Do you ever say to yourself – ‘I just don’t have the time’? Like many others, although you may feel this to be true – you have the same 24 hours a day as the person right next to you. Make it count!
An important step in mastering time management is to create a daily schedule or task list. Once you have listed all the tasks you need to complete for that day, it is then necessary to prioritise each task according to their importance or urgency. The benefit in doing so is that those items that are the most critical are completed first and can completely alter your sense of accomplishment for the remainder of the day.
When completing tasks on your schedule, it is often a great idea to break them down into smaller, more manageable pieces – so that the overall task does not appear as overwhelming. Through breaking the tasks down, it then allows you to focus more effectively on your overall goal and what you are trying to achieve.
In the event that you have some tasks that do not get accomplished for a particular day, then it is important to transfer them to the next day, or prioritise them for another day during that week. This ensures that you remain focused and know that the task will get completed as needed.
A wonderful method to prevent any tasks or ideas being missed is to carry a notepad or your phone with you. Then if something arises, you can simply write down a reminder or schedule a reminder in your phone calendar to prompt you at a more convenient time to schedule or complete the task.
This leads into an excellent strategy for planning each day – which is to simply complete your planning the night before. Such preparation allows you the time to sufficiently note down all the required tasks for the next day (in addition to any carried over from the existing day or previous days that may not have been completed). We have all woken in the middle of the night remembering something we were supposed to do that day, so this process helps to alleviate this from occurring, and preparing our mind and body for a restful, peaceful sleep.
Another useful tip is to allow some time for ‘the unexpected’. There are always some additional tasks that pop up due to needs of clients/colleagues, or an urgent request, and it is important to allow yourself some time in case this happens, in which case you can then shuffle your other tasks and reprioritise.
Last but not least, ensure that each day you schedule in some relaxation or down time. This can be something as simple as taking a walk, calling or emailing friends, or simply stopping what you are doing, stretch and get a coffee. When our mind is not overwhelmed, we have the ability to produce results that show discipline, dedication and excellence. Seize the day!