Top 9 Time Management Tips To Increase Your Productivity Fast
"I end every day without doing half of what I needed to get done!"
"I need some serious time management help."
"How do I eliminate distractions and get everything done on time?"
"I feel completely overwhelmed at the amount of stuff I have to do."
Time is the one thread that runs through all of our lives. Whether you're always early, arrive as scheduled, or prefer to be fashionably late, you're always watching the clock.
There's always somewhere to be or something you have to do. You never seem to find the extra time you need to squeeze in activities that you actually enjoy.
Consider these 9 time management gems to enhance your productivity and get more hours out of each and every day:
Preview your schedule for the day first thing in the morning.
Use your calendar effectively and you'll be able to spend your time more judiciously.
- With practice, you'll learn to recognize which tasks need more time to be completed and which tasks' scheduled time can be shortened.
What's your schedule look like?
Prepare your agenda.
At work, if you're responsible for leading a meeting, be prepared. Write the meeting agenda in advance.
- Stick to the time allotted for each agenda item.
What's on your agenda?
Keep your focus on the task at hand.
If you need to finish writing a report, stay with it until the report is completed. Focus!
What tends to distract you?
Take active steps to screen out distractions.
If you work better with soft music playing in the background, arrange to listen to your tunes while you complete your tasks.
- If you're on the job, close your office door to deter people from stopping in to say, "Hi," or ask a quick question.
What distractions can you eliminate? How?
If someone calls you into their office for a minute to get your opinion on an issue, avoid sitting down. Impromptu meetings are shorter when at least one of you stands.
Have confidence about limiting chitchat at work.
Don't be afraid to tell people you can't talk right at the moment. Rather than getting perturbed, your associates may praise your work ethic of finishing your projects before taking time to chitchat.
- You're also setting a great example for the other employees.
Get comfortable with saying "No."
Being assertive is the hallmark of effective time management. Saying no when appropriate is vital.
- When you take on more projects than you have time for, the quality of your work may suffer. Plus, your most important tasks don't get addressed in a timely fashion if you have too much to do. You're more likely to get more work done - and do it well - if you aren't overwhelmed by taking on too much.
Can you say no?
Use your planner at home as well.
If you're struggling during off-work hours to manage your time, feel free to also use your planner there. Write in your schedule when you want to work on certain home projects, like washing your car or cleaning the living room.
Set timers or alarms to keep you on task.
For example, if you plan to clean your bedroom for an hour, set the alarm on your cell phone. Stop working on the chore at hand when the timer goes off, but not until then (unless you complete the task).
- Playing "beat the clock" can be highly motivational. Plus you're likely to get more done.
- For particularly troublesome tasks, set your alarm in smaller increments - even 15 minutes - and take a short breather when your alarm sounds before you re-focus on your task. In particular, you may find that physically challenging tasks are much more manageable if broken into smaller, more do-able "pieces."
Managing your time effectively will make you more satisfied and productive.
Practice these tips to get a handle on everything you want to complete.
A well-managed life is within your reach!
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