With the end of the year quickly approaching, we often encounter folks who are stretched too thin facing numerous conflicting deadlines. So, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share a few time-management skills. Some of the following tips are strategies we’ve implemented and found to be effective, while others are frequently mentioned in time management articles. We know there are numerous ways to manage your time and re-prioritize, so let us know if you have any time management strategies by leaving a note in the comment section below.
Time Management Tips
- Make a to-do list that prioritizes upcoming tasks and estimate how long each task will take. Work on the most time-sensitive tasks first and set a plan for accomplishing the other tasks. It’s important to be realistic about the time things will take, and as a general rule it’s better to overestimate the time you think it will take to complete each activity.
- Determine the time(s) of day you are most productive and/or do your best thinking. Try to work on more demanding/important tasks during those times to maximize efficiency.
- Break down big projects into smaller tasks that are more manageable to accomplish within limited time.
- If you find that you have a spare half-hour or small period of time, don’t waste it. Use it to accomplish one of the shorter tasks on your to-do list.
- If you’re spending a lot of time on one task and aren’t getting very far, then take a short break. You’ll be more productive once you’re re-energized.
- Try to stay off of emails and turn your phone on silent when you are in the middle of a big report or task. Reading and responding to emails, calls, or text messages will distract your focus.
- It’s OK to say “No.” (when appropriate). Your time is valuable, and it’s important to set priorities and boundaries.
- Make use of idle time—waiting in line at the grocery store, being in traffic, sitting on the train—by reflecting on what you’ve accomplished and your goals moving forward.
- Unless you need to use social media for work, set short limits (10 – 15 minutes at the beginning or end of the day) on the amount of time you spend on social media sites.
- Remember not to skimp on sleep. Being well-rested allows for a clearer mind, and will make you more efficient so that you can accomplish everything that needs to be done.