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Published on November 6th, 2017 | by Jones

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It’s all about time management

Not everyone is amazing in the time management department, yet they still wonder why their productivity at work or in their studies is lacking. Without time management, you end up stressing yourself out unnecessarily. And, yes, having a plan and knowing how to make the most of your time, doesn’t mean it’s easy to put into practice. But that’s something you need to find in yourself and decide how important these things really are in your life.

Priori-times

It’s time to prioritise your tasks for the month, week and day. If there’s anything you absolutely have to get done by a certain date, make sure you get to it first and leave the smaller, less important filler tasks for another time.

Keep in mind how long a prioritised task will take and if that will affect you when you manage to get to the next important task on time or not. For example, sorting out your application for next year’s degree may be important and not take too long, but you still have to pass your exams which start in a week and you really need the time to study.

Don’t multitask

If you have a lot on your plate and everything seems equally important to get done first (which they’re probably not if you really look into it), whatever you just don’t multitask. Multitasking can lead to burnout, low quality work and, ironically, you’ll end up getting less done with more projects up in the air.

You’ll save time and produce a better HR management course assignment if you choose to work on it alone and get to the course activities at a later stage.

Schedule

When you have your prioritised tasks, you can put together a schedule. In work, study or general life, schedules are your key to working within your time constraints and getting your work done.  

If you prefer physically writing your life down in a diary or daily planner, then go for it, but there are calendar and scheduling apps that you can download to your phone. It will make your life easier and it’s a quick way to quickly add any new tasks or tick tasks off. Ximble, Acuity Scheduling and Wrike are a few apps you could try.

Deadlines

Setting deadlines for yourself (not the set ones from work or the tertiary institution) will motivate you to finish it and finally be done with it. For every goal you lay down, set a date and do everything you can to stick to it. Everything including prioritising and scheduling (really, it’s sometimes that simple). And the closer you get to your deadline, the closer you are to not having to stress about it anymore.

And as you set deadlines, set some time constraints as well. Yes, you’re working hard to make sure you make your deadline, but working constantly for long periods of time without taking some sort of a breather will make your productivity decrease. Then you get distracted by social media to “take a break” and before you know it, you’re five cat videos away from binging fail compilations on Youtube.

Break your task into time segments that are easily manageable and more realistically attainable than studying for four hours straight.

Routine

Making the most of your time is a lot easier if you get into a time management routine in every aspect of your day. Starting with your morning routine, work habits and evening routine. When you start forming discipline in the small things, then sticking to a deadline routine will work off that muscle memory that your body has been working on.

You should also schedule your day strategically around these routines and times of day. If you have large projects due, it’s best to get started on them in the mornings after exercise and breakfast (or whatever your general morning routine consists of).

Keep moving forward

If you don’t want to be stuck with a backlog of stress, be sure to leave yesterday’s stresses behind. You need to keep moving forward regardless of what has happened and make sure your priorities for the day are up to date and your daily schedule can accommodate anything leftover from the day before. Yesterday’s problems will never become today’s problems, today will just have something new to deal with. And you can make time for it.

Noted

Finally, if you want to try to keep your (now managed) time productive, keep a notebook on hand. Any distracting thoughts or unrelated reminders that pop into your mind can be quickly scribbled down and saved for later when you aren’t in the middle of proofreading your final portfolio.

You should also make notes on how you’re doing for time for the week. This will give you an idea of what works, what doesn’t and where you could be saving time or taking a break to be more productive. There will always be room for improvement, but making the effort to try will already make a difference.

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A keen writer, giving advice about work and life.



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