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Better Time-Management Practices to Embrace in 2021
We’ve all been in a rush for the past year or so, despite how slowly it seems to have moved along. When will the pandemic end? When will I get that raise at my job? Will my job ever move back to the office? We’re all asking ourselves those types of questions and we’re itching for change. This can often throw off our time-management and cause us to feel excess stress and pressure, which can largely be self-induced. Here are a few ways to practice better time-management skills during 2021.
Even when you’re in a time crunch, don’t rush. Rushing leads to increased stress and anxiety (hello, high blood pressure) and can even cause errors or hiccups in your work. I know, we all have pressing deadlines, especially as many of us are working from home.
Take a deep breath and try to relax, even in the midst of chaos. Find the things that relax and calm you down, take a moment, and then refocus and get the task done.
Taking that deep breath and refocusing is effective and is often the key to meeting those stressful deadlines while also maintaining a lower level of stress in your day-to-day.
Organize Your Schedule
This is a big one. Most people, in any job, use some sort of calendar to keep track of deadlines, shifts, meetings, etc. If you’ve felt overwhelmed or as if you don’t have time for everything (there are only so many hours in a day, after all), restructure your schedule.
A wonderfully effective way to do this is to break your schedule down into time blocks. So, between 9 AM and 5 PM (or whatever time you work), you’re working. Break that down even further, if you can. Set aside specific time each day to work on specific tasks, projects, or aspects of your job. Denote when you have meetings or scheduled events, but make sure the rest of your day is planned out, too.
Make a list of the biggest projects or deadlines you have approaching and tackle them by deadline and priority. Spend the appropriate amount of time on each project each day so nothing gets left on a backburner. This is easier said than done, but helps immensely with time-management.
Know Your Limitations
Sometimes, especially if you work in a position where you’re empowered to take on (or not take on) certain tasks, we take on an inordinate amount of work without saying “no.” Saying no is essential to successful time-management. Deep down, ask yourself if you can really take on that extra task, responsibility, project, etc. No matter how amazing your work ethic is, sometimes too much is too much.
In order to manage your time effectively and to continue to do good work, sometimes you just have to say no. It seems daunting, but most employers who empower you to make decisions to streamline your work will understand if you’re too overwhelmed to take on a new responsibility.
Accurately assess your own limitations and learn when to say no, when it’s necessary.
Make Time for You
The world is busy and full of millions of hardworking people, just like you. Many of us experience the dreaded ‘burnout’ from time to time and it wreaks havoc on everything from work and sleep to family time and hobbies.
Make sure to set aside time each week for you. Maybe that means time to meditate and relax in the quiet so you can recharge. Maybe you need to take a run while listening to your favorite tunes. Whatever the case, try to take a few hours a week, if not a weekend, to dedicate to yourself. No one can work non-stop forever, and if you don’t take breaks to decompress and destress, you will burn out.
Prioritize and set aside time to do something that brings you peace and joy; I promise you need it.