15 Tips To Manage Your Time Better
How to Manage Your Time
Time management is an important skill to cultivate. It can help you make the most out of each day, leading to success in areas like work and school. To manage your time, use your time productively by working in the right environment and prioritizing tasks. Minimize distractions by shutting off your phone and social media when necessary. Make sure to follow a daily schedule that allows you to make the most out of each day.
Using Your Time Productively
Create the right environment to work.The environment you work in can help with your overall productivity. There are no strict rules about a work environment, so pick what feels right for you. Surround yourself with inspiring decorations that help you feel enthusiastic and passionate. These feelings will help you stay on task and be productive.
- For example, maybe a particular artist inspires you. Invest in a few prints of their paintings and hang these up on your walls.
- If you can choose a particular space to work, choose a space free of distractions. Working in front of your television may be a bad idea, but maybe you can push a desk into the corner of your bedroom and work there.
List your tasks in terms of importance.Before you begin your work load for the day, prioritize. To-do lists are a great tool, but organize them a little rather than just writing down everything that needs to get done. Group tasks in terms of importance.
- Before making your list, write down categories in terms of important. For example, tasks labeled "urgent" must be done today. Tasks labeled "important, but not urgent" are important to do, but can wait. Tasks with labels like "low-priority" can be put off if necessary.
- List tasks under each category. For example, if you need to finish a report for work, that would be an urgent task. If you need to begin another work project, but the deadline is not for another two weeks, that would be an "important, but not urgent" task. If you would like to go for a run after work, but it's not vital, that would be a "low-priority" task.
Do important tasks first.Finishing crucial tasks first thing in the morning will leave you with a sense of accomplishment. The day will already feel like a success and a great deal of your stress will be eliminated. Start off each day by knocking out the most important tasks on your list.
- For example, if you have five e-mails you need to respond to and a report that must be proofread, do that as soon as you get into the office.
- Stop any unnecessary socializing before you start your priority tasks.
Keep some work with you at all times.Take advantage of your downtime by keeping work with you at all times. If you have a few stray minutes on the bus, use that to read something for school or work. If you're waiting in line at the grocery store, return some work e-mails on your phone. If you always have work on you, you can always be making the most of your time.
- If you're a student, think about investing in some audiobooks or recording your lectures. While waiting in line or walking to class, you can listen to material for your courses.
Do not multitask.Many people assume multitasking is a great way to get more done each day and manage time wisely. However, focusing on multiple tasks at once actually makes you less productive. Things will take longer to do, as you're not giving anything your full attention. Focus completely on one task at a time instead. You will get your work done quicker this way, allowing you to make the most of your time.
- For example, return all your emails. Then, log out of your email account and move on to another task. Do not worry about your email for now. If you need to return more emails later in the day, you can do that after you complete the task at hand.
Shut off your phone.When possible, turn your phone off. Phones can take up a lot of time throughout the day that you could be using more productively. When it's easy to log on to Facebook or take a peek at your email, you're more likely to do it. Do yourself a favor and turn your phone off while you're trying to do other things. If you find yourself impulsively reaching for the phone to procrastinate, you'll be met with a blank screen instead.
- If it's necessary for you to have your phone on for work, place it across the room. If it's not as easy to access your phone, you're less likely to do it. You can also turn off any notifications on your phone that are not necessary to work.
Close unnecessary browsers.These days, many people rely on their computers or the internet to get work done. Working with Facebook, Twitter, or other distracting sites in the background will adversely affect your time management skills. You also may become distracted if tabs are opened from old projects or irrelevant internet searches. Make a habit of closing tabs as soon as you're done on the site. Place all your focus on the sites that are necessary for your work.
- Challenge yourself to only have one or two tabs opened at a time.
Block social media.Sometimes, the temptation to log onto Facebook or Twitter is too great to avoid. If you have a problem with social media, there are many applications and websites you can use to temporarily block distracting sites.
- SelfControl is an app for Mac users that blocks access to any sites you choose for a set period of time. It is free to download.
- If you need to get offline altogether, the app Freedom allows you to block your access to the internet for up to eight hours at a time.
- The Firefox add-on Leechblock allows you to limit your use of certain sites to a set period per day.
Avoid interruptions as much as possible.Interruptions disrupt your workflow. If you're in the middle of a task and stop to do something else, it can be hard to get back into work mode. When you're working on a task, try to complete it before getting up to do something else. Other things can wait while you strive to complete something.
- For example, if you realize you need to return an e-mail while you're in the middle of something else, do not stop to return the e-mail. Instead, jot down somewhere that you need to send the e-mail and get to it after you finish the task at hand.
- Keep in mind, sometimes disruptions are inevitable. If you receive an urgent phone call during a task, for example, you should definitely take the call. Do your best to avoid interruptions, but do not beat yourself up over the occasional distraction during your work.
Adhering to a Daily Schedule
Use a digital calendar.Technology is a great way to manage your time and keep track of deadlines, appointments, and more. Make use of calendars in your phone and computer. Write down daily tasks, like appointments and your work or school schedule. Set reminders for yourself. For example, have your phone send you a reminder a week before a paper is due. Schedule in time for things like studying and working on projects.
- In addition to a digital calendar, it can help to have a physical calendar as a backup. You can keep this at your desk or carry it with you in a planner. Sometimes, physically jotting things down can help you remember them.
Identify times when you're most productive.Different people are productive at different points during the day. It can help to know when you're most able to use your time wisely and plan to work during those times. For example, if you find yourself energetic during the mornings, try to get the bulk of your work done then. During the night, you can wind down and do relaxing things you enjoy.
- It can take awhile to identify your energy peaks. Try tracking your energy level and overall focus throughout the day for a week or so. This should help you figure out when you would be the most productive.
Spend the first 30 minutes of the morning planning your day.It can help to make a game plan for the day in the morning. As soon as you get up, think about what you need to do and sketch a rough outline of when to do it. Keep work obligations as well as social obligations and errands in mind.
- For example, say you work from eight to four and need to call your grandmother for her birthday and pick up your dry cleaning after work. In the morning, figure out what order you should do those activities.
- If your grandmother is in a later timezone, plan to call her after work so it's not too late where she is. Then, plan on picking up your dry cleaning.
Schedule breaks and interruptions.No one can work continuously without a break or an interruption. It's okay to invite interruptions and distractions into your day on occasion. It can help to schedule these kinds of deviations from necessary tasks. This way, interruptions are less likely to take over and derail your day.
- Schedule large breaks or interruptions in addition to tiny deviations from your work throughout the day.
- For example, plan to have an hour long lunch at one in the afternoon each day and to watch half an hour of television to unwind after returning from work.
- You can also plan tiny interruptions during daily tasks. For example, say you're writing a paper. Allow yourself five minutes to check Facebook per 500 words you write.
Get some work done on the weekends.Weekends are important for unwinding, relaxing, and having fun, so don't go overboard. However, it can help to do a little work on the weekend. Think about the kind of small tasks that pile up over the weekend, making Mondays difficult.
- For example, you could briefly check and review e-mails during the weekend and then send out a few so that you'll have fewer e-mails piled up by Monday. Alternatively, you can just flag those that will require immediate attention on Monday morning.
Stick to a sleep schedule.If you want to manage your time, a solid sleep schedule is vital. A good sleep schedule ensures you'll wake up early in the morning and be ready for the day. To maintain a sleep schedule, go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time each day, even on the weekends. Your body will adapt to your sleep/wake cycle, and you'll begin to feel tired at your bedtime and energetic in the mornings.
QuestionI always say I will finish my homework when I'm done with a game but one game turns into multiple games and I never get it finished until the day before the due date. How do I know when to stop?
Clinical Social WorkerClinical Social WorkerExpert AnswerTry limiting your game time by using one of the apps that limit your access to your Internet. Also, use your digital scheduler to alert you that it is time to begin your homework. If necessary, ask someone in your household to come and turn your TV/computer off at a certain time.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I find adequate time for my family while living and working in our demanding society?
Clinical Social WorkerClinical Social WorkerExpert AnswerTime management can help you make time for your family. Set aside regular time for your family and try to stick with it no matter what. Put it into your digital scheduler. Also, make sure you are being as organized and productive at work as possible. Some people find it helpful to arrive a half hour early and begin when things are quiet.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I not get distracted while working?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerRemove distracting items (like your phone) from your immediate presence. Set a time goal: say, you'll focus for a half-hour before taking a ten minute break to do whatever. Then get back to work for another half-hour.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I find time to study more subjects?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWake up earlier or go to bed later. Take away TV time if you must (and do the same with other electronics.) Talk to your parents about how they might help you out. Get a planner or calendar and follow it religiously so that you always find the time.Thanks!
QuestionWhy should we sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerOur body and brain need adequate time to recover from the day, sort through the information and experiences of the day, and prepare for the next day. There are a whole lot of important things that go on inside you while you sleep, and it takes at least 7-8 hours (longer for children) to get through them. If you consistently get too little sleep, your mind will not work as well as it could, your moods will be worse, you will have less energy, you will look worse, and you will be more susceptible to both mental and physical illnesses. If you're a child or teenager, you will not grow and develop as well as you could, or become as smart as you could be. If you're an adult, you will age faster than you otherwise would.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I study late at night without getting drowsy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerStudying late at night isn't such a good time to be studying since that cuts into your sleeping routine. But if it's an emergency, you can nap for a bit before studying, use the correct amount of light that is bright enough for you, and and drink coffee wisely.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I work on consistently managing my time?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerPrioritize things. Do the hard things first and then the easy one. Take breaks every 20 minutes. And set short goals. Every time you accomplish a goal, reward yourself. Don't get stressed out and you'll have managed your time.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I get rid of an addiction to electronic devices?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerEstimate how many hours a day you are on your electronics, not counting when you are doing valuable and necessary work. If you are on them for 7 hours try cutting down to strictly 6 hours for a few days. Then when you are used to that, cut down to 5 hours, then 4, and 3, and finally to 2. Use all those extra hours to check off stuff on your to-do list.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I manage my time between studying and doing extra curricular tasks?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry coming up with a schedule or calendar. Dedicate just one or two days to your extra curricular tasks, and the rest for studying. This way, you'll have more time to spend on each.Thanks!
QuestionHow does writing faster support time management?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWriting faster reduces the total time spent on writing.Thanks!
How essential is the ability to manage time well?
- Be flexible and relax. Allow for the unexpected in life. Other things may take precedence over a rigid and methodical routine. With most unusual circumstances, it may take no more than an hour or a few days to return to your usual schedule.
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