6 Tips for Better Time Management

Ever caught yourself juggling between tasks?

What’s the best way to manage one’s time? My job as a content marketing manager has taught me to be conscious of my time.

It gets crazy sometimes as tasks are thrown your way. Which one do you prioritize? Do you delegate? Which one do you forgo and all that? It gets difficult.

I like this quote from Zig Ziglar:

“Lack of direction and not lack of time is the problem. We all have 24 hours in a day.”

I used to complain about not having enough time but then I wonder how those entrepreneurs do it. How does an actress combine being a mother and running a small business at the same time?

How do you combine pursuing your education and being a full-time worker? If they can do it, then certainly, there’s a way out.

Truth is, it’s hard. There are a lot of people juggling multiple jobs and when I ask how they do it, they laugh and say, “It’s not easy.”

Here are some simple steps you can take to manage your time wisely:

Let’s dive in…

Complete the most important tasks first

Some people leave the most important for the last. But if you must master the art of managing your time, it’s important you complete the most important tasks first. Identify one or more tasks that are most crucial to complete and do them first.

This way, even if you fail to get all your work done at the end of the day, you still conclude the day as being a success. Only after you’re done with your most important tasks can you move on to the next.

Prioritize wisely

Group your daily tasks into each category. This will tell you where to spend more time and less time.

Important and urgent – tasks that must be done. These you must do right away!

Important but not urgent – tasks that look important but really aren’t. They can wait!

Urgent but not important – these are tasks that appear pressing but have little or no value. You can delegate these if you can!

Not urgent and not important – these are not urgent and they’re not important either.

Learn to say “NO”

I’m guilty of this. I know a lot of us are. Out of the goodness of our hearts, it’s almost impossible to say “no”.

Want someone to run an errand? They come to you

Need someone to edit and proofread a doc? You’re the go-to girl

Running late and looking for someone to cover? Definitely you

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with helping a colleague or being nice to someone, BUT, not when it affects your productivity.

How do you manage to play nice and still getting work done? It’s okay to decline every now and then. And no, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a heart. It simply means you value your time.

What’s the point taking more responsibilities when you know your time is limited? If you must take an extra task, make sure it’s something you truly have time for and it’s important.

If you have to decline a request in order to focus on what’s important and urgent, please do.

Be committed to the task at hand

It’s hard to stay focused on a project but it’s important you do. I know how long it took me to write this article, simply because I kept postponing. I told myself there wasn’t time so just chill. But then I had to write it. And when it was time?

I tried typing while watching a movie. Both windows were opened on my laptop. It actually worked for a while. But guess where my attention was? You guessed right. The movie!

Then it dawned on me that I had to choose. And of course, I chose the article and put my all until it was done.

My point is you should devote your entire focus to the task at hand. Close the browser windows. Put the TV off. Find a serene environment (unless you thrive working in a noisy place).

Just concentrate on this one task. Immerse yourself in it and get it done.

Steer clear from distractions

You had this coming. Ever paid attention to the number of times someone or something interrupts you when you’re in the middle of an important task?

I haven’t either. But I can tell it’s a lot. Someone wants to borrow a pen or ask for your perspective. You have a notification from Facebook telling you your best friends just uploaded a picture. You get an IG notification saying some dude just went live.

Emails just keep coming non-stop. I can go on and on. But you get the picture, right? We get so distracted.

In fact, just right now, I paused to read a message on my phone.

I know, I know. I’m here giving you time management tips and talking about avoiding distractions but I’m being pulled into it.

Here’s something I started doing – I started paying attention to the number of times someone or something interrupts me when working on a task. How many times do I stop to reply messages and get drowned watching people’s statuses on WhatsApp when there’s work in front of me?

I noticed I get distracted a lot. My guess is you do too.

Distractions steal your time. When distractions are managed well, it can lead to a balanced life but when not managed, they can keep you from accomplishing your goals. - Judith Abani Click To Tweet

Create a timeline for a particular project

I had to learn this. I’ll just dive in and get to work but now I’ve learned to allocate a specific amount of time to a task. Let’s say there’s a blog to write among other things.

I tell myself “I’m going to work on this for 2 hours.” What this ‘time constraint’ does is that it pushes you to focus and be more efficient.

Time management isn’t something you learn at once. You cultivate it over time. It’s one skill that can help you make the most out of your day. Follow these 6 tips and you’re on your way to working smart.

Your turn,

What are your best practices for managing your time?

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About Judith Abani

Judith AbaniJudith Abani is a contributing writer and editor for SLA. She is a graduate of Sociology and Linguistics. She believes that it is never late to achieve your dreams and is passionate about the success of ladies. She is an avid reader, a writer, and lover of good food and positive people.

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