Excelling at Time Management: Tips for Reducing Stress and Meeting Your Goals

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Everyone has the same number of hours in the day. Some people tend to get more done than others. How does that happen? Excelling in time management can help you accomplish more in a shorter time period, reduce stress, and meet your goals.

Time Management Tips

Get Started

The first step in excelling at time management is to determine where you are and what you need to get done. Get out your notebook or tablet and make a task list. It can include everything from studying for an exam and making appointments to finishing a project or taking your car in for an oil change. Take an honest look at the “To Do” list that’s been growing. While you’re at it, consider your long-term tasks as well. Perhaps there are items that need to be accomplished. Don’t be intimidated; write it all down!

Set Your Priorities

Determine what needs to be done now and what can be pushed further down the list. Use a number system to rank high, medium, and low-priority items. This will help you set a time frame. Not everything can be done at once. Start with your high-priority items first.  Sometimes, crossing off the smaller and easier tasks can make you feel accomplished and help motivate you.

Get Organized and Strategize

What can you do to meet your goals? First, look at where you are and how you spend most of your time. That will give you a good idea of where to start. How many hours are you working, driving, cleaning, and cooking? Determine where you spend the most time in your day.

Now, how can you more effectively use your time? For example, if you get up an hour earlier, can you fit in an extra hour of studying or set aside some time to pay your bills? How about lunch time? Maybe you can take a quick walk or pick up your dry cleaning. Try to plan a few days in advance and decide where you can fit tasks in.

Grouping tasks together can make things easier. For example, answer all your emails at once instead of throughout the day. Complete all your phone calls in the same time frame as well as your errands.

Are there tasks you can get help with? For example, is it worth your time to hire someone to mow the lawn or pay someone to clean your house? If it is an option, go for it and cross it off your list.

Avoid Distraction and Procrastination

Stay focused on the task at hand. When you are working on a project, try not to pick up your phone to scroll through social media or return text messages. Concentrate on completing what you need to do during the time you have. Also, be cautious not to multi-task. Although it seems logical, multi-tasking can reduce productivity by taking time away as you switch between tasks.

Don’t Push Too Much

Remember, the point of prioritizing is not to overwhelm yourself. Not everything can be accomplished at once. Complete what you need to do for the day and allow yourself time to rest and relax. This will help you avoid burnout and stay focused.

After you get a plan together, try it out and see how it goes. Reassess your plan after some time has passed and make adjustments. Successful time management is a work in progress!

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