How to Manage Your Time Better

Be in control of your day and actually get things done, rather than feeling like you are running on a hamster wheel every day!

How do I manage my time better? is a question that most of us ask each and every day. We have so much to do, and it seems so little time to do it all in.

But if you learn to manage your time better and more wisely, you can create more time in your day to actually get things done.

Some people just seem to be able to do so much in their day.  We all know people who are parents, have successful jobs, go out to social events, even have a hobby and more.  Do you find yourself wondering how those people actually do it all?   

Those people have one secret only: they manage their time. They have learnt to manage their time better.

In Part One of this time management series, I covered how to use a time tracker to actually track your time and see where it is going (there is also a great downloadable time tracker in that post!). 

Once you have tracked your time, and learnt where you are going wrong with bad habits, and time spent on things that you don’t really need to do, you can now start to put things right.

Here are 10 helpful time management tips. These tips will put more hours in your day – I promise you!

 

How to manage your time better. Stop running around like a headless chicken with these 10 great time management tips #timemanagement

 

This post contains affiliate links. You can check out my disclosures here.

 

 

 

1.Eliminate Distractions. 

Distractions such as social media are one of the biggest drains on your time.  It is so easy to think you will just check Facebook for a few minutes, and then get caught in a whirlwind of searching and looking. Before you know it, you have been on Facebook for over an hour.  

If going on social media is important to you, you can still do it. But monitor it. Perhaps set aside 15 minutes every day to check Facebook.  Set a timer if you are likely to run over on your time.  

The hour you are spending on Facebook every day could be put to much better use, if you really feel that you don’t have enough hours in your day.  

 

2.Delegate and Outsource Tasks

This is quite simply getting risk of tasks that you do every day or on a frequent basis, and having somebody else do them instead.

For instance, if you are planning and cooking meals every night, it may take so much of your time.  But you still want to make sure your family is eating a healthy meal.  You could try using a meal planning service instead.  That way somebody else is doing that work for you, and it frees up that time for you to do other things instead.

If you are spending time every week on garden and yard work, such as cutting your lawn and weeding, you could perhaps outsource that.  Pay a local high school student to do it instead. Or hire a lawn service to do it for you.

Many of us don’t want to outsource because we feel it costs too much, and we don’t want to lose control of things ourselves.  But there is probably a lot in your life that you can outsource, and you will be surprised at just how affordable it all is. You just can’t do everything yourself.

 

3.Learn to Say No

This one is so hard for most of us. But you will never truly master time management if you don’t learn to say “No”.

You may be invited to a dinner party midweek.  You will miss putting your kids to bed, and you will be tired the next day. But it is with work colleagues and it will be a good bonding session. Do you say yes or no? It is a hard one, but if you are going to feel bad afterwards for missing your kids bedtime, and feel bad the next day, say no.

If your kids school asks you to volunteer to plan the school picnic, but you really just don’t have time do you say yes or no?  You want your kids school to think you are a team player, and you can meet some of the other parents doing it. But you have a deadline at work, and you are all going on a family vacation that you need to prepare for.  If you do this volunteer work you will get behind at work, and at home.  Then say no. As hard as that is, you are going to be stressed and behind on time if you say yes.

Your time is precious. Nobody but you will respect how precious your time is.  If you find saying no hard, start out with the little things first.  Practice saying no to small tasks and asks, then move on to the bigger ones.


 

4.Use a Maybe To Do List

To Do lists can be fantastic at keeping you on track, knowing exactly what you need to do. But To Do lists can also get overwhelming and stress-inducing.

If you use a To Do list for everything, your To Do list may well feature tasks such as “Book a grooming appointment for the dog”, and “Make a Dentist appointment”, as well as “Paint the living room” and “Clear out the garden shed”

As you can see, many To Do lists do have everyday things to do, but they also feature bigger plans.  If you are looking at your To Do list every day and constantly seeing those bigger plans as well as the everyday things, you are going to get stressed and overwhelmed pretty quickly.

Keep separate To Do lists for daily tasks, and more long term tasks. To keep things simple and manageable, write out a quick To Do list each day, featuring just a few things. You may need to do the grocery shopping that day, and you can also add a couple of errands. But leave some stuff to another day.

Break down your To Do’s so they are far more manageable and spread out.

Most importantly, see your To Do list as a “Maybe” To do List. If you don’t get that task done, it isn’t the end of the world. To Do lists manage our time better, but that management doesn’t need to cause you stress.

 

5.Plan Ahead

There is a reason that your mornings may be crazy.  If you wake up and expect to do everything that morning that needs to be done, you are going to feel so stressed and overwhelmed.

Planning ahead makes times such as mornings so much more manageable.  If you make lunches the night before, set out clothes to wear the night before, and even set a coffee maker for the following morning, your mornings will be so much easier.

Use Sundays to plan ahead for the coming week. Make a list of what needs to be done for that coming week.  Prepare meals and lunches for the coming week.  

Planning ahead will not just make your life easier, it will make you feel far less stressed and overwhelmed.  

 

6.Get your Home More Organized

You may wonder what this has to do with time management. But we spend so much time every day hunting for things.  Do you regularly misplace your keys? Your wallet?  Do you spend time hunting around for things?

By getting your home more organized, and having a set place for everything, you will spend less time looking for things.

Think how much time you may waste in searching for something you misplaced.

If you were searching for your keys this morning when leaving for work, did you waste 10 minutes trying to find them? Those 10 minutes add up and could be spent far more productively.

 

7. Use Calendars and Planners

Calendars and planners really do help you stay on task and to know exactly what needs to be done, and when.

A far more beneficial way to use a calendar however is to use a shared family calendar.  That way your whole family knows what needs to be done and when.  Instead of constantly having to remind your eldest son that he has a dentist appointment this Friday, he can see it himself on the family calendar.

You can use either an electronic or a paper calendar and planner. Electronic calendars can be shared with other family members, and they are always at hand on any of your devices.  I really love this totally free shared family calendar and to do list app.

Some people just love a paper planner, and they can work as well as electronic, or in conjunction with an electronic calendar or app. But learn how to use a Daily Planner effectively.

 

8.Batch Similar Tasks Together

By batching similar things that you need to do in your day together, you can save a lot of time.

If you are making lunches for the coming week, combine it with making dinners for the coming week. That way you are already in the kitchen, and you already have kitchen supplies to hand.

If you check emails throughout the day, set aside a time period each day to check your emails, and check social media at the same time. This will serve two purposes: you are batching like tasks, and also confining your social media use to a designated period of time to stop it getting out of control.

 

9. Change Your Schedule

If you just can’t get everything done in a day, you may need to change your schedule.

For instance, if, despite planning ahead the night before, your mornings are still a crazy whirlwind, you may need to get up 15 or 30 minutes earlier.

If commuting to work is a real time sucker, could you perhaps ask if you could telecommute one day, or a few days a week instead? That would eliminate travel time, and give you back that time in your day.

 

10. Set Time Limits for Tasks

Tasks can very quickly get out of hand, and end up taking longer than you wanted them to.

By setting a time limit for tasks you have to do, not only are you more likely to stick with it for that designated length of time, you can also fit more things into your time.

If you need to do some housework, perhaps limit it to 30 minutes on a given day. Need to tidy up your garden? Limit it to an hour only.

Setting time limits means that you can do what needs to be done, and stay on task, and then move on to what else needs to be done.

This method also works especially well for tasks that you just don’t want to do.  If you set a time limit, knowing that the task has an ending at a certain time, can make doing that task much easier to handle!

You may also enjoy this great article on Time Management from Psychology Today.

 

Be in control of your day and actually get things done, rather than feeling like you are running on a hamster wheel every day!

 

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