Ten Quick Time Management Tips
Be Realistic, But Optimistic, About Your Time
Before you begin working on improving your time management skills, realize that there will be instances you cannot accomplish everything you set out to do in a day. Staying realistic about your time will keep you from feeling disheartened when you do not complete everything on your list. You’re only human; understand your limits, but do your best to complete your tasks.
Organize Your Workspace
When the workload feels like it is dominating your time and attention, it is best to start from the beginning by organizing your tasks and time. Taking charge of clutter and creating an environment that fosters ideas rather than disorder and confusion will save time . If you are having trouble getting organized, bring in a professional and let their expertise influence your habits and surroundings.
Be Proactive – Make Lists!
A “to do” list helps many people lay out what items must take priority and what tasks can wait until a later time. Interactive task management software, such as Taskwise, can help manage assignments and is also flexible because you can reorder lists at will, as you add or delete tasks. Some people find physical, written lists more helpful, as physically marking a task as complete can be satisfying and you can do that in Taskwise! Do what is best for you, and be willing to mix up your routine if the format becomes tiring.
Interactive task management software, such as Taskwise, can help manage assignments and is also flexible because you can reorder lists at will as you add or delete tasks.
Use Music to Keep on Pace at Work
If you are working on a big project and have trouble keeping on task, try to put some music on while you work. Rather than hearing your coworkers talk or answer the phones in the background, the music can drown out those sounds that may distract you and help you focus. However, be aware that music could distract your coworkers, so keep the volume at a reasonable level or ask permission to wear earphones while you work.
Play Music at Home to Finish Chores Fast
When completing tasks at home, playing upbeat music might help you complete them quickly. Washing dishes or folding laundry, for example, are tedious, but necessary, chores that must be finished. Playing music can help you finish these tasks at a faster pace. They may help elevate your mood, too! I always find myself dancing around and singing along to songs when I play music while doing chores. Give it a try!
Take Small Breaks
Our tasks and projects can overwhelm us when we focus all our time and energy on them and we may fail to realize we need to step away for a minute. Going for a short walk or talking briefly with a coworker offers the right amount of downtime your mind needs to recharge for the task at hand. If you are stuck on an idea, that coffee break might help you brainstorm and come up with a solution to the problem. Stepping away from the task at hand can help you stay positive about your work rather than feel downtrodden about the amount of time spent. Also, you might come up with new ideas you did not realize before the break.
People usually try to juggle multiple tasks at once, but their efforts are often in vain. You may find yourself trying to take the kids to sports practice while catching up with friends on the phone, or organizing your workspace while a supervisor instructs you on the latest project. A study at UCLA found that “Multi-tasking adversely affects how you learn,” said Russell Poldrack, UCLA associate professor of psychology and co-author of the study. “The best thing you can do to improve your memory is to pay attention to the things you want to remember.” So, focus on one task at a time rather than many tasks at once.
Use Software to Track Your Time
If you work in an office environment and use a computer, it can be tempting to use the Internet for personal use. Before you know it, you have spent half an hour watching funny cat videos and chatting online with friends. Use tools like RescueTime or Klok to track your time online and see where you spend those precious moments you could be working “taking a break.” If you take your work home, shut off the Internet or remove shortcuts to browsers from your desktop to avoid temptation.
Delegate Tasks! In a work environment, it can be tempting to take on many tasks without realizing you are overdoing it. The workload can start to feel overpowering when you take on too much. assign your work to an assistant in your department. Even passing off some smaller tasks can help lighten the weight of your work and reduce stress.
Make Time Management a Habit
Once you have established good routines in time management, maintain them throughout the week. Making small changes to your routine will keep you from falling back into bad practices when temptation strikes. Your new habits might rub off on your coworkers and your new found productivity could get you noticed with your bosses.
Time management pays off!