How to Manage Your Time

Although we all have the same 24 hours in every day, some of us manage to get more done than others. There will always be someone who says they wishes there were more hours in a day. Maybe you want more time to spend with your family, or you never seem to have enough time to yourself, or maybe you never manage to get all of your work done. Whatever the case may be, there is a way to utilize every minute of your day. We just have to learn how to manage our time.

The first thing everyone should do is buy a clock or watch. Knowing what time it is is the first step in learning how to manage our time. That may seem like the obvious but not everyone keeps a clock or watch handy. It would be a good idea to buy one with an alarm so you can set the amount of time you need to spend on a certain thing. If it takes you an hour and a half to do laundry, set the alarm for an hour and a half. This will keep you focused on the task at hand since you now have a time limit. You will work more quickly and be more productive in getting the laundry done. Once the alarm goes off, move on to the next task you have to do, even if you still have a few clothes left to fold. Having a few clothes left to fold is far better than having an entire load left to wash.

Setting time limits are important because without a limit, it is easy to spend too much time on one thing. It’s especially easy when you’re doing recreational activities. Suppose you wanted to go work in your garden or go for a bike ride or go play your favorite sport. These are things you enjoy doing and it is easy to let time slip away from you. Before you know it you might have spend several hours doing something and now you are behind in your schedule. Tell yourself you’re only going to work in the garden for an hour or you’re only going to bike for a few miles or you’ll only play one game of basketball. You have to set limits and be firm in keeping them so that you don’t lose time.

This may seem futile for some but writing a list of what you need to do actually helps. This is why many people keep daily planners so they can know what it is they need to do. You might have five important things you need to do in one day. You have an early morning doctor’s appointment, next you have to run a few errands, then you need to pick up the kids from school, then you have to go grocery shopping, and finally you have to prepare dinner for the guests you have coming over later that evening. To some people, it may seem like they will never get everything done. Maybe they forgot a package they needed to mail at the post office and have to back track home before they can finish running their errands which will make them run late picking up the kids from school which will essentially throw off the timing for the whole day. While it is true that mishaps like these can happen, if you have a checklist it will be easier to avoid. Before you leave the house, make sure you double check your list so you can have everything you need with you when you leave the house. You will be more organized and when people are better organized, they are able to get things done more efficiently.

Try to tackle the big jobs first. If you have a report due at work by a certain time but you also have some papers you need to file and stuff you need to fax, start with the most important job first. Since that report is due at a certain time, it makes more sense to worry about it first. Once that is done you can go on with your filing and faxing. If you try to do all three things at once, you’re going to set yourself back, especially if you aren’t used to multi-tasking. Keep your priorities in order and it will help you perform better without eating up too much of your time.

Managing your time takes discipline. It is easy to get side tracked and start doing other things but if you really want to make the most of your twenty four hours, it will benefit you to have some time management skills.

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