5 Tips For Time Management

Wondering what you can do to get more done in less time, with a lower stress level?  I have some recent experience with this, having taken on several new projects at work this year, while planning and overseeing a major home remodel, my first (and hopefully last) ever.  I didn’t blog about the remodel experience, as there isn’t anything new or dramatic that happened in this project that hasn’t been seen and written about before, even though every week brought new drama in some shape or form.  In fact, I didn’t blog at all during this time, which leads me to my first tip:

1.  Prioritize.  Know what is most important, and why, and reschedule or eliminate the rest of the tasks swirling around in your head, or hopefully, on your electronic or paper “to do” list.  Although I enjoy writing and sharing ideas via my blog, it isn’t the most important value I provide, and it was less important during the first half of this year than delivering on other projects and devoting sufficient time to the remodel.

This leads me to my second tip, which is

2.  Set Goals.  Establishing your goals for each week, month, and year is essential to prioritizing properly.  Without goals, you quickly become a human pinball, bouncing into and responding to whatever obstacle blocks your path.  I have gotten into the habit of making a quick note each morning of the three most important things I want to achieve that day, based on my goals, no matter what.

3.  Say No More Often.  Free up more time by simplifying your schedule.  We are all asked to do many different things every day, and when the request does not line up with your goals or priorities, say no politely, and minimize the demands on your time.  I’m still working on this one, but I’m getting better at it.  Having clear goals and priorities makes it easier to quickly recognize when I should decline (or perhaps delegate) the opportunity.

4.  Exercise and Rest.  Everything’s better when you have a good night’s sleep, and exercise makes that easier.  Working longer hours often makes time management worse, as you become less efficient and waste more time.

5.  Limit Your Time Online.  Sounds like bad advice coming from a blog, but while the internet has made us all more productive in important ways, it has the horrible downside of being a giant time suck.  Cute YouTube videos, Facebook socializing, mindless “news” articles, are just a few examples of ways time can disappear online.  Less is more, people!

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