Everyone gets encumbered with tasks at some point. But often times, people get stuck behind the really big things and procrastinate or panic.
But here’s the thing — time is your most finite of resources. Being “busy” does not mean being “productive”. And you can’t sacrifice your important down-time for “powering through”.
What you can do, however, is learn better time management skills.
How do I manage my time Like A Boss?
1) Create to-do lists, the smart way.
Using a service like Trello, or doing it the old fashioned way with a notebook, you can stack out your tasks for maximum impact. And boil down your workload. Write down the 3 most important things you have to do in your day and how to accomplish them. You should also write down 2 things that will add to your professional and personal growth, and make sure to schedule in down time. Don’t get flustered if you don’t reach each goal. Try your best, and keep pushing onwards.
2) Speaking of downtime: You need it.
Managing your time isn’t just contingent on getting a ton of tasks done. You need the motivation, brain power, and focus in order to do your tasks effectively. If you start to feel yourself running low on energy, a quick walk, listening to music, or having a small snack can do wonders. Disengaging from your work leaves time for your brain to process your work without being “in” it. This is when your best ideas will come to you.
3) Knock out tasks in order of importance.
There’s an old saying by Dwight D. Eisenhower that really stands the test of time: What Is Important Is Seldom Urgent and What Is Urgent Is Seldom Important. You can pair this idea with something called the Eisenhower Matrix and supercharge your time management.
The basic Eisenhower Matrix:
|IMPORTANT||DO THE TASK NOW||DECIDE WHEN TO DO IT|
|NOT IMPORTANT||DELEGATE THE TASK||DELETE THE TASK|
This matrix may seem simplistic, but it works very well if you approach your tasks with focused intent. We can’t possible tackle everything with the same gusto, and not everything is equally important. Knowing which tasks are urgent and important will help you hone your goals and save you valuable time.
4) Break down big tasks into bite-sized chunks.
The first thing many people do when it comes to planning out their schedule is to write nebulous goals. For instance: Network at X event at 2:30pm. While this may seem like a great goal for the day, it doesn’t help you plan out the steps involved. The best way to approach a big task or project is to parse it down into smaller, achievable tasks. With each finished task, your brain rewards itself with feel-good chemicals, and you’ll feel more motivated than ever. Pretty soon, you’re already halfway done. That wasn’t so bad, right? Don’t let the daunting nature of large tasks steal your time away.
Time management is about working smarter, not harder.
With these tips and tricks under your belt, you’ll be well on your way to maximizing your time. You’ll be less stressed out, and feel accomplished when you complete your goals.