Time management is so important and it is also something that I struggled with for quite awhile. When you don’t know how to effectively manage your time it can lower productivity, cause stress and frustration, and it can keep you from more important things.

Today I’m going to share 3 things that have helped me manage my time more effectively:

Understand how time is spent
Batch Tasks
Prioritize 3-5

The first thing you need to do is figure out where your time is going. This is so important, because if you don’t know where all of your time is going how can you figure out what you need to fix, what you need to say no to, and what you need to say yes to.

One way to do this is to keep a journal and jot things down as you are doing them and keep track of how long you spend doing each task. You might be surprised by what you find. Maybe you are spending more time on the phone than you think. Maybe 50% of your day is spent in meetings. Maybe you spend a lot of time helping coworkers figure things out. You can’t fix anything until you know what needs to be fixed.

The next thing I found to be extremely helpful is batching tasks. People tend to think that multitasking is great, but the truth is, it’s not effective. Bouncing from one unrelated thing to another slows you down because your brain takes time to shift from one thing to another.

But try batching similar tasks together, this has kept me from getting distracted and losing focus. For example, I might decide to write first thing in the morning from 8-11, then work on keynote prep from 1-2 and then have a few phone calls from 3-4:30 and then check emails from 4:30 to 5:30. As a rule, I only check social media once a day and I set limits on when to check emails.

And finally, prioritize your top 3-5 items you want to get done for the day. Some of us could keep working constantly, 24/7. Prioritizing not only sets goals for you to shoot for, but it gives you a limit and the ability to disconnect at the end of the day when these items are done instead of continuing on endlessly. Once those 3-5 items are done you can disconnect, relax, spend time with family, do side work if desired, etc….

These three steps are a great start to managing your time more effectively. Try it out and see how much better you feel when you have more control over your time and tasks.

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