Have you ever stopped to think about how you spend your time during your workday?
Many people feel like they’re stuck in an endless loop of emails, phone calls, and impromptu meetings. It seems as if there’s never enough time in a day and things are always getting pushed back to a later date.
If this situation sounds familiar, we want to share with you five time management tricks that can help you stay focused, on track, and regain control no matter how much work you have to do.
Plan Your Day, Week, and Month
While some people don’t eat breakfast without planning it out, others are more go with the flow. If you find yourself short on time, the best place to start is your calendar.
A free calendar app such as Google Calendar can help you win back precious hours by allotting a certain amount of time for a particular activity.
Yes, “easier said than done” when you have to put out little unexpected proverbial fires that crop up during the day. This is why you should create a realistic calendar and allot extra time each day for unforeseen events such as phone calls or meetings that run late.
You’ll also find yourself focusing on what’s important. How many days have you wasted chasing down things and dealing with issues that didn’t matter in the bigger picture?
By scheduling out your time, you’ll be better able to get your priorities straight.
Delegate and Outsource
Remember those menial or repetitive tasks we advised you to forget about when creating a calendar?
Delegate those to an employee or subordinate. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish by letting someone else do it.
But what if your employees are already at full capacity or you work by yourself?
You can hire an online administrative assistant to help pick up the slack. There’s plenty of remote worker websites you can join to find someone who has the qualifications you need to get the job done right.
Go to Bed
A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you have the mental and physical energy to perform your very best at work.
Several scientific studies have found that if you get less than 7 hours of sleep every night, you’ll perform much worse than those who got eight or more.
Proper sleep habits allow both our bodies and minds to rest and repair. All it takes is to go to bed 30 minutes early or wake up 30 minutes later, and that will give you the energy and mental focus you need to concentrate better and work more efficiently.
Just Say “No!”
One of the biggest reasons unproductive people feel like they’re stuck in a rut is due to their inability to say “No!” to others. This doesn’t mean you need to be rude to everyone who asks you to take time out of your busy day to address their concerns, but instead, sometimes you need to put your foot down.
One of the best ways to do this is by taking advantage of a calendar scheduling app such as Calendly. It’s a free online scheduler that you can refer others to schedule an appointment.
There’s no registration required, and once on the site, people can instantly schedule an appointment that works with your time constraints. Online schedulers will also remove the long back-and-forth email chains that sometimes occur when two people try to schedule a time to meet.
Watch Out for Time Burglars
A time burglar is a person or thing that literally steals your time away from you. They can range from an overly chatty co-worker to a friendly vendor, or one of the many social media websites.
Take stock and identify precisely who the time burglars are in your work environment. Create a plan of action that will help lessen or altogether remove the amount of time they’re taking out of your day.
For example, if you have a family member who calls or texts you on an almost daily basis, set some boundaries and ask them to contact you at a certain time after work, unless there’s an emergency.
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