Does time seem to be running away with you or do you have more â€œto doâ€™sâ€ at the end of your day that you just didnâ€™t seem to get crossed off your list?Â No, itâ€™s not because you are too detail-oriented or work too slowly.Â Itâ€™s because you may be letting time slip away with you.
1.Â First thingâ€™s first – realize and admit that multi-tasking is bad.Â Trying to do more than one thing at a time makes each task take twice as long.Â If you really thought about this, youâ€™d know itâ€™s true.
2.Â Block off times to return and make calls, write or reply to emails, admin, pay bills, errands, make lists, sort papers, file, etc.Â Try to make a schedule and stick to it,Â i.e.,Â reply to emails from 12-1 pm daily.
3.Â Stop answering your phone every time in rings.Â Being interrupted by phone calls is a huge time stealer.Â Simply indicate on your voicemail that you will be checking for messages and returning calls at specific times.
4.Â Do not keep your email open at all times or at least donâ€™t keep your notification on so it disrupts you.
5.Â If an email comes in that you know will need a response, but you donâ€™t have time to deal with it at that moment, simply start the response and then save it to your draft folder to be completed later.Â There are lots of things you can do to manage your inbox more effectively.
6.Â Finish each task you start or take it too a logical stopping point if you canâ€™t finish it in an reasonable period of time.
7.Â Do your most difficult or time-consuming task first, that way the rest of the day will seem to go faster rather than having that task still on you to-do list.
8.Â You already know your most productive times of the day, so use them to your best advantage.
9.Â Organize your to-do list every day either at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day for the following day.Â Suggestion: Once a week on Sunday night, make a master list of everything you need to get done that week.
10.Â Stay organized.Â Put papers away when you donâ€™t need them.Â Clear off your desk at the end of each work day so you can start fresh every work day.
BONUS: Donâ€™t put off until tomorrow what you can get done today, as you never know what tomorrow may bring.
Like a good habit, it takes time and practice to become second nature.Â Try keeping track of your time in 15-30 minute increments.
Better Time Management will positively impact all aspects of your life – professionally and personally – not to mention less stress and more productivity in less time.
Most importantly, if you donâ€™t value your time, no one else will.Â Lead by example.
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