8 Tips for Effective Time Management

3. Just say no.

You’re the boss. If you have to decline a request in order to attend to what’s truly important and urgent, do not hesitate to do so. The same goes for any projects or activities that you’ve determined are headed nowhere: Be prepared to move on to more productive tasks. Learn from the experience to avoid wasting time later on.

4. Plan ahead.

One of the worst things you can do is jump into the workday with no clear idea about what needs to get done. The time you spend thinking ahead and planning your activities is trivial compared with the time you’ll lose jumping from one thing to the next (and rarely completing anything). Depending on your personality, try one of these options: Time Management Time Management Time Management Time Management Time Management Time Management

  • The night before — At the end of the day, take 15 minutes to clear your desk and put together a list of the next day’s most pressing tasks. It’s a great decompression technique, and you’ll feel better sitting down at a clean desk in the morning.
  • First thing in the morning — Arrive a few minutes early and assemble your prioritized to-do list (see #2). This may prove to be the most productive part of your day.

5. Eliminate distractions.

Start paying attention to the number of times someone interrupts you when you’re in the midst of an important task. Track self-induced interruptions, too, particularly those of the social media variety. Your smartphone is extremely useful, but it’s also addictive and among the most insidious time-wasters known to mankind. Time Management Time Management Time Management Time Management Time Management Time Management

It may take a massive exercise in will power, but shut the door and turn off your phone to maximize your time. Instead of being “always on,” plan a break in the day to catch up on email, call people back, talk with staff, etc.

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