Lifestyles these days are more frantic than they were just 20 years ago and, therefore, it is even more important that we learn effective time management techniques. We all are busy, and have a lot of information and projects we have to process on a daily basis. Whether you need help in managing your time at work or at home, the following tips can help you get more done in a more relaxed manner.

Have you really looked at how you spend your time before you start complaining that you never can get everything accomplished? If you are honest, and observant, you will find areas where you are wasting your valuable minutes. Naturally, you have to take a break from working every once in awhile. You will get even less done if you become a non-stop working machine – and that’s a proven fact. If you haven’t noticed, though, there are a lot of lost minutes on a daily basis as a result of people texting, or sending and answering “quick” emails online, and even lingering longer than necessary at somebody else’s desk at work. Everyone has some unproductive activities that drain several minutes out of every hour. As an example, do you keep your Instant Messaging program open in your task bar and it beeps when anyone sends you a message? Do you stop what you’re doing to read and answer the message? A better solution would be to keep it turned off until you have a block of time for messaging.

It’s been proven again and again that the most productive way to manage your time is to prioritize the jobs you have to complete every day. Ensure you get urgent tasks done before spending time on activities that are not vitally important. And, to take this a step further, try to get whatever you dread doing, or don’t like to do, done early in the day so it’s out of your hair. Why keep moaning and groaning, and dreading, something that you know you’ll have to deal with sometime during the day? Just do it! Then, it’s done and you can cease stressing about it. In addition, when doing these vital tasks, give them your full attention and don’t let yourself become diverted by anything else. About a century ago, an industrialist – Charles Schwab – asked an efficiency expert, Ivy Lee, for several time management tips for his corporate staff. After advising the staff, Mr. Lee told Mr. Schwab that after one month, if he was delighted, he could pay him whatever he thought his advice was worth. A month later, Mr. Schwab sent Mr. Lee a check for $25,000.00 (about $300,000.00 today) because he was so happy with the results of Mr. Lee’s tip. What was that tip: at the end of each day make a list of the top items you must complete the next day and put them in the order of their importance. In the morning, start with the first job on the list and work on it until it’s finished. Then, cross it off the list and start on #2. It’s that simple.

Do you think you’re the only person who can do a job properly so you refuse to delegate or outsource? You have to rethink your attitude on these points, since you will benefit by having a lot more time for other tasks. Those who never have enough time are generally people who try to do everything themselves. There are a few things that only you can do, but there are also many tasks that other individuals can do for you. You can easily find people to help you among your family and friends, by taking a look at local bulletin boards or chat rooms, or asking a staff for assistance with some of your jobs. While you’re making your to do list, or project outline, ask yourself honestly if there are areas or tasks where it may be feasible to have help from another individual. Logically, many of the most critical tasks will have to be handled by you personally. Having said that, you will have more time to spend on these crucial items if you can outsource or delegate some of the more boring tasks on your list.

Once you start implementing these ideas, you will enjoy your work more – whether you are at home, at school, or at work – and you will find that you get through each day with less stress while truly getting more done. Though everyone has the same amount of time each day, you always have many choices on how to make use of your time. By being more aware of how you spend your time, you can start to make more intelligent choices and become an even better time manager.

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