No matter how hard we work, there is only so much time in a day. Learning how to manage your time more effectively, will help you get more things done with less stress. The most important thing in time management is creating a schedule or routine. Not having a plan is the biggest time killer. Keep reading for my 5 tips on how to make the most out of every working day.
1. Block interruptions: You don’t have to answer your phone every time it rings or check your email every 5 minutes. A great way to stay on tasks is to let your calls go to voice-mail during times you have scheduled to work on projects. Log off of your email and if you have a private office, close your door. You might even place a sign saying something like “Do Not Disturb, In a Meeting or Please Come Back Later.” If there is an interruption that has to be handled, try to take care of it quickly and get back on task.
2. Schedule blocks of time to check voice-mails, make phone calls and return e-mail. A great way to get more tasks completed throughout the day is to set scheduled times of the day to check your emails and make phone calls. Your voice-mail should give callers a list of times that you will be available by phone. It is also a good idea to ask the other party to leave their available times in their message. This will prevent phone tag and save both parties time and aggravation.
3. Regularly planned breaks. Everyone needs some “ME” time. Make sure you give yourself a break throughout the day! Working to the point of total brain fatigue and muscle tension will eventually tear you down mentally and physically. Schedule some time for yourself each day. You could use this time to get a massage, get your nails done, go to the gym, go to lunch with friends, call a loved one, etc. Whatever you decide to do during your break should be an activity that takes your mind off of your work.
4. It’s okay to be different. There is nothing wrong with being different. The world would be pretty darn dull if we all looked the same, talked the same and did everything the exact same way. It’s important to understand and appreciate your own organizational style. There are tons of organization systems and structures available online and just because yours is different does not mean that it won’t work. It will be easier to incorporate organizational skills that enhance your own personal style instead ones that change it completely. You will also be more likely to stick with it. Getting organized and managing your time more effectively should make you feel good, not burdened.
5. Consistency is the main ingredient. The hardest part of any plan is follow through! Life is full of unexpected events and we all have things that happen beyond our control. Don’t let this minor set backs keep you from sticking to your plan. Deal with them and get back on task.
Need help creating a plan or system? Apex Virtual Solutions will help you create a system that is workable and yields results. Contact our team today for a free consultation.