Time management is a struggle, even for the most successful people. Mastering your schedule takes prioritization, awareness, and the motivation to turn away from distractions like social media. But improving time management skills is an incredibly rewarding venture. Here are some tips to incorporate new habits into your life:
Plan Your Day
Understanding your most pressing responsibilities is the first step in building a solid foundation for your day. Look at your available time and allocate chunks of time to the most important activities. Make sure your family knows when you need to work --- you are more likely to follow-through with the help of clear communication and scheduling.
Start with a Challenge
When you begin your day with your most challenging work, you start with momentum. Prioritize the most important things on your to-do list --- write them first, then circle them or highlight them in a different color. The longer you wait to begin the most difficult tasks, the less energy you will have when finally facing them.
Make a Have-Done List
Writing down completed tasks as you go can impart you with a sense of empowerment. This system can also help you to track how much time it takes to complete your work, keeping you accountable in a positive way.
Multitasking actually limits your ability to focus by decreasing your problem-solving abilities. Hone in on one task at a time, putting everything else aside for the moment.
Implement the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a stress-free method to help you focus. Set a simple kitchen timer for 25 minutes. Work until you hear the buzz, and take a five-minute break. After four sessions of work, take a 15 break. Giving your body (and your mind) time to relax in between productive work actually increases efficiency in the long run.
Do you usually get distracted while working? Make sure that you have a clear space to complete important projects. If you get distracted by your phone, practice turning it off for an hour. You can do the same thing with your web browser.
The most impactful changes develop over time. Be patient as you implement new behavior patterns --- research indicates that forgiving yourself after slipping up makes you more likely for you to use your time effectively in the future.
At the end of each day, go over your have-done list and note three tasks you completed with confidence. Affirming your positive behavior is a beneficial and fun way to build momentum.
As you work toward improving time management skills, you may see positive benefits in every aspect of your life. These new habits will make it easier to manage money, arrive to appointments on-time and make important decisions. Contributing to a productive lifestyle will also impart you with a sense of ease and confidence --- there is nothing that you won’t be able to face!
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