“Whoa! How Time Flies!” — I’m sure this is a phrase that we all hear everyday! There never seems to be enough time in a day to accomplish everything we’d like. Even though we can’t catch time (like the woman in the picture above) there are many ways in which we can manage it.
While there are only 24 hours a day there is actually a lot that you can get accomplished in a few hours. However, while you go about your day and attempt to accomplish all your tasks, make sure you prioritize and are reasonable with the amount of work you can actually get done. Below are some helpful tips on helping you manage your time wisely and effectively.
1. Organize & Prioritize. The first step into managing your time is to organize yourself and your tasks. Take sometime out of your day and make a list of your long and short-term goals and tasks. Then, decide which are most important and on a piece of paper or computer list them in order of importance. It’s also helpful to break the bigger tasks into smaller ones.
2. Create a Schedule & To Do List. Once you’ve prioritized your goals and tasks create a schedule or reminders for yourself in your planners or smart phones. Begin by writing down any reoccurring activities you’re engaged in. (For example: Mon.– Fri.: Work 9am- 3pm) Then write down other daily or weekly appointments, courses, meetings etc. Finally, use a monthly chart to plan ahead for your long-term goals. It is also extremely helpful to make a to do list, during the beginning of your day, for all the things you wish to accomplish on that day. Make sure to list them in order of importance. Creating a to do list is also a way you can physically see your accomplishments.
3. Procrastination is NOT Your Friend! One of the biggest ways many people waste their time is by procrastinating! According to the University at Buffalo’s student affairs, procrastination is a serious issue that may lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, depression, self – doubting and it interferes with academic, career related and personal success. You can overcome procrastination by:
- Recognizing self-defeating problems such as fear and anxiety, difficulty concentrating, poor time management, indecisiveness, and perfectionism.
- If you’re a student, study in small blocks instead of long time periods. Also try to study in small groups so that others keep you motivated.
- Motivate yourself and concentrate on success and not failure!
- Set realistic goals for your self to accomplish.
- Work in an environment that is neat, has minimal noise and distractions and adequate lighting, but isn’t too comfortable. (When doing work in extremely comfortable environments the chances of procrastinating, daydreaming and even falling asleep become higher)
4. Sometimes You Just Have to Say No! You can’t always do everything! Sometimes you just need to know how to say no to things you can’t fit in your schedule. If you’re already having trouble with time management, don’t commit to extra work (ie: organizations, committees or events) When you have extra time, use it wisely, which means finishing up the things that are a priority instead of going out or watching a new episode of Law & Order or Basketball Wives Remember there will be more opportunities for you to go out and in today’s technology you can always watch the show online.
5. Beware of Technology! With all the technology out there, it’s hard not to go on Facebook/Twitter while you’re at the desk, or text your friend back while you’re doing your schoolwork. According to the Nielsen Wire Americans spend more than half of their time on social networking, emailing, and browsing the web. This does not include time spent watching television or hanging out. Imagine how much more you could do if you cut down on the time you spent on social networking.
6. Health and Yourself. One of the most important things that you can do in order to make sure you accomplish all of your tasks and manage time successfully and effectively is to take care of yourself! This means eating breakfast, exercising, sleeping and taking time out of your week for you.
- Even though it may be hard to eat breakfast because you’re in a rush it is important that you do because it helps you sustain energy through out your day. Plus, you will definitely burn those calories throughout the day! You can also make your to do list for the day during breakfast.
- Exercising is essential to your time management and life in general because it contributes to how alert you are mentally. If you’re not alert there is but so much that you can actually accomplish successfully.
- If you don’t sleep, you can’t function properly! According to the Sleep Foundation, teens and adults need 7 – 9 hours of sleep for optimum performance. Though this may not always be possible because of your busy schedules, keep in mind that lack of sleep can cause depression, anxiety, heart disease, irritability, slower reactions and other symptoms.
- You need time to yourself and time to simply relax. By taking time out for yourself you will be sure to keep your sanity.
Make sure to leave us a comment on any tips you have for effective time management!