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Time management is a crucial part of our lives. It is basically how you split up and use your time to benefit yourself, and it can be particularly important at work. Though time management assumes you’ve used your time productively, you can also have bad time management. If you don’t manage your time efficiently, you may find yourself failing to complete projects, overworking, and facing unnecessary stress. Therefore, it’s key to master time management successfully. Dive into these five tips to build habits that ensure your time management is excellent.
Research suggests that the next big issue facing the population is the sleep epidemic. Few adults are getting enough sleep to be productive workers. In fact, The Sleep Health Foundation estimates that 45% of adults lack adequate sleep – leading to more than two weeks worth of work lost each year due to poor productivity.
This is the issue with poor sleep; it makes for unproductive workers. If you aren’t completely on the ball due to a bad night, your work will be slower. And, the slower your work, the poorer your time management. If you spend longer doing tasks than you really should, you’re eating into the time you need for other objectives, and your time management will fall to pieces leading to added stress down the line.
By setting a sleep routine with the same wake-up time and starting sleep time, you will trick your body into getting used to a certain amount of sleep. Ensure your sleep schedule allows for the amount of sleep adults of your age need, and your brain should wake up fresh each day, ready to be productive.
Learning to wake up early can help too. Early risers tend to be more productive, perhaps because those who wake early have more time in the day to complete their tasks.
On any given day, you are likely to have several tasks to complete. Some of these will be more difficult than others – whether because they take up more time, require more brain power, or will be physically demanding. By starting your day with the harder tasks, you are likely to be more productive and have better time management.
By completing the most important and pressing tasks first, you won’t be rushing to complete them before the deadline. Instead, you will be able to complete them at your own pace and to a much higher quality than if they were done under time-related stress. When you stress about completing a task, you are likely to complete it poorly.
Emotionally, you can alter your state of mind by completing harder tasks first. On the one hand, by completing them first, you will begin your day with a feeling of productivity, as you’ve already completed some difficult tasks. On the other hand, you preserve your time management because if you feel yourself beginning to lag later in the day, all you face is an easier task. It is much harder to do difficult tasks if you are already tired.
When beginning a day, there’s no better way to ensure good time management than writing a list of goals. These goals can be big or small, but you must define what you want to get done in a given day.
If you have big goals to achieve, it can help to split these big goals into small tasks that contribute to the overarching goal. This way, you can see all the steps you need to do, and it gives you that boosting sense of pride when you tick off a small goal. This will help keep you motivated to keep pushing through to the end. Plus, it’ll help you track your time to see how much actually goes into completing that bigger goal, rather than it being abstract.
To ensure good time management, specify how long you allocated to spend on each task’s completion. These timeframes should be realistic. If you make the slot too small and fail to meet your target, you may get disheartened, leading to poor productivity.
Once you’ve got realistic timeframes, stick to them. These timeframes will ensure you can get everything you need done in the day.
It may appear that multitasking is good for time management. Why not? Surely completing multiple tasks at the same time will save time overall? This is not correct.
Multitasking actually distracts you. To be productive, you need full focus on the task at hand. When you multitask, your focus is split, and you slow yourself down. This way, each individual task you are completing simultaneously takes far longer than it would, had you taken each separately.
By focusing on one thing at a time, you can give it your undivided attention. The conveyor-belt style approach to completing tasks will boost you through each task as each completion gives you a shot of motivation.
Multitasking is not the only distraction that comes up when working. There are plenty of distractions – noise, news, people you work with, and, of course, the internet. In the current work-from-home environment many find themselves in, more distractions than ever could impede your time management.
Distractions tear you away from your work into non-work activities: a poor use of your time. This can only lead to bad time management.
To avoid this, you need to remove all possible distractions from your environment. Creating a distraction-free zone for your work should streamline your workflow, boosting your productivity.
This zone should be a quiet space, where noise won’t reach you or distract you. This includes road-noise, family noise, or workplace noise. If you are somewhere unavoidably noisy, consider noise-canceling headphones to block out the distraction.
By avoiding distractions, you are putting your time into what you are supposed to do rather than wasting it on unnecessary alternatives.
Many factors can affect your time management. By treating each carefully and being aware of all the aspects of good time management, you should find you are using your time to the greatest benefit. With good productivity and excellent time management, your work rises in quality, and you have more time to spend outside of work.
Rebecca DiCioccio is the marketing manager at Paperform. Outside of work, Rebecca can be found exploring the outdoors or with a book in hand. Rebecca’s background in copywriting and keen interest in SEO and digital marketing mean she understands the importance of staying up to date with the latest trends in a dynamic and ever-changing industry.