Often, we bite off more than we can chew and there are generally two ways you can react. Instead of rocking back and forth in the corner wondering how you’re going to get it all done, don’t panic. Stay calm and follow this advice to learn how to set and manage your priorities.
1. Identify the desired outcome
Thinking about the end results helps you to identify what’s really important and will help you realise what goals you need to achieve.
2. Tackle the worst job first
I found this experience a little challenging at first, but then I found that working on the biggest, hardest, and least appealing task first thing every day was a great way to go. Just knuckle down and do it and you’ll learn a lot about yourself.
3. Say no to additional commitments
Sure, it feels great to be in demand, but consider what it will cost you to take on yet another thing you don't have time for.
4. Limit time spent on email
Resist wasting time and energy surfing the Internet or constantly checking e-mail. Schedule those tasks after critical work is completed or in short power bursts.
5. Prepare for tomorrow
At the end of each day, make a to-do list for the next one. You'll keep track of your tasks and save valuable time. Prioritize critical or urgent items.
6. Make strategic decisions
Make the decision that you know will benefit future you! Do something today that your future self will thank you for.
7. Regularly reassess
Frequently re-examine your processes to ensure they are still working for you. Recognize and celebrate each small success along the way. Adapt it if necessary, but keep to your main objective. Work hard and stay focussed on the result.
Time management tips to master your day:
- Once you’ve identified your priorities, you must deliver on them
- Try to get your least favourite tasks done at the start of the day
- When you’re completing a task, avoid distractions like email and browsing the internet
- Regularly re-asses your ‘to do’ list in case a deadline or priority has shifted
Putting time management into action
The first step to changing your relationship to time is to assess how to spend your time. Write down all the things that you do. How much time do you spend in each area? The way you spend your time is a statement of what your priorities are.