Managing your time really comes down to managing yourself, and who has time for that?
If you can’t seem to find the time to accomplish the tasks and goals of your work life, your personal life, or both, this is the blog for you! Read on for seven steps that will allow you to develop a time management structure that works for you.
1. Write your vision
Time is one resource you can’t get back. The first step towards making the most of it is to create a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Write it down, say it out loud, make a vision board. Do whatever it is you need to do to make your goal an integral part of your everyday life today. Making your vision tangible will help you own the steps you need to take to achieve it, day by day.
2. Revise your plan along the way
Now that you have your vision, how do you make it a reality? The path will be different for everybody, and you’re likely to make a few wrong turns. The key is to keep learning, adjusting, and persevering. Identify where you waste time and effort and cut it. Identity what is helping you and invest in it. Let your vision guide you, and don’t be beholden to a set path.
3. Get out of your head
Now that you have the right mindset, get your to-do list out of your head and into an organizational method that work best for you. What tool or set of tools will help you stay focused? Try out checklists, bullet journaling, and calendaring. Members of #TeamTMG are fans of using online spreadsheets to organize short-term tasks and long-term goals. There are also online notebook services that serve as a great tool for categorizing your notes. Whatever you choose, be accountable to it.
4. Try time blocking
Still struggling to make progress on your long-term goals? Try time blocking to help you prioritize both time-sensitive and long-term work. Instead of working from a traditional to-do list, schedule blocks of time on your calendar dedicated to specific tasks and goals. Maybe your mornings are set for the day’s deliverables, and your afternoons are set for big-picture learning and planning. This way, your vision won’t get obstructed by the demands of day-to-day.
5. Tighten meeting times
“This meeting could have been an email,” said everyone, at some point. Try shaving ten minutes off your scheduled meetings. Shorter timeframes force you and your team to use your collaboration time more efficiently. In longer meetings, you’ll naturally fill up the allotted time, when it could have been better spent elsewhere.
6. Redirect saved time
Wherever you are able to finish a meeting or a task faster than expected, take advantage of your saved time and redirect it. Use it as an opportunity to work towards your goal. Pro tip: keep a list of “saved time” tasks on hand so whenever you find yourself with extra time, you know where to redirect it right away.
7. Take breaks – often
Taking a mental and physical break from your work and workspace doesn’t interrupt your productivity—it increases it. If you want to make the most of your time, set yourself up for focused work time by balancing it with focused break time. Take a walk, get outside, meditate, read something non-work-related. Your brain can only stay clear and driven for so long before you get diminished returns on your effort.
What are your best time management tips? Let #TeamTMG know at @themoakgroup.
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