February is National Time Management Month! While it’s not an official government holiday, it’s the perfect excuse to look at your habits and find out how you can make slight changes to save you time at both work and home. Check out just a few of these time management tips:
Track Your Time Waste
To better manage your time, you need to find out where you’re wasting it. What are your time bandits? Do you spend too much time on Facebook? Texting? Watching TV? Start writing it all down! By tracking your daily activities, you’ll be able to form an accurate picture on where your time might be being wasted. There are also apps to help you track your online time, specifically. Programs like RescueTime run the background of your computer or mobile devices and tracks the time on websites and applications, giving you a detailed report at the end of the day.
Make a Plan
Take the information you’ve gained from tracking your time and create a plan. Set goals on how much time you’ll spending on different activities each day and track whether you’ve accomplished them. There are plenty of software programs, apps and other tools you can use to make that happen – including bullet journals. Bullet journals, a recently popular trend, is a journal method that accommodates a variety of different planning systems. You’re supposed to fill the pages with bulleted lists (hence, the name), but also calendars, to-do lists, diary entries, brainstorming notes, doodles and even habit-tracking. Personally, bullet journals were a lifesaver when it came to planning my wedding last year – from lists of potential vendors to sketching out table arrangements, it was the perfect place to keep everything organized. But whether through bullet journals or an app, sticking your plan is key to improving your time management.
Start each day by prioritizing everything that needs to be accomplished. You may have 35 items you want to get done, but if you don’t have the time for all of them (and you probably won’t), it’s important to get the most vital ones done first. A good way to visualize this to think about your day as a bucket, and each of your to-dos is a rock. The truly important items are big rocks and the less important tasks are pebbles. If you fill the bucket with your pebbles first, there won’t be enough room for any rocks. Focus on the rocks first, and if you have time left over, you can start on the pebbles, which will fill in the empty spaces around the rocks. You may have some leftover pebbles at the end of the day, but at least your rocks will have a home in the bucket.
Set Time Limits
There are certain tasks that could take the whole day if you let them, so it can be helpful to set a time limit on those. For example, you could probably spend your entire day just reading and answering emails. Instead, block one hour of time devoted strictly to emails and stick to it. Hate cleaning? Try the 20-10 system – Micky is a big fan! He sets a timer for 20 minutes and spends that cleaning in one area. When the timer goes off, he sets another timer for 10 minutes, and does something fun or relaxing during that time. Micky says he finds that the mundane tasks get done faster when breaking them in to smaller, more manageable pieces.
Just like you may have a morning routine for getting ready, creating routines for the day can be incredibly helpful. When you know what you’re already going to do next, you don’t have to waste time thinking and trying to decide. When these routines are established, it will become second nature and you’ll start getting through them quicker and quicker. If you plan on a 20-10 cleaning time every night, you can get those mega-cleaning Saturdays out of your routine and make time for something for fun.
A huge part of successful time management is delegating or outsourcing certain items when you can. You’re not superman/woman and nobody expects you to be able to do everything in one day. Take advantage of people on your team (or our team!) and ask for help. Did you know you could have a personal concierge at your disposal? A service like Errand Solutions allows you (and your employees/coworkers) to outsource small tasks like making dinner reservations to time-suckers like planning your vacation. When it comes to a company’s time management, Errand Solutions is a huge asset.
Want to learn more? Get time back on your side and contact us today!