In this day and age, we all just seem to get busier and busier. How many times have you said to yourself, “I wish there were more hours in the day?”
Is there some magic formula that can help you get more done each day? No, of course not! But there are specific things you can do that will help you become more organized and efficient. In return, you’ll get more time to do the things you always wish you had time for.
Not everyone has the natural ability to get organized and, for some of us, it takes a serious amount of effort and a lot of trial and error to develop organizational skills.
If you’re one of those who weren’t born with the instinctive sense of organization and time management, here are some tips to help you find more time in your day. If one doesn’t work, simply try another until you find the ones that fit best with your personality and lifestyle.
1. Plan & Schedule Your Day
This seems rather simple, but seeing everything on paper can help you feel in control. Instead of letting an entire day get away from you and feeling like you’ve accomplished nothing, planning will put some order and structure into your day.
- Use a family calendar or personal planner to organize your errands and appointments.
2. Write a Daily To-Do List
Put the most important tasks at the top of your list and get them done first, that way there’s no last minute rushing around. The majority of your time and energy should be spent on accomplishing these important tasks.
- Keep your lists a reasonable length so you’ll feel productive crossing off completed tasks.
3. Don’t Waste Time on Nonessential Tasks
As humans, our tendency is to do the easy jobs first, but these quick and simple jobs may not be as necessary as you once thought. Before setting your mind to do something, ask yourself “Will this help me reach my ultimate goals or will it keep me from them?”
- Cut down your time on unimportant tasks and use those minutes to do something fun for yourself.
4. Delegate Tasks
Delegation isn’t about “passing the buck,” it’s realizing that you can’t do everything by yourself. There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it.
- Delegate chores to your family or hire professionals.
5. Break Large Tasks Down into Smaller Jobs
This will prevent you from getting overwhelmed. Just focus on each small job, one at a time, instead of trying to paint the whole canvas at once.
- Need to reorganize your kitchen or basement? Start in one little corner and focus your attention there until it’s clean and organized.
6. Limit Distractions
I know this can be hard, but if at all possible turn off the phone and close your email program. Simply focus on the task at hand without constant interruptions.
- Schedule your most important tasks at a time that offers the fewest disruptions.
7. Live a Healthy Lifestyle
This may seem out of place in this list, but studies show that people who eat right, exercise and get plenty of sleep have more energy to accomplish more during the day. The quality of your work will also improve when you feel healthy.
- You don’t need to start a strict training regimen to regain your energy. You’ll see changes quickly by just making simple dietary changes and walking everyday.
8. Take Breaks
When you start to feel too stressed out, get up and take a little walk or do some stretches. When you’re stressed about something your energy isn’t being used on productive work. Instead you become scattered and un-focused.
- A well-timed break can actually help you do more in a shorter amount of time.
9. Keep a diary of how you spend your time for several days.
By simply writing down how you spend the minutes in your day, you can re-evaluate the way you do things. Maybe there’s a way you can cut some minutes here and there to allow more flexibility in your schedule.
- Effective time management is a key principle to a less stressful life.
Making some simple changes in the way you manage your time can have a huge impact on your overall well-being. So go get started!