How to Effectively Manage Your Time
Time management is something many people struggle with. It’s pretty essential in day to day life but that doesn’t mean people always get it right. We all have commitments that we need to manage. It could be anything from university, to work or even important errands but it’s important to manage these tasks wisely so things go as smoothly as possible. If you think time management is something you should work on then keep reading for tips on how to do so!
Why is time management important?
Not only will it help you with achieving deadlines but it’s also a highly sought-after skill when applying for jobs. It’s great to put on your CV but if you do, you want to make sure you’ve actually got it nailed down. Besides that, it will help with balancing your workload and reducing stress. We all get stressed from time to time but it isn’t good for our health to be in a constant state of panic. Managing your time wisely is a great way to help as you’ll be combatting your duties bit by bit. You don’t want your work or your health to suffer so it’s important to think about whether you could improve on this.
So what should you do?
Plan out your day
This may seem fairly obvious but most of us don’t go through our day to day life making a plan and that isn’t always a bad thing – we know some people love spontaneity! But if you’re struggling with the tasks you’ve got to do then the best next step is to get it all written down. It’s a good idea to create your plan at the start of the day or the day before because otherwise you might forget or avoid doing it. Don’t just write a list of the tasks you need to complete, include times of when and for how long you should be going each task. Be realistic, after all, sometimes things do take longer than planned or unexpected problems arise. It might seem silly to write down that you’ve got to get the washing done, but it will help you stay on target throughout the day and slowly you’ll begin to feel accomplished. It will also help with your motivation which is always a bonus! Give it a try and let us know what you think.
Prioritise your tasks
This is probably people’s biggest fault when it comes down to managing their time. People often try and focus on a range of different tasks and don’t always put the most important task first. It’s things like this which can end up in you missing important deadlines or forgetting other tasks. When you’re about to plan, whether that’s your day, week etc, make sure to put the most important things at the top of the list. This could be things that have a shorter deadline or if there’s no time issue – you should put the hardest things first! Yes, we know, this might sound stressful but the sooner you complete your most difficult tasks, the sooner you can relax. It makes sense, doesn’t it?
Wake up earlier
Another time management technique would be to wake up early. Yep, we can hear you complaining, but trust us it’ll be worth your while! If you wake up a bit earlier, you’ll have more time to get your tasks done. It doesn’t necessarily have to be every day, just when you’re super busy but it will make all the difference to get the most out of your day. Even if your tasks won’t take all day, imagine how much better you’d feel in the afternoon if you’ve got them all ticked off and could do whatever you like for the rest of you day. There’s also the fact that a lot of people say waking up early will put you in a better mood – I hope this is the case for you!
Give yourself a break
If you overwork yourself, you’ll end up producing poor quality work as you’ll hit your ‘peak’ too early. Breaks are perfect for refreshing your mind and reducing your stress levels. If you’ve been working for hours and hours straight, you’re going to be agitated and exhausted, neither of which are good conditions to work in. Take a step back from whatever you’re doing and grab a drink, have a chat to those around you and just take a moment to breathe. It doesn’t have to be very long, 5 or 10 minutes will do but you’ll feel much better for it. A few throughout the day are important so make sure you schedule them in.
Use time management tools
This can be anything from a calendar to time tracking software but it’s good to use what you have around you to help your overall success.
- Calendar – Using a digital calendar like the one on your phone is a great way to track your tasks because you can set it to notify you on the day of events or when things are due.
- Reminders – Also on your phone are the handy reminders. They’re great to help you avoid forgetting something or being late. Use these to your advantage.
- Time tracking software – Yes, they exist! Thank goodness they do. You may never have used time tracking software before but trust us, it’s about to change your life. Platforms like Clockify, WhenIWork and My Hours are just three of the most popular websites that allow you to time your tasks to keep you on track. They’re also free for the most part so it’s worth giving them a try! You can even use them for teamworking so it’s great if you’re collaborating with anybody. Check them out!
Say no when you need to
Depending on who you are as a student or even an employee, you might be one of those people that just keeps piling on tasks as you like to get everything done. Of course, if it’s for university then no is probably not an answer you can get away with in terms of your own work – but you can if you’re getting lumped with all the groupwork tasks! You don’t have to say yes to everything and it’s important to realise that – sooner rather than later. As the saying goes “don’t bite off more than you can chew.” If you think you’ve got just as many things to do as you can handle then it’s okay to say no to a few things, especially those that aren’t essential. You’ll feel a lot better having some chill time than overworking yourself!
These tips will get you managing your time efficiently before you even know it. They’re important techniques and the more you do them, the sooner they will become part of your normal routine. There’s no point stressing unnecessarily, so give yourself a break and get organised. If you have any other useful tips, let us know in the comments.