7 Tips for Better Time Management
We live in a complicated world that seems to make more and more demands on our precious time every day. There are times when we wish we had an extra few hours built into each day just so we can get things done.
Yet, there are others who seem to be able to accomplish everything they need to every day and do so in a relaxed, confident manner. It's not necessarily that they have less things to do, it's just that some folks are better time managers than others.
There is saying that goes, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” That seems counter intuitive but the reality is that folks who appear to be busy are often the ones who have mastered the skill of time management.
Here are seven tips that can help you with time management:
Learn how to say “no.” This is so hard for many of us. We want to be helpful. We want to be the “go to” person when things need done. Even with that being the case, there are times when it is more beneficial for the organization and yourself to be able to just say, “I'd love to help but I just have too much on my plate right now.
Know your limitations. You know how much time you have available to do things. You should have a general idea how long it will take you to complete certain tasks. Don't ignore your limitations and more importantly, don't push yourself past them.
Keep a time journal for one week. This is a lot of work but in the long run, having an accurate accounting of where you spend your time will show you where you can cut things down and where you can tighten things up a bit.
Group errands. Make one or two days a week your errand days. Make a list of all of the places you need to go and then map out the most direct route. Take into account school times and bus routes and avoid these and high traffic times as much as possible. Also, are any of your errands things that can be handled over the phone? If so, make the call and save some gas and some time.
Keep a daily “to do” list. Every morning, start your day by writing a list of the things that you need to accomplish that day. Anything that you are unable to cross off, move to the next day's list. A to do list helps to keep you organized and it helps to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
When you get stuck on a certain task, move to something else. Often times, changing gears will open up the channel to complete the original task. This allows you to approach things from a fresh perspective.
Organize your work space. Piles of clutter can make you feel like the world is crashing around you. Set up filing systems and processes that will help you find things and get things done more quickly. Don't hesitate to experiment a bit until you find the system that feels right to you.
Good time management is within your reach. Work on these tips a little at a time and soon you'll find that you in fact are a good manager of time.