Time Management Tips

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The year 2020 is a leap year, meaning there’s an extra day. Sometimes it seems there just isn’t enough time, and you might find yourself wishing every month had an extra day. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get more hours in a day?

While you can’t pull more hours out of thin air, you can maximize the potential of the time you do have with effective time management. You can also identify critical areas that need attention, identify what tasks you can delegate to others and track progress toward your goals.

1. Start with goals. What are you trying to accomplish? Make a list of goals. Separate your goals by short-term (quarterly), mid-term (one year), or long-term (two to five years) goals.

2. Make a list of tasks. Identify tasks that are required to make progress toward your goal. Breaking down goals into written tasks allows you to see and understand what actions are required. The task list will also help you to see what resources are needed. You may see areas where you need more resources to accomplish your goals. Use the list to start identifying ways to get them done in a timely manner.

3. Prioritize. Arrange your tasks in order of importance. Always try to complete the most important ones first because these will usually have the greatest impact on your goals. Try to document how long it takes you to complete each. This will help you more accurately gauge the amount of time it takes to complete tasks in the future.

4. Pass the ball. You may find some of your tasks can be delegated to others. Let go of the ones you can trust other people to do, freeing up more of your time. If others can be counted on to execute goals reliably, there’s no reason to waste your time doing them if you have more important tasks that demand your specific skills.

5. Schedule. Each day has only 24 hours. Your time is limited. By assigning a time estimate to complete each prioritized task, you can plan your day such that the most important ones are always completed in a timely manner. When scheduling, try to avoid filling every hour of the day with tasks. Leave chunks of time unscheduled. This will give you flexibility if a project is running long, or a break if it isn’t.

6. Avoid distractions. Strive to remove distractions from your day. Examples of distractions may include daydreaming, stopping for snacks, making personal phone calls, surfing the internet, sending personal emails, playing computer games, and engaging in other forms of procrastination. If you find you need a change of pace, switch up a couple of the tasks to keep things fresh.

By following these time management tips, you’ll be on your way to getting more time out of your day.