Do you struggle with time management? Do you often feel overwhelmed with too many tasks, meetings or projects? Increasing your efficiency is something you need to plan and execute each day to manage your schedule effectively. Here are four tips to help you stay on track and maximize your days
1. Make a schedule and stick to it
This seems so obvious, yet it is easier said than done. There are always things that come up each day, a new task that gets thrown your way or an urgent meeting you need to attend. It is important to schedule your tasks, meetings and work-time to avoid interruptions. Block out time on your calendar to complete tasks. Schedule calendar invites for your meetings. If someone needs you to work on a project or answer their questions, block out time on your schedule that allows you to tend to others needs. Sticking to a schedule will provide structure and help maximize your days!
Do you have an overwhelming list of tasks, but don’t know what to do first? Go through your list and prioritize. Rank by due dates first. If you know a projects deadline, it is crucial to complete it, ranking this priority high on your to-do list. If projects don’t have a due date, prioritize by importance. Which project will have the best ROI? What marketing material does your internal team need first? Asking yourself questions about your priorities will help form a structure and a plan. Do not just complete the easiest tasks or shortest tasks first, complete the tasks that have the most value for you or your company.
3. Account for distractions
Many people are swamped with work, not because they have too much to do, but because our focused is constantly being disturbed or we are overloaded with information. There will always be distractions or interruptions in your day. Plan to have a conversation with your co-workers, re-fill your coffee or have a computer issue. These things happen to everyone, but it is important to know they will happen and plan for them throughout your day. Set realistic expectations and identify your goal or task. Constantly remind yourself of those goals so you can stay on track and keep distractions to a minimum.
4. Steer clear of bad distractions
Cellphones, computers, co-workers or just about anything else can be a constant distraction in your day. It is important to stay focused on the task at hand. The solution is simple. Disconnect. Turn off notifications from social networks, even your email. Don’t open the internet unless it’s for work purposes. Lastly, turn off your cellphone or put it on “Do Not Disturb.” Minimize bad distractions and work on a solution to eliminate or reduce them from your life.
Overall, time management is something many people struggle with, but managing your time is efficient, healthy and successful. Make a schedule, prioritize, account for good distractions and stay away from bad distractions. Plan your work, then work your plan. It is your workday and your responsibility to make necessary changes to help stay on track.