Having a seemingly endless to-do list is tough, but struggling to find the time to complete your list is tougher. Finding a work-life balance can be difficult, and with multitasking having been routinely proven to make a person less effective – managing your time is a skill that’s more important than ever before. Whether you’re looking to be more productive at work or if you’re a college student struggling to balance your priorities, here are some words of wisdom to help get you where you want to be.
“You’ve got to know your limitations.” – Johnny Cash
The first step to managing yourself more effectively is to understand what you’re struggling with. Are you constantly running late? Do you get distracted easily? Do you struggle to stay awake in the fifth meeting of the day? Take some time to self-reflect and figure out what you do well and where you could improve. The sooner you know exactly what your weak areas are, the quicker you can figure out how to work within them.
“Nobody sets the rules but you. You can design your own life.” – Carrie-Anne Moss
Yes, your boss might ask you to be in the office at 9 AM, but you still get to decide which tasks to start your day with. Create your ideal schedule while keeping your weak areas in mind. Do you need an hour to go through your inbox every morning? Give yourself that hour. You may need to make compromises to build your perfect schedule, but set aside time for the things you need and stick to the allotted time. Value your time and choose your priorities wisely, and others will value your time as well.
“Keep every promise you make and only make promises you keep.” – Anthony Hitt
A promise to yourself is just as important as a promise to a friend. You owe it to yourself to complete the commitments you say you will, even if that means completing a project by a self-assigned due date or by only taking an hour for lunch instead of an hour and ten. If you gave yourself rules, you need to stick to them. Self-discipline gets easier with time, but if you’re struggling to get started try setting up a reward system for yourself. Maybe every week you stick to your schedule you get to splurge on some ice cream? Sounds like a good plan to us!
“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” – Bruce Lee
Okay, so time management isn’t really equal to achieving immortality (that’s a whole other article), but the point is the same – remembering things is important. The system you use to remember your schedule and commitments is entirely up to you – but if you don’t make an active effort to remember your goals, then how will you achieve them? Find a system that works for you and stick to it. A to-do list, calendar, note cards, iPhone updates… there are plenty of ways to stay aware, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find a system that works for you.
“Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.” – Randy Pausch
All work and no play makes life much too dull. It’s important to set aside breathing room in your schedule. Overworking yourself can lead to exhaustion and an inability to manage yourself effectively – your health is just as important as the tasks you’re trying to accomplish, so when dividing your time make sure that you prioritize your well-being. Not only do you need time to recuperate, you need time to have fun outside of your obligations.
What techniques do you use to manage your time better? Continue the conversation with us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!
photo credit: Corbis Images