By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills
We’ve all heard quotes about time:
“Hey, all you people who use emojis, what are you doing with the time you’ve saved?”
“The problem with saving time is that as soon as we get it, we spend it.”
“Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.” Hector Louis Berlioz
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” Michael Altshuler
If we’re disciplined and scheduled people, time management is part of our normal mode of operation. It falls in line with the way our brain works. We’re on time with all we do, and we’re quick to tackle the next project.
But if we struggle with procrastination and lack the ability to stay productive, then we need tools . . . sharp ones. Our families are disappointed because we’re always late. Our employers are frustrated because we can’t meet deadlines. And we’re frustrated with ourselves for upsetting others.
Here are 9 ways to increase productivity:
- Organize and calendar tasks
Investing in a calendar allows us to record tasks, appointments, due dates, and whatever else stalking us. I suggest an online calendar in which the user can request an audible alarm. For those who prefer a hard-copy calendar, we must examine it throughout the day.
- Establish goals
We need goals to keep us moving in the right direction. They need to be attainable with measurable steps. Goals can be fun and rewarding as well as work oriented.
- Commit to the work
Unless we are determined to learn how to manage our time, no amount of reading helpful blogs, books, or investing in tools will prove successful.
- Enlist an accountability partner
Changing habits is hard, and sometimes we need those whom we respect to keep us on task. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Make a list
Write down each item that needs to be done in the order of due date and most difficult. Then cross through what has been accomplished.
- Sleep 8 hours each night
No one is productive, creative, or able to apply new habits unless the person is alert and well-rested.
- Learn to say “No” to time-zappers
Each one of us has a time-zapper. Mine may not be yours. Perhaps it’s social media, TV, other people, or unhealthy activities stopping us from managing our time. Saying “No” is difficult but we can master the art of priorities.
- Eliminate multi-tasking
I’m most guilty of this . . . doing several things at once and not quite finishing one before starting another. We call it multi-tasking yet research shows we aren’t doing any of the tasks at our best. Finish what we start, then move on to the next item.
- Practice healthy nutrition and exercise
This is a biggie for me. The more we devote to taking care of our bodies, the more our bodies reward us with strength and energy. Neurons snap to attention when we decide to eat nutritionally sound and move our bodies. Here’s a great article from the Mayo clinic about exercise: http://mayocl.in/2nNGcB7
Mark your successes with a festive occasion. It doesn’t have to be a party, but then again why not? Adding time management to our lives adds value and important self-esteem.
Breaking from old habits and establishing new ones isn’t easy, but with the right tools, it can be done.
What is your favorite tip for managing time?
DiAnn’s Library Corner
Librarian – Time management is your friend. To better serve your patrons, follow the tips above—and smile at the results!