Distractions are the leading cause of poor time management, and living in the digital age, they are next to impossible to avoid. From mobile banking to instant messaging, modern technology has made both our personal and professional lives more convenient in many ways. But, if it is not used with discipline, then it can be extremely detrimental to your overall time management routine. What works for one person might not work for the next. Yet, here are some overall strategies that can help you to improve your time management skills.
1. Start with Critical Items
Start by separating work and personal tasks. Whether you choose to use a to-do list app, or traditional pen and paper, create a list of tasks that can be accomplished throughout the day starting with the ones that are most critical to complete at the top. What are the top items you must complete even if you don’t have time to finish any others?
2. Establish Time Limits
Deadlines need to be adhered to in order to be effective. Since conflicts can and will arise, plan accordingly by setting a soft deadline a day or two before the work is absolutely due.
3. Avoid Multitasking
Juggling more than one task at a time might seem more efficient at first. But, it’s only an illusion that leads to loss of focus and poor work quality.
4. Delegate Responsibility
Don’t be a control freak. Never underestimate the power of teamwork when it comes to accomplishing goals before the deadline. Sharing some of your workload with competent colleagues will not only reduce your stress levels, but also improve productivity across the organization.
5. Start Work Earlier
While productive people have plenty of idiosyncrasies that set them apart from others, they also share many of the same qualities, like starting their days earlier. We are more creative and clear-headed during the early morning hours before being exposed to most of the outside stressors.
6. Schedule Breaks
Even the world’s most prominent CEOs take time away from work to recharge their batteries. Stepping away from a project for only a few minutes a day might be what you need to get those creative juices flowing again.
7. Stop Procrastinating
Procrastination is a hard habit to break. Looking for instant rewards over work is innate in everybody. Just think about how difficult it is to resist the urge to reach for your phone the instant that you receive a notification. Again, there’s really no universal cure for procrastination, but you can identify the causes and maintain better self-control over them.
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