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10 Strategies to Master Time Management
Do you feel overwhelmed each day? You may find yourself consistently juggling multiple obligations between work, family, friends, and school. This can cause you to feel overwhelmed over time and feel stressed out.
However, there are ways you can improve upon your time management skills, which can give you the energy you need to tackle the day. Here are 10 strategies to master time management.
Find out How long each Task Takes
The first step to managing your time is to estimate how long it takes you to complete each task. This can give you an idea as to how many items on your list that you are realistically able to do.
Then, you can plan a weekly schedule based on the tasks you have to do. You can organize your day based on your timetables and have blocks of time to relax when you’re done.
Stick with a Schedule
Another time management strategy is to create a schedule and stick to it. This will ensure that you’re kept on track for your tasks instead of having to decide which one to do on the spot.
For example, you could plan to get your groceries for the week every Sunday. This is a consistent day you can plan to take care of errands and ensure that your family has food for the week. You can assign other tasks to different days of the week to keep you on schedule.
Learn How to Prioritize
You may have multiple projects at work with deadlines quickly approaching. Another time management tip is to learn how to prioritize.
You can prioritize projects in a variety of different ways. Some of these ways include:
- Which projects are due the earliest?
- How long will it take to do each project?
- What departments are able to move projects along faster?
- How many projects can you realistically work on in a day?
After you have an idea of what you can manage, you can create a priority list and work to get everything done.
Keep a Calendar
There may be times when you feel as though you are overextending yourself. Keeping a calendar can be one way to help you manage your day. The calendar can be a digital or physical copy depending on your goals and preferences.
For example, if you have a job where you need to take calls and meetings, there are many apps where you can create a calendar that allows people to schedule times when you are open. By limiting the number of meetings you have in a day, you can better manage your time and ensure you have the ability to complete your tasks.
Do not Multitask
Many people are self-proclaimed multi-taskers; however, multi-tasking can affect the brain’s overall efficiency. The brain is required to remember a certain set of steps for each task, and shifting between tasks can slow down the brain’s ability to process each one.1
You should avoid multitasking and complete one task before starting another. Some tips to help prevent you from multitasking include looking at your emails between tasks and not working during important meetings. This can help you better focus on the task you’re trying to complete.
While breaks may seem like they are taking time away from what you need to be doing, they can help you feel energized and be more productive when you return back to your obligations. Breaks can help you refresh your energy and give you the ability to better focus when you come back to a task.
However, some breaks are more beneficial than others. Some breaks can overload your prefrontal cortex, which can make it more challenging to get back to work later. Examples of bad breaks include checking your email, surfing social media, and reading the internet. A good break could be going for a walk, listening to music, doing a small chore, or talking to someone.2
Learn How to Say No
You may find yourself in a position from time to time being asked to do a variety of favors. From watching someone’s dog to taking on an extra task at work, you may soon find yourself with more obligations than your schedule allows.
Another time management tip is to learn how to say no. If you find yourself being asked to do a variety of things, tell people you have other obligations to do for the day. You can also make a counteroffer for a better time to fulfill an extra favor.
Another way to improve your time management skills is to start early in the day. If you begin earlier rather than later, you’ll have the energy to push through all your tasks.
Even if you don’t want to immediately jump into your obligations, you can always use the morning as a way to prepare. Eating a good breakfast and exercising are two ways you can start the day off right.
Another way to effectively manage your time is to minimize distractions. The television, your phone, and other people in the room all may prevent you from completing a task in a timely manner.
Some ways you can minimize distractions include turning off all electronics and finding a quiet place to complete your tasks. You can also designate times when you’ll be working and only focus on those tasks with no distractions.
Give Yourself More Time than You think
Another time management strategy is to give yourself more time than you think to complete each task. You should give yourself a buffer of 5-10 minutes between each task to give yourself enough time to complete everything you have in a day.
If you have tasks in different destinations, such as grocery shopping and an appointment, give yourself more room than you need to drive to each place. This will ensure you can properly complete each necessity.
Learn Time Management Strategies Today
Now that you have a few time management strategies, you can start to prepare your days with them in mind. Try incorporating a few of our tips to see how your workload changes.
Saber Healthcare is an organization that provides skilled nursing care, rehabilitation, and assisted living services across the communities that we serve. To learn more about Saber Healthcare, click here.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- “To Multitask or Not to Multitask.” The University of Southern California, Online Master of Science in Applied Psychology. Accessed 16 January 2023. Link: https://appliedpsychologydegree.usc.edu/blog/to-multitask-or-not-to-multitask/#:~:text=Being%20able%20to%20perform%20multiple,a%20person%20switches%20between%20tasks.
- “Taking Breaks.” University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Learning Center. Accessed 16 January 2023. Link: https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/taking-breaks/#:~:text=For%20this%20reason%2C%20while%20it,studying%20can%20even%20improve%20recall!