Everyone has felt at some point that there simply isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish all the things that they need to do, let alone indulge in the things they actually enjoy. Here are a few simple time management tips and techniques to help you manage your time more efficiently to eliminate stress and enjoy a more fulfilling life.
Take some time to plan and organize and use a academic diary. It may seem counterintuitive at first, but spending a few minutes to plan out what you need to accomplish will actually save you time in the long run. Spend a few minutes asking yourself what is truly important and what will give you the greatest amount of satisfaction. Next, figure out which tasks are urgent, and need to be completed immediately. Tasks that are both important and urgent will help you clarify your priorities, so that you can…
Create a “To Do list”. By physically writing down a list of tasks you need to complete, you’ve established your priorities as a concrete reality instead of vague nebulous thoughts floating around in your head. Get in the habit of using organizational tools to keep track of plans. A day planner, a smart phone app, or even a pocket sized notebook will do. When you keep a clear list of your priorities in front of you, you’ll be motivated to get them done.
Eliminate your time bandits. How much time each day do you spend checking your email? How important is it to keep up with everyone’s Facebook status updates in real time? Do you really need to answer that incoming text immediately? Multitasking has become the norm in 21st century culture, but dividing your attention between multiple sources substantially decreases your productivity. If the things that regularly distract you are important, work them into your “To-Do” list, which you’ll use to…
Develop a routine. Human beings are creatures of habit, and we’re comfortable with what is familiar. It’s not easy to shift your focus away from your time bandits when they’ve already become established behaviors. By incorporating them into your schedule, you’ll establish more productive habits, and once this pattern becomes a routine, your productivity will skyrocket, and you’ll able to enjoy the extra free time you’ve created.
Reward yourself with leisure time. By establishing more productive habits in your life, you’ll find that you have more time to focus on other things, like your family, your interests, and your hobbies. You might be tempted to keep working, to continue to get more done, but spending some time to do the things you truly enjoy will help reinforce your new behaviors, and prevent psychological burn out.
It’s never easy to change a behavior when you have a lifetime of bad habits working against you, so it’s important to stick with your new action plan. Keep working diligently at implementing these time management tips, and soon enough, you’ll notice lower levels of stress, higher levels of enjoyment, and more satisfaction in your life.