Oh, time. No matter how rich or influential we think we are, time is the great equalizer. You can’t really buy more of it, nor is it something that can be manufactured, and goodness knows that we’re all short of it, especially nowadays. It’s odd: the more gizmos and gadgets we bring into our lives, the less time we actually seem to save. Someone get to the bottom of this. There’s a chocolate bar in it for you. Until then, take comfort in knowing that you can manage your time quite effectively. You might even get to the end of the day and realize, “Hey—I actually beat the sun for once!”
Here are five easy ways and time management tips that can help you organize your schedule, and workday, without tearing your hair out.
Focus – Remind yourself, however many times as is necessary, that your work, laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc, is not going to get done while you’re tooling around on Facebook. Think about how miserable you feel when you while away the hours without getting a single thing done. Now let yourself remember how nice it feels to get a good day’s work under your belt. Feel motivated yet?
Use an egg timer – The awesomely-named Time Management Ninja let the world in on his secret a while back: a plain old three-dollar egg timer is a cheap and effective way to really break your workload into manageable little chunks. Egg timers are especially useful for getting through those awful tasks that are seemingly insurmountable at first glance. Tackle the unpleasant chore for, say, twenty minutes, and once the timer dings, free yourself to do something that’s a little nicer.
Prioritize your tasks – Not everything needs to be done within the same hour, unless you’ve really managed to bung up your deadlines. Give serious consideration to what needs to be done first and foremost, and tackle your tasks in the appropriate order. Remember: none of them will complete themselves, unfortunately.
Learn to say No – Saying “No” to requests and favors is understandably not something we like doing. Most of us were raised to help out friends and neighbors whenever possible. However, you simply can’t expect yourself to do everything for everyone, especially if you have your own life to live. If you don’t have the time to perform a chore for a buddy, say as much—especially if you work from home, and are often called upon to “help out” because people erroneously believe that working from home means that your schedule is as flexible as a Yogi. Of course, you always push aside your day-to-day work if a friend catches on fire and needs your help, but give careful consideration to favors that are not emergencies.
Use browser extensions to limit the time you spend on social apps – How much time do you spend on Facebook? What about Twitter? Do you want to know? Internet browsers like Firefox and Chrome allow you to download and add “Extensions”—add-on programs that can very useful in helping you to manage your time. Try Chrome Nanny for Chrome or Time Tracker for FireFox to keep track of how much time you waste on social apps, and then use the programs to limit your access to your “trap” sites.
For more tips on how to manage your time, visit:
5 Tools to Track Your Time Online at MakeUseOf
5 Google Chrome Productivity Extensions at Vikitech
6 Tips for Better Time Management at WebMD