Johanna Cider is a freelance writer from New Zealand. Lists keep her sane and on track, and she gladly uses anything from colourful markers to calendars, and good ol’ Post-it notes that help her stay organised! Discover more about Johanna and her work on Tumblr.
If you always feel like you’re stressed, running out of time, and not as successful as you could be – you might benefit from managing time better. Successful people are often much more adept than the rest of us at managing their time well, but instead of envying them, we should adopt their habits! Try the following tips to manage your time – and life – like the most successful people do.
Create yourself a lifestyle built on healthy habits
If healthy behaviours become a habit, they’re much easier to make time for, will help your life to run smoothly. Set yourself small goals to begin with – such as eating an extra piece of fruit in the morning, walking to work instead of driving, and taking every opportunity to exercise, even while sitting down.
Increasing your healthy behaviours slowly over time as part of your everyday life means you won’t have to waste your precious time squeezing in extra hours of exercise or meal preparation when you have more important things to do.
Organise your home
A clear space equals a clear mind, so do some spring cleaning and organise your home. Donate or toss anything you don’t use anymore and declutter the rooms in which you spend the most time.
In particular, it’s worth ensuring your office is organised: if you ever work from home, you’ll be much less likely to work productively if your office is a mess or full of distracting objects. You may even like to install a few shelves or desk organisers, so that everything you need will be in reach at a moment’s notice and you won’t need to waste time searching for lost objects.
Know what to prioritise
If you’re too busy to attend a planned date or appointment, don’t be afraid to cancel it. Figuring out how to prioritise your time will mean that you are able to complete more urgent tasks in a timely manner. There’s little point in spending time on activities you don’t enjoy or need to take part in, so decide what you should say yes or no to. For example, if your boss likes to host long, unproductive meetings, don’t be afraid to politely suggest that your time may be better spent on other activities.
Plan well and set goals
Planning is a major key to time management – and once you get the hang of it, you’ll know how long to allow yourself for certain tasks. Additionally, setting goals will help you to keep track of your progress and to work on consistently improving yourself and your work.
Focus on one thing at a time and implement consistency in action
Multi-tasking will spread your concentration thin. If you take days to complete tasks because you keep switching between them, you’re probably wasting valuable hours that could be spent much more productively. Implementing consistency in action by focusing on one task at a time until it’s finished might be difficult to begin with, but it’ll help your work run much more smoothly, and you’ll likely finish things a lot earlier than you would if you kept changing tasks. If you’re struggling with constant procrastination, you might like to try mindfulness and meditation, which can help you to focus and organise your thoughts.
Changing your habits and acting like a successful person will help you to become one. Visualise your success and take active steps to work towards it, and before too long, you’ll find that you’re the successful person you’ve always aimed to be.