This is the time where we all make new year’s resolutions. Every year the average American makes similar goals, often they go unfulfilled within a couple of months. According to ABC News, the top 5 New Year’s resolutions for 2016 were:
5. Save more, spend less
4. Spend more time with family
3. Lose weight
2. Live a healthier lifestyle
1. Enjoy life to the fullest
These are all the usual suspects. All good but not great. What we really need to succeed with any goal and in every part of our life is Time Management. Without planning out your day and making every moment count for something, you are simply wasting the time that is given to us here on earth. It’s not a sexy or fun topic to talk about but we ignore it at our own peril.
Learning how to make every day count for something is the objective. But it takes ridding your life of procrastination and a great deal of self-discipline. If you are thinking what I’m thinking, then the thought of getting procrastination out of your life completely is kind of ridiculous. I will offer this advice – there are just some days that we can’t push past the lack of motivation and there are others where we are at the top of our game. So, realize when you need a little time to relax and step away from the project at hand. That way when you are on a roll, you can give that project 1,000%.
Mastering time management does more than just increase productivity. It can yield important health benefits as well. When time is managed wisely, it minimizes stress and improves the overall quality of your life. Nothing great ever comes from haste so cutting corners will eventually catch up to you, and as with anything, quality ALWAYS beats quantity. Here is a small guide to improving your life overall with time management skills:
Clear your surroundings and you will clear your mind. This includes everything from organizing your budget, your closet and your desk. If everything has a place, your mind will wander less and you will be more efficient.
Plan, lay the foundations for effective time management. Delegating the appropriate amount of time to get adequate sleep, maintain a healthy diet and exercising regularly are all essential elements to improve both focus and concentration. Making the time to create a healthy lifestyle will help improve your efficiency throughout the day, allowing for more time to complete other tasks.
Identify wasted time
If you drive to work, how do you pass the time during your commute? If you take a bus or train, how do you spend all those hours a week? The sky is the limit on how many audiobooks or language tapes could be completed while in traffic. Just think – how many books could you read on the bus while getting to and from work the next few weeks?
These are the best times throughout your day to incorporate all those little things that you “wished” you had time for. Over time, these habits become a lifestyle, and you will find yourself well ahead of the pack.
Stop procrastinating on the small tasks by focusing on the most important one
Consider your goals and consult your schedule before agreeing to take on more work. If a task is time consuming but not necessarily important to the main goal, rearrange and add it to the bottom of the list.
Focus and limit distractions
Everyone has a place where they work the most effectively. Some people like to listen to music, while others need complete silence. Some people can work just as efficiently from their dining table (if allowed) as they can in a cubicle. Wherever that place is, utilize it. Turn the television off, silence the cell phone and dedicate complete focus to the task at hand. No responding to texts, no surfing the web.
When you operate your life in an organized fashion, and are able to execute daily tasks efficiently, stress is reduced, productivity increases and overall satisfaction will be established.
Take a break
This goes back to what I said about procrastinating is inevitable. Everyone gets worn out from time to time and piling on more and more tasks leads to stress that will simply derail you from the mission at hand. Procrastinate in a healthy way that serves both your mind and body. Take a walk, go to the gym, get some fresh air or take that sick day you have banked away. Sometimes all we need is a moment of clarity and solitude to clear our overworked minds and recharge our bodies to give us that next big push.