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Effective Time Management Tips

When it comes to time management, there are various techniques and strategies that you can use to boost your productivity and career. But not all of them will work for everyone. In fact, what works for one person might not work for another. So how do you find the right time management techniques for you? It's actually easier than you think. Just take a look at the following tips and see which ones stand out to you. Then try out those tips and see how they work for you.

Hopefully, they'll help you get more done in less time!

Man with watch and using effective time management strategies

Consider these time management tips to enhance your productivity:

1. Preview your schedule for the day first thing in the morning. Use your calendar effectively and you'll be able to spend your time more judiciously.

  • With practice, you'll learn to recognize which tasks need more time to be completed and which tasks' scheduled time can be shortened.

2. At work, if you're responsible for leading a meeting, be prepared. Write the meeting agenda in advance.

  • Stick to the time allotted for each agenda item.

employee conducting a meeting at work

3. Keep your focus on the task at hand. If you need to finish drafting a report, stay with it until the report is completed.

4. Take active steps to screen out distractions. If you work better with soft music playing in the background, arrange to listen to your tunes while you complete your tasks.

  • If you're on the job, close your office door to deter people from stopping in to say, "Hi," or ask a quick question.

5. Stand up. If someone calls you into their office for a minute to get your opinion on an issue, avoid sitting down. Impromptu meetings are shorter when at least one of you stands.

6. Have confidence about limiting chitchat at work. Don't be afraid to tell people you can't talk right at the moment. Rather than getting perturbed, your associates may praise your work ethic of finishing your projects before taking time to chitchat.

  • You're also setting a notable example for the other employees.

7. Get comfortable with saying "No." Being assertive is the hallmark of effective time management.

  • When you take on more projects than you have time for, the quality of your work may suffer. Plus, your most important tasks don't get addressed in a timely fashion if you have too much to do. You're more likely to get more work done - and do it well - if you aren't overwhelmed by taking on too much.

8. Use your planner at home as well. If you're struggling during off-work hours to manage your time, feel free to also use your planner there. Write in your schedule when you want to work on certain home projects, like washing your car or cleaning the living room.

daily planners can be used at home or work

9. Set timers or alarms to keep you on task. For example, if you plan to clean your bedroom for an hour, set the alarm on your cell phone. Stop working on the chore at hand when the timer goes off, but not until then (unless you complete the task).

  • Playing "beat the clock" can be highly motivational. Plus, you're likely to get more done.

  • For particularly troublesome tasks, set your alarm in smaller increments - even 15 minutes - and take a short breather when your alarm sounds before you re-focus on your task. In particular, you may find that physically challenging tasks are much more manageable if broken into smaller, more do-able "pieces."

Managing your time effectively will make you more satisfied and productive in your career. Practice these tips to get a handle on everything you want to complete.

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