The Best Time Management Techniques

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Whether they are for your personal or professional life, time management techniques are necessary to keep you organized and focused. Without planning your long-term goals and daily tasks, you'll find that you simply aren't getting things completed in a timely fashion. Everyone has different habits and goals, so be sure to use the time management ideas that work for you. Don't waste even more time trying to implement techniques that you aren't likely to follow through on.

Using Tools to Get Organized

  • Proper time management starts with proper planning. You should split your goals into easily manageable pieces, scheduling them daily, weekly, and monthly. You'll need some type of tool to help you keep these mini-goals organized. Knowing the things you need to do each day helps you to stay focused and make the most of the time that you have.

    One dependable management tool is a daily or weekly planner. You can purchase planners in any size and setup that works for you. If you have several daily tasks, you'll want a planner that shows just one day per page because it will give you the most space for writing. If you have only a few tasks each day, a more compact planner will probably work. Alternatively, you can purchase planning software or use an online program that allows you to keep track of your tasks.

Prioritizing

  • With a daily list of tasks, it's tempting to start with the easiest tasks, just to be able to cross them off the list. Unfortunately, this doesn't always lead to successful time management. You must prioritize your tasks so that you accomplish the work that must get done first.

    You'll want to first consider any deadlines you have for your tasks. The ones that must be completed soonest are the ones you must tackle first. Next, look at your tasks to see which ones will have the greatest effect on your life. If completing one big task on your list could bring you more money, you should start with that task. You may want label your tasks as "must do," "should do" and "nice to do." Tackle your must-dos first.

Setting Smart Goals

  • Finally, the best use of your time is to work with SMART goals. These are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. If your goals don't fit into these categories, then you're likely to be wasting your time.

    In particular, it's especially important for you to be able to measure your goals. Without some way to assess your progress, you won't know whether you've reached your goals. Because you may find yourself working toward something that is not going as well as you'd hope, it's always a good idea to take a step back and evaluate your progress and make adjustments as necessary.

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