Time Management Tips For Meeting Deadlines

Time Management Tips For Meeting Deadlines

It's not easy to juggle three different things at once, and that's exactly what you might need to do while you're at work. Most jobs require you to multitask while meeting firm deadlines. If you're struggling to get things done on time, it might be worth looking into some time management tips. These simple tips can get you on the right track.

Create Goals

Every week, start things off with a list of goals. Use a notebook dedicated to your goals and write down everything you want and need to achieve. Some of your goals can be work-related, while others may be personal.

After you have a reasonable amount of goals, think about the time commitment you need for each one. Write down how many hours it takes for you to complete each goal. If it's impossible for you to achieve all of your goals, remove one or two of them. You should be able to achieve every goal, or you'll end up setting yourself up for disappointment.

Throughout the week, remind yourself of the goals. You might need to shift your focus from time to time, and this list of goals is a great way to keep you on track.

Have a Daily Checklist

A list of goals isn't enough for you to manage your time well. To improve your results, you should also make a checklist. Using your list of goals, make a checklist for the day. You might want to focus on one goal or on specific tasks for multiple goals.

Once you complete a task, cross it off your checklist. There's a feeling of satisfaction that comes from crossing something off your list, and it might give you the motivation to do even more work than usual.

Once again, you want your checklist to be reasonable. If you put too much on your to-do list, you won't get it all done, or you'll overwork yourself. Despite being productive early in the week, you could end up getting nothing done towards the end of the week. Pace yourself and set reasonable expectations for each day.

Have No Distractions

If you work for 15 minutes, then shift focus for 10 minutes, and then work for 20 minutes, you won't be very productive. It's more efficient to pick a block of time to work on one task with no outside interruptions. What type of interruptions could affect your work? Typically, the cell phone is the biggest obstacle.

For your period of time, leave your phone on silent and keep it out of reach. Don't check your email or do anything other than the task at hand. When you eliminate distractions, you can focus everything on the one task. You might surprise yourself with your level of productivity.

You probably can't eliminate distractions all day long, but that's not an issue. As long as you can set aside one uninterrupted block of time every day, you should see an improvement in your productivity. It's also worth mentioning that some people work better for hours at a time, while others do better with frequent breaks. Figure out what's right for you.

Prioritize Your Day

If you have five things to do, you might be extremely overwhelmed. However, you don't need to let stress get the better of you. You can prioritize your goals to make it easier to know where you need to focus your energy.

People who don't prioritize tend to make the mistake of putting off their biggest projects. For instance, you might feel overwhelmed by creating a major presentation. If you have a list of priorities and the presentation is at the top, you might feel an obligation to get an early start on it. Having priorities forces you to acknowledge what you need to do. Although procrastinating is still possible, you are less likely to procrastinate when you prioritize.

Sometimes, prioritizing is easier when you break up your goals. Using the example of a presentation from above, you might break up the goal into the following sub-goals:

Create an outline

Find images for the presentation

Make the script

Finalize the presentation

Make Little Alterations

All of the tips above require you to completely change your day. If this seems like too much work for you, the best option may be to make small changes in your schedule. Every three or four days, make one change that will improve your time management.

What should you change? Think about what's holding you back. If you skip lunch, consider taking a short lunch break. While skipping lunch gives you more time, it also makes you less productive. Without a break or sustenance, you're less likely to finish your work.

Pick Times to Check Your Email

One of your biggest time-wasters is checking your email. Yes, you do need to make sure you check your email during the day. But you don't need to do it all day long. You won't get anything done if you stop what you're doing every few minutes to answer an email.

As a general rule, check your email two to three times a day. Pick a set time and stick to the routine. Don't get lost in your emails or interrupt important tasks to respond to someone. Of course, there might be times when you don't have the luxury of ignoring your emails. If you're waiting for an important or time-sensitive email, make an exception.

Know Yourself

The best way to improve productivity is to know your own habits and preferences. If you do your best work in the morning, schedule your day in a way that allows you to front-load your work. Similarly, if you're someone who works better when you take frequent breaks, set a timer and take your breaks.

By understanding how you work, you can manage your time better. You can learn more about your habits by taking notes for a week. Track your productivity and mood for a full week, and then look back on what worked for you. Sometimes, you need to do trial and error to know what works. Eventually, you can have a solid plan.

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