The secret to successful people is time management, and proper time management skills can help small businesses grow. Busy companies need to prioritize their work tasks and achieve their goals faster. When you better manage your time, you’ll be able to take on new opportunities and grow your business.
With the right time-management skills, life becomes easier. You know the difference between working hard and working smart. You get more things done in less time, or even while under time constraints. Here are ten ways to take control of your schedule each day to make the most of it.
What Is Time Management?
Time management is the strategy of planning out your available time and controlling your time on specific tasks to work more efficiently. Time management is vital because it helps you manage your workday to build your business without compromising your work-life balance. Effective time management comes easier to some people than others, but everyone can develop habits to improve their time management skills.
When you understand how to manage your time effectively, you’ll become more focused at work, allowing you to accomplish more with less time available. Here are ten ways to take control of your schedule each day to make the most of the time you have available.
1. Set Goals
Goal setting helps put our day-to-day activities into the broader context of long-term goals. For example, goal setting assists arrange priorities and mapping out the key more minor activities essential to success on a larger objective or initiative. You need to set goals as specific as possible to focus on the task at hand before moving on to the next goal. It starts with your idea. I will help you take that big goal and break it into manageable parts.
Evaluate every project you need to work on to determine the most urgent and important tasks and make those your top priority for the day. Leave less critical tasks or projects that haven’t yet become urgent for later, when you have more time to focus on those less important projects.
3. Scheduled Tasks
Planning your time is another essential element of good time management. Get a good sense before you start each day of how much time you’ll spend working on everything on your task list. Understand when you’re most productive: maybe you’re the most alert first thing in the morning, or perhaps you hit your stride at night. Save your most important and challenging tasks for when your productivity is highest—schedule simpler or smaller tasks for times when you’re less alert.
4. Focus on One Task At a Time
Multitasking may seem like a good way of getting extra work done, but it decreases productivity. Instead of completing multiple projects, you end up starting but not finishing any of them. The best way to manage your time is to focus on a single task at a time and give it your full attention while you’re working on it to avoid mistakes.
5. Minimize Distractions
Everyone has inevitable distractions that interrupt them and take their time away from work. Is your guilty pleasure social media? Maybe checking your email? Or perhaps you like to keep in touch with friends and family? Stop checking them so often and start batching these types of activities. Set a time, then check and deal with all of them at once. Give yourself 30 minutes, and then get back on task.
6. Follow the 80/20 Rule
Are you focusing on the 20 percent of activities that produce 80 percent of your desired results? The 80/20 Rule, also known as Pareto’s Principle, says that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your actions. It’s a way to view your time usage prioritize your chosen tasks against your most important goals.
7. Overcome Procrastination
Keep the 4D’s in mind:
- Delete it: What are the consequences of not doing the task at all? Consider the 80/20 rule; maybe it doesn’t need to be done in the first place.
- Delegate it: If the task is essential, ask yourself if it’s something that you are responsible for doing in the first place. Can the task be given to someone else?
- Do it now: Postponing an important task that needs to be done only creates feelings of anxiety and stress. Do it as early in the day as you can.
- Defer: If the task can’t be completed quickly and is not a high-priority item, simply defer it.
8. Say No
While it’s great to be a team player, it’s also important to know when and how to be assertive and let people know you can’t handle their requests at the moment if it conflicts with you achieving your goals. If you agree to take on the task, negotiate a deadline that helps them achieve their goals without sacrificing your own.
9. Take Care of Your Health
A good night’s sleep, healthy eating, and exercise will give you the energy, focus, and stamina required to make the most out of your day. It may seem that work is more important, and you can always catch up on sleep, food, and exercise later. If you lose your health, though, you can’t work, or do much of anything else for that matter, so don’t skimp on taking care of yourself. Also understand how many hours of sleep you need each night, I need at least 7, ideally 8.
10. Reward Yourself for Good Work
Rewards can be a great motivator for good time management. Give yourself a small reward for every task you accomplish in the day. For instance, you could celebrate finishing up a report by taking a 15-minute walk outside. Rewards keep you motivated on the job and can help you achieve a better work-life balance.
When you have control of your time, you feel more in control of your life, and having control of your life gives you power and freedom. Time management helps you maintain this control. We all have the same 24 hours to use every day. If you want to be successful in your career and other aspects of your life, it is essential to know how to make the best use of your time. Use the resources and tips laid out in this article to improve your ability to make the most constructive decisions for spending your time.Having great ideas is one thing, but it takes prioritizing and connecting with the community to have successful mission-driven initiatives. I want the opportunity to help you develop actionable steps toward achieving your goals. Together, we will develop a fully customized plan that focuses on the areas most important to you.