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8 Tips to Improve Time Management

Jul 24, 2008
Are you the person that can never get anything done? Do you feel like your work day is always moving faster than you can? Or are you the eternal procrastinator? Whatever the reason, there's never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. But, here's the good thing. There's tons of things you can do to improve your efficiency and gain back some of that lost time. Let's take a look at eight solid things you can do today to improve your work and time efficiency.

Just like they say at AA, the first step is to acknowledge that you have a problem. So, knowing that you have a time management problem and accepting it is the first step to improving it. So stop denying it and accept it.

The second step is to decide. You need to decide that you're going to do something about your time management. You can know you have a problem, and you can acknowledge that you have a problem, but until you decide that you're going to do something about it nothing else matters. Once you decide that you have a time management problem, you can move forward. Save yourself some goals that you can achieve. And in the same way that someone tries to lose weight, make sure the goals are actually achievable. Create some success but you can build on.

Number three, stick to your goals. The reason that you create a goal is so that you have something to hold yourself accountable to. If you can't secure goals, and you're not going to achieve anything. That's why it's so important to create goals that are achievable. Once you achieve those initial goals, you can raise the bar again and continue to strive to get better, and better. You also have to have a stick to it might set, you have to make sure you don't give up.

The fourth step is to create daily task lists. Creating a to do list for yourself is an easy way to properly manage your time. In fact, it is one of the easiest approaches that you can take. Outline what you need to do throughout the day. Be sure to list your tasks in order of importance. Every time you accomplish something, cross it off of the task list. Not only will this give you a sense of accomplishment, but you can see how you're getting things done during the day. At the end of the day create the new list for the next day. At the end of the week, create the new list for the next week.

Use time management tools. Properly managing your time is important, but it can be hard for many individuals to get use to, especially right away. If you are one of those individuals, you will want to consider using time management tools to your advantage. But make sure that the time management tools don't become time wasters. Your PDA, or your scheduler, should be used quickly and efficiently. Don't spend minutes and hours just messing around and tooling with it.

Learn to say no. In all honesty, there are times where you may not be able to refuse a project at work or a task at home, but try to not take on more than you can accomplish. If you must, look into using outside help. In the home, this outside help can come from a housecleaner. At the workplace, this outside help can come from a coworker. Remember, there is a nice way and a rude way to say no. But at the end of the day if you are the one that says yes all the time, you never get anything done for yourself.

Get organized. Organization is key to being able to properly manage your time. If you are unorganized, you are likely to waste a large amount of time. For example, in the workplace you can waste time by searching for lost or misplaced documents. The same can be said for the home; if you are unorganized, you can spend hours searching for your glasses or car keys. Look at your desk, lift your computer, and ligature filing system. If things are all over the place, you will have a hard time finding them and you will waste time. Take a few minutes at the end of every day to put things back where they belong to you can start your next day fresh.

Get a coach. Or get help. If you have that much to do, and you're super busy, it may make sense to hire someone to help keep you organized like an assistant, or if you're just having a really hard time keeping to your plan, a coach can help keep you accountable.

Put all of these steps to work and you are sure to see success! Remember, you only have 24 hours in the day so make use of every single minute wisely.
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