I gave a presentation a few days ago to a large group of women about how organizing your life can bring you more joy and give you time for the things that are really important to you. Time was short so I wasn’t able to share everything I wanted to. Here are my favorite Time Management Tips for a productive day and life.
Declutter – I know I talk a lot about decluttering but it is a huge time saver. Not having extra stuff in the way means you save time hunting for stuff and storing stuff, plus your space looks much better. If my space isn’t cluttered my mind is less cluttered.
Prepare Ahead of Time – Take a few minutes the night before or in the morning to prepare for your day. This could mean everything from planning your tasks to gathering things you will need for the next day.
Use a Planner – Write things down. Don’t rely on your memory to keep track of activities and tasks that need to get done. Write them down and free your mind of remembering things you don’t have too.
Prioritize – List tasks from most important to least important. If you don’t get to the things on the bottom of your list you can move them to another day.
Work When You are the Most Productive – When do you get the most done in the shortest amount of time? When are you the most motivated? When do you have less distractions? Make your day work for you!
To Multi Task or Not – My answer is usually not. Most people are the most productive if they finish one task at a time, mark it off, and then move on to the next. Multi tasking is similar to clutter in your brain and makes it harder to stay organized.
Set Deadlines – Most tasks that are given to you have a deadline but you can also set deadlines for yourself. Plan out your task and set a reasonable time you will have it completed.
Use a Timer – Set a time limit to accomplish a task, when the alarm goes off move on to the next task. I like to race the timer.
Set a Reminder Alarm – If you have a problem with being late try setting an alarm a few minutes before you have to leave. That gives you time to gather what you need and head out the door on time.
Say No – Saying no can be hard. You want to help as much as you can but you also need to leave time for yourself and your needs. Don’t spread yourself so thin that you don’t have time for your family and what’s important to you. Over committing can be a huge time sucker.
Delegate – Delegating can be just as hard as saying no. Don’t be afraid to ask other people to help you with your needs.
Batch Tasks – Once you know what needs to be done for the day or week batch similar tasks together. I like to run errands one day a week to free up the rest of my week for other things.
Be Realistic about Time – It’s not unusual for tasks to take longer than we think they’re going to. I like to make myself feel better by adding a few minutes to each task to give myself a buffer. Allow for the unexpected.
Minimize Distractions – Turn off facebook, email notifications, the TV, or anything else that distracts you from the task at hand.
Automate What You Can – Put your monthly bills on an automatic paying system to save time and money. Use an email or newsletter template to save time.
Stop Procrastinating – The more you put things off the more stress it causes. Remember you don’t have to accomplish a task all at one time, break it into small pieces and before you know it your task will be completed.
Develop Routines – Having a morning routine can help you start the day off right. Getting things accomplished helps motivate you for the rest of the day.
Take Breaks – I know taking a break can sound counter intuitive but coming back fresh to a task gives you a new outlook and can make the task easier.
It Doesn’t Need to be Perfect – Give things your best, but not everything has to be perfect. Sometimes good is good enough and you can put too much stress on yourself trying to make everything perfect.
Recognize What You Got Accomplished – Some days we accomplish a lot and some days we don’t. It’s just the way life is. Applaud yourself and recognize what you did get accomplished. Celebrate the small things!
Re-evaluate – What’s working for you? What isn’t? Your time is yours and you get to decide how you spend it. Spend your time how it works best for you.