20 Time Management Tips to Help You Get Through Your Day
As a CEO, author, father, grandfather, and entrepreneur, I often find myself struggling to complete all the activities I have planned for the day. In Chapter 6: Time Management of The Prosperous Leader I discuss the fact that “time management is not only about being on time. It’s also about working to eliminate time wasters, the things on our to-do list that deceive us into believing that we’re being productive. We need to eliminate them completely in order to be more efficient. The more our day controls us, the more we need to control our day.”
I recently discovered an article that helped me take charge of my day and make the most out of my hours: 20 Quick Tips For Better Time Management.
Are you usually late to events or even to start your day? Do you finish things within a reasonable amount of your schedule? Do you finish your work on time? Are you able to meet deadlines? Are you a good time manager?
If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 tips on how to be a better time manager:
Create a daily plan. Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.
Peg a time limit to each task. Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.
Use a calendar. Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software. Google Calendar is great – I use it. It’s even better if you can sync it to your mobile phone and other hardware’s you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are.
Use an organizer. The organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.
Know your deadlines. When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.
Learn to say “No”. Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.
Target to be early. When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time. For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.
Time box your activities. This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Read more about time boxing: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.
Have a clock visibly placed before you. Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.
Set reminders 15 minutes before. Most calendars have a reminder function. If you’ve an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.
Focus. Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away yo