Looking to Increase Productivity? Consider These Four Time Management Best Practices

We often feel that there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done that we want to complete. And we often chastise ourselves because we are not making the best use of our time. Often, we just feel overwhelmed, not sure where or what to turn to first. So, for everyone who finds themselves with more to do than time to do it, here are a few time management tips that you may have forgotten or may not be aware of.

Some things that are urgent aren’t necessarily important.

Being urgent isn’t the same thing as being important. You may urgently need to pay your water bill today because it’s due, but hopefully that is not the most important task you have for the day. Needless to say, you need to focus on the important more than the urgent.

Don’t forget the 80/20 rule.

Only 20 percent of our tasks holds about 80 percent of what is important to us. So, the natural thing to do is to focus on that 20 percent that holds all of the importance for us. It can be frustrating to spend a lot of time on a small number of tasks but stay focused on accomplishing your tasks.

Get a day planner.

You may already be using one, but if not, definitely get one. Then, block out on the planner all of the time that you have no control over – for example, meetings at work, driving the kids to practice, things like that. Then you can clearly see what time you do control and can make plans for how to use it.

Make a to-do list and establish your priorities.

Make two lists – one with the most important things you need to do, the must do today things. On the other list, put your longer-term projects. Focus on the first list, then spend some time on the second. If you focus on the first list, you know you are getting the important stuff done.

What you don’t finish on the list today, move over to tomorrow’s list. It’s okay to work ahead and will help you in the future. If you start working ahead, then when your schedule gets overloaded, you have built in some buffer time and won’t be behind on your list.

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