Time management is one of those skills that nobody will teach you, yet just like listening, it is one of the most important skills you will need in order to be successful. Demonstrating good time management will have wonderful and lasting benefits over the course of your career. If you can master this skill you will be not only be able to differentiate yourself from the pack, you will also be able to greatly reduce your stress levels. Here are a few ways you can manage your time more effectively and be as happy as a clam:
Make a to do list, or keep a personal planner. This is a great way to avoid missing important deadlines like my two dino friends over there.
Stop multitasking. This one is difficult, because often times we consider multitasking to be a good thing. However, the truth is multitasking takes away focus. Focus on one thing, get it done, and go onto the next. You will be able to dedicate 100% of your attention to the task at hand and do a much better job.
Have an email schedule. Dedicate a chunk of time in the morning as well as in the afternoon to check emails…and then ignore your inbox so you can focus. Don’t be fooled into thinking that every email needs an immediate response. More times than not you will wish you had put more thought into your response, thus dedicating set time to respond intelligently to your messages will do you a world of good. Dare to be slow!
Get the most important thing out of the way. It’s tempting to get the easy things done early in the day…it gives us a sense of accomplishment. However, it doesn’t do us any good to have that task looming over our heads. It will cause anxiety as time goes on. Better to get it out of the way fast!
Know when your brain likes to focus. Some people are morning people, some people are more effective mid-morning, some like afternoons, some are night owls. The good news is that none of these are better than the others…the key is to identify when you focus best and take advantage.
Know when it’s time to quit. Sometimes, we’ve been simply staring at something for too long, and perhaps we need to look at our project with a fresh set of eyes the next day. So take it easy there killer, go home!