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Strategies To Improve Your Time Management Skills
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Are you looking to improve your time management skills but aren’t quite sure how to do it?
If you find you waste a lot of time procrastinating, you’re not alone. Eighty-eight percent of the American workforce admits to procrastinating for at least one hour per day.
Additionally, studies show that we spend 80 percent of the workday on non-essential tasks and only 20 percent of our workday on essential tasks.
Whether you feel like you’re wasting your time on non-essential tasks, or you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done, there are things you can do to improve your time management skills. Read below to learn the top strategies to improve your time management skills.
Related: 8 Real Reasons You Can’t Concentrate
1. Draft a Time Log
To figure out how to better spend your time, you need to get a picture of how you’re currently spending your time.
For the next week, keep track of everything you do and how long you do it for. Try to track every task from the moment you wake up, no matter how small. And, don’t just track how long you spend on your to-do list items.
Keep track of how much time you spend watching TV, scrolling social media, and doing other non-work-related tasks. By the week’s end, you should have a pretty good idea of how you spend your time.
2. Make Adjustments to Your Current Schedule
After creating your time log, it’s time to take a long, hard look at it to figure out where you can make adjustments. Chances are, you’re wasting more time on non-productive tasks than you realized.
For example, if you’re scrolling social media for hours each day, you can either delete your accounts or set time limits for when you scroll. Or, if you find that you’re wasting time texting friends constantly throughout the day, switch your phone to airplane mode for certain hours.
Whatever your time-wasting activities are, look for ways to cut down on them. However, you don’t need to cut these “time-wasting” activities out of your life completely.
3. Make a To-Do List At the Start of Each Day
While a lot of people write down the things they need to get done throughout the week, very few people write down the things they need to get done on a day to day, hour by hour basis.
If you plan your entire day out, you’re less likely to waste your time on frivolous activities. Every morning when you wake up(or before you go to bed at night), write down everything you need to do, hour by hour.
Once you complete a task, mark it off your to-do list. This helps give you a sense of accomplishment. When you mark something big off of your to-do list, it may be helpful to reward yourself to stay motivated.
4. Learn How to Prioritize
If you feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, there’s a good chance you’re not prioritizing your time well.
When writing out your schedule for the day, take a look at each one of your tasks, and designate each one as “essential” and “non-essential.” For the essential items, decide whether you need to do them right now or later.
If something is urgent, take care of it immediately so you don’t keep putting it off. If there’s an essential item that needs to get done in the near future, schedule a time to take care of it. This way, you won’t keep putting it off.
Then, take a look at your non-essential tasks. Is there a way you can delegate these so you can spend time on more essential things? Or, is this task even necessary to do at all? If you find some items on your to-do list aren’t necessary, eliminate them altogether.
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5. Learn How to Kick Procrastination
As we mentioned earlier in the article, a lot of us procrastinate. Procrastinating can be a tough habit to kick, but it can be done.
Here are some ways to kick procrastination to the curb:
- Make sure you’re not filling your day with low-priority tasks
- Promise yourself a reward for completing your task
- Ask someone to hold you accountable for completing your tasks
- Minimize distractions- turn off emails, social media, etc.
- Get the least pleasant tasks out of the way first so you feel less stressed
- Tackle the hardest tasks when you’re feeling most productive (for most people, this is early in the morning)
Also, don’t forget to check in with your to-do list to ensure that you’re staying on top of your schedule each day.
Related: Hyperfocus: What it is and How to Control It
6. Take Care of Yourself
If you’re not properly taking care of yourself, you’re more likely to feel tired, stressed out, and sluggish. When you’re not feeling your best, it’s harder to stay on top of your to-do list.
And don’t hesitate to take some time to do absolutely nothing. Studies show that doing nothing helps you recharge and slow down your racing thoughts. This way, you can tackle your to-do list with a clear mind and a renewed energy.
Time to Take Control of Your Schedule
As you can see, there are a lot of strategies you can implement to better manage your time. Once you start to better manage your time, you’ll notice that you have more and more free time throughout the day for doing things you love. You’ll also feel less stressed out and like you have more control over your life.
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