Time management is a necessary skill that one must acquire. Few of us are ever born that way, and learning to master it will help you stay on top of it all without feeling like you’re being run over and consumed by it.
The thing about lack of productivity is that if left untouched, it can make you feel even more overwhelmed. Instead of doing something about it, you might spend more time panicking when all you’ve really got to do is start planning to stop it from plaguing you.
Here’s how to get back on track:
1. Make a to-do list
The first step is listing out what needs to be done. You should make 2 drafts. The first should be everything that has to get done. The second draft should be prioritizing all those things. What needs to be done today? What needs to be done this week? Set timelines for completion and you’ll start feeling far more organized and in control.
2. Set goals
Goal-setting is so important because we need to have something to strive toward. Whether it’s for your career, weight loss, or something else, you should have a plan in mind. Don’t just look at the long-term, but the shortterm steps it will take to get there. You’ll find you feel you’re making progress when you set them in motion.
3. Stop distractions
One of the biggest distractions for everyone no matter what job they have are emails and messages. Knowing how to manage those is key to freeing up your time. Set some time aside each morning and afternoon — and set a limit for how long you’ll spend responding. Instead of answering messages all morning as they come in, focus on them from 9am to 9:30am for example. Then, get back on track and respond again later. You’ll find things run more efficiently this way.
4. Quit putting it off
Procrastination is a vicious cycle. We put things off, then we feel we’re lacking in productivity and we wind up putting them off for longer. Instead of letting something overwhelm you at the prospect of doing it, tell yourself you’re going to chip away at it for 10 minutes at a time. Break it down into manageable chunks, and you’ll find that whatever you’re dreading – compiling that big report or even just putting away your laundry – gets done faster.
5. Take real breaks
It’s never a good idea to work yourself so much that you don’t have a moment to yourself. You can’t be at your best when you’re overdoing it. When it’s time for lunch, take an actual break. Eat in the cafeteria or break room. Go sit outside at a picnic table. Just take that time for yourself and let your mind breathe, instead of spinning its wheels all day long. Throughout the day, take short brisk walks around the building to get your blood flowing. You’ll find it not only stretches your legs but also stretches your mind.
By taking on these 5 tips, you’ll begin to feel more productive in all areas of life. What do you tend to procrastinate on the most?