As they say, time is money. Making effective use of your time is essential in many aspects of your life. When it seems like there is too much to get done in one day, using the following 5 tips can make all the difference in the world:
Prioritize Your Tasks
You need to go through the list of daily tasks you have and rank them in order of importance. That way you know the most essential things are done daily. You come up with a checklist to determine what is and is not important for accomplishing that day.
One way to determine what is worth your time is to evaluate each task by long it will take and what you will gain from it. Lifehacker suggests also factoring in money and other resources when weighing the costs of a task.
Stick to a Schedule
You need to have an idea of what will get done and when during your day. It’s important to make a plan and then stick with it. Pick a few specific times to check your email, such as after breakfast or lunch. It should be ignored the rest of the day because clicking through emails can really waste your time by distracting you from your priorities.
Every day should begin by making a schedule. Although some people prefer doing an entire week at a time, things can change and updates should be made. While a schedule is important, a certain degree of flexibility is important.
Procrastination is a huge enemy of progress. It is something that almost everyone is guilty of, at least some of the time. So how do you stop it and get down to business? You need to figure out why you procrastinate before you can stop the problem. Try to really analyze your behavior and look for patterns. Are there certain times of the day you procrastinate? Are you overwhelmed by large tasks? Do some things not seem worth it to you? Once you know your triggers, you can develop strategies to work around them.
For example, if you know you are not a morning person, do not try to start your day off by checking off the hardest thing on your to-do list. If you are someone who gets overwhelmed and quits rather than tackling a large project, be sure to break it down into smaller tasks before beginning. This has an added bonus of letting you get the gratification of accomplishing things much more often.
Utilize Effective Tools
As technology advances, new tools are available to help with time management. One of the biggest ways that technology has aided in this area is with being organized. You can carry around your schedule, contacts, to-do list, etc. on your phone or tablet. Things like purchase order software, which allows users to quickly make digital orders, can save both you and your company hundreds of hours of manpower a year. Other types of software, such as Data Analysis and Employee Benefits Automation, can save both small and large businesses a lot of time and money.
Take a Break
You can work yourself to the point that your productivity crashes. This is why it’s important to take regular breaks to revitalize both your body and mind. As detailed in this article from Psychology Today, by stopping your task for awhile with the intention of returning to it can help you “refresh your brain.” If possible, schedule regular breaks. This is just as important for those who work from home or stay-at-home moms as it is for those with other jobs. If you find yourself stuck on a problem, taking a break can allow you to see it with fresh eyes and possibly find a solution.
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