Mastering the art of time management isn’t easy but it is doable. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and pressed for time. Most of us feel like we are constantly playing catch-up. No one plans to be two steps behind and is something that usually stems from poor time management. We all want to be ahead of the game. But it feels like there is never enough time in the day. The real problem isn’t with the amount of time you have each day, it is how you manage it.
1) Routine and Efficiency
You don’t have to brush your teeth on the commute to work. Or make your family get ready each morning relay-style to become more efficient. Having a routine is an important part of getting a handle on time management. Having a solid routine is nothing more than a plan that is repeated and perfected. When you know what to expect you can plan ahead
Simple things like planning your outfit for the next day and meal planning can make your day move more smoothly. We’ve all heard that practice makes perfect. But what you may not know is that that same concept can be applied to improve time management.
The more familiar you are with your routine the better equipt you will be to avoid any pitfalls as you encounter them. You’ll know the amount of time that familiar tasks take and when they are best performed. Over time you’ll be able to master the art of time management. This will make the most out of your time and even eliminate steps or situations that are not necessary.
2) Know the Difference
How often do you feel like you’ve been working really hard only to find that hours have passed and you haven’t gotten nearly as much accomplished as you would have expected? The problem is that we often confuse being busy with being productive and urgent tasks with important tasks. It’s important that we make the most of our time. Sometimes that starts with finding out what we spend our time on.
Sometimes we are so busy being busy that we don’t even notice that we aren’t getting anything done. Take note of what you are doing, when you are doing it, and for how long. It may seem like you are a private eye trailing yourself at first but a time study on efficiency will prove to be invaluable. You’ll be able to evaluate your most time-consuming tasks and find out if you are spending time on the right things.
How many times have you had to deal with more than one imperative situation at once and felt like something had to suffer? It often seems that there are a lot of really important things going on all at once when the reality is that we are merely experiencing interruptions caused by our own lack of planning.
When you find yourself faced with a situation that appears as though more than one important task needs to be done at the same time and that nothing can be dropped, reevaluate your priorities and then ask yourself if either situation was only urgent due to lack of planning, or if it was truly the most important task at the time.
3) Make Good Time Management Choices
We truly are our own worst enemies. We sometimes work just as hard at undoing progress as we do at reaching for it. Flipping through what’s new on Netflix instead of preparing for your meeting the next morning, skipping the grocery store and ending up stuck in line for a croissant that ends up making us late for work, are great examples of undoing your own progress and not mastering the art of time management.
Saying yes to something we don’t have the time to commit to or sitting in front of the television while trying catching up on work are all bad choices that all have consequences. Consequences that all boil down to one common thread – less time somewhere else. Procrastination, denial, and blatant avoidance do not partner well with efficiency.
In order to get a grasp on time management you have to know what your priorities are and then make choices that are in line with those priorities. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be time for a marathon Netflix session. It just means that when you do get the time it won’t be at the expense of something more important to your overall goals and successes.
If you are still struggling with mastering the art of time management, see how one of our Virtual Assistants can help you lighten your load by visiting us here!