How you order your day or your list of things to do depends a lot on what you think is more important. No one can tell you how to set your priorities, and most people have to figure this out independently.
Keep that in mind; you can start to plan your day around what’s most important to you. Make sure your to-do list starts with the tasks that are both urgent and important. Then, move on to the tasks that are important but not urgent.
First, do the most important things.
How many individuals begin their day by checking their email, reading the news, and social media catching up? We are mostly. Most of these things are not on your “most important” things list. When you get to work, the first thing you do should be the most important thing you need to do that day. If it’s writing a blog post, you should do that first before you read the news. No matter what you need to do, get it done before getting stuck or pulled away by less important things.
Schedule time for challenging jobs
Let’s say you have to spend a lot of time thinking about setting up a new company. Even though this is very important, most people won’t think to block out time on their calendars for it. By setting aside X minutes on your calendar for an important or hard task, you can make sure you do it on time and give it the time it needs. To keep your career moving forward, you may need to make appointments with yourself where all you do is think or plan.
Schedule interruption time.
Who hasn’t been in the middle of something when the phone rings? Or have you had to talk to a worker about something that wasn’t on the schedule? Plan for interruptions by setting aside one or two hours each day to return phone calls, answer emails, or deal with coworkers and employees without being pulled away from something important.
Combined similar responsibilities
Need to send sales emails? Set aside time to do all of your research at once if you need to write. You can save time by putting together tasks that need to be done simultaneously. Let’s say you’re thinking about sales emails. If you add other similar tasks, you’ll get everything done much faster because you’re already thinking about sales and how to make sales emails better. This means you won’t have to switch your mind back to sales later in the day or week if you finish all similar tasks now.
Don’t wait. Not just for making plans for the long term but also for setting priorities for the week or day. On Friday, make a list of what you want to get done the next week. This will help you stay on track. Every night from Monday to Thursday, sit down and plan the three most important things you need to do the next day. So, when you get to work, you’ll know exactly what needs to be done to get right to work.
Make plans based on your activity levels.
Some people are better at being creative first thing in the morning. Others like to talk to them later in the day after they’ve had a chance to settle into the day. Find out when you can focus on work the most. Maybe you do your best work after a workout or after your first cup of coffee in the morning. You might do your best work at night. Plan your day around how much energy you have to get the most out of it.
Delegating tasks that are neither important nor urgent is a good way to get more time back in your day. You could also hire a VA for other administrative tasks that you repeatedly do. Make a list of everything you do at work and everything else that someone else can do (if trained properly). Then set aside some time to teach someone else how to do these things.
Teaching Yourself To Manage Your Time
Any.do is a to-do list app that works on multiple platforms and has won awards. It lets you make tasks, set deadlines, add location-based reminders, and even share lists with other people. It’s user-friendly, and you can even speak your list of things to do. The app is available for Android and iOS, but you can also use a Chrome extension or the web interface. It’s freely used, but the paying version has more features. Any.do also works inside Gmail so that you can add tasks right from your inbox window.
Evernote has unique ways to take notes for just about every situation. You can use the web platform, your desktop, or your phone to create notebooks that can hold hundreds of notes, add tags, and search through your saved notes without any trouble. Evernote is a great way to go paperless with your note-taking. People use it to save all their invoices, archive emails, keep track of recipes, and even keep track of all the research done on a project. You can make a new notebook and start adding notes to it with just one click, even from your email.
We often find articles we want to read but don’t have time to. Enter, Pocket. You can keep a copy of all the articles you’ve saved in a simplified, easy-to-read form to read them when you have time. You can do this through an app on your phone or tablet or on the web. You can share them or email them right from the app. It’s just as easy to add articles. On an iOS device, hold down while clicking on a URL, and you’ll get a choice to save it to Pocket.
Most people use their Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar as their main calendar, but Cal is also a great option. It works well with Any. Do lets you import other calendar formats. The app is easy to use and simple. You can also sync it with Facebook to add people’s birthdays.
The digital Pomodoro is Focus Booster. Want to get your list of things to do done quickly? Use Focus Booster to track how much time you spend on certain tasks for a client or to get a little more focused during the day. It uses the Pomodoro Technique, which says to work for 25 minutes and then takes a 5-minute break. With the Focus Booster app, you set a 25-minute stopwatch that resets after 25 minutes to give you a 5-minute break. Both free and paid versions are available.