One of the most positive things about humans is our adaptability, which makes setting up a more efficient time management schedule surprisingly simple once we adjust to the new routine.
To fix the problem of poorly-managed time, you must first sit down and analyze exactly how you’re spending your work hours, decide what to keep and what to get rid of, and figure out the best method to accomplish everything you’d like to get done every day.
Below are 5 top tips to help you master time management for maximum productivity:
1. Eliminate Distractions—
One of the hardest to accomplish, yet most productive things anyone can do to manage time more efficiently is to eliminate distractions from their working environment.
Distractions can take the form of internal conflicts, such as anxiety, interpersonal problems or difficulty concentrating, and external disturbances, such as chatty co-workers. Irritating outside noises, computer notifications and cell phone alerts can also be common diversions.
The obvious solution for avoiding external distractions is to create a working environment free of disruptive outside forces using isolation or privacy, if possible, and the elimination of electronic interruptions by silencing alerts.
If you are in charge of many people and unable to avoid constant human interaction, you may need to determine if a virtual assistant can save your company time and money.
Having someone else to serve as a “gatekeeper” to decide whether or not you are urgently needed by employees can remove unnecessary distractions on a daily basis, allowing you to get more work done.
2. Prioritize Your Day Early—
One of the top tips recommended to help with managing time is the popular method of ending each work day by writing down the six most important tasks to be accomplished the next day.
These tasks should be prioritized by importance, from first to sixth, and starting the next morning they should be completed in order before moving on to the next priority item.
By finishing each number before you move to the next, you will avoid the time-wasting pitfalls of procrastination and multi-tasking, both of which can derail your train of thought and lead to distraction.
Also: Be sure to give yourself adequate time to accomplish each of your six daily goals, because underestimating task time is a common time management mistake.
3. Just Do It—
Procrastination is the worst enemy of efficient time management, because we all know that if we don’t feel like accomplishing a task now, we aren’t going to magically feel like working on it later.
This can be difficult for everyone because sometimes we simply don’t feel like doing something, but if we have it on the priority list, there’s usually a good reason. Remember that working hard to get an unpleasant chore over with will allow you move onto the next thing.
But if you truly don’t have the time, or absolutely cannot deal with the task at hand, remember to delegate so the job gets done.
4. Set Your Schedule—
It’s easy for busy business people to get caught up in the chaos of a bustling, hectic work environment, making it extremely important that you have a set schedule to count on.
Adding structure to your workplace can help you stay on-task by giving you somewhere to focus, so create set times at which you do the necessary parts of your job, and stick to them. Examples of this might be checking e-mail at the same time, one or two times per day, and setting up other daily must-do chores on a schedule.
Once you get into a routine, you will find that adhering to your self-administered rules will keep you on the path to productivity, rather than wandering aimlessly from one duty to another until you’ve completely forgotten your main objective.
5. Become a Master of Organization—
Much time is wasted trying to find poorly organized files, receipts and paperwork, making it crucial that you implement a system of organization.
Figure out a filing system that works for you, and don’t forget to keep backup copies of all data off-site as well as on-site in case of emergency.
A cluttered environment can make your mind feel cluttered, so don’t underestimate the power of an organized and clear desk or office to help with organization.
Keeping a paper book-style daily planner in plain sight can also help remind you of important goals and meetings while allowing you to avoid potentially distracting technological reminders.
Time management is easily attainable once you decide to implement a plan and follow the new schedule you’ve set in place for yourself. Use the tips above to create a distraction-free and organized environment, accomplish everything on your daily list, promote productivity and increase profits.