No matter what your station is in life, we all have one thing in common. We have all been given 24 hours in a day to get things done. How we end up managing this time is what sets the productive people apart from the non-productive.
In order to become one of the productive people, it’s important to adopt time management strategies into your daily routine. Different strategies work for different people, but by adding any time management strategies into your life will allow you to become more productive.
In our last post, we looked at some basic time management strategies to help you get started. In today’s post, we delve deeper and offer more time management insights to help you stay on target for the day.
What are Time Management Strategies?
The simple explanation says that time management strategies are strategies used in the management of time. But that doesn’t truly do the term justice. A better explanation is that time management strategies improve your work performance allowing you to complete your tasks in a timely manner.
If you want to get more out of your day, a time management strategy is what you need.
Time Management Strategies
There are simple steps you can take to help manage your time better. They can range from limiting the number of daily distractions to adopting complex charts such as a Gantt Cart to help keep your projects organized.
However, although time management can be a complex subject matter it doesn’t mean that it has to be. Here is a simple strategy that anyone can adopt.
1. Set Priorities for the Day
Begin your day by establishing a plan. Decide what items absolutely need to get done by the end of the day and which ones have a fluid deadline.
If your priority list is sparse for the day, you can add in some nice-to-have items. These would include tasks that have been on the back burner for a while and/or tasks that would help tomorrow’s work go smoother.
2. Create an Action List
Now that you know what needs to get done, it’s time to write it all down. Creating a list helps to remind you of what needs to be done that day. It also serves as a tool to help refocus you when side-tracking events occur.
When creating your list, it’s important to remember to be realistic in your planning. Rome wasn’t built in a day and some of your tasks may not be finished in a day either. There is only so much that one can accomplish in a day, so take that into consideration when creating your list.
Remember, it is much more rewarding to cross everything off a short list than nothing off a long list.
It is much more rewarding to cross everything off a short list than nothing off a long list. Click To Tweet
3. Practice saying “No”
You now know what tasks need to be accomplished and what the priority levels are for each one. Now its time to get down to work.
But this is also the time when distractions will occur. Things will come up and people will ask you to help them with their projects. This is where the ability to say “No” comes into play.
If you have low priority items on your action list, you are certainly able to help others with their tasks. But if your day is full of high priority items, you need to say “No” to new tasks. If you take on more work, you run the risk of either not completing your tasks or completing them but the work is of lower quality because it was rushed. In either case, taking on more than you can handle in a day increases your stress-levels making you less productive than if you just stuck to your original plan.
4. Take Time to Review Your Day
At the end of the day, it’s important to take a few moments and evaluate your day. Review your list to see what got accomplished that day and what didn’t. This allows you to both regroup and to rethink your strategies going forward.
A daily review helps you regroup. You can see what got done and what didn’t. For those tasks that were not completed, you can add them to the next day’s list as a high priority item to ensure they get done the following day.
A daily review also helps to evaluate your time management strategies. If you have a lot of items left unfinished on your daily list, this tells you that you need to rethink your time management strategies. Perhaps you haven’t learned to be realistic in your goal setting. Or maybe you haven’t learned to say “No” and end up taking on too many side-projects that keep you from completing your original task. Either way, you need to change your approach or else you will never as productive as you can be.
Time management strategies were developed to keep people organized and on task. There are so many distractions out there, so having a strategy in place and sticking to it will elevate a lot of stress and will increase your productivity overall. Why not give it a try and adopt some time management strategies into your daily routine.
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Jolene is a strong operations, compliance, and paralegal manager. She also loves to research and write about business as well as personal topics that help others.
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