7 Critical Tips for Time Management

by Anna McHenry December 4, 2012

Many people, all across the world, often struggle with time management. Managing one’s time is a learned skill, and is not something that always comes naturally. This can be even more critical if you are a freelancer or a telecommuting employee. A lot of the time you have to put in the necessary amount of work in order to improve your overall time management skills. The best thing that you can do is to give yourself the proper tools to help you improve your time management skills, and become more productive overall. Below are seven critical tips that you should take into account for improving your time management.



Plan Ahead


If you are not someone that likes to plan ahead, it is best to get into this habit as soon as possible. Planning ahead allows you to set a schedule, know when you are available, and when you are not. The best thing you can do for yourself as you look to improve your time management skills is to become better at planning ahead and making decisions well in advance of when they need to be made. This allows your schedule to fall into place, and stead of trying to find time for things on the spot.


Use Scheduling Solutions


If you are looking to improve your time management skills, you have to give yourself the proper tools to do so. Purchase a schedule, and use it for each and every task and appointment in the beginning, in order to get used to filling out a schedule. You will find that as you become more accustomed to filling in your schedule, it will become more natural. Scheduling allows you to plan out events of weeks into the future, in order to ensure that you have enough time.



Leave Yourself Notes


Have you ever thought of something critical to a project that you are working on, only to forget it later? Leaving yourself notes will allow you to ensure that you remember the most important aspects of each and every project that you were working on, and have a written record of the thoughts that you have. Writing down your thoughts will allow you to come back to them later, and implement them when you have time.



Use Plugins to Block Time-Wasting Websites


One of the biggest problems that many people have regarding their own productivity is spending too much time on time-wasting websites. Websites such as social networking websites, bookmarking websites, and chat websites, may be fun but can cut into a productive workday. There is a number of plug-ins that are available for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome that allow you to block time-wasting websites during portions of the day. For instance, you could block Facebook but in the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM, while you were at work to keep yourself from going to the website.



Use Plugins to Track Your Visited Websites


Along with the ability to block certain websites, there are also plug-ins available that allow you to track the amount of time that you spend on certain websites. Although looking at your history can provide the same information, having it neatly organized in pie graphs, allowing you to see where you spend most of your time online each day, will allow you to cut down on unnecessary browsing and spend much more time working throughout the day.



Break Up Large Tasks into Small Ones


Have you ever started a large project, only to feel overwhelmed by the size of it? You might be better served to break up large tasks, into multiple smaller tasks. This means that you can take small breaks after you have completed certain aspects of your project, and have a better idea of how long the remainder of the project will take you. Instead of writing 5000 words, you can write 2500 twice, in the morning and at night to break up the monotony.



Take Short Breaks


Although it might seem counterproductive, one of the best things that you can do to improve your overall time management skills is to take short breaks throughout the day. Schedule yourself a lunch, and several breaks throughout the day, and be diligent about taking them to ensure that you do not become burned out or overwhelmed. Taking a break allows you to return to your work completely refreshed, and ready to be productive.


Anna McHenry
Anna McHenry is the Director of Client Services here at McKremie. She tweets from @McKremie so stop by and say "hi" on Twitter.

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