Do you ever feel like 24 hours is no where near enough time to complete all the things you have on your plate? You aren’t the only one. It seems like everyone feels that way at some point—which is why managing your time can be a huge relief and help give you back some much-needed hours to your day. Here are five simple steps that can you help you start planning and executing your days more efficiently.
1. Audit Your Time
The first step to managing your time is figuring out where it is all going. After all, some daily tasks may be taking up more time than you may even realize. For example, you might think you’re spending just one hour of your day responding to emails and phone calls—but in reality, it’s two or three hours each day. It’s time to slow down, reflect, and record your daily activities. Analyze a few days at a time by starting a journal and recording what activities you’ve worked on and for how long. This will allow you to see where you are spending most of your time and where you may need to shift gears.
2. Use a To-Do List
To-do lists are the easiest way to manage your time daily. Begin by writing down all the tasks you have on your plate, and then prioritizing by level of importance and due date. For larger tasks, it’s important to break them down into smaller, more manageable steps that you can more easily fit on a to-do list. After all, nothing is more satisfying than physically checking off your list. Choose a pen you can rely on and that eludes style, like the G-350 Gel Retractable Pen. It uses Zebra’s Rapid Drying Gel Ink Technology, which means despite how fast you’re crossing off those tasks, it won’t smear or smudge. The G-350 or all-metal STEEL F-701 Ballpoint Retractable Pen can help empower you to Choose Different. A to-do list ensures you don’t miss any details or steps. You’ll save time in the long run by organizing your tasks and keeping focused on the priorities first.
3. Create Daily Habits
Is there something that you do almost every day for work, like writing or reading? Take these tasks and turn them into daily habits. If you write a lot for work, take time each day to write a few hundred words even when you don’t have anything due. You’ll be providing your brain practice on this task and will be able to do it more easily and quickly when you have a pressing deadline.
4. Box Your Time
The hardest part of managing time is feeling like you don’t have enough time to complete every task. When planning out your day, assign each task a specific length of time to work on or complete. By planning this out in advance, it allows you work more efficiently and focus on the task at hand. Just remember—this practice is not meant to stress you out if you go over your allotted time for a task. Instead, it is meant to help create discipline and help you stay focused.
5. Get Sleep
While this might seem out of place on this list, sleep tends to be the one thing people sacrifice most often in order to get more time out of their day. You need sleep in order to be alert and focused during the day. Cutting back on sleep by even one hour or two can make it difficult to give your best during the day. This can hurt yourself and your productivity. Set a bedtime, stick to it, and make it a daily habit.
Managing time is something everyone struggles with. It can be hard to get a grasp when you feel like you are drowning in work. Using these tips will be help you manage your time more effectively and get more out of each and every day. For more tips on managing work stress, check out 6 Ways to De-stress After Work.