Effective Time Management Tips

Time is the one thread that runs through all of our lives. Whether you’re always early for an event, arrive as scheduled, or prefer to be fashionably late, you’re probably also watching the clock. Wouldn’t you love more time in your day to squeeze in more activities?

So how can you get more hours out of your day?

Consider these time management tips to enhance your productivity:

1. Preview your schedule for the day the first thing in the morning. Use your calendar effectively and you’ll be able to spend your time more judiciously.

* With practice, you’ll learn to recognize which tasks need more time to be completed and which tasks’ scheduled time can be shortened.

2. At work, if you’re responsible for leading a meeting, be prepared. Write the meeting agenda in advance.

* Stick to the time allotted for each agenda item.

3. Keep your focus on the task at hand. If you need to finish writing a report, stay with it until the report is completed.

4. Take active steps to screen out distractions. If you work better with soft music playing in the background, arrange to listen to your tunes while you complete your tasks.

* If you’re on the job, close your office door to deter people from stopping in to say, “Hi,” or ask a quick question.

5. Stand up. If someone calls you into their office for a minute to get your opinion on an issue, avoid sitting down. Impromptu meetings are shorter when at least one of you stands.

6. Have confidence about limiting chitchat at work. Don’t be afraid to tell people you can’t talk right at the moment. Rather than getting perturbed, your associates may praise your work ethic of finishing your projects before taking time to chitchat.

* You’re also setting a great example for the other employees.

7. Get comfortable with saying “No.” Being assertive is the hallmark of effective time management.

* When you take on more projects than you have time for, the quality of your work may suffer. Plus, your most important tasks don’t get addressed in a timely fashion if you have too much to do. You’re more likely to get more work done – and do it well – if you aren’t overwhelmed by taking on too much.

8. Use your planner at home as well. If you’re struggling during off-work hours to manage your time, feel free to also use your planner there. Write in your schedule when you want to work on certain home projects, like washing your car or cleaning the living room.

9. Set timers or alarms to keep you on task. For example, if you plan to clean your bedroom for an hour, set the alarm on your cell phone. Stop working on the chore at hand when the timer goes off, but not until then (unless you complete the task).

* Playing “beat the clock” can be highly motivational. Plus you’re likely to get more done.

* For particularly troublesome tasks, set your alarm in smaller increments – even 15 minutes – and take a short breather when your alarm sounds before you re-focus on your task. In particular, you may find that physically challenging tasks are much more manageable if broken into smaller, more do-able “pieces.”

Managing your time effectively will make you more satisfied and productive. Practice these tips to get a handle on everything you want to complete. A well-managed life is within your reach!

3 Simple Actions That Lower Your Stress Level

If the hustle, bustle, and challenges of everyday life are making your stress levels inch up each day, you must find a way to break free! Holding onto the stresses of yesterday will simply add to the tension of today and tomorrow. Soon the amount of pressure you carry around inside you from this stress may become unbearable.

You work hard to provide a good life for your family, but stress can prevent you from enjoying that life. Don’t allow stress and worries to rob you of the happiness you deserve!

Follow these easy strategies to help you banish daily worries and stress:

1. Ask for help. If you’re constantly running on empty, your mind, body, and soul will suffer the repercussions of your tenacity. There’s no shame in asking for a helping hand. Sometimes, you’ll be able lean on a spouse, coworker, or friend, but other times you may have to hire help.

  • If your mounting responsibilities are barely allowing you the necessary time to eat and sleep, you may have too much on your plate. Streamline your responsibilities by creating a time-effective plan for crossing the items off of your to-do list in less time.
  • Most people are delighted to be needed and will be more than willing to help you. If housework is the culprit of your stress, divide the tasks equally amongst the family members in your household.

2. Set aside time for yourself. What do you enjoy doing? Knitting, relaxing in a bubble bath, drawing, lounging in bed watching reruns of the Golden Girls? Indulge yourself in your favorite lazy activity a few times each week.

  • Carve out a few hours each weekend to indulge in your favorite lazy activity. Choose at least one weeknight to relax after work. Sitting in a candlelit bubble bath while listening to your favorite CD and reading a magazine is an effective treatment for washing the day’s stresses away.
  • Refrain from feeling selfish for taking time for yourself. You may be a busy professional, a spouse, a parent and have a home to maintain all at the same time; however, taking two hours now to de-stress will save you from going into overdrive and possibly stressing out your loved ones later.

3. Socialize! Making time for socializing with friends and family is a vital aspect of managing your stress levels. Friends and family make you laugh and provides you with a shoulder to lean on. This, in itself, will deplete your stress levels exponentially.

  • If possible, designate one day per week (like Sundays) to spend time with extended family and friends. You could host a neighborhood barbeque in your backyard, host a Sport Sunday gathering, or simply have coffee with your closest pals.
  • Living far away from friends and family can truly dampen your ability to socialize. You can meet friends at church, neighborhood gatherings, at the park with your kids, or on the community meeting site, MeetUp.com to find a group of likeminded folks.
  • When hosting events in your home, avoid fretting about the details. This will counteract your efforts to de-stress! Have a simple plan, such as using paper plates, napkins and plastic utensils for easy cleanup. Perhaps you can order pizza rather than cooking.

Stress seems like a normal part of life, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you’re willing to put your sanity first. Most of the time there’s a simple fix to the challenges that are causing you stress. Simply readjust the way you perceive the issues and how you address them. Both beauty and stress are in the eye of the beholder!