There are plenty of times during the day when I feel blatantly unproductive. Maybe I’m juggling too many things, maybe I’m too hungry to think, maybe I’m just being lazy and surfing Facebook. Overall, I don’t think I have reached the point where I can say I manage my time efficiently. This can lead to rushed assignments, unnecessary stress, or, in extreme cases, termination of employment (God forbid!). So I did a little digging, and here are a few tips on time management that I found helpful.
Identify the Problem
What is your vice? What is the thing that steers your away from the light of productivity and into the dark and seemingly endless pit of procrastination? For me it’s definetely facebook and twitter. And articles on new tech. Or celebrities. Okay, I have a lot of things that distract me. But identifying them is the first step on the road to rehabilitation. If you know what is wasting your time, you can make a more conscious effort to weed those distractions out.
Set Time Management Benchmarks
Time management is less about managing your time, and more about managing your behaviors. If you can keep those in check, you’ve got a leg up on everyone else. The first course of action you should take is to get rid of the activities that are wasting your time, by setting goals for yourself. For instance, one day you could say you are not going to get on Facebook for personal use for the first half of the day. The next day you could try and eliminate it completely. If you keep following through on these goals, eventually your inclinations will change, and as a byproduct, your bad behaviors. You are basically training your mind not to check your notifications every five minutes. You would be surprised how time this exercise will free up.
Keep Track of Your Progress
It is important that you track each benchmark you meet and how much time it has saved you. Even if the challenge proves to be too much and you fail, you should record it. This will give you an idea of how much time you are saving and encourage you by showing any strides you are making in a certain area.
Use a Day Planner
A lot of time management is just about being organized. Keeping a day planner, or the digital equivalent, will help you organize your schedule and keep you on a clear and cohesive path. It will also help you prioritize certain things over others. Maybe write a number next to the task that dictates how much of a priority it is. This will help you judge quickly where your time could be best spent.