10 Tips for Effective Time Management
Not planning a schedule, committing to too many tasks or events, and dealing with the many life distractions can all lead to wasted time and anxiety about how to get everything done. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind as you hone your time management skills:
Determine which activities are fixed vs. flexible.
This will vary for each individual, but some items on your schedule are fixed, meaning that they will occur at the same time each week. Others will occur occasionally or have flexibility around when they can be scheduled. Fixed events may include work hours, classes, meetings, mealtimes, church, children’s activities, and hours spent commuting. Flexible items could include time allotted for exercise, household chores, appointments and errands, entertainment, and down time.
Be realistic about how much time you need.
Planning out your schedule can help ensure that adequate time has been budgeted for required activities. Having a plan prevents you from having to rush, and also reminds you not to spend too much time on tasks that you can accomplish quickly.
Break tasks down into manageable segments.
Some projects are complex and involve multiple steps. Scheduling each step separately can provide a series of manageable goals to accomplish.
Establish a routine.
A schedule provides a helpful guide, but establishing consistent habits makes it easier to maintain productivity. Just as healthy eating habits can support wellness, effective time management habits can support a sense of confidence and ease.
Compensation for time well spent can include scheduling weekend time to ensure that you really get time to relax. If there’s something that motivates you more, use that as an incentive to reward accomplishments.
Be flexible, but don’t get derailed.
Unexpected events will always arise, and you can adjust your schedule to accommodate them by utilizing free time. After a shift in scheduled time occurs, return to your plan in order to stay on track.
Group tasks to maximize efficiency.
You can group errands by location and priority, and arrange tasks by type. Embrace multi-tasking by combining activities that work well together. For example, complete laundry while doing other household chores or homework.
Listen to your body.
Following the natural cycles of your body can help you create an effective schedule. If you’re a morning person, for instance, you may have more energy for certain things earlier rather than later in the day. You may have a job or school schedule that doesn’t exactly match your natural rhythms, but being aware of your energy levels throughout the day can help you anticipate how much time you may need for a given activity.
Don’t be afraid to delegate.
In work or family life, find duties that you can delegate or share with others to help alleviate your workload. While you may give up some control by sharing tasks with others, you may also discover that you have more time to focus on high-priority items and those personal goals that matter the most to you.
Keep your eyes on the prize.
Whether you’re focusing on short-term action steps or long-term goals, use these objectives for motivation. This can help you stick to your time management schedule and foster a sense of achievement.
There are many time management tools that you can use to help schedule time, from mobile apps to calendars and multi-year plans. Below, you’ll find a variety of templates with basic formatting and a professional appearance that can help you manage your personal and professional time better. Download the templates that work for you and customize them to fit your needs.
Thank You For Reading
Marijan Pavisic MS SPHR