Eat, sleep, work, repeat… sound familiar? For most of us it seems there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Time is precious and whether you’re a student, a boss or a nine-to-fiver, managing your time can be a stressful task, but it can be done. It’s all about simplifying tasks, prioritising your time and making time for people, play and rest.
With a bit of planning and rearranging, you can relieve your stress, increase your productivity and get things achieved and it’s really not that hard!
So, here’s a list of seven steps to help you manage your time like a pro, so you can have more time spent drinking wine and watching Netflix, coz, priorities.
#1 Plan And Prioritise Your Day
Setting aside a little bit of time the night before or, taking a few minutes in the morning to plan your day, can be the difference between a clear focus or feeling overwhelmed and flustered.
Firstly, take a look at what you need to achieve. Start with the most important or time sensitive task first and work your way down to the least important or pressing. Prioritisation is key here, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get everything done. There are only so many hours in a day and there is a big difference between getting everything done and getting everything done well. If you’ve finished the essential, then consider your day a success.
#2 Set Reminders On Your Phone
Utilise that phone of yours and set reminders for yourself. It’s a psychological fact that on average the human brain can only really remember seven (or less) things at once. So, if you’ve got an important meeting, phone call or appointment, set the reminder to give you enough time to get to or prepare for your engagement.
Reminders can also make good note pads. If you’re in the middle of something important and a thought pops into your head, jot it down quickly into your phone and set a reminder for later so you can come back and give it some more thought. This is a good way to avoid trying to multi-task and distracting you from the task at hand.
#3 Get Rid Of Distractions
Social media is a nightmare for productivity and a trap for procrastination. To avoid any kind of unnecessary distractions, think about doing things like—deleting the social media bookmarks from your task bar, switching off your phone and shutting down any online chat conversations you have going. Without these distractions, you’ll find yourself getting through tasks quicker and more efficiently.
#4 Take Breaks
Don’t be a hero, make sure you take breaks—especially if you’re run off your feet. Some people often feel guilty about stepping away from their desks to take breaks but studies have shown that taking breaks at work can actually prevent us from getting bored and unfocused, help us retain information and help us to re-evaluate our tasks.
There are a few different break methods you could consider for taking breaks—The Pomodoro technique goes in short bursts of time, suggesting you should work for 25 minutes then take a break of five minutes to stretch your legs or grab a drink of water.
Working in 90-minute work blocks is said to work with your body’s natural rhythm and that after 90 minutes we need to renew our energy levels by taking a break.
The 52-17 method suggests you should work for 52 minutes at a time, and then take a 17-minute breaks to achieve maximum productivity. But, if you think you really don’t have enough time to take a time block break then you should try taking two 15-minute breaks during your work day—one mid-morning and one around 3pm—which is said to be the least productive time of the day.
#5 Be Early
If you plan to be somewhere on time, there are two ways this can turn out—you will either be on time or be late. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances can get in the way of you being on time, so to avoid the stress and rush and plan to be earl. 15 minutes is usually a good rule of thumb.
#6 Make Leisure Time
Having leisure time in your day is an absolute must to maintain a clear frame of mind. None of us are super human, we can’t be working machines all day long, so—take some time for yourself to do things you enjoy. Whether it is reading a book, watching some Netflix, grabbing a coffee or visiting a friend, make sure you plan for leisure time in your day to keep that brain of yours ticking away in tip top shape.
#7 Download A Time Management App
In this day and age, you can download an app for pretty much anything. Downloading one will help you delegate your time like a pro and make sure you’re getting the maximum productivity out of your day.
Here are a couple of top rated apps we’re loving— Clear app organises your life into simple to-do lists using themed categories. It’s fully customisable and super easy to use. Clara is an email app that schedules and co-ordinates your meetings for you. RescueTime is a time tracking app that records where and how you are spending your time online. Timely is a time-tracking app that keeps tabs on how long projects take and helps you to organise your workweek. Finally, Trello is a project management app that lets you sort through tasks and lays them out on a bulletin board using editable cards, letting you collaborate with your team members.
Image Credit: Parks And Recreation