Time management is a challenge for many people. Most of us wish there were more hours in the day. But be honest with yourself – even if you had more hours, wouldn’t you just waste them away?

Any high achiever will tell you that it’s not the number of hours you have, but how you use them, that counts. By learning and practising effective time management techniques, you can get more done and also have more time to relax.

Is it possible to stop wasting time? Here are:

10 Time Management Strategies to Get More Done

1. Prioritize Better

Narrow down everything you have to do to just three to five manageable items. Put these tasks in order from most to least important so that you’re focusing on what’s essential. If you do this, you’ll eliminate non-essential, time-wasting activities.

2. Set Time Blocks

Create a block of time for each task you have and decide exactly how long you’ll do it. For example, set aside one hour per day on an ongoing project or thirty minutes a day on Facebook. This keeps you on track and prevents you from spending too much time on single tasks.

3. Take Regular Breaks

If you work too long on something, you may lose focus and burn out. Break up activities with short rest periods where you can refresh yourself and get your mind off work. Then, you can get back to what you’re doing with renewed energy and use your time better. Try the Pomodoro Technique to help chunk down your time effectively.

4. Remove Distractions

Things may be taking too long because you’re letting yourself get distracted. Put your phone on silent mode, turn off all notifications, and sign out of social media. Let people know that you’re working and not to be bothered. If there’s something urgent, tell the person you’ll get to it when you’re done.

5. Perform a Time Audit

Having a To-Do List and ticking off things is not enough. You also need to keep track of how you spend your time each day. Use a timer and write down the results. Over the course of several days, a picture will emerge showing how you actually spend your time. You may be surprised at where you’re wasting it!

Since I work online, I use RescueTime to keep track of what I do on the computer. RescueTime also has a mobile version if you spend a lot of time on your phone or tablet.

6. Choose Optimal Times

There’s an optimal time of day for each type of task. For example, you may be most adept at communications in the late morning or creative in the evening. There may also be a time of day when you’re at your most productive. Identify these times and use them to schedule your daily tasks more effectively.

7. Schedule Fun Time

When making your daily schedule, set aside time for entertainment, mindless distraction, and pure fun. You can indulge in these activities during breaks from tougher things, or use them as a reward for completing tasks.

8. Don’t Multitask

Contrary to what many believe, multitasking doesn’t make you more productive. In fact, it ruins your focus and prevents you from getting each task done efficiently. Focus on one thing at a time.

9. Get Organized

Organize your workspace so that everything is where you need it and easily accessible. This will cut down on the time you spend searching for things and doing on-the-spot organizing. Set aside a little time daily or weekly to clean up, organize, and put things away in the right places.

10. Keep Goals in Mind

For each thing you have to do in a day, take a moment to consider whether it’s directly helping you reach a specific goal or not. If it’s not, consider eliminating it from your list, moving it to a later time, or delegating it to somebody else.

Over to You

Time management is more about managing yourself than managing time. Your overall productivity will improve when you’re able to set effective priorities and work more efficiently on them.

How are you doing with time management and productivity? What strategies, hacks and tools work for you? Let us know in the Comments.

(Image credit: Pexels)

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