Managing your time can be the difference between success and failure in all aspects of life, let alone your professional life. Have you ended a day thinking, “what did I accomplish today?” and not really had a clear answer? I think most people have. Here are some tips for prioritizing your day and keeping efficiency within the time that you do have.
- Know your end goal: Whether your goal is to finish a paper by its deadline, or to build a successful business, knowing your goal is equally as important. Your daily plan should always revolve around your goal, whether big or small.
- Prioritize tasks based on importance: I think it goes without saying that tasks that must be done need to be done immediately. However, it’s the in-between tasks that can clutter your time and efficiency. To avoid this, prioritize the importance and urgency of each task. Does something need to be done but not right away? Prioritize that. Does something need to be done right away but isn’t important? Prioritize that. And so on.
- Saying no or asking for assistance when overwhelmed: If you have too many tasks and you feel at the end of your rope, ask for help. You would be surprised at how many people will lend a helping hand. It is a partnership, utilize it.
- Plan ahead: This is extremely important and has been proven to be the most effective way to manage time. At the end of the day, after all the hustle and bustle, plan for the next day. Take 10-15 minutes to write down a “to do” list for the next day. It is a great way to, not only plan for the next day, but also to give yourself satisfaction as you check that item off the list.
- Remove yourself from distracting situations: although hearing what coworkers did over the weekend is important, do not let it last your whole morning. Before sitting at your desk, allot yourself 10-15 minutes to catch up with everyone and then get to work.
- Stay alert: The most important part of time management, is being awake, alert and driven. So make sure to get enough sleep, stay hydrated, and the rest will follow.