How To Manage Your Time Effectively

Lack of time can be a major source of stress. As demands of daily living grow, more and more of us feel there just aren’t enough hours in a day to do everything that needs to get done. Learning to better manage your time can make you feel more in control of your life.

Get Organized. You can waste a lot of time looking for things you’ve misplaced, trying to make plans or decisions at the last minute, or putting things off for later. Don’t try to do all you’re organizing in one day. Keep a day planner or calendar handy and use it. Make "to do" lists and check off tasks once they’re done.

Set Priorities. List the things you must get done in a day. Be realistic. Writing down how much time you expect each activity to take helps. The most important things go at the top of your list. Bump the less important tasks to the next day or week if you can’t get to them.

Stay Focused. Distractions can cause stress. And the stress gets worse because you didn’t finish the job you set out to do even though you made the time. Schedule a half hour at the start and middle of the day to review and respond to emails and phone calls. Allow another 30 minutes at end of the day to wrap up for the day and get organized for the next one.

Multitask Wisely. Don’t get carried away with multitasking, though. That may lead to more stress and even be dangerous. Shaving, sending a fax, or sitting in on an important conference call while you’re driving is downright dangerous!

Get Help. Decide what you realistically can do in the time you have and get help doing the rest. With a little practice, you can become quite good at managing your personal and professional time. Not only will you become more efficient, you’ll have less stress.