One of the biggest obstacles to a successful day, week, month, etc. is poor time management. Little in life is worse than starting your day with a full plate – only to end your day with the plate still half-full. Time management tricks can be utilized throughout your day in order to help prevent “half-full plate syndrome,” and here are just a few to get you going.
Make a Daily Agenda First Thing in the Morning or the Night Before.
Going into a big day with a plan is almost certain to be more productive than just jumping in and winging it. Make an agenda of all the things that must be done, should be done, and what you would like to be done, in that order. Once you have completed a task, mark it off your list. Periodically throughout the day, evaluate your list to see if you are on-track to finish on time and make adjustments as necessary.
Boring Tasks are the Liver & Onions; Fun Tasks are the Dessert. One Before the Other.
There are always parts of your regular business day that are less fun than others. Utilizing the time management agenda mentioned above, try to list the least favorable tasks first in each category. Once the hard stuff is out of the way, you only have the easy stuff to look forward to. It’s a lot easier to approach the end of the day with joy rather than with dread.
Use Time Management in Your Whole Day. Prioritize Sleep and Recreation.
An agenda is one thing, a schedule is another. Besides your daily tasks at work, don’t forget the rest of your life. If you’re having difficulty finding time to sleep or to have any “you time,” schedule them into your daily life. The correct amount of rest is extremely important, so schedule enough hours for yourself and stick to your bedtime whenever possible. With what you have left, leave a time block or two to do something relaxing you enjoy. Sufficient sleep and recreation tends to create less distraction at work. Time management works.
Obliterate Waiting Times.
Many people lose time throughout the day because of waiting times. If you’re being kept on-hold on the phone, or if you’re waiting for the mechanic to replace your bald tires – use time management and find something productive to do while you wait. Send an email, create tomorrow’s agenda, anything you can find to fill the time. That way, when you’re done waiting, you actually have something work-related to show for it.