It is easy to get caught up with small tasks that eat away at your time daily. To ensure you use the limited time you are provided in a day most efficiently, here are 3 tips that you can begin to incorporate immediately to add precious minutes and hours to your day.
1. Set project goals daily
It is easy to overwhelm yourself and try to get as much done as possible on any given day. To help you manage this impulse, set one or two BIG project goal per day and attach associated task items to that goal. For example, your BIG project goal may be to get a blogpost distributed on 10 blogs in a given day. If so, then your associated task items might be, complete research, write blog, identify 10 bloggers, contact bloggers, and send post with request. Depending on the size of your project goal, you may be able to add a few more or have to restrict yourself to one per day. If a goal is too big to be completed in one day, then you have to break it down into smaller goals that can be completed in one day. The key is being able to accomplish the project goals you set for yourself in one day, so don’t be too ambitious. It is better to complete one project goal per day and go to bed with a sense of accomplishment, than to get halfway through a goal and go to bed all tense and stressed out.
While you may have alot to do every day, you know as well as I do that everything is not of the same importance. By prioritizing your activities, you identify the must do’s (those things that cannot wait until tomorrow) and can ensure that those things get accomplished in the day. The must do’s are those items that have a self-imposed or third party – imposed deadline or those items that upon which other activities cannot be completed without them being done. Once you prioritize, you should see that you only have a few activities that need to get done and you can get to work on completing them. The best time to prioritize your goals for the day is the night before while things are still fresh in your mind. An easy thing to do is to start a list with activities that you need to get to, but don’t have time to in that day. As the day goes on, you add more to the list. At the end of the day, prioritize your activities for the next day based off the list created.
3. Use a Calendar, not a Task List
Now in the previous tip, I told you to create a list…and you should. You just shouldn’t use it in a list format. To ensure that things get done, the next morning take your list of prioritized activities and move them to a calendar attaching a time to each item. Make sure you provide enough time to complete each activity and to travel from one task to another, if necessary. By placing the items in your calendar, you take away the discretion that you have to decide when things get done…because you have already decided! Also, by placing items in a calendar, you can focus your activities to make sure you get to your next “appointment”, instead of haphazardly going through your day deciding what to do next.
While these are just a few time management tips, these are some of the easiest and most efficient to ensure that you use your time wisely and get everything accomplished you need to everyday to sit down to work.