The start of a new year brings new goals and maybe even a list of new projects or hobbies. In order to stay on track, I recently implemented 7 techniques to manage my time better and have noticed a huge difference in what I’m able to accomplish everyday. I hope these tips will help you manage your time better and achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself in 2018.
Set 3-5 SMART goals for the year
Writing down your goals makes them real and telling someone your goals helps you stay accountable. Your goals should be SMART:
- Specific: What will you accomplish?
- Measurable: How will you know once you achieved your goal?
- Achievable: Is this goal realistic given all your other commitments?
- Relevant: Why is this goal significant to your business or personal life?
- Timely: When will this goal be achieved?
One of my goals this year is to create video content. I worked through this process and decided that creating video content will help me reach some of my larger goals.
Know where your time goes
In order to manage your time better, you need to first understand where your time is going. What activities are you currently doing and how long are you spending on them. Try keeping a day-journal to track how you spend your time. There are also several apps that can help you track the time you spend on your phone. My favorite app is Moment— it tracks how much you use your iPhone and which apps you use the most each day. You can set daily limits for yourself and be notified when you go over. This app was eye-opening for me.
Chunk your time
This is one of my favorite tips! If you get distracted easily or find yourself checking your phone or social media often, this tip is perfect for you! Chunking time or using the Pomodoro technique will help you stay focused on your tasks and eliminate all other distractions. I like to chunk my time into 20-30 minute increments. Once your time is up, take a 5 minute break. I like to use this Pomodoro timer to help chunk my time.
Avoid Time Bandits
Tracking your time will help you identify what your time bandits are. This can very from binge watching five of your favorite episodes, co-workers talking to you periodically throughout the day or spending an unnecessary amount of time on social media. Before I started blogging, I was guilty of binge watching multiple episodes of Gossip Girl on a regular basis, and quickly realized I could be doing other things with my time like starting the blog I’ve always talked about. Now, I only watch about 30 min.-1 hour of TV in the evenings. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you eliminate things you aren’t passionate about.
Multitasking isn’t the answer
For the longest time I considered myself a great multitasker, but studies show that people are not efficient when they multitask. You can’t work on multiple tasks at the same time and give 100% to each task, which is why I love chunking time. Give 100% of your attention to one task at time, and your productivity will increase significantly! In fact, I chunked my time will I was writing this post and was much more focused.
Map out your weeks
This tip isn’t intended to take the spontaneity out of your days, but instead help you plan out the micro-tasks you need to get done each week. I like to end my weeks by writing a plan or to-do list for the upcoming week. Mapping out your weeks will help you jump-start your Monday mornings with a plan on what you are going to accomplish. Check out this earlier post on how to stay organized.
We’ve already covered a few ways to eliminate distractions and focus your time better, but the last piece is to quit procrastinating. You’ve written out your goals and you know what you want to achieve this year, so don’t hold back. If your wondering how to get started, just do it! Don’t over think things, because when we put our minds towards something, we can achieve great things.
I hope these 7 tips will help you manage your time better, so you can achieve everything you’d like to do this year. What are some things you’d like to accomplish this year?
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