4 Steps to Successful Time Management

Time is the one most valuable resources in business and more importantly, in life. Once time is gone, it’s gone– there’s no bringing it back. In todays busy society, successfully managing time can seem to be a daunting task. And with the full schedule you already have, it probably seems like more is added to your plate daily. Even though those things that come up are usually small, they also are usually unavoidable and could tremendously throw off your schedule. But, don’t fret because here are 4 good tips that will help you successfully manage your time and get the most out of your day.

1. Work from a to-do list

Make a list of all of the things that you need to get done. Initially, don’t try to put them in any certain order. Just write them down to get them out of your head– I’m sure it’s a lot of them. After you’ve gotten them all written down, go back and organize them from most important to least important. Using a numbered list usually works best. If you’re on a computer, you can just move them around using copy and paste. If you’re a geek like me and prefer to use a software or an app, check out my top 5 productive apps.

2. Stick to the plan

After you’ve written your to-do list, you’ve automatically created a plan of action. Having a plan will definitely help you manage your time. The simple fact is, if you don’t plan to do something, it will never get done. You can’t expect things to get done without putting them in some type of organized plan.

Things don’t just happen, they must be planned. Planning is essential in successful time management. If you don’t have a plan, then you don’t know what you’re going to do. When you do have a plan, you actually predict the future. You know what’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen and when it’s going to happen.

Make planning your day a part of your day. Every night before bed make a list of the things that need to be accomplished the next day. This will not only help you manage your time and be more productive the next day, but it will also help you get a good night’s rest because your mind isn’t up working while your body is asleep.

At the end of the day or workday, do a recap on that day’s events and whatever you didn’t get accomplished, put in on the list for tomorrow and make it a priority.

NOTE: Don’t be so lenient on yourself that you start procrastinating.

3. Stay focused on the task at hand

If you want to be more productive and manage your time successfully, staying focused is paramount. Things that aren’t on your list will come up– that’s inevitable. But when it does, determine if it’s important enough to break away from your list to complete. If it’s not, then put on the bottom of the list and re-organize it later.

Working on tasks that aren’t on your list is one of the most time-wasting, time-consuming pitfalls that everyone falls into. If need be, turn off your phone, lock your office door or shut off all outside communications. Do whatever you need to do in order to remain focused. The most important thing about a plan is staying focused and sticking to it.

4. Pick up where you leave off

The reality is, you’re not going to finish everything on your list, every single time. You may not get done with the entire list in one day, and that’s okay. Just pick up tomorrow where you leave off today. Be sure to organize your to-do list again since you’ve completed some tasks and possibly added others.

Another important thing to keep in mind is don’t get so caught up in your plan that you don’t leave time for accidentals. There’s always going to be something that come up that’s not on your to-do list. Most of the time, someone is going to break your flow and throw you off track. So, be flexible enough to handle that; don’t come undone at the seams. Keep it together and stay focused.

Don’t pressure yourself to get everything done in one day, especially if your list is long or the things on your list take a long time to complete.

What happens when you pressure yourself:

1) You loose focus. Loosing focus is dangerous enemy to time management productivity.

2.) You get in a rush. And we all know what happens when you rush– things get out of order, work doesn’t get done or get done incorrectly.

If you follow these 4 steps, you will certainly reach success faster and more efficiently. It takes work, but if it’s done correctly, it can change your life.

What are some of the ways you successfully manage time?

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