Are you looking for time management solutions you can use right away?
Do you want to better manage your time today and everyday?
While it takes time to manage your time, the good news is that you don’t have to spend hours of your day putting things in order.
You can set yourself up for success by taking just a few moments out of your busy day.
In this post, I offer a collection of four time management solutions that are easy to implement into your daily routine.
These simple solutions can make a big difference in how you manage your time now, and in future.
Are you ready to get started?
Great, let’s hop to it!
Schedule recurring events.
Are you being lazy when it comes to capturing recurring events and activities in your calendar?
These could be personal extracurricular activities, like a weekly tennis or golf game with friends, clubs or hobbies like a weeknight reading group or knitting session, or standing weekly and monthly professional commitments with clients, colleagues, customers, and vendors.
If this is case, you really should do yourself a favor and transfer all of these items from your short-term memory to a physical calendar.
There’s two smart reasons to do this: 1) You can’t properly manage your schedule when all of your activities aren’t accounted for, and 2) booking these items into your calendar can lessen the chance you’ll accidentally double-book yourself during the week (once glance at your calendar will let you know you’re available Tuesday night at 7 P.M.)
If you use a digital calendar, set activities to recurring on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis as needed.
If you use a paper planner or scheduler, you’ll have to enter each instance in by hand. Make the process easy to manage: write down each activity date/time on a piece of scrap paper, transfer each instance to your calendar, and then cross off each activity date/time from your list.
Setting deadlines for projects and assignments is a no-brainer. But are you allowing yourself to see marked progress in your daily work? The solution is simple: create a series of mini-deadlines to keep you motivated.
Having smaller deadlines for projects and assignments allows you to course-correct your work sooner, rather than later. Plus, it’s more satisfying to see your progress over the course of a few days, as opposed to a few weeks or months!
The next time you embark upon a lengthy project that is weeks or months in length, try setting up daily and weekly milestones for yourself. In other words, you want to spread your work out over a longer period of time, instead of a shorter one.
Keep in mind, these don’t have to be giant accomplishments: they can be as simple as conducting research, making a series of phone calls, sending emails, brainstorming ideas, writing drafts, reviewing items, and so on.
No matter what milestones you set for yourself, remember to take small actionable steps, each and every day.
Set a timer when using the phone.
Do your phone calls seem to take huge chunks of time during your day? It doesn’t matter if you’re chatting with your best friend, or holding a weekly check-in call at the office with your peers. Before you know it, the minutes have flown by, and you’re way behind schedule for the day. Ouch… This can especially become a problem when you have to place many phone calls over the course of a day.
You can easily remedy these telephone mishaps by keeping an eye on the time. Before you hop on the phone for a scheduled call, set a silent kitchen countdown timer, or a timer on your computer, watch, or digital device.
Now, the timer doesn’t mean you necessarily need to rush or hurry your conversation; it’s simply there to make you more aware as to the passage of time. You just have to make one quick glance at the timer, and you have a reference point to pace your conversation and agenda accordingly.
Use an analog clock.
Digital clocks make telling time a breeze — all you have to do is glance at a digital display, and you immediately know the exact hour and minute. But as convenient as digital timepieces are, they’re not as effective in providing you with an ever-changing visual reference when it comes to the passage of time.
When you use an analog clock, or a clock with a traditional clock face, you’re actually getting two lessons in time management for the price of one!
First, your mind has to read the clock face in order to identify the current time. Second, once you’ve interpreted the current time, you can see exactly where that relates to the current hour, as well as to the rest of the hours of the day.
Every time you glance at an analog clock, you get an instant update as to how much time has passed. That’s not a bad way to practice time management, now is it?
What are some easy ways to incorporate analog clocks into your home or office? Some computer and smartphones allow you to change digital clock displays to analog displays, so it’s worth taking a look at your device’s user’s manual.
If you’re interested in more traditional methods, you could purchase a small clock for your workstation or desk, dig out that old analog wall clock from storage and mount it near the doorway of a room, or simply wear an analog wristwatch.
How about you? Which of the above time management solutions are you going to implement today or this week? What other ways can you think of that would make managing your time quite a breeze? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!