How To Manage Your Time Effectively In 3 Simple Steps

Businessman holding an hour glass, signifies the importance of being on time Free Photo

Are you constantly finding yourself behind at work or school do you arrive at the end of the day and realize you've accomplished nothing on your to-do list? Well, odds are you're not very good at time management, and that is not doing your psychological health any favours!

In fact, a study published on work and stress found that workers who didn't productively manage their time felt less in control of their lives.

Here's the good news - you can get better paying attention to how you spend your time.

I’m going to give you some tips you can use to manage it more effectively, and to help you learn how to do just that, I’m going to show you a technique you can use to get in control of your day called the RAC method: Recording, Analysing and Changing - three easy steps.

Great Time Management

Step 1 – Recording: when you wake up tomorrow note the time in your day planner. As the day progresses write down everything that you do – yes, I mean EVERYTHING!

The 10 minutes you spent getting dressed, the half day of productive work, the hours you spent between social networking sites, I mean it all!

Keep this up from the time you wake up until you go to sleep.

Step 2 – Analysing: At the end of the day, go through the schedule and highlight any chunks of time that you don't feel were used productively. Pick out your 5 biggest time wasters in your day, and be honest with yourself.

You spent half an hour by the coffee machine talking to your co-worker, you spent an hour on Facebook and you stared into space for 20 minutes… come on, you get the picture.

Especially focus on the time wasters at work. Why? a study published by the British Medical Journal says that workplace stress is minimised by effective time management. It also says that workplace stress bleeds over into home life and undermines a relaxed life at home.

Here's the ugly part - add up all the time you wasted. How much productive time did you blow on activities that got you no results?

Step 3 – Changing: Now it's time to come up with a way to get that time back. Here are three ways to change your time-wasting habits and become a better time manager. 

Prioritize - to do lists are a really effective way to manage your time. Create a priorities list with the main value adding tasks that you NEED to get done.

On your priorities list, limit the number of tasks you have on this list to five and assign rankings to them in order of importance.

Declutter -  not only is decluttering great for your health but you won't waste time digging around piles of stuff to find that one piece of paper that you really need.

Keep a tidy work area and keep organised. Aim to only pick something up once – deal with it then, and then get rid of it however applicable, then move on.

The average office worker picks the same items up 6 times before they get around to dealing with it – think of all that lost time!

Schedule - Hey we all try to kill two birds with one stone, but odds are multitasking will actually just stress you out and delay you even more.

Instead, set aside blocks of time for individual activities. For each activity set start and stop points - this way your day is cleanly segmented, then stick to this schedule.

Try going one week using these tips to reduce your wasted time. At the end of a week, go and work out where you've improved your time management skills, and how much time you've saved.

Let's re-cap…

Today you learned how to manage your time better by using the RAC method.

You recorded, analysed and hopefully changed how you use your time.

You did this by learning how to prioritize your most important tasks, declutter your workspace to save time and you learned how to build yourself an effective schedule to block out your day.

How did RAC work for you? I would love to hear how much time you were wasting and how much you're saving now. Tweet us at @Succ3ssOption, or leave a comment down below to let me know!


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