takes a few minutes, as well as making you more productive as you’ll be able to see your current status easily.
Keep a journal
A journal keeps you accountable to yourself and helps you stay on track because it’s easier to visualize how well you are doing or what you need to do.
Try writing in your journal every day about what’s bothering you, where you’re struggling, and how you can avoid those pitfalls next time.
Life can be busy and it’s easy to get lost in everything that is going on. This is why it’s important to take a moment to pause and reflect on everything that has been achieved, as well as what the next steps are.
It will give you some time to breathe, relax, re-energize for what’s ahead of you, and get things done more efficiently.
Most importantly – celebrate your successes!
It’s important to reward yourself for all the hard work you’re putting in.
Maybe baking a cake is what you need, reading that book that has been on your list for a while, or going out with some friends to celebrate one more week of studying.
Whatever it is you want to do, make sure it’s something YOU want to do and not something someone else wants you to do.
2. Prioritize your tasks and organize them into lists
Everything is easier when you divide the work to do into smaller chunks.
You are more easily able to control your moods and emotions by focusing on small tasks rather than large daunting ones – this will help you avoid getting overwhelmed.
First, you should write down a list of the tasks that you want to complete. From there, write a list of tasks that you will complete today and a list of tasks that you will finish tomorrow.
The idea is to set specific deadlines for when certain tasks will be completed – this will help keep your day organized and on track.
Easier tasks should be completed first, before getting into the harder ones that need to be done. Specific tasks should be done on specific dates and times for maximum efficiency.
This is where a planner or calendar will come in handy, as you can add tasks to it as you go along. But, we’ll get more into that later.
You can also batch similar tasks together so that you’re not constantly changing gears. High priority tasks should be completed first, then medium priority tasks can be done at a later time.
3. Use a timer or alarm on your phone to keep you on task
Set up alarms on your phone or use a timer to help you stay on task and track time. You can also use time tracking software if that’s more your thing.
If you have a tendency to work for too long on a task without taking a break, set your alarm to go off every 20 minutes so that you know when it’s time to take a short break. It’s just a smart way to manage your time effectively.
You can also use your phone to track how long you are studying, which will help keep you motivated by seeing how much you have accomplished.
Using a timer or alarm to help track time is really important. If you know how long you are working, it will make your day more efficient and effective.
Spending time with friends or family is important, so try scheduling time for them in your planner.
This will help you remember when you are supposed to be doing what and will prevent you from forgetting about that important commitment later on in the week.
4. Only check your email and notifications every hour, not every five minutes
Most of us are guilty of checking our emails every five minutes. It’s not uncommon to feel like you have failed if you’ve missed an email or to be checking your phone during a meeting for an important message.
But the reality is, most of it can wait, and checking them too often will affect your productivity levels. Instead, check your messages only once every hour or two when it’s convenient for you.
Email, instant messages, and text messages can be stressful because it pops up on your phone every few minutes.
However, it’s important to stay focused. Instead of checking it every five minutes, only check your messages and emails once every hour or two. This will help you to manage time effectively dedicate your focus to the most important tasks.
5. Take breaks when you need them so that you don’t get burnt out too quickly
If you’ve been working on something for too long without a break, take 5-10 minutes to refresh your mind and work on something else. Even 10 minutes can help rejuvenate your creativity or energy to finish your work.
Working on a project without a break can be detrimental to your ability to focus and get the job done. Manage your time effectively by taking breaks when you need to.
Most important tasks should be completed first, so it makes sense to save the break until after you have worked on that top priority task.
For example, take a brief social media break or go for a walk around the office. This will help give you a fresh perspective on what you’re working on and motivate you to finish it. It may sound “simple”, but it’s a very effective time management strategy.
When it comes to social media apps, turn off notifications if they are not necessary for work.
If Facebook has your phone vibrating every 10 minutes with notifications, you need to adjust this setting because it’s going to have a negative impact on your productivity levels.
The goal is to keep our phones from interrupting us and keeping us from doing the things we need to do. When you’re working, turn off notifications for social media apps.
7. Be aware of how much time you are spending on certain tasks
If you notice that you are spending too much time on a specific task, set a timer so that you’ll know how long it takes to complete the task and you’ll be able to allot more time accordingly.
Be aware of the amount of time you’re spending on certain tasks. If you notice that you like to spend a long time on one task and it’s hurting your productivity, break up the task into smaller chunks so that you can get more work done in less time.
Make sure to take breaks every 90 minutes or so. Do something completely different for a while, then get back to what you were doing before. Because we become increasingly unfocused after more than 90 minutes of focused work. Short breaks will help increase your productivity.
8. Learn to say no
If you don’t have enough time for a new project, remember to say no thank you. This is an important tip when it comes to time management because the last thing you want to do is take on too much work.
Accepting every project that comes across your desk will end up making you feel like you’re not getting enough done – and it will affect how much you accomplish. So when someone asks for help, politely say no because it’s important to know your limits and keep your sanity intact.
9. Do one or two things at a time instead of three
If you have a lot of tasks you need to accomplish, choose the one that is most important and focus on it for 10 to 20 minutes before taking a break.
For example, if you’re working on a project that needs an email sent out, that would be the best place to start.
If you finish that, then take a break and work on other tasks for 10 to 20 minutes before going back to the original task.
Do not try to do too many things at once because you will end up getting nothing done. You should also avoid multi-tasking because research has shown that the human brain can only focus on one thing at a time.
If you’re working on task #1 but your phone is beeping with a notification for task #2, you need to resist the urge to check it and finish what you started first before moving on. Working on multiple tasks can definitely work against you if you’re not careful.
Focusing on a single task at a time is a great step towards effective time management.
10. Take care of yourself
It can be hard to take care of yourself when you’re super busy. But the reality is, if you don’t take care of yourself, you’ll get sick or burn out – or both!
That said, there are a few ways to make time for self-care even when you feel like there’s never enough time.
First, schedule some time in your day specifically for self-care. For example, set aside 30 minutes every morning before starting work that is dedicated to something that makes you feel good.
That could be reading a new book, journaling about what happened the day before, or taking a bath with lavender oil. It doesn’t really matter what it is so long as it helps recharge your batteries.
The other thing you can do is to make self-care a priority.
Sometimes, instead of working through your lunch break or staying late at the office to finish up some work, it’s better to go home and take care of yourself because that will be better for your overall health (and if you’re not healthy, then you won’t be able to work as well).
Take care of yourself by scheduling time in your day specifically for self-care activities. If you have trouble finding time for these activities, make them a priority so they always get done.
Bonus Tips On How To Be Better At Time Management!
If you made it this far in the post I just wanted to give a quick thank you, and as a token of my appreciation, I wanted to share some bonus time management tips with you. I hope you enjoy these bonus tips and put them to good use!
Bonus Tip #1: Plan ahead
Plan ahead by making a list of what you need to do before Friday. That way, by the time it’s Friday you’ll be done checking your list and will have some free time to enjoy yourself.
This tip is great for busy people who want to make sure they don’t miss out on social gatherings with friends or other activities.
Just remember not to over-schedule yourself because that will only lead to stress and overwhelm you, which are the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve here.
Keep this tip in mind so you can plan ahead and enjoy your life without feeling like you’re missing out on anything.
Bonus Tip #2: Remove non-essential tasks/activities
Eliminating nonimportant activities saves time for genuinely important tasks. Are you a social media addict? Do you spend hours on Facebook every day?
The best way to get over this is to remove yourself from the situation.
Shut down Facebook at a certain time each day and do not open it until that time has passed.
It’s also a good idea to cut back on how many times you check it throughout the day because no matter how hard you try, scrolling through your newsfeed for ten minutes can easily turn into thirty or forty without even realizing it.
Bonus Tip #3: Delegate tasks
Find someone else to do the work you don’t want to. Even if it’s something small, just having one less thing on your plate will help you become more effective and productive in the long term.
For example, if you’re planning a wedding or some other big event with lots of people involved, you can save yourself a lot of time by delegating tasks to other people.
For example, ask someone to take care of invitations while you plan out the catering for the big day. The more you delegate, the less stress and work there is for you to do!
Bonus Tip #4: Put your phone away
Stop using your phone so much. It’s a tool, not a toy! Set aside one or two hours each day where you don’t touch your phone at all. Put the ringer on silent and leave it in another room if necessary.
Put your phone away to keep yourself focused, boost productivity, and reduce stress levels. Not only does this help you stay productive, but it also helps reduce stress levels because you’re not distracted by notifications and phone calls.
Bonus Tip #5: Follow the 80-20 rule
The Pareto principle is also known as the rule of 80-20 suggests that 80% of results come from 20% efforts. We can use this rule to our advantage by focusing on improving the most important activities in an effort to increase productivity and results.
Follow the Pareto principle and focus on getting your top 20% tasks completed to ensure that you’re giving your best efforts to what’s most important and valuable to you. This helps save time and energy for other activities and keeps you focused on those tasks which will bring about the biggest result.
Bonus Tip #6: Try Pomodoro Technique!
This is a great one because it’s so simple but also very effective at boosting productivity levels. All you need to do is work for 25 minutes straight with no distractions (no phone or internet) and then take a 5-minute break, followed by another 25 minutes of work, and repeat!
Bonus Tip #7: Use a calendar
Use a calendar to keep track of due dates and appointments. This is an extremely useful tool that helps you organize your life and ensure you’re not missing out on anything.
For example, schedule work meetings at certain times every week; this way, you don’t forget about them and can make sure they happen on time!
A calendar is helpful for planning out work projects as well because it lets you know exactly how much time each step takes so you can add them up and get an idea of how long the entire project will take.
Not only does this help with writing up plans but it also ensures that nothing gets left behind or forgotten about.
Bonus Tip #8: Stop being perfect
If you were a perfectionist nothing would ever be good enough. But you would just repeat the exact same job once more. Don’t try to be perfect. This cannot happen.
You can find many different ways to save time and increase productivity by abandoning perfection. For example, if you have a big project due in a week, just focus on getting it done as best as you can.
The more time pressure there is, the less likely you will be able to come up with a perfect solution so take your initial idea and go for it.
Bonus Tip #9: Embrace automation and technology
Technology is a great time saver and productivity booster. If you embrace it, you will have a much better experience saving time and increasing productivity which is crucial to an overall effective strategy.
Automation can be used in many areas of life from cooking to personal finance. For example, using apps like Uber or GrubHub makes ordering food fast and easy so that you don’t even have to pick up your phone and call to place orders anymore!
What used to take hours now only takes minutes because automation has moved things into the digital realm where we can accomplish things faster than ever before.
Bonus Tip #10: Clean up your workspace
Keep your work area clean and tidy. Get rid of any distractions like papers, binders, books, pens, etc.
A cluttered work area makes it harder to stay focused and slows down productivity, causing frustrations that can lead to loss of motivation or even burnout.
So the next time you work, make sure to keep your workspace clean and organized.
If you notice that things get out of control again, take a break and spend some time organizing your work area so you can stay productive.
Bonus Tip #11: Create a daily and weekly to do list
Writing down your tasks on a to-do list helps make sure that nothing is forgotten about or gets lost in the mix.
This makes it easier for you to accomplish things because you can prioritize based on importance and make time to do what’s necessary at the moment.
Plan out your week ahead of time by writing up all your tasks for each day so that you know exactly what needs to get done, when.
After this, look at your list and ask yourself if there are any small steps that can be taken care of right away instead of waiting until later on. These small steps add up over time so take advantage of them!
In this article, you have learned some time management tips that will help increase your productivity and reduce stress. The key is to find the best way for you to work so that it’s effective and sustainable.
For example, if you know nothing can get done until after lunch, set aside 30 minutes of every day specifically for self-care activities before getting back into tasks at hand.
Or if multitasking stresses you out more than anything else, try breaking up tasks on a project with 10-20 minute intervals just like we mentioned in tip #3.
Let me know in the comments down below which time management tip in this list was your favorite! And if you have any time management tips of your own that you would like to share feel free to share that in the comments as well.