If you’re like me, you often wish there were more hours in the day, even more days in the week. Time can pass by so quickly, and sometimes it seems like there is never enough.
The key isn’t to work quicker – it is to work more efficiently.
How do you add more value to the time you have? Here are 10 time management hacks you can start right now:
1. Block off an hour at the beginning & end of your day
Instead of starting or ending your day in a rush, give yourself some breathing room. Block off an hour both at the start and end of your day on your calendar. Spend this time planning your to-do list and then wrapping up loose ends.
2. Take a break every 90 minutes
Breaks aren’t a waste of time. They’re actually very beneficial. Taking even a 5 minute break can help you reset and refocus. Plan to take one every 90 minutes, even if it’s just to get up and stretch.
3. Get up 30 minutes earlier
The early bird catches the worm. Mornings can be some of the most productive times for us. You can get a head start before the rest of the world wakes up. So avoid that snooze button and try to get up a little bit earlier.
4. Sleep at least 8 hours
If you want to wake up earlier, you should also try to get to bed earlier. Ideally, you should get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. The mind works so much better when it is well-rested.
5. Create your to-do list the night before
Make it a habit to plan ahead. Before you go to bed, create a simple to-do list for the next day. When you wake up, you’ll know exactly what you need to tackle.
6. Ignore your emails & don’t pick up your phone
Don’t be a slave to your email or phone. Don’t feel the need to answer each email immediately or pick up every single call. It’s a huge distraction and takes up too much time. Unless you know you are expecting something important, it can wait.
7. Delegate tasks
You don’t need to do everything yourself. In fact, you can’t possibly do everything yourself. Don’t be afraid to delegate your tasks and save yourself some time.
8. Schedule too much time
Make it a habit to overschedule your time or give yourself some buffer between meetings. If something takes too much time, you’ve already accounted for it. If not, you’ve got yourself some time back.
9. Multi-task (when appropriate)
Multi-tasking is a great time management hack to practice…when appropriate. Being on two conference calls at once? Probably not a good idea. But checking your voicemails while grocery shopping? Possible.
10. Unplug on the weekends
Don’t forget to give yourself a breather. Unplug on the weekends and enjoy the time off. The work will still be waiting there for you on Monday.