How You Do: Improve Your Time Management!

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time.jpegWe all have problems managing our time; if you don’t, then post in the comments and let us know how you do it. Seriously, we can use all the help we can get.I’ve picked up some tricks and techniques recently that have really helped to open up my days, make me feel less stressed, and allow me to get everything done on time. Well, almost everything, but I’m working on it.

I’m happy to share – after all, that is what this column is all about – so check them out!

1. Make a schedule for yourself.

This is really the most basic time-management tool. I use a daily planner and I write a new to-do list for each day. Then I cross things out as I finish them. For longer-term projects, I write down the due date and then I write down what I need to accomplish on the project on a daily or weekly basis. You can do whatever works for you—color-code your schedule, write it on a white board, use an electronic calendar, etc.

2. Consolidate activities.

I used to go to the bank every time I got a new check, which sometimes meant I’d be going several times per week. I wasn’t using that money immediately after depositing it, so there was no reason for me to go so often. Now, I only go to the bank once every two weeks. It saves me tons of time, and I just keep all my checks together until I go on my biweekly trip.

Think about the things you do often—run errands, cook, do homework—and then think about whether you can consolidate any of them. Maybe it would help you to cook several huge batches of food on weekends and then freeze them in meal-sized portions to use throughout the week. Can you do a quick math assignment while you’re riding the subway or waiting on the phone for a customer-service rep? If so, you’ll have more free time later.

3. Eliminate activities.

There are probably a few hobbies you have that you really enjoy doing, and a few things you do that you may consider a slight waste of time. I spend way too much time surfing the Internet, so if I’m going to write a big article or work on a portion of my book, I’ll disable my wireless connection. If you feel like you watch too much TV, you might want to drop a couple of shows from your repertoire and catch up on episodes online later (but only if you have extra time). Consider your biggest time-wasters (Bromance, anyone?), and get rid of them! You’ll be amazed at how your week opens up if you downgrade this way.

I know many of you guys are multitasking mavens, so please feel free to share more tips in the comments!

[Image courtesy of blogs.theage.com.]

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