We all know that in order to achieve our personal goals, it is very important to have enough time for ourselves. But with a full-time job and other obligations it can be hard to find the necessary free time. These 5 tips will help you plan your workdays better in order for you to fulfill your dreams while still being able to work on what can’t be pushed aside.
1. Make a prioritized list of all the tasks you need to accomplish each day
What a great tip – but it is true nevertheless! There are two types of people in the world: those that make a to-do list and accomplish their tasks, and those who do not. The difference between these two groups is simple – one group gets things done, the other does not. I’m sure you’ve heard that saying before; it’s really true. If you want to be successful in business or anything else for that matter then you need a daily routine where your success comes first. You can easily turn this into a habit with some practice but it’s important to know how exactly to set up your task list each day, so let me tell you about my process…
It is important to make a prioritized list of all the tasks you need to accomplish each day. To achieve this, first create several columns on a sheet of paper and title them as follows: “Must do”, “Should do”, “Want to do” and then finally write down everything that comes into your mind under each column heading respectively. Next ask yourself which task from the Must Do column is most important (be realistic here). Then do it, cross it off and move onto the next one in the list. Keep doing this until you have crossed off every line from the Must Do column. Now the rest of your time is available for the ‘should dos’ and ‘want to dos. Should this time not be enough for you, you should really think about your general workload. Maybe you’ve got too much to do overall.
2. Be proactive about asking for help when needed
One of the most important steps to achieve your goals is to set them. This statement is not as easy as it seems, but if you know how and when to ask for help things can become easier or at least more manageable. Let me tell you a story that happened recently with someone who I will refer here in this article only by his initials – JK (his real name is John).
John had been working for weeks on the finalization of a project without any progress. The deadline was next Monday so John’s weekend was looking pretty bleak. He still had a massive task ahead of him and it would take him all Saturday. He didn’t have time to do it himself, and he knew that if he asked for help things would go more smoothly and the project would be completed sooner.
John was looking for some distraction and walked over to Mike’s office to have a chat. Mike said “Hey man, don’t forget we have that reunion coming up next week! ” “Oh yeah I totally forgot,” John replied with a sigh as he slouched down into his chair. “I’m sorry buddy but I gotta finish this project. I still have to come up with this final presentation of my project. It’s going to take my whole weekend. It looks like I could need some help. Do you have a template that I could use?”
Mike was an experienced project manager himself. “I’ll have your final presentation ready for you by the end of the day,” Mike promised, as he ushered John out of his office. “It’s not a problem, I’m just glad I can help. There’s nothing easier than making presentations.”
3. Stop multitasking and focus on one task at a time
In today’s world, it is harder than ever to concentrate fully on any project or job when there are so many distractions around us. This has become especially true in the workplace with computer-based workstations and smartphones readily available everywhere we go. But if you can learn how to control your impulses for constant distraction, you will be able to get more done in less time while becoming a better decision maker in the process.
4. Take a break every hour
You’re sitting at work. It’s cold outside. Your boss is breathing down your neck for results on this project that’s due tomorrow, and you still have a bunch of other projects to finish as well. You feel like you haven’t gotten anything done all day and the pile of work in front of you will never end.
In the office, it can be hard to take a break when you are in the “zone”. You might feel like taking a break will only make you lose your momentum. However, by not taking breaks at times during the day, your productivity may actually decrease.
Structure your calendar every day and remind yourself to include your personal mandatory breaks to keep up productivity levels.
5. Set up your email and social media to send you only important messages and not notifications about new emails or other people’s posts
Is it really necessary to be constantly connected? Yes, the 24-hour news cycles are full of the latest breaking stories. The same applies for social media; you do not need notifications coming in every time someone likes your post or responds to a comment on something that happened several hours earlier. By silencing these types of distractions, you’ll have more mental energy available for things that require creative thinking.
In the beginning it may be tough to resist checking for new messages and notifications. But you will get used to your new mode of connection with your smartphone. And you are going to value the benefits of the new habit.
Get more free time with time management
The best things in life take the most work, and getting the most out of your day means being able to hone in on what matters—and freeing up that space to do those one-of-a-kind tasks. Being able to focus on what is important lets you generate more valuable time for yourself. You’re able to focus on your priorities which gives you the freedom to even do more with your time.