From time to time most of us struggle with Time Management, how to find enough time in our day and how to make that time work for us.
Good time management skills are developed over time. It all starts with learning just what is slowing us down and what types of things keep getting in the way of our productivity.
Have you ever spent countless hours preparing for a special dinner or party only to find what should have taken a few hours ended up taking the entire afternoon? So what goes wrong and why does it always to seem to take twice as long to pull some things off?
First, it was the missing recipe ingredient you had to rush out to the grocery store for. And like most Saturdays, the store is busy and the customer in front of you has five too many items for the express line. When you do arrive back home the delays continue, the phone rings non-stop and the kids keep pestering you about “where’s my…” and “have you seen my…” And with all the confusion, the white sauce gets scorched and the chocolate soufflé sinks.
Interruptions come in many forms – the most obvious being the telephone or doorbell but they can also be silent – like when your mind wanders. But take heart. You can get more done in less time once you become aware of what type of things slow you down.
For some big time management improvements try the following tips on for size.
BLOCK DISTRACTIONS – Create an atmosphere that fosters concentration. First begin by finding some quiet time for yourself. If your phone rings frequently, let the answering machine pick up your calls. If your children are continually interrupting you with little things, tell them you need to concentrate on what you’re doing. Explain that if they let you focus, you’ll finish quicker and you’ll have more time to spend with them later.
CLEAR YOUR DESK – It’s hard to concentrate on something like paying your bills when your desk is overrun with clutter (paperwork in need of filing, library books in need of returning – you get the idea). The solution comes when you move everything else out of sight except for the things needed to accomplish the task at hand.
PRIORITIZE – Many women can’t concentrate because they have too many things on their plates. So many things are competing for our attention that it’s difficult to focus on any of them. The answer comes in writing a detailed to-do list, beginning with the most urgent project and working down to the least important. Having a list to refer to helps you select one project at a time and give it your full attention.