Does it seem like you’ve got a day that has just slipped away from you? Do you head home feeling like you didn’t accomplish everything you wanted to be able to accomplish? That happens to everyone, so the first step is to release any guilt you might be feeling. If this is becoming a chronic feeling, however, these 7 effective time management tips can help you take action to eliminate the problem.
#1. Find the things that waste your time. Every time you swap your focus from one task to another, you lose 15 minutes of time on average. That means things like updating your Facebook status or watching a cat jump over a unicorn while running on a rainbow will need to stop. List these out and then eliminate them.
#2. Get rid of the apps too. Social networking apps are bad, but modern game apps are worse. Their push notifications sound alarms or even vocally encourage you to play the game. Even the sound can rob you of your focus. Just eliminate the apps, mute your phone, or turn off the push notifications if you can.
#3. Have a daily goal. People are more productive when they have daily goals to meet. Everyone starts strong in the morning, but will hit a mid-day lull that can cause them to quit if they don’t have a goal to meet. With an achievable goal, you can power through the fatigue or boredom and set new records of productivity.
#4. Start with the important stuff. If you start with the hardest stuff to do first, as many people do, you don’t always leave time for the most important stuff. Do the important tasks first and then rank the importance of other items. If you rank things based on difficulty, you’ll just be disappointed.
#5. You’re probably not a supertasker. Multitasking is a popular interview question, but only 2% of the human race can actually do it effectively. Most people lose time through daydreaming, window staring, or laughing at a funny fast memory. Just don’t try it and you won’t lose time because of it.
#6. There is always wasted time somewhere. How long did you have to wait for your last doctor’s appointment? Or stand in line for a sandwich at lunch? Instead of reading the 6 month old magazines, take along items that can help you be productive. Many offices and restaurants have access to free WiFi, so you can take work along with you and not fall so far behind.
#7. Get legitimate feedback. Content like this can give you advice, and following it is a good first step, but receiving feedback is better. Listen to what people are telling you about your habits and take the good out of that advice as much as possible. Don’t take constructive criticism personally. This kind of feedback allows you to see yourself through the eyes of others. That’s why it is such an effective mechanism for change.
You don’t have to feel guilty about a wasted day any more. Use these 7 effective and proven tips today to better manage your time and tomorrow just might end up being a perfect day.