Five Simple Rules for Great Time Management

Time management is not always easy, especially for those who have no idea just how much time they’ve been wasting over the course of their lives. They have habits and are stuck in their ways, and trying to change those habits, whether trying to use time better at home or on the job can take some real work. Learning to manage time, even when trying to do it for work, is personal, as all people react differently to various types of tips that friends and coworkers might offer. However, the following are five simple rules that should apply to everyone. Add these to your day, and you should start to see a difference.

Have a To-Do List

Nearly everyone will tell you that you need to have a to-do list if you hope to make any progress on projects in your personal life or work life. They can help you to focus and know exactly what you need to do at any given point in the day. Many highly successful people are notorious list makers, including Sir Richard Branson. Creating a list each day helps to get your mind ready to tackle the day, and it puts you in the right frame of mind even before the day begins. You are setting yourself up for success.

What if you have trouble with a regimented to-do list? Some people, especially those who are in creative fields, do typically have difficulty with lists such as these. In those cases, it’s possible to write a looser list of things that you want to achieve during the day and goals that you want to reach. This still helps you to focus, but it allows more flexibility, and that’s how some people will excel.

Skip the Multitasking

Another thing that most of the real experts will tell you is that multitasking is more trouble than it is worth. You should make sure you are focusing on one thing at a time. In fact, that’s the only way to really focus. If you spread your attention to more than one task, both will suffer. Focus on one area and complete what you need before redirecting your mind and working on another area.

On the outside, multitasking might seem like a good idea and a good trait, but very few people are actually able to multitask efficiently. Get to the point where you can focus better and skip the multitasking. It is more trouble than it is worth most of the time. When you are actually able to concentrate on one task, you can finish on time or early, and you can even improve the quality much of the time.

Something that goes along with this is dealing with interruptions. Every interruption that you have will take away your focus, naturally. Try to eliminate them whenever possible. This means that you should stop checking your email and taking phone calls when you are trying to complete a task on your to do list. Schedule time into your list and then you can take care of those other activities.

Budget Your Time for Mistakes

No matter how well you think you are doing and no matter how much effort you put into different tasks, there is always the chance that you will be making mistakes here and there. Sometimes, the mistakes might not directly be yours. However, you have to factor in some time each day to deal with any potential issues that might crop up. By budgeting that time into your day, even for days where you do not have to make any changes or corrections, it ensures that you are still able to keep on track for all of your projects. This also ensures that you never have to worry about meeting deadlines, since you will have that extra time.

Another great thing about budgeting for mishaps is that when you don’t have them, it will actually allow you to get further ahead with the projects. Each business is different, so you may need to add in just half an hour of time each day for this, or you may need more. You can also use this time to take care of any miscellaneous business needs that you might have.

Take a Rest

One of the tips that you really do need to consider is the fact that you could simply be working too much right now and not getting enough rest. When this happens, it affects your productivity and your skill. Those who suffer from insomnia or who have high levels of stress will not be able to get enough good rest, and eventually it will come back to haunt them. Sometimes, you need to take the weekend to really decompress and unwind so that you don’t bring that tiredness with you into the job. Always try your best to get at least eight hours of sleep a night so you can have better focus when it comes the challenges of the following day.

Sometimes, you also need to rest during the day. You do not need to schedule naptime at work, of course, but you do need to take a few breaks each day. Stretch, take some deep breaths to get more oxygen into your brain, and then you will feel reinvigorated when you get back to work.

Track the Time and Your Progress

One of the best rules of better time management is learning to track your progress so you know where you are spending your time each day. Software programs make it easy to track time no matter where you are, so you can see if you are spending too much time on the web, at lunch, or in meetings each day. The information that you get from the time tracking software should be able to help you get a better understanding of how and where you can make changes in your life.

These steps are simple to use, and they really can make a big difference in just how productive you are through the day. Start using them now.


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