Life is busy. It’s important you manage your time well to balance all of the demands of daily living. However, it’s not just routine responsibilities that you have to worry about. It’s also imperative to take some leisure time to yourself.
Time management is the process of organizing and dividing your time between specific tasks. Effective time management allows you to work smarter, not harder, so you can get more done in a shorter amount of time. Let’s take a deeper look into this topic so you can improve your time management skills and Become Unstoppable!
Why Is Good Time Management Important?
Sometimes it seems that there’s just not enough time in the day to do everything that you need to. OK, let’s be honest – that’s most of the time! Unfortunately, we can’t stop time in its tracks or make it go slower. What we can do, however, is manage our time.
Failing to manage your time causes immense stress and damages your productivity. That’s why time management is the key to Becoming Unstoppable. It allows you to function effectively and efficiently, even under high-pressure and short-deadline situations. Most importantly, good time management skills will open up your schedule, so you have more YOU time.
We often become so busy that we leave no room to care for ourselves – our health, our bodies, our minds. We neglect our exercise routines, we push off healthy eating, and we set our passions and hobbies to the side, telling ourselves that we’ll get to these things one day.
In truth, none of these are out of reach. It’s essential that you fit self-care into your routine. Otherwise, you’re likely to burn out. You CAN work two jobs and still make it to the gym. You CAN be a full-time student and dish out time to cook healthy meals. You CAN raise a large family and still find time to relax with a cup of tea and your favorite book. It’s all about effective time management.
6 Strategies to Improve Your Time Management Skills
Below are six strategies that will greatly improve your time management skills and boost your productivity, no matter how busy you are.
1. List It Out
There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing off items on a to-do list. To-do lists aren’t just visually effective, but they also help to reduce the burden on the brain, one task at a time. Thus, simply writing down tasks will make you much more efficient!
Advantages of using a to-do list include:
- They help you organize your thoughts
- They give you a visual brain-storming plan
- The act of writing helps you to stick to your goals
- They allow you to prioritize what’s most important
- You are less likely to forget to do tasks
- It saves time and brain space
As great as to-do lists are, they only work if you actually use them. Write a daily to-do list and update it regularly. Keep it prioritized, with the most important duties coming first. Be sure to scratch off tasks as you finish them. You can write your list on your phone or in an app to make it easier to update and adjust when needed.
2. Avoid Procrastination
The most important tasks are usually the most monotonous ones. It’s so much easier to check Facebook then go through all of those overwhelming work emails. But, the more you hold off on critical responsibilities, the more you set yourself up for stress and overwhelm later on.
It’s helpful to use the popular “rocks, pebbles, and sand” analogy for time management. Think of your most important work as rocks, and the next most important as pebbles. Sand is the fun stuff that you add at the end once everything else fits in. If you fill your jar with sand first, there will be no room for your priorities. But, if you fill your jar with rocks and pebbles first, you can then fill in any empty space with things that you like to do in your spare time, without the added stress of knowing you have other tasks to finish.
Commit to simply doing what needs to be done before anything else! Turn off distractions and focus your mind on the task at hand. If you get the important stuff done first, you’ll have more time in the end to do other things.
3. Focus on One Thing at a Time
Most often we’re faced with multiple things that need to get done. Because of this, some people may resort to multitasking, thinking they are getting more accomplished. The truth is, your mind is much more efficient when it’s focused on one thing at a time.
People who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who focus on a single task at a time.
Remember that highly-effective to-do list you are going to make? Focus on one item at a time from that list before moving on.
4. Organize Your Time
Let’s face it, most of us waste way too much time, though we might do it unintentionally. Between social media, long bouts of texting, or late-night tv, we may not be as productive as we think we are. In fact, the average internet user is on social media for over 2 hours a day! Think about all you could get done in two hours!
Identify areas of your life where you are wasting time. A good way to do this is to log down everything you do for a week. Be extremely detailed and meticulous in this task. At the end of the week, examine your record and identify areas where you could have been more productive. From there, reorganize your time so that you are using it as efficiently as possible. This may include cutting out tv, timing yourself on social media, and scheduling bouts of time (in 2 or 3-hour blocks) to get priority tasks done.
5. Observe & Reflect
Time management is something that needs constant attention and adjusting. Different methods work for different people. Additionally, it’s easy to fall off track and get back into old habits.
Continuously observe and reflect on how you are using your time, so you can come up with better and more efficient ways to use that time. You can do this by keeping a diary, similar to the time log discussed above. You can also take some time each night to reflect on how your day went. Consider what you did well, and what you can improve. If you felt particularly stressed that day, try to recount if there were gaps in your time or productivity.
6. Make Time for YOU
In the process of keeping up with life’s bustling commands, it’s super important to schedule time for you. Don’t just set the intention to care for yourself. Write it down and schedule into your planner, calendar, or to-do list. Schedule in family time, exercise, and hobbies, that way you don’t burn out and you make YOU a priority.
Exercise is such an important aspect of self-care. Schedule your next session with Gloveworx today! Our coaches will work with you to develop a routine that fits your busy lifestyle.