How to Manage Your Work Time Effectively

Photo by Lukas Blazek

You’re already running late for work. Your alarm goes off and you roll out of bed begrudgingly. You look at yourself in the mirror and let out a sigh.

The shower is cold, you want it to wake you up. You rush out the door and quickly say good-bye to your partner and children.

The 9 o’clock traffic grinds your gears. You think of your busy workday ahead and grunt to yourself. You can practically see the piles of papers on your desk.

A daydream sets in where you ponder how to manage your time more wisely. You already feel so behind and you haven’t had your cup of coffee yet.

Does this sound like you? Plenty of people suffer from time management. It seems the more you try to get ahead, the further and further you fall behind.

What gives?

You need a time management system for your life — especially your work-life. Control over our time is massively beneficial to our work-life balance. While you cannot control everything, you feel better when you are more in control of your time.

To master the clock, read our guide below. As you read you will gain more and more insights into this necessary skill. By the end, you will feel so rich in time abundance.

Rise and Shine

Are you a morning person? If not, you ought to become one. Waking up early is one of the best moves you can make when you want to improve your productivity.

Waking up early has a compounding effect on your day. It feels good on multiple levels.

You feel good because you woke up early but also feel good because it sets the tone for the day. You can now schedule your time with anything you wish. Positive ideas in the rise and shine department are exercise (specifically 45 min. of cardio), meditation, reading, and journaling.

Where Does the Time Go?

You can’t get anywhere if you don’t know where your time is already going. As an experiment, log your time for a week. Time tracking will have a birds-eye-view of your time and where you spend it.

The truth is you all have the same amount of time every day, week, month, and year. It’s up to us to make the best use of it. This can feel daunting at first, but once you understand this, you can work on it.

To see where your time goes when you are working, you need a time logging system. You can log our days and hours with pen and paper. Or for a more modern approach, you’re going to want to do some time tracking.

Use a Tomato to Ketchup

As an extension of seeing where your time goes, now you must have time limits for your tasks. By setting up time parameters, you now have a more manageable construct you can work within. One of the best ways to track your time is with the Pomodoro Method.

The Pomodoro Method breaks down your task into 25-minute intervals and a 5-minute break in between. This tomato method is simple yet highly effective. Committing to the task for only 25 minutes at a time makes it less daunting and more doable.

By learning how to manage your time more efficiently, your life will improve. The organization alone will do wonders for your psyche.

One Thing at a Time

Don’t multitask. Do one thing at a time. This sounds simple but in reality, it can be quite difficult to do.

The truth is that every time you switch from one task to the next, you are only making it more difficult for yourself in the long run. By focusing on your one task, your productivity will skyrocket.

Make this as simple as possible and avoid distractions.

Die, Distractions, Die!

Work is uncomfortable. Don’t make it more difficult by getting distracted. Easier said than done.

The internet is a vortex, and if you’re not careful you can get easily sucked in. From social media to chat to e-mail to phone calls — no wonder you can’t get anything done!

All of these things that feel good may be satisfying at the moment, but they come at a cost. Your work suffers, you spend a lot of time getting through it, and at the end of the day, you feel drained.

Again, focus on the task at hand. All of these time sinks do eat up an enormous amount of time. Be kind to yourself and do your work.

The key is to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. You have to get past the initial uncomfortable feeling that is the task. Once you get past the feeling, ride the task’s wave out to shore for as long as possible.

This requires self-discipline. A notable skill and habit to practice.

Aside from the internet, there are distractions in life and in our minds. If you get a pop-up in your mind, the best thing you can do is simply write it down. That way, you can store it somewhere in a physical place.

Say “Poof” to Perfectionism

When you say yes to being perfect, you also say yes to slowly working. The truth is that being perfect doesn’t exist. It’s just some made-up version of yourself that is unrealistic.

Attempting to be perfect is like pumping your brakes. Let’s say poof to perfectionism once and for all.

Action Is a Muscle

What is the action? Knowing the simple action you need to take next helps.

For example, say your job is a freelance writer. What is the action you need to take? What is the action muscle you need to exercise?

The action you need to take is typing keys on a keyboard. By simplifying down your task to a verb, you can do so faster. You can drop into your task quicker when you remember to just move your fingers and type.

Practice Your Craft

Pinpoint which tasks are of importance to you and practice them. As an extension of the paragraph above, you need to practice your craft. If you need proof of this, consider Michael Jordan as an example.

If you want to get better at something, you have to put in the time. You have to practice your craft. Keep pushing forward through the discomfort and you will be triumphant on the other side.

Learn How to Manage Your Time

Learning how to manage your time takes time. It also takes discipline and hard work. Be easy on yourself if you are wanting to schedule your time better.

Getting things done is a necessary skill to learn. We all have the same amount of time, but it’s how we use it that is important.

To better your time today, why not try a time tracking app? Start a 30-day challenge to get a grasp on your days. A worthy challenge to someone who deserves it.

Originally published at actitime.com

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