If you’re an ace at managing your time throughout your chaotic work or school day, you’re one lucky gal or guy. Lots of people struggle with effective time management. Why is that? It seems simple enough – you have a list of things to do, now get to crossing everything off your list, right? If only it were that easy. Phone calls, texts, email, the internet (thanks Facebook!), and co-workers are all distractions that make it easy to fall off the focus wagon.
But help is here. Take a look at some of these useful time management techniques. Give one or all of them a try – you might be pleasantly surprised at how much you get done tomorrow:
#1. Turn it OFF
Turn off your phone’s email and text notifications. Close your email on your work computer or laptop. Why? Because it’s so easy to get distracted by the dings and beeps of your tech devices. If you can’t hear them, there’s a better chance you’ll stick to the task you’re working on.
#2. Plan Today for Tomorrow
Take 5 minutes at the end of your day and jot down the to-do’s you want to get done tomorrow. You’ll feel more organized, more focused and ready to roll when the sun comes up.
#3. Meet Early
If your day requires a meeting or two, schedule them for the AM. There’s a tendency to hold off from doing other work if you’re sitting around waiting or worrying about the meeting you have after lunch or at the end of your day. Meet in the AM so you can move on to other tasks without interruption.
#4. Start Small, Go Big
Start your day by completing a handful of simple tasks that only require a few minutes of your time. Make a quick phone call, schedule a meeting, or send that follow-up email you’ve meaning to send for the past two days. Once you have some tasks under your belt, you’ll feel more productive and more motivated to move onto bigger tasks.
#5. Break It Down
There’s a time management method called the Pomodoro Technique which is getting some buzz of late. This method works by breaking your day up into small increments of time, with the goal of getting more accomplished. Here’s how it works:
- Pick a task to work on – then set a timer for 25 minutes.
- Work on the task until the timer goes off.
- Take a short break (usually 3-5 minutes).
- After you’ve completed four of these cycles, take a 15-30 minute break.
The Pomodoro Technique was developed in the 1980s by Franceso Cirillo, a university student who used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer to track his productivity (the Italian word for tomato is “Pomodoro”).
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