10 Time-Saving Tips for Managing Your Schedule
Are you managing your schedule or is your schedule managing you? As we step into a new year – perhaps full of new goals and dreams – it can be helpful to start by taking a look at how we manage our time. Often, a lack of time management is one of the greatest hindrances to really getting our big checklist items done. Do you ever have days that felt really busy and full, but you’re not entirely sure what you did? Then a little organization to your day might make all the difference.
If you find yourself in this position on a daily basis, take a look at these time-saving tips for managing your schedule.
1. Plan your week in advance
Do you have a weekly planner or just a wall calendar? A weekly planner can save a lot of headache! Pick a day such a Friday evening or Saturday morning to sit down and plan the week ahead of you. Doing this can help you save time by blocking certain activities into days or times that make sense together. This will also help you to visualize the week ahead and mentally prepare for what’s coming.
2. Make the most of your mornings
A good morning routine is a life-saver. Not only will this get you in the right frame of mind, but can help you save some of your “mental energy” for powering through your big tasks. Studies show that most successful people all follow very simple, but energizing routines each morning that typically focus on rising early, taking care of physical health, and taking steps to reduce the amount of low-level decisions one makes each day.
3. Put priorities first
It seems obvious to put priorities first. But too often, we procrastinate the things that really should be our priorities because we are overwhelmed or we’re afraid of failure. Procrastination is a difficult and vicious cycle to break. Contrary to what many people believe, it is not the result of laziness, but rather a difficulty overcoming negative emotions. If you struggle with accomplishing priorities on time, these tips on dealing with procrastination may help you!
4. Don’t totally omit the low-level items
If you push all the small tasks to the end of your list, they’ll soon add up! Manage your day in such a way that you are alternating between big and small tasks. Work on that big project, respond to messages, etc.
5. Set time limits for each task
Have you heard of time-blocking? This method for organizing your day not only tells you what to do, but when to do it. It helps you to stay on task and move along as needed. Time-blocking allows you to focus on one task at a time rather than multi-tasking, which can be detrimental to productivity. Some studies show that using a time-blocking schedule can increase your productivity up to 80%.
6. Pinpoint distractions
Figure out what things in your schedule or your surroundings are most likely to cause distractions. Does having your cell phone near you cause you to pick it up and respond to texts when you want to focus? Does leaving your office door open invite coworkers to walk in for a chat? Once you pinpoint your weak spots, figure out how to manage them!
7. Leave time between tasks
Too often our scheduling frustrations happen because we do not leave enough room in our schedules for delays, interruptions, or other challenges. Then we find ourselves off-track for the rest of the day. Build enough time into your schedule to keep from easily getting behind.
8. Delegate what you need to delegate
Where are my control freaks? A do-it-yourself attitude comes in really handy in the entrepreneur world. But it’s also important to know when to let go and let someone else support you. You can’t do it all yourself and if you try, you will find yourself dealing with stress and burnout.
9. Re-evaluate when needed
If something isn’t working, it’s ok to change it up! Give yourself 30 to try a new routine or schedule and then reevaluate which parts of it are working and which parts you need to adjust.
10. Schedule in fun time and family time
It might feel a little awkward to put your “relaxation” time on the calendar, but it’s important! Family, fun, and rest is so important – dare we say, a priority. Put it on the calendar and stick to it. You’ll thank yourself!