Have you ever looked at how you could improve your time management each day?

Understandably, most people don’t. However, small time management changes can make a massive difference when implemented daily.

Here are 26 Time Management ideas you can implement in your life.

1/ Optimise your morning routine.

The first 1-2 hours after you awake are crucial on any work day. Your morning routine could actually be draining efficiency from your day.

A messy morning routine can cause two main issues. Firstly, if it is not optimised, we may be losing time in the morning. Secondly, different things we include in our morning routine can either start us off on the right foot, or negatively impact on the rest of the day

There’s a reason leaders such as Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg keep decisions down to the minimum in the morning. Take the time to assess your morning routine and implement the points noted in our morning routine post.

2/ Optimise sleep.

We live in a sleep deprived world.
It may seem counter-intuitive to recommend extra sleep in a time management post. However, getting the right amount of sleep can have a profound effect on your productivity, leaving you with more free time.
This happens due to short term effects such as improved memory, improved mood and clearer thinking. As well as this there are numerous long term effects such as improved health, improved weight control and stronger immunity.
Oversleeping is can also cause you problems, so it’s worth looking into.
Take a look at how you could use sleep to increase your productivity. 

3/ Eat the frog.

This is a technique that is used by many high performing individuals. It’s simple.
Complete the task that you are least looking forward to, first. This is based on the idea that once you have completed what is likely to be the worst task of the day, everything that follows should be easy.
Furthermore, this makes you less likely to favour easy tasks over more important ones.
This is a mindset that is encouraged by many, give it a try!

4/ Say no.

If we are moving to roles with a higher level of responsibility, more people will depend on us.
In this stage, we may experience difficulty in finding a balance between rushing ourselves off our feet and saying no. While it may feel unnatural at first, we need to learn to say no at times.
Figuring out who to say it to is the difficult part; this may take time.

5/ Delegate.

Similarly to saying no, there comes times when we need to delegate. Again, this can be very difficult at first.
It is highly likely that we will experience times where we have too much on our plate. It is even more likely that there will be people who are better at completing certain tasks than ourselves.
This is not limited to roles within big firms. This can also be applied if you are self-employed with your own business. The internet is full of highly skilled specialists. Check out Fiverr or Upwork to hand over tasks to specialists.

6/ Eliminate procrastination.

Many of us do it, some of us are even master procrastinators.
Procrastination is an unhealthy habit which can leave us feeling stretched for time, anxious or even depressed. There are numerous reasons we do it, and techniques for stopping doing it.
Work now, procrastinate later. You’ll soon find yourself with more time than before.

7/ Eliminate multitasking.

Multitasking can decrease your productivity by 40%.
Focus on one task at a time and use your daily planning to aid this.

8/ Stop being a perfectionist.

The Pareto Effect states that 80% of value comes from 20% of the work we do, and it’s easy to see how to.
It’s time to take a look at the tasks that you’re completing and cutting out all of the unnecessary elements.
It’s ironic, but being a perfectionist can actually significantly hold you back.

9/ Set time constraints.

This is particularly important if we are not actively ‘managed’ or if we do not have someone to report to.
If we are completing a task to a time constraint, we are much likely to complete the task in an efficient manner. If we are working through a task ‘until it is done’, then we open the door to distractions and the possibility of being a perfectionist.
Set yourself time constraints and make your work lean.
So how do we go about achieving happiness if it is not derived from our success? Many believe that the answer lies in the practice of Positive Psychology, which is defined as:

10/ Track your leisure time.

We class leisure time here as anything that is not work related.
This may seem like an obvious one, however it’s easy to lose track of how much time you spend watching TV or time spent scrolling through social media.
It is also worth assessing if you are using your leisure time in the best possible way. Some activities, such as watching TV are enjoyable, but they are not flow-inducing. Thus, we may want to look at leisure activities in which we are more involved, such as playing sport or artistic hobbies.

11/ Take breaks between tasks.

Rushing from task to task can be detrimental to our mood, effectiveness, and productivity.
When we complete a task, we should take time to relax and re-charge our mind, before moving onto the next task. The break doesn’t need to be particularly long, even five minutes can make a significant difference.
Better yet, reward yourself on these breaks after completing tasks in order to train your subconscious mind.

12/ Utilise your evenings and weekends.

By no means does this mean sacrifice your leisure time completely.
However, doing a little work on evenings and weekends can go a long way. In fact, doing so can actually boost your mood.
The kind of work we could complete at these times depends completely on our roles. However, an element of planning is something everyone should aim to integrate in their evenings

13/ Lead a healthy lifestyle.

We’re not short of information on the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise. 
However, most people refer to the long term health benefits when discussing such matters. A healthy lifestyle will likely supercharge your productivity. With this increased productivity we can feel the effects of improved time management.
For best effect, include exercise in your morning routine. Or if you are particularly busy, take a look at how you can squeeze exercise into your routine.

14/ Lock your phone away.

Is it necessary to have your phone by your side, all of the time?
If you’re in a role where it is not, then it’s time to put your phone away. Often, one of the first things we do when we hit a mental block, is to reach for our phone. This can quickly escalate into lost time being distracted.
One of the best things we can do to limit distractions, is to remove them.

15/ Optimise your systems.

It’s time to look at each individual element of your day. Get organised and implement systems to streamline your day.
Do you have a process for reading emails? Implement one. Do you have a system of planning for the next day? Do you use the most efficient tools for organising your diary?
The fact is, different things will work for different people.
Find what works. Make it habit.

16/ Turn your down time into up time.

This is a big one to get the most out of your day.
One of the biggest ways we can do this is to optimise our commute to work. We could use this time to exercise, to do work to listen to a podcast. The list goes on.
This isn’t limited to our commute to and from work, there are always opportunities to turn down time into up time.
It’s a case of being prepared.

17/ Commit fully.

Commit fully to the task in hand, regardless of what it is.
If a task doesn’t have our full attention, it will take longer. Be professional and commit fully.
If we commit fully, we can also expect the quality of our work to increase also. Furthermore, completing work that is of high quality can increase our levels of fulfilment.

18/ Group related tasks together.

Do you find yourself getting into the ‘flow’ when completing certain tasks?
Different tasks demand a different level of thought and pace and this flow we feel is down to the pace that our brain is working at. It can take time for your brain to switch from one way of thinking to another.
Thus, it may be a good idea to group certain tasks together to gain maximum efficiency.
Through a little planning, this could see your days become more efficient.

19/ Stop checking your emails.

Ok, so we’re not saying stop checking your emails completely. We all want to provide good service.
However, checking our emails regularly can actually cause us more harm than good. The act of checking our emails distracts our mind from the task in hand causing us to break out of that particular work zone.
If something is urgent, they will almost always call you.
Tip: Set a schedule for checking emails, such as 9am, 2pm and 4pm.

20/ Meditate.

Again, this may seem counter-intuitive if you’re on a busy schedule. Why would we devote time to meditation to help our time management?
Meditation is a well used technique, which is growing in popularity among high performers. Many of which add it into their morning routine. It helps us focus on the present and more importantly helps us focus on one thing at a time. It is an integral part of achieving a Positive Psychology mindset.

21/ Daily Planning.

Daily planning is integral to optimal time management. Completing it allows us to build a schedule for the day.
As well as this, the planning in advance allows our subconscious mind to break down and assess tasks before we complete them. When we plan our days the day before, the act of planning can reduce anxiety help us feel at ease.
Set a schedule for the day, and respect it.

22/ Block out distractions.

This will depend highly on the area that is used to complete work.
Is your phone on the desk? Put it in a drawer. Find yourself checking Facebook and Twitter? Block them using a Chrome extension such as StayFocusd. Colleague always distracting you? Let them know.


23/ Use reminders.

Most digital calendars have reminders on them which go off fifteen minutes before an appointment. If not, your phone will most likely have a reminders feature.
Use them.

24/ Use a calendar.

Using a Calendar is one of the most important things you can do if you lead a busy life. There is an abundance of Calendars out there, many of them linked with mailing software such as Google. Use them.
Others opt for physical calendars in order to aid visualisation of the days ahead.

25/ Weekly Planning.

This is another technique in which a 5-minute investment of time at the start of the week can save hours during the week.
Weekly planning allows us to set out our weeks targets. The weeks targets can then be used as a basis for the daily targets we aim for. Like daily planning, weekly planning allows us to visualise the week ahead.

26/ Aim to be early.

When we aim to be on time, we’ll either be on time or late. This way we’ll often be late.
Aim to be early and we’ll most likely be on time. The benefits this will have on our frame of mind will far outweigh any potential loss of time from arriving early.
We all lead varied lives, some of us busier than others. Some things will work for us, somethings won’t.
However, it’s clear that effective time management is achieved through implementing small changes, daily. Experiment with the different ideas to optimise your day.
Work smarter, not harder.

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