Attention all women entrepreneurs and professionals: using proven time management strategies can help you eliminate overwhelm and improve productivity.
How do you handle life when there’s a mountain of things to do each day and none of it ever seems to get done?
There are plenty of methods for getting control over your life – cleaning up, organizing tools, to-do lists, time management – but here are a few simple time management strategies you can master to save time.
Cut Down on Phone Calls
Do you need to pick up the phone so often? Limit your phone calls to only the times when it’s absolutely necessary. Do whatever you can through email and only use the phone when you really need to discuss with someone.
Keep Meetings and Discussions Short
For meetings, create a clear agenda with a time limit and stick to it. Keep small talk to a minimum. When having an informal discussion, keep a goal in mind and focus on achieving that goal. Once achieved, wrap up the conversation. Mastering these meeting time management strategies is essential for anyone who has to convene and hold meetings on a regular basis.
Limit Email Time
Daily emails can seem endless. Set a time limit for how long you’ll spend on email during certain times of the day. For example, 30 minutes for morning emails, 15 minutes after lunch, and so on. Instead of reading the first message first, start with the most important and respond in order of priority.
Avoid Social Media
Social media can be a serious time-waster. Stay off social media, turn off notifications, delete the app from your phone – whatever you need to do to remove the distraction. If you use social media to communicate, use only the chat function. For Facebook, you can download Messenger and leave the regular app off your phone. If you use it for business, set aside time and limit it just like with your emails.
Go Off the Grid
When you need to focus on a task without distraction, seal yourself up in your office and keep away the outside world. Let people know that you’re not to be bothered. This is also a good idea when you’re doing strategic planning or anything else that requires serious concentration.
Time Manage Your To-Do List
For each item on your daily to-do list, set a maximum time limit. This is the most time you can spare for the task. Set a timer as you begin each task. This prevents one item from taking too long and pushing others off your list. This is one of my most effective time management strategies.
Run a Time Audit
A great way to start managing your time more efficiently is to conduct a time audit. This involves keeping a log of everything you do and how long it takes. You can do this for a few days or even a few weeks to see exactly how you’re spending your time. It’ll then be clear to you what you need to cut out.
Take Care of Yourself
Take care of yourself mentally and physically at work and during personal time. Get plenty of sleep, eat well, manage stress, and stick to regular routines. If you maintain your health in this way, you’ll stay more focused and work more efficiently. Consistent, regular self-care is essential to build stress resilience and boost productivity.
Take many small breaks throughout the day to keep your focus. During these breaks, you may want to engage in some activity that’s just fun and relaxing.
Always look for parts of your day that you can trim, and you’ll find yourself working smarter with less stress.