Time Management Techniques for Busy People
How do you have the time of your life when pressed for time and keep running out of time? Easy. All you have to do is to do it at all times from time to time at a set time ahead of time and all in good time. Was that complete gibberish? Almost! Because time is money for busy people, let’s figure out some effective time management techniques to make the best use of our precious time.
Planning is half the battle
Make an inventory of the detailed tasks you need to accomplish to make sure you don’t miss anything important. Have them displayed on your schedule accordingly to a daily, weekly, or monthly planner to best organize your work, manage your workload, and see what’s coming ahead. Of course, planning means preparing the things you need to do beforehand and setting up your workspace (and mind space!) that has everything you need to get things done. Make sure you have what you need and that you have allocated sufficient time to accomplish each of them.
Planning is a good exercise to assess what tasks can be done realistically on any given day. Consider available resources and tools to help with planning and time management, like a calendar, time management apps, productivity and management software and apps, an agenda, a notebook, an alarm clock, notepads, sticky notes, etc. If you still have too much on your plate and can afford to, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks that other people can do instead so can better focus on what you…
As part of planning your work, assess what’s important that needs to get done by the end of today that cannot wait, and plan accordingly. Determine what you would consider important: something close to a deadline, urgent, valuable, essential or basic, the first step to a project, etc. Evaluate the level of priority for each to-do item and tackle them in that order.
Work it around you
Which work environment best suits you? Do you focus best in the morning? Do you prefer working from your office at home? How is your desktop set up? Do you need background music? Do you need many tiny breaks throughout the day? One of the time management techniques is to learn about yourself, strengths, work style, habits, and productivity to maximize your time efficiency. Going against your nature might become more difficult to manage the time it takes to accomplish the same tasks in a timely manner. For instance, it might take longer to finish a project if you have started the evening when you are an early bird, and your mindset might not be at its best to concentrate.
Respect your boundaries
Time is a tricky thing to handle. Time is always there yet treacherous as it expands and shrinks without us noticing in a way that we tend to overestimate the amount of time we have to accomplish things, and before we know it, the time has already slipped through our fingers, and then it’s too late. To avoid any regrets or any additional and unnecessary stress, anxiety, or burnout, learn to say no to things, and respect your breaks and time off. Indeed, this time management technique is a good practice to help maintain your overall well-being, as you need to disconnect and recharge once in a while to be at your most productive at work.
Having a hard time saying no? It’s worth investing the effort. It’s also a simple enough word to pronounce, with only two letters making only one syllable. I know you can do it. Here are easy excuses that work without fail. One is to blame it on your family: “I’m afraid my family needs me right now, so I won’t be available to take part in it.” Another is to blame it on other projects, making you look considerate: “The current projects I’m working on are already taking all of my time and I don’t want the quality of either project to suffer if I overschedule.” If you feel courageous, take the honesty route: “I was already planning to enjoy my break. Maybe next time.” One thing you shouldn’t do is apologize for taking well-deserved time off.
Become a well-oiled machine
Aim to have your life, body, and mind in order. One of the best time management techniques is yourself. A healthy and fully functional body, mind, and lifestyle will help you work through your workload efficiently as your energy levels are high. Complementary to your healthy well-being, sticking to a regular routine will contribute to making the best use of your time throughout your day. This means regular nutritious meals, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep.
For more about time management techniques, check out one of our articles on time management tips and tricks.
Shirley is a Vacation Tracker occasional contributor. She’s held a few positions in communications, marketing and copywriting. When she’s not at her laptop, you can find her daydreaming about her laptop and chasing the sun while people watching.