Do you feel like you can’t get anywhere close to what you want to do in a day? Do you feel like you are wasting time and not prioritizing the right things? Everyone wants to get better at time management. February is Time Management Month, which also falls at a good time to boost your 2016 resolutions.
Figure out how you’re using your time: To start, it can be helpful to figure out where you are spending most of your time. You might be able to keep track of how much time you spend on things in writing or you can opt for online/app based programs. This is going to take some time in itself, because you have to be really focused on keeping track. Maybe you don’t need something this detailed, but more of an estimation. If you know that you spend too much time on the Internet or watching TV, then those are areas to address. If certain tasks just seem as though they take up a lot of time, then you know you need to think about how to address those things.
- Rescue Time is an example of a tracker for what websites/applications you use during the workday. If you spend most of your day on computer, this will simplify the process of trying to figure out how you spend your time.
Get a running to-do list going: Listing things you need to do can help keep you on track. There are many apps for your computer or phone to sync your calendars and create to-do lists with reminders. Paper to-do lists can be just as helpful as long as you keep them in one place and make sure you have it with you most of the time. Bullet journaling has become popular as a planning method on paper. There are a variety of planners that are organized to help you keep track of your daily to-dos. Be realistic when setting your goals for each day/week.
- Remember the Milk is a very popular app for productivity/ to-do lists. It works with various operating systems and can pull in info from programs like Google Calendar, Gmail/Outlook mail, Evernote and more.
Get the hard stuff out of the way: Prioritizing tasks is the next important steps. If you aren’t getting through your to-do list every day, you should start to order your to-dos according to their importance to your life. Often, trying to avoid the thing you want to do least, keeps you from getting through your list. If you prioritize some of the most difficult and least enjoyable tasks it will help you to get them out of the way and zip through the rest of the day’s tasks.
- Eisenhower is a web platform and app that sets up your to-dos by prioritization, taking into consideration the urgency and importance of your tasks. Even if you don’t want to use the app, understanding the concept can help you use it to prioritize.
Auto- manage what you can: If you can figure out a way to auto-manage some part of your life, do so! If you can get your banking regular enough to set up automation bill pay, it can take something off your list. Home automation can help you keep your house in order so that forgetting your keys or keeping your energy spending under control aren’t another thing you’re wasting time on. Repetitive tasks are often the ones that you will be able to find a way to automate.