Managing your time isn’t something that comes naturally to most people. If it seems like you are always running late or don’t have enough time to do all the things you need in the course of a day, you might want to think about taking steps to learn how to manage your time more effectively.
The first thing you might want to do is make a list of areas that you believe are problematic. For example, not long ago, I would wake up in plenty of time to get showered and ready for work, but then I would start work on a project and lose track of time. The result? I was late leaving for work and inevitably get stuck in traffic, and I was late. It was just a few minutes late every day, but my boss saw a pattern and asked me why I was late all the time.
It was embarrassing to admit I couldn't manage my time very well, but it did make me take a look at my habits. I decided that I wanted to be a more responsible person and decided to take the steps to make a few corrections in my life.
Below are a few tips that helped me reach my goal, which have also helped me change other habits that were affecting me.
Make a plan, set a goal
Make a list of those things you want to manage. For each item listed, set a plan of action. Include what it is, how long it will take to complete it, and the process you will go through to accomplish it.
Deadlines are huge in my life, and for someone who is easily distracted, I can’t afford to let anything distract me. But life isn’t perfect, and things happen that demand my attention. Scheduling time, letting people know I will be busy, turning off my phone, playing soothing music; these are all ways to minimize distractions.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today
Don’t let procrastination steal your time. Push yourself to get the important things done first, that way you have more time to relax and rejuvenate.
Take breaks when you need them
Time management doesn’t mean you try to do the most amount of work in the least amount of time. It means being able to complete your tasks without feeling burdened and overwhelmed, giving each task the necessary time to complete. It means taking a proactive approach to your work load, as well as the discipline to stay on task, and on time.
Finally, give yourself room to make mistakes, because when we make mistakes, we learn. Knowing we will become better as we practice, just might be the motivation we need to keep trying.