Anyone who is in school or who works knows how valuable time is, and how poor time management can sideline the best intentions when it comes to meeting deadlines and completing projects. Time management isn’t a skill we innately know; it is something that has to be learned. Here are a few tips that can help you to manage your work or study time.
Work at your own best time
You probably identify yourself as either a morning person or a night person: your peak times of attention and productivity might come at particular times each day. Figure out when that high energy time is and then use that knowledge to your advantage. Focus your efforts on the most pressing tasks when you are most energetic.
Control your environment
You may not have a great deal of control over your working environment, but do what you can to reduce distractions. If you can, let voice mail pick up your calls and avoid checking your email while you work toward a deadline.
Work on the hard stuff first
Tackle the most difficult tasks first. When your mind is fresh, you are better able to process information. You’re also less likely to procrastinate if you just make yourself do the most difficult work first. As a bonus, you can check that off your to-do list and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Work in small blocks
Rather than trying to take on several hours worth of work at a time, work in shorter time periods with brief breaks. Set an alarm for a certain amount of time and get as much done as you can, then reward yourself with a break. Doing so will keep you from feeling fatigued and possibly frustrated.
Sure, you have deadlines to meet and many, many obligations. But time management is more than scheduling work time. In order to keep a healthy balance of work and a social life, you need to schedule in relaxation time.
Eat and sleep
Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? Yet if you do not adequately schedule your time so that you are eating right and sleeping enough, not to mention exercising, your work time will not be productive.
Don’t try to do too many things at once, but you can return phone calls while waiting for another appointment, or answer email while on hold.
Try incorporating one or more of these tips into your daily routine to increase productivity and decrease stress.