12 Best Time Management Tips
Time management is how we distribute our time to complete necessary activities. Good time management can allow you to get more done in less time and relieves a lot of stress. But when work responsibilities pile up and deadlines approach, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. We’ve collected the best time management tips to keep you on track – successful and stress-free.
1. Create Goals
Before you begin your day or week, set goals. Take note of tasks that you want to accomplish by a certain date. Goals allow you to see what needs to be done. It’s also important to set achievable goals and make sure they are realistic.
2. Use Time Management Tools
Time management tools exist for a reason – they track work, time, and people or budget. For example, use Toggl to track how much time you spend on each activity. Calendars are immensely helpful to set reminders for meetings and deadlines, or to block off time for focused work.
This is the most important among all time management tips. Put the most important tasks as a priority. Just a note, ‘urgent’ is not the same as ‘important’. Make sure tasks with the highest priority get done first. All others you can handle later – when you have the extra time.
4. Establish a Routine
Get into a routine. Try to set specific times to do certain tasks and stick to that time. If you put yourself on a schedule it will be easier to complete your work.
5. Set Time Limits for Tasks
Work and responsibilities can feel like they go on forever and you can easily spend too much time focusing on one task. It is important to set a time limit for a task so you don’t wear yourself out working on a singular project for an extended amount of time. Time limits indicate when it’s time to stop and break or stop and move on.
6. Plan Your Week Before It Starts
If you take the time to plan your week before it starts, it can alleviate some of the stress that you might have during the week. A planned schedule can keep you on time and on task. And once the week starts it is hard to get around to planning when you are already doing the things you are supposedly planning for.
7. Take Advantage of Your Most Productive Times
If you know you are most productive between the hours of 1pm -3pm then that is when you should get down to work. Take advantage of how your body naturally feels and get work done. Most productive times can be used to achieve bulk loads of work.
8. Break Tasks up to Keep from Feeling Overwhelmed
If you have a large project or one with multiple parts, break it down. Separate your tasks and complete them in the order they need to be completed. Small tasks are more achievable than large tasks and small tasks make work more manageable.
9. Take Breaks
Take breaks between tasks or when you feel like you need one. Break prevents burnout and can alleviate stress. Work is important but so is your well-being and breaks are a way to take care of yourself.
10. Try Not to Procrastinate
Work can be daunting but it’s best not to procrastinate. When you procrastinate work doesn’t go away, it just piles up. Putting off work can feel good at the moment but it only leads to a lot of stress later.
11. Use a To-Do List
A to-do list lets you know what needs to be completed for the day. A visualization of your tasks allows you to have a better understanding of what needs to be done. A to-do list also allows you to check tasks off. Whenever we complete a task, our brain releases dopamine – the neurotransmitter responsible for our feelings of accomplishment, satisfaction and happiness. Checking tasks off our to-do list makes us feel good and motivates us to go on and complete more work to get more dopamine and extend the pleasant feeling.
12. Knowing When to Put a Task on Hold or Say No
If you know that you are overwhelmed, learn how to say no or put things on hold. Saying yes to tasks you can’t complete just stresses you out and leads to subpar work. The tasks can always be given to someone else or just be completed when your more pressing priorities are completed.
Work and responsibilities can be overwhelming and stressful. However, having tips and strategies to manage that stress is beneficial. We’ve compiled a list of the best time management tips. You don’t have to use all of them, though. Implementing even one of them in your routine will leave a big impact.