Time management can be one of the most difficult tasks that we have to face. Prioritizing tasks is tough as well as finding time between work, your personal life and all of the other thousand things that need to be done during 24 hours. How to efficiently use our time is a challenge that I also face, but here are some things that I found have really helped.
Disconnect distractions. While we all love our smartphones and FaceBook, those are the biggest distractions that we face during our workdays. Even if you are balancing work related tasks like to-do lists, emails and phone calls, it is rare that we are fully focused on our tasks. While you may feel that you are accomplishing more than usual, you are not fully engaged with the task and actually spend twice as much time to do half your work. I also suffer from this problem and I avoid doing it by dedicating certain times of the day for certain tasks; fifteen minutes in the morning and afternoon for emails and then I prioritize my to-do list by importance.
Do the most important thing first. Going off of number one, we all know that throughout the day, our to-do list keeps growing and then the panic and chaos sets in. By the end of the day our decisions at the end of the day weren’t as good as our decisions at the beginning. With that said, do the most important task first, that way, by the end of the day, you have at least accomplished one important thing for the day. Even if the day did not follow the schedule that you had for it, you are still feeling productive.
Stick to the schedule. On a day to day basis, sticking to the schedule is easier said than done. Say at the end of the day, I wanted an hour to work on a big project due in a few weeks. Instead, I have 20 minutes. I could a.) Say, “Oh well, I only have 20 minutes, I’ll check Facebook instead.” Or you can b.) Utilize those 20 minutes and get some work done on that project, even if it is breaking down what you hope to do tomorrow. In the long run, those 20 minutes will make a difference and get you closer to your goal.