Time Management Tips Work Smarter Not Harder
The most successful people are the ones that find a way to manage and prioritize their time wisely. The magic behind time management is prioritization— it's the key to staying afloat. If you can't prioritize, you're going to miss deadlines, become highly unorganized, and you aren't going to know your left foot from your right. You'll quickly become stressed, and once that happens you'll lose touch with your mind and body. Here are some quick tips and tricks we like to use for time management. Create a time audit - start by finding out where your time goes throughout the day. There is often a big discrepancy between your subjective time and reality. Plan your week on Sunday - Walking into work with a plan for the week will help you focus on priorities. You can easily transition from your carefree weekend mindset to a productive Monday morning “work brain.” Revisit your accomplishments from the previous week and congratulate yourself on your successes. This review period will increase your confidence and help you create the next week’s schedule. Don’t strive for perfection - When everything must be perfect, can anything ever be good enough? Probably not. Look at every effort as an experiment, a valuable step on your journey, no matter what the outcome. Mistakes are great learning experiences too! Schedule your day - Oddly enough, you can focus more easily when your brain isn’t fully awake. When your brain’s booting up, it has less excess energy for daydreaming and worrying about other tasks. In the mornings, our brains are best at tackling analytic work, such as analyzing data or focusing on details. After lunch or around midday, our brains take a dip in energy, so this is the best time to handle administrative work that doesn’t require a lot of brainpower or creativity. Finally, late in the day or late afternoon, we’re in our best, creative moods so it’s a great time for brainstorming or team insight. Block out distractions - Turn off notifications on your phone/computer. Going offline might also be an option, but let's not go that far. Schedule breaks between tasks - The human brain can only focus for about 90-minutes at a time. Schedule a break at least every 90 minutes to avoid burnout and maintain high productivity throughout your day. It’s also good to physically (not just mentally) move around and get away from technology. Learn to say No - Your time is precious. Don’t waste it on people and projects that don’t align with your mission and goals. Instead of automatically accepting invitations and offers, say, ‘I’ll check my schedule and get back to you’. This simple phrase will buy you time to evaluate offers and make smart decisions. If you lack the ability to organize your own time effectively, you’re basically watching cash walk out the door on a daily basis. The good news is that the basics of time management can be learned. It does take time and discipline, so if you could use the extra help, outsourcing or delegating certain tasks might be in your best interest.
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