How often do you crawl into bed at the end of the day wishing you had been able to get more done, and achieve more? Does it constantly feel like there just aren’t enough hours in a day to complete all your tasks? Are you always in a race against the clock to get things done? If any of these sound familiar, then it’s time to deal with the stress and anxiety this causes and find ways to achieve more in less time.
Sure, okay, we understand that it sounds too good to be true. After all, it’s not like can add more hours to the day or miraculously clear your “to do” list, but what you can do is learn how to manipulate time. It’s all about taking the time available to you and using it to your advantage. Making the most of it and learning how to be more efficient and therefore effective. With that said, below are some practical tips and advice that will help you to be more efficient and effective, thus using your time wisely.
Create a Schedule for Yourself
When it comes to how to manage time effectively, it really comes down to scheduling. You want to be sure that you’re monitoring and scheduling all the important and necessary tasks, and getting them done in a timely manner. If that means you need to create blocks of time in your day that are dedicated to specific tasks, then that’s the way to go about it.
Ideally, you want to start by scheduling each day in advance, working your way up to scheduling your week, and even month in advance. Doing so will give you a quick snapshot of what to expect, where you have free time, and where you’re busy, and it ensures that you don’t run out of time for important tasks and errands.
This tip can be used both in your business and personal life, as you can schedule both separately to ensure you’re ultra-efficient all the time.
Get Rid of Distractions
Another extremely useful tip is to get rid of any distractions that are keeping you from your to-do list. These distractions could be outside distractions like family, friends, or co-workers wishing to chat and catch up, or they could be tech-related such as just “quickly” checking your social network sites only to be pulled down the rabbit hole, or being distracted by instant messages and phone calls.
Every time a distraction pops up, it takes time to get back into your groove and pick up where you left off. This can really throw you off schedule.
So, what’s the best solution? If you’re busy working, make sure all distractions are eliminated. That could mean turning off your phone, blocking particular sites online so you won’t be tempted, setting a timer that signals the end of a work period and the beginning of a short break, and being honest and up-front with people that you’re trying to get rid of distractions while you work.
Make Sure You’re Using Hardware and Software to Your Advantage
It’s also wise to look for ways you can automate or at least make your work smoother and faster through the use of hardware and/or software. Anytime you can streamline your work, you’ll find your efficiency level gets a huge boost. This could mean you need to invest in new equipment, or it could mean it’s time to speak to your employer about your tech needs and how your current hardware and software is actually holding you back from achieving more.
Learn When Your Most Productive Time of Day Is
There is also a learning curve in determining your most productive time of day. Maybe you’re a morning person who is ready to give it your all at the crack of dawn, or perhaps you find yourself picking up steam as the day goes on. You want to be sure you schedule your most intensive tasks during the hours of the day that you focus and concentrate best, and when you have the most energy.
Set a Specific Time of Day to Respond to Emails
One thing that can really eat away your day is responding to emails – both work-related and personal ones. When at work, it’s a good idea to schedule a specific time of day, or multiple times of the day, wherein you are only responding to emails and no other tasks. During the rest of the day, it’s best to ignore those emails – unless something urgent comes up – and not let them distract you.
Thinking Outside the Box
In order to achieve more in less time and really manipulate time, often it takes a little creative thinking and stepping outside your own comfort zone. Scheduling isn’t a bad word, rather it is something that can help you to be much more efficient and effective overall.