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Top Tips for Better Time Management

By Mollee Shannon

We all know that life can be hectic and managing everything that needs to be done sometimes feels like we need more than 24 hours in a day.

Managing your time to maximize productivity and reduce stress is a must in our fast-paced society.
These tips will help you organize your thoughts, your tasks, your time, and your life! Life doesn’t have to be a #hotmess! 


Create a To-Do List 

Okay, this one seems like a no-brainer, but science confirms that writing down information, including tasks, helps commit them to memory. If traditional to-do lists aren’t your cup of tea, there are some more creative options.The Kanban Method is a personal favorite. Each  task is written on a sticky note and placed in one of three columns: To Do, In Progress, Done. When you begin a task, move the note. When it’s finished, move the note again. As the notes compile in your “Done” column, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment! A Bullet Journal is also an excellent alternative. List tasks with a closed bullet, notes with a dash, and events with an open bullet. This is a fantastic way to get the rundown of your day or week, as you sip your coffee in the morning. 


Set a Time Limit for Each Task

 It’s easy to get bogged down in the fine details, making simple and easy tasks much longer. Setting a timer will help you stay focused on the particular to-do, while helping you stay on task. When I have a number of tasks, or even one particularly long, especially at work, I love the Pomodoro Method. This splits your time into sections of 25 minutes, with a 5 minute break in between. Each of these work-centered time spans is called a Pomodoro. After the fourth Pomodoro, you typically take a longer break, about 20 minutes. Taking short breaks between tasks lets your brain decompress and refresh! 


Organize Similar Tasks Together 

When you hit your groove, you want to keep going. Procrastination is for the birds! By batching similar tasks, you can easily move from one task to another without a complete change of mindset. This is better for your brain and will help maximize the time that you spend working, cleaning, or any other task that you may need to conquer throughout your week. 


Set Reasonable Goals 

We want to do it all, but sometimes, we just don’t. Trying to accomplish too much in your provided time period will exhaust you, making it more difficult to be productive later. Make sure that your expectations for what can be done aren’t pushing you past your limit! 


Just Say No 

While we all want to be great co-workers, parents, friends, and family members, we have to accept that something worth doing is worth doing well. If you need to say no to a request to really hone in on what’s important, feel free to do so! When taking on too much, giving your 100% to any one thing is incredibly difficult. Cut yourself some slack! 


What Are You Saying Yes To?

 It’s hard to say no! We all want to be top notch at what we do, so refusing a request is hard. When doing this myself, I always ask, “By saying “no” to this request, what am I saying “yes” to?” Perhaps you’re saying “yes” to better quality outcomes on a project at work, or more time with your friends and family. Whatever it is, you’ll be glad you prioritize what’s important to you. 


Make Regular Tasks Habitual

 If there is a task you must do weekly or daily, turn it into a habit. Working out can be a chore, but incorporating it into your daily routine, even if it’s doing a bit of yoga with a video online, the task will become a natural part of your behavior and less a looming to-do on your long list. 


Practice Self Care 

Ultimately, you have to take care of yourself. Set limits, plan fun things, and give yourself some time to just unplug for a while. Studies indicate that those who are constantly on the go are actually less productive. If you’re not sleeping and eating well, you’ll be sluggish and forgetful. Letting our bodies run down is the worst way to be productive. Whatever your hobby is, reading, gaming, a pick-up football game, or spending time with friends and family, be sure you indulge in that hobby regularly!

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