Time management is a problem for many people who find that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done. In truth there is often plenty of time, but it’s just not being used effectively. Rather than continue to fall behind, here are eight ways to improve time management and get more done without adding stress.
1. Set Up and Stick To a Calendar
Calendars are excellent ways to accomplish more. All the tasks and their deadlines can be seen, giving people a way to plan for the bigger things that have to be completed while still taking care of the smaller ones. Being consistent with sticking to the calendar matters, though, because just setting it up won’t ensure that the things listed on it get done.
2. Use To-Do List Apps
Cell phones have come a long way, and are really small computers now. One of the advantages to that is that there are to-do list apps that can be used to help people get through their days easier and get more done. It doesn’t really matter which app is chosen, as long as it works for the person who chose it. If one app isn’t a good fit, try another one. There are many options, so finding one that works is definitely possible for everyone.
3. Learn to Say No
No is a complete sentence, and it’s okay to say it. Naturally people don’t want to be rude, and so they tend to say yes to things they really don’t want to do or don’t have time for. By doing that, they try to help others and want others to like them. Practice saying no, and being honest. It’s not necessary to explain the why behind the no, although many people do. Remember that no is all right to say, and that it’s enough.
4. Start Prioritizing Tasks
Everyone has tasks they have to do on the majority of days. There may be some days that are truly free of work and other obligations, but that’s not the norm for most people most of the time. Which tasks are important, and which can wait? Can some of them be skipped entirely, or pushed to tomorrow or next week when more time is available? The most important tasks should be done first, and then the less important tasks should be done if there is time left. Prioritizing is a great way to get more of the valuable things completed, and helps show people what really matters, too.
5. Work From Home? Set Dedicated Hours
Working from home can be an excellent way to make money, but only if it’s treated like a job. It’s not about watching TV all day and saying that’s work, and it’s not about going out to lunch, going shopping, or doing other things that don’t bring in a paycheck. It’s just like any other job in that there is truly a job to do. When is it getting done? If a person who is working from home is only working around all their daily life tasks and the things they would rather be doing, they aren’t going to get much done. Setting dedicated working hours can help accomplish more and remind workers that they do have a job to complete.
6. Don’t Burn Out
Burning out happens when someone tries to do too much for too long. When they burn out they may not be able to get much done for a while, as they recover from the overload of work and stress. That can put them even further behind and contribute to more stress and problems. Rather than burn out, make realistic lists of tasks that need accomplished. By doing that and prioritizing those tasks, the risk of burnout can be reduced.
7. Share Responsibility and Delegate Tasks
There’s no shame in asking others for help. If there are tasks that have to be done at home other people can pitch in and do some of them. One person shouldn’t have to do everything, and when they have help they can accomplish more. Working together can also make some tasks more fun, so those tasks (and others) are more likely to be completed quickly and well.
8. Set Goals to Work Toward
Without goals, it’s very hard to get much done. There’s no real direction to head in, or any kind of concrete idea as to how to get there. Goals take wishes and dreams and turn them into plans that can be followed to accomplish bigger and better things. For people who want to improve their time management skills, the setting of goals is a big part of getting everything together so that they can have more time and do more with the time they have.