You probably have had one of those days when you feel completely exhausted, and even though you have been working all day, you realize you have completed very few tasks on the list. So where did my time go, you will ask yourself. Don’t worry. You’re not alone in this. As a matter of fact, many people fall into the vicious circle of working on end and delivering unproductive work.
To be able to handle the heavy workload without overworking, you have to adopt some useful habits to learn how to manage time and make the most of your time.
Whether you have an employer or work for yourself at home, time management is the key to maintain high level of work performance. However, work-smart habits don’t just happen, you need to cultivate them gradually through dedication and commitment.
Let’s take a look at some sure-shot ways to manage time which will help you grow those habits. If you approach them properly, at the end of the day, you will become the master of your time.
#1 Create a crash plan
Always have a crash plan. Planning your work day will certainly make your life a lot easier. The crash plan will navigate you through your tasks. It will show you what to do and when, it will remind you which tasks are due. Thus, you can handle pressure and meet all deadlines. It’s important to set your crash plan based on what you want and need to accomplish.
#2 Find out your least and most productive times of the day
Even though most people share the common belief that a morning person is capable of doing much more productive work than the one who wakes up late, that is not necessarily the whole truth. Different people have different habits when it comes to productivity. You are an early bird, good for you.
However, not all people who rise from bed early are equally productive. Therefore, you need to find out what time of the day you are in top shape and full of energy. If you are closer to the type of a night owl and feel mentally stronger at night, use this to make the most of your time. Overall, it doesn’t matter when do you start your day as long as you are able to finish your tasks and deliver quality work.
#3 Identify the daily distractors and try to get rid of them
When we work from home, we face too many time wasters – the TV, the mobile phone, household chores, emails, social media sites, YouTube, chat apps, etc. Tempting as it may be, don’t start your day binge-watching your favorite sitcoms on Netflix. You will lose your focus and won’t be able to deliver quality work. Leave TV shows for later, they can wait. Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are huge time eaters as well. If the nature of your work has nothing to do with them, try to ignore them as much as possible, at least until you have your work done.
#4 Turn off notification alerts on your mobile devices
Establishing good communication management is vital for productivity. Try not to read your emails and text messages every time a new one arrives. Make specific time during the day to handle all communication – personal and business. That rule strongly applies for chat applications. Your friends who enjoy some free time may have a new gossip to tell you about, but sure it can wait until you complete your work. If your parents tend to call often to just say hello, try to explain them not to call in specific times. A short casual conversation over the phone is enough to break your concentration, and once it happens, you may not be able to restore it for the rest of the day, so be careful there. Notification alerts drain productivity and affect the result of our work in a negative way.
#5 Set priorities
Prioritizing is the best way to cope with the excessive workload. By rule, the most important and time-consuming projects must come first. Sure, it may seem impossible to tag the important tasks when you have tons of work waiting to be done and all of it carries a label “urgent” attached. Nonetheless, it is not that hard to put priorities on your ongoing tasks.
#6 Something to bear in mind about multitasking
Are you good at multitasking? Normally, when you multitask, you switch from one task to another, but you are not as effective as when you focus on only one. Picture yourself texting a friend while doing a web research and taking notes. These are three activities you are doing all at the same time. Don’t you think that something is going to suffer? It’s highly likely that one of these activities (perhaps the texting) will steal more of your attention. In order to avoid making some embarrassing mistakes, try taking one assignment at a time (you can afford it, of course). Thus, you’ll keep your focus sharp and save time.
#7 Time management apps
If you are still uncertain about the way you manage your time, there’s one more option. Time management apps like Google Calendar, Cozi, Productivity Owl, TeuxDeux, Wunderlist, Milebug, Time Log, etc., offer great deal of useful features designed to help workers beat distractions and stay focused as long as it takes. Explore these apps and take advantage of the ones that best suit your needs.
Time is an extremely limited resource since it can never be made up when lost. Therefore, spend it in the most beneficial way. Whether for work or personal activities, always have time to do things that make you feel good.
Would you like to add some other ways to manage time efficiently? Comment below and let us know.