Do you ever feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day? The good news is that there are some things you can do to maximize the hours you have and be more productive.
Consider the following tips. They could help you to get more done in less time in the coming year.
Tracking the way you spend your time could really help you face your habits, for better or worse. Try writing down everything you do for a week, or even just a day. Doing so will almost certainly give you a better understanding of how you spend your time, which will help you determine some places where you can make changes.
“To do this experiment right, I had to hold myself accountable and record honestly,” writes freelance writer Emily Long at LearnVest. “Time-tracking is a lot like keeping a food journal — I know I ate that handful of peanut M&Ms, but since it wasn’t a full bag, do I have to write it down? The answer is yes. I may not have stopped my timer every time I clicked over from my Google Doc to my Twitter feed, but I felt obligated to write down ‘scrolled through social media” next to “wrote 500 words on identity theft.’ This made me think twice about giving into distraction when frustrated, tired or bored.”
2. Sleep more
Too often, sleep is the first thing to go when folks start to feel pressed for time. But, that is a terrible mistake. Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep.
Similarly, don’t underestimate the negative effects of a bad one. Sleeping well, at least 7 to 8 hours a night, will help you be more productive and happier. Your work will be of a higher quality, too.
If you’re really serious about improving your time management in 2018, you can’t skip that step. Getting a good night’s sleep is just too crucial.
If you’re really serious about improving your time management in 2018, don't skimp on sleep.
3. Bullet journaling
Have you heard of bullet journaling yet? It’s sort of journaling, goal-setting and habit-tracking all rolled into one. Some of the designs are really quite elaborate and fancy. But, the basic method is quick and easy, and it doesn’t take long to learn either. It could help you run your days, weeks and months more effectively.
Mindfulness and meditation practices are good for your career in all kinds of ways.
Some might shy away because they feel they don’t have time. But, if you think you’re too busy to meditate, you might want to think again. Meditation actually saves you time in the end. It improves impulse control and therefore helps you to make better decisions. That could save time in a big way.
Meditation also helps you to be more intentional about what you do and say, rather than being reactive. Again, this will save you time and needless aggravation. It also helps to combat stress. Does that sound like a waste of time to you?
5. Say “no”
Time is a limited and valuable resource. So, we have to be very discerning about the way we spend it. If you’re looking to maximize your time in 2018, you’re going to have to say no to things that are not a good use of it.
Try not to do things you don’t want to do simply because someone else wants you to. Instead, ask yourself, is this the best use of my time? If you don’t want to do it, and you don’t need to do it, and no one will suffer if you don’t do it, then you might want to say no.
Learning to say no to others, even to your boss, is an important way to save time. You want to be freed up when the right opportunities come your way.
6. Run your day, rather than letting it run you
It’s important to remember that we have choices about the way we spend our time. One of the keys to having more time in your day is simply to start making better choices. That process begins by realizing that you’re making choices in the first place.
Rather than looking at your daily schedule and trying to figure out how to make it work, take some time at the beginning of each day to prioritize. It’s important to remember that we determine our daily agendas. Taking a few minutes at the beginning of the day or week to set your agenda consciously is a great way to help maximize your hours.
7. Take time for yourself
All of this talk about running your day more efficiently is great. But, what’s the point if you don’t take any time for yourself? So, commit to dedicating at least 30 minutes a day to yourself in the New Year.
Make it a priority. Taking time for self-care will help you be at your best the rest of the day, both at work and at home. You can use your 30 minutes to take a walk, or to read, or for any other activity you choose.
At first glance it might seem like taking 30 minutes for yourself every day as asking a lot. But, isn’t that kind of crazy? Remember, the years fly by, and life is precious. Give yourself the gift of taking some real time for yourself in 2018.
Tell Us What You Think
How do you plan to stop wasting time in 2018? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.