If everyone’s day has 24 hours, why does it seem like other people have more time? The reality, of course, is that everyone has the same amount. Learning basic time management skills can, however, free up some time for activities and interests.
Time management is similar to money management. The concepts are easy to implement, and the results are almost immediate. “If you are feeling overwhelmed, start with small changes,” says Katey Walker, Kansas State University Research and Extension family resource specialist.
As an example, people who readily identify “prime” time with television may not realize that they also have their personal “prime” time, an hour or more during the day when they are most productive. Identifying your “prime” time and learning to use it productively can free up time for other activities, says Walker.
Tips to help you manage your time
Identify what’s most important and move it to the top of the list.
Try to do the least pleasant task first.
It may not take less time, but it is likely to offer a time savings. Once the job is done, it’s not necessary to spend time thinking about it.
Learn to say “no.”
Consider what can be accomplished realistically and turn down additional requests.
Learn to delegate.
Others may not do the job exactly as you might, but the fact that they’re doing it allows you time for other activities and interests, Walker says.
Sort the mail the same day it is received; place bills and other mail that needs a response in one place.
Reconsider your routine.
Perhaps doing a load of laundry each morning or evening can free up Saturday morning.
Ask yourself: Is this still important? If not, move on to your next priority.
“And, give yourself a small reward for accomplishing your tasks,” Walker says.