Become a Master at Time Management
By Indy Summers
Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on the to-do list. If this is how you feel most days, there are ways to take charge of the day by implementing time management skills. The following are some tips to assist with making the most of your time:
Make your calendar your best friend
Do you find yourself forgetting about meetings or appointments and double booking yourself often? If you answer "yes" to this question, life can be made much simpler with the proper use of a calendar. There are a variety of apps that can merge your office, personal and family calendars into one convenient place. Calendars can also be shared with people in the office as well as your family. This will keep everyone on the same page.
One tip to stay on top of your time is to put commitments on your calendar immediately before it is forgotten about. When scheduling time for meetings or calls, try to stick to the blocked time so that your day stays on schedule.
Calendars don't have to just be used for keeping track of dedicated time for others, but you can use it to block time for yourself for various projects or personal time. Allowing yourself allotted time for tasks helps to keep your day on track.
Plan ahead for the upcoming day
Take time to plan out your day's activities and tasks. The best time to do this is at night when your mind is clear and you know what needs to be handled the next day. Early morning before the busy day begins is also a good time to plan out the day.
If any of the activities in your daily plan will take an amount of time where you cannot be disturbed, be sure to block that out on your calendar. Unexpected things are bound to come up, but having a basic plan gives you structure for the day and something to try to follow as best as possible.
Organize financial obligations
Set time aside each week to enter receipts, expenses or other financial entries into an accounting system. A popular program for keeping accounting records is QuickBooks; however, there are several QuickBooks alternatives to choose from.
Staying on top of these transactions on a weekly basis saves times when preparing for tax season and also when having to prepare monthly expense reports. Having all of your financial affairs in one program can also create ease when balancing bank accounts, having to make returns and when collecting customer data for a business.
Stop Wasting Time
One thing that can be a huge distraction throughout the day is social media. Who isn't guilty of going on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to just look at one thing and before you know it, an hour of scrolling has gone by? Set aside a certain amount of time on a lunch break or in the evenings to catch up on everything you need to on social media.
You might be thinking about how impossible this is, but there are a few ways to avoid the distraction:
- Remove the social media icons from your computer desktop or quick start menu
- On a mobile phone, place the icons in a folder so they aren't easily visible. This can be done on an Android or iPhone
- Set aside certain times of the day to scroll social media
- When you start using social media, set a timer and stick to it
Take time to breathe
Don't schedule one meeting or project on top of another. Allow yourself time to breathe or take a break between activities. A good rule of thumb is to allow about 10 minutes between activities so you aren't stressed about the next activity or constantly running late.