Everyone gets busy and caught up in their day to day tasks. It can be quite easy to fall behind on social obligations as well as professional goals. However, time management is often the culprit when things get really out of hand. The average person claims that they don’t have enough time to work out or that there simply isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. Of course, there will always be occasional days that are impossible to keep up with. However, there are a few effective strategies out there that can help you plan your time more effectively so that you can meet goals in all aspects of your life. Perhaps you want to have more free time for fitness and self-care? Here are a few of the best methods to carve out some time for yourself!
EXPECT THE WORST
Lots of people are aware that they need a schedule to stay on top of their work and social events. Nevertheless, very few people plan for issues that might unexpectedly alter their schedule. When a tight and well-organized schedule encounters an emergency situation of any kind, there is bound to be disaster when things still need to get done as planned. For this very reason, it is crucial that every schedule leaves room for something to go wrong. A great way to accomplish this is to set deadlines that are slightly earlier than they need to be. It is also a good idea to set aside one hour each day as free time that you can use to get ahead of events to come or to catch up when something goes wrong. If everything is going well, you can also use this time for the gym or personal activities. Having free time is important and can motivate you to work on getting things done as efficiently as possible.
Never underestimate the power of making lists. It is very helpful to plan your entire week in advance on a whiteboard or spreadsheet. You can do this by planning certain blocks of time for different activities that need to get done throughout the day. Leave a little wiggle room for each task and then have a look at your week. Very often, looking at your plans for the week allows you to notice that certain tasks are due before others. It is a great idea to move the more urgent tasks to the beginning of the week so that the remainder of the week can be less stressful. Also, if other urgent tasks come up later during the week, it will be possible to get them done without having to worry about moving the rest of your week around. It also helps to organize your week so that similar tasks are done at the same time. For example, if you need to run errands around town it is best to plan all of the errands for one day so that you don’t have to make multiple trips that interrupt your work.
Working hard for too long without a break can cause people to start procrastinating. Procrastinating not only drags out how long a task takes to finish, but it also makes people feel discouraged. These negative feelings aren’t productive, so planning breaks is a great way to give yourself something to look forward to. It is important to follow the schedule you plan for yourself for breaks to be effective. Therefore, if you plan to work for three hours and take a break of thirty minutes, you have to stop and take your break as planned whether you have made enough progress or not. This way, there is pressure to finish your task before the planned break time. Studies have shown that setting smaller deadlines like this for yourself throughout the day can boost productivity. For some people, even shorter work periods followed by short breaks are most effective. For example, working for 45 minutes followed by a 10-minute break over and over throughout the day can be more motivating and productive than working for 4 hours and only stopping for thirty minutes.
Excellent time management begins with a solid foundation of planning and self-control. By following the three tips listed above, there will be a noticeable difference in how efficiently and effectively you are able to complete key tasks throughout the day. Of course, it will take a week or two to figure out how to plan breaks and which tasks you should do first, but the time saved will only improve each week if you dedicate yourself to following the schedule you set and allow yourself enough time for when things go wrong. In some cases, learning to say no is just as important as figuring out how to fit something into your schedule. If the above tips aren’t enough to free up some of your time, consider the possibility that some tasks on your list aren’t a necessity, at least for now.