Everyone is allotted the same 24 hours in a day, but why do some people seem to accomplish so much more? From time to time, everyone from stay-at-home moms to entrepreneurs finds themselves facing a long to-do list and not enough time. While you cannot add more hours to the day, it is possible to manage time more effectively. Just a few simple changes to your schedule can lead to minutes or hours of freed-up time, which leads to more tasks accomplished in the same eight-hour work day. Consider the following practices:
- Track your time spent on certain tasks. It is possible that you are spending more time on certain tasks than you realize. By keeping a log of how much time it takes you to complete daily routines, you may see that you need to adjust your schedule. If you discover that you need an hour to answer emails in the afternoon instead of 30 minutes, adjust your schedule to meet this demand.
- Keep deadlines. You should certainly keep deadlines set by an employer, but respecting self-imposed deadlines can help keep you on track to complete large projects in a timely manner. Break down large tasks into segments and resolve to complete a small amount everyday. Eating the elephant one bite at a time, so to speak, will help you avoid a huge, time-sucking stress point just before a deadline.
- Give yourself more time off. People who have regular breaks are more productive during work hours. Instead of taking work home or working after hours, resolve to use the workday to the fullest. This commitment to productivity allows you to be mentally and emotionally present while you are at home–something that will benefit both you and your loved ones.
If you need to take back control of your workday, it will take resolve and will power. It is not easy to right a ship that has been going in the wrong direction for years, but the effort to redirect your focus will reap many benefits for you, both professionally and personally.