How to Become a Time Management Ninja
At work, do you often find yourself overwhelmed, and do you fall behind due to the complexity and number of projects you have to finish? As your day progresses, do you sometimes feel as though you haven’t devoted enough time to each task because you keep getting new work, your coworkers are constantly interrupting you, or you just can’t get organized?
You probably already know that effective time management can help you be more productive, but managing your time can also benefit your health by reducing stress and improving the quality of your life. It can be hard to get organized when it doesn’t come naturally–to start, choose a strategy from the list, try it for a month and see if things improve. If so, add another strategy; if not, try something different.
1. Plan your day
By having a plan for your day, you can feel more “in control” and get more done. It can be as simple as writing a list of things to do, with the most important jobs at the top. You can also use a day planner or your smartphone to schedule activities and avoid conflicts.
2. Set priorities
You probably don’t realize how much time you spend on inconsequential but time-consuming tasks. By setting priorities correctly, you can ensure that you spend your time on the most important tasks.
Look at the to-do list you made, and decide which tasks can be completed by someone else.
4. Take your time and do the job well
Doing the job the right way the first time around may be more time consuming, but if you rush, you’re more likely to make a mistake–and have to spend additional time fixing the error.
5. Break larger jobs into smaller, more attainable goals
Work for a few minutes at a time, as you can, until the job is finished.
6. Give it ten minutes
If there are jobs you absolutely don’t want to do, work on them for at least ten minutes. Once you’re up and running, you may find that the job is easily finished.
7. Assess how your time is spent
Whether you’re at work or at home, it helps to keep a diary of what you do each day. Do it for at least three days, and examine the journal at the end. Look for ways you can spend your time more wisely.
8. Cut the distractions
If you have a big project coming up, set aside time in your schedule. During that block of time, don’t allow interruptions and external factors to distract you from your work.
9. Take care of yourself
You can’t do your best if you don’t feel your best. A balanced lifestyle can help with your concentration and focus, which will improve your workplace efficiency and allow you to get more done, faster.
10. Consider a time management class
If continuing education is an option at your place of employment, ask if time management classes are available. If not, find a community college or other organization offering similar instruction.
11. Take breaks when necessary
Organization is great, but if it stresses you out, your attempts to get things done can fail. Take a break when you need one–even if it’s a ten-minute walk or some quick stretches at your desk, or a “personal day” to renew and relax.