How Do I Improve My Time Management?
Do you ever feel like you just can't get anything done? No matter how hard you try, no matter how long your checklist is; the tasks just keep piling up, and the clock is ticking. You jump from one thing to another, never getting in the zone or coming up with THAT idea. Well, it’s likely you are missing a skill. A specific skill that sets all those successful entrepreneurs, business owners, athletes and other seemingly outstanding individuals who are able to accomplish a week's worth of work in one day. What is that skill? Time management.
There are only so many minutes in the day to spend on what you need to get done: work, education, family, hobbies. If you don't prepare and prioritize, you are setting yourself up for failure. And although starting on this journey towards self-improvement and efficiency may seem overwhelming, it truly isn't. There is a reason that the internet is flooded with thousands of schedules, calendars, lists and programs to help anyone reach that next level of performance. Whatever lifestyle you may live, there are ways to level up across all aspects - whether that is your job, home, gym, etc.
In the Workplace
Everyone's job is different, and we're aware of that. Your responsibilities, your schedule, your workspace, your coworkers, your strengths - they all vary greatly from one person to another. However, there are certain habits and traits that can help all of you perform at a much greater level as long as you remain consistent and diligent with improving them, just as any other hobby or skill in your life. First of all - plan ahead.
No matter how big or small a task may seem, it requires a certain amount of time to complete. This time is your MOST valuable asset. No amount of money, success, or sacrifice gets you time back. So in order to avoid this, you want to set the time you'll need to succeed in your career into blocks ahead of time, leaving with you valuable knowledge about the rest of your days, weeks and months.
Second tip - Prioritize. Imagine you know you're leaving for a trip without access to your workstation. What are the tasks that first come to mind that you HAVE to finish? The first ones that come to mind are the things you inherently know are most important, and this is exactly how they should be treated. When scheduling, make sure to also organize/label based on priority.
In the Gym
Unless your career is somewhat related to fitness, it is very likely that every minute set towards your fitness is extremely precious. There are only so many days and hours you are able to spend at the gym, which means no time to mess around. When you're in the gym, you're in there to get after it.
So, how can you get better at this? Most importantly, know what you're doing before you step foot in the door. This can mean different things for each one of you. Do you love a 8,12,16 week structured program? Perfect, write/set up everything ahead and have a list up and ready. Want variety but enjoy a specific style of workout? Keep a mental note of the exercises, pace and alternatives in case the equipment you want is taken. Being prepared for any inconvenience that comes your way - a busy gym, broken/taken equipment, or even running into an old friend - is what keeps you on track and working towards your goals.
This next one may hit home for some of you - the gym isn't a social club. While it is totally fine to talk to friends there, don't spend half your workout chatting away, especially if you are in a time crunch. 2-3 minutes of rest between exercises may seem like an eternity, but just see how fast four times minutes can fly by when catching up with a friend you haven't seen in a few weeks. Something as simple as this may throw you off track entirely and before you know it, you're have two choices: stay longer than planned and miss out on valuable time you need to take away from another important part of your life or cut your workout short and miss out on the progress and consistency you promised yourself to keep up.
At the end of the day, what you do at the gym comes down to what you enjoy and what keeps you consistent. However, if lack of time always seems to be a great excuse, reflect on how you manage it, and you’ll likely see there is plenty of time available after all.
In the Household
Whether you have a family or not, your home is a place of comfort. A place you love going back to after a hard day's work, a place to have fun with friends, family and pets. However, it may also be your place of work. Whether or not this is the case for you, there are some ways that you can not only increase your productivity when at home, but also create a distinct separation between your work and personal life, which is crucial for staying happy and stress free.
One of the best things you can do in your house is to designate spaces. Do you have an office? Perfect; keep that room for work and work alone. When you start blending your professional and personal life together, you lose a sense of balance and boundaries. No matter how much you may love your job, no one is meant to be on-call 24/7. Staying mentally wired on work-mode may prevent you from unwinding after a hard and stressful day, and impact recovery alongside simply stopping you from enjoying the care-free relaxation at home; watching a movie, spending time with family, cooking a nice meal.
When you treat certain areas like a real workspace - dressing the part, scheduling tasks, getting rid of distractions for the time you need to be productive - you will find yourself becoming much more effective at accomplishing everything you need to get done and freeing up the time to then shut the laptop, close the door and spending the rest of the day on home life.
If you want to learn more about focus and improving your productivity, make sure to check out our blog on FOCUS