Ever find yourself wishing there was more time in the day? We do. We never know where the time goes and are always stuck bringing work home with us. Instead of spending time with loved ones, we lock ourselves in our bedroom until we finish those 30 emails and 3 proposals due sharply at 9am the next morning. But what if we told you there is a way to finish all that work AND have time to have a life? Don’t believe us? Read below to find our top 10 time management tips to maximize those 8 hours you have at work.
Handwrite a to-do list!
You may already have a to-do list app or a lengthy list going on your Notes app, but we’re telling you to switch it up. Take out that dusty, old notepad from your desk and find a pen with some ink in it. We believe in handwriting every to-do list as the actual practice of writing everything out destresses the mind and makes you more aware of everything you have to do. Plus, being able to physically cross off everything from that list at the end of the day is the greatest feeling. Try it!
Plan, Plan, Plan!
Whether your to-do list is 2 chores long or the length of your groceries receipt, you always have to plan. Mentally prepare yourself for the day by thinking when you’re going to do what. Delegate the most important tasks by getting those done first and the less important, not as time pressing tasks can be saved for later on or even tomorrow! Knowing when you’re going to do what will put your mind at ease and even cut down even more time in your day!
Use an online calendar
It’s super hard remembering what tasks you have to get through that day. But those tasks combined with a million meetings, phone-calls, appointments and lunches with your best friend might make your mind explode. Instead of going into overdrive, use your calendar app to create an online schedule for you. This way it’ll be impossible to forget anything, especially because your phone will be screaming at you to do it! In order to keep your online calendar up-to-date, put in every event right when you find out about it. Consistency is the key to time management.
Set a time limit to every task
Before you begin working on a task, be cognizant of the time and mentally take note of how long you want to spend your precious time on it. This way you can hold yourself accountable for your own time and not blame the workload or your bosses. Knowing you have a time limit in the first place should make you even more focused. Be fair to yourself with these time limits. If it takes you 10 more minutes to draft a proposal than you had originally planned, it’s ok! Don’t beat yourself up.
Use a time buffer
Adding more empty time into your day will actually maximize the time you spend working. This probably sounds bizarre to you; it does to us too. However, giving yourself a break between tasks and meetings will truly help you to clear your mind and recharge for the next big task. Research shows the human brain can only focus for 90 minutes at a time. Take 20 minutes between tasks or meetings to take a walk, grab a coffee, or meditate at your desk. You’ll be able to be much more efficient on your next task! We promise.
Use your morning fuel to do the most important tasks
Even though you feel half asleep, wake up! Your morning hours are known to be your most productive minutes. A simple way to maximize your time is to spend these hours working on your most time consuming and challenging tasks before lunch. You may not believe it, but you usually have the most energy in the morning. That feeling of accomplishment will push you all the way till 5pm.
Learn to lose control
This is really difficult to do for many hard workers out there. But believe it or not, delegating will become your best friend. Learning to lose control over every minor detail or even every task will truly help to maximize your time. You were probably that person who did all the work in every group project in high school. Kudos to you. But that wasn’t the real world. This is. Use every cell in your body to let loose and delegate tasks to your co-workers or to even say no to your boss. That may seem extremely daunting but letting them know you have too much on your plate is a sign of someone who knows themselves and their limits extremely well.
Stay present in your work
Our phones are the source of distraction. If you pick up that phone for a 5 minute break or go to online shop really quickly, chances are you’ll get lost in the world of Instagram or the shoe section and never return to your work. Staying present and focused on your work is an extremely hard task within itself. But we promise that if you stay present and don’t touch that phone, you’ll have free time at the end of the day to spend an hour on it (if you get all your work done).
Create daily habits for yourself
Consistency is the key to a productive day at work. Making daily habits for yourself like working out in the mornings or stopping at the same coffee shop on the way to work are simple and beneficial ways to add a bit of consistency into your routine. These little plans will keep you on track time wise and ease your mind as well!
Less is Better
Ever heard the term “less is more” ? Try “less is better.” Learning to do less is a huge part of time management and ensures efficiency for every task. Doing less is better because it allows you to truly focus on the important task at hand rather than try and juggle 5 different, less challenging tasks all at once. You can get more done if you realize less is better!
So, do you believe us now? If you instill these practices into your daily routine you’ll have time for your friends, significant other, and even your parents! We know you miss them almost as much as they miss you. Learning to manage your time not only will make you more productive at work, but it will make you a happier person as you realize you have time to have a real life.