Tips for effective time management
Have you ever wished there were more hours in the day? Many of us regularly feel that we don't have enough time to complete the tasks we have set out to achieve. Time can't be managed - it is uncontrollable. However, there are steps you can take to improve how you manage yourself and the time available to you. The skills needed include the ability to plan, delegate, organise, direct and control. In essence, it's all about self-management.
Below are some tips that can help you learn to do just that:
- Learn to say "no". Remember, every time you say "yes" to something unimportant or time-consuming, something else will not get done. Learn to live by your own priorities and not someone else's.
- Make a list. Take 5 or 10 minutes each day to review what you have achieved and what you would like to get done the next day. If it works for you, keep a 'To Do' list.
- Be flexible. Being aware of what needs to be done is a good idea, but trying to stick to it rigidly or feeling bad if there are tasks that don't get done will not help in the long-term. If something more urgent arises, juggle your expectations and re-prioritise.
- Know your limits. Know how much you can take on, and when to take a break. Too much work without time to rest is counter-productive, so take that break when you need it.
- Get physical. Exercise is an excellent outlet for stress and will give you more energy to accomplish your tasks. Whether it's a short, brisk walk or a full workout in the gym, exercise is always a good idea.
- Use your "down time". Make time in between important tasks to regroup, review your schedule and your priorities and make adjustments where necessary.
- Have fun. Be sure to have fun while you are busy. Normally a sense of humour helps to keep things in perspective.
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