5 Secrets of Effective Time Managers

Time Management

by Erin Rapp

Erin Rapp

Erin Rapp is assistant director of undergraduate programs at the College of Professional Studies. She has worked with undergraduate faculty and students for the last five years to insure quality programming.

Time management can be one of the biggest factors in determining your success, whether you're considering a big commitment like going back to school, or trying to stay on top of your responsibilities at work or at home. 

What are some of the secrets of the people who seem to get everything done -- and more? Remember that while no one's perfect all the time, there are definitely some skills you can learn to help prepare you for better time management success. 

1. Prioritization

For people who are attempting to juggle work, home life and school all at the same time, it's really important to make sure you understand the demands of all three, and learn how to prioritize them on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Maintaining "To Do" lists can be extremely helpful, as well as communicating with those who may be impacted by your busy schedule. Your family, coworkers and classmates can be great resources for support and understanding - don't hesitate to reach out. 

2. Plan in Advance

Chances are, you know a few weeks or months in advance when your schedule is going to go completely crazy. Maybe you're enrolled in classes and you know finals week will be tough. Maybe you have to travel for work and you won't be able to meet your other deadlines. Whatever the case is, take stock of the ebbs and flows in your schedule and take advantage of the lulls to prepare for the busiest times. Remember - failing to plan is planning to fail! 

3. Develop a Set Schedule 

 If you know you work better in the morning, reserve that time to do your work. If you know you prefer to work out in the evenings, make sure you know that's what time you have to get to the gym. Find the times in the day where you are the most productive and capitalize on that while you can. With time to focus on just one task, you'll go further than attempting to bounce around randomly. 

4. Focus

When it's time to get things done, eliminate your distractions, whether it's Facebook, the dishes piling up in the sink, or the children fighting down the hall. Get yourself someplace where you can focus completely on the task at and and stick with it until you're done. Too many times we try to multitask, when in reality, you'll get more done by focusing on one thing at a time. 

5. Give Yourself a Break

When you're a highly motivated person, you feel like you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. And that may be the case, but remember that everyone has their own limits, whether it's time or patience. But burnout is very real, and can actually cause you to suffer in performance if you push too hard and for too long. Like with everything else, make sure you set aside some time to relax, see your friends and family, and take your mind off of your to-do list. When you return to it, you'll feel refreshed and invigorated and ready for the next challenge. 

 

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