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6 time management strategies to improve work-life balance


time-management

Work life balance can be a difficult topic amongst employees. That desire to hit targets and achieve career goals whilst balancing a personal life and family commitments. COVID hasn’t helped the situation for those working from home, where work hours can become blurred and we often carry on working way past the 5pm deadline.


Although everybody has the same 24 hours each day, very few of us can truly say that they are using this time efficiently. This can be really frustrating as we never seem to get enough time to accomplish all the tasks we are supposed to do.


For these reasons, it is vital to adopt effective time management strategies in your daily routine. By prioritising the most important tasks and planning your day, you should be able to complete them in less time and feel more relaxed. Other benefits of managing your time include: increased productivity; reduced stress; better control of work-life balance; and you will find it easier to meet deadlines.


If you are looking to get more work done; achieve a better work-life balance; or create extra time to pursue your hobbies - you have visited the right page. The following are tested and approved time management strategies that can help you take the reins of your time.


1. Pause and assess yourself

First take a step back and reflect on your current state affairs. We know this isn’t easy when you are stressing about the to do list but it will help!


Stopping will help to point out what is causing you stress, imbalance and dissatisfaction. This honest assessment should be able to inform you what is affecting your productivity at work as well as your personal life. You will be able to establish what you are prioritising; what you are sacrificing; as well as what is getting lost in the process.


It is after you take some time to reflect that you can establish existing time management problems and how you can tackle them. From here creating a realistic plan of action.


2. Plan out your days

Now that you are aware of the activities that are likely to bring you satisfaction, reach your goals and bring balance, the next step involves allocating time to each of these activities.


Not everything goes to plan in your day but it is still important to decide how you would like your day to pan out. Taking a few minutes the day before can help you know what you are walking into in a morning, or at least have a good idea!


The list should explicitly decide who, what, when and why. This is important as it will help you prioritise your activities as well as prepare your mind for the next day’s activity. By the end of the next day, you will be feeling more fulfilled when you accomplish a healthy balance of work and personal achievements.


3. Start with tasks that have the highest value

To help prevent procrastination and for maximum reward its advisable to get the biggest task out the way first thing in the day. This will leave you feeling rewarded and let’s admit it a little relieved. This is pivotal in maximising productivity as well as creating momentum to carry the productivity on throughout the rest of the day.


To find out which activities have the highest value, you could ask yourself these questions:

  • Which is the most time sensitive project?

  • what task would inconvenience other people if it doesn’t get accomplished today?

  • What tasks will bring the most benefit?

  • What task looks the most challenging?


4. Avoid distractions

Distractions are notorious for eating up our time and adversely affecting productivity. Even the smallest of distractions can accumulate to significantly disrupt your productivity. To effectively manage your time, try to minimise activities such as checking emails, answering social media messages, or even answering phone calls in the process of doing high value tasks.


Since the temptation of indulging in these activities can be irresistible, you might want to leave your phone in another room or turn it off and turn off email notification until you are done with a particular task. These may seem drastic measures but they are important because once a focused work flow is broken, it is usually difficult to re-establish it and takes up more time.


5. Refrain from Multitasking

Many still think that multitasking increases productivity. However, research shows that we are more productive when we focus on a single task at a time. In the event that you find yourself multitasking, pause for a moment to reassess what amongst the tasks is the most important – then shift your focus to the initial order of priority.


Instead of multitasking, try grouping similar tasks together then perform them in a sequential order. Batching similar tasks together will allow you cut out a period of time for this work and thus ensuring you complete work faster.


Alternatively, you could break your day into blocks to help you focus on tasks for set periods of time. For example, you could dedicate 30 minutes for each task before taking a break. Whilst taking a break always try and step away from your work area if possible, to see the real benefit.


6. Roll out the changes

After you have carefully considered your priorities and acknowledged the available options to help you improve, it is now time to stick to your plan of action. You could support your progress by recording all your important events, tasks, and milestones marked on a calendar.


Fortunately, we have so many digital calendars and task planners that make time management and scheduling easier. With these tools, you can now schedule meetings, create events, set reminders, and check your availability of specific times and dates. These abilities will assist you in adhering to the set plan of action.


Nevertheless, you should remember that you are not perfect. Since it is not possible to plan every step of your life, stop seeking perfection but instead concentrate on getting each of your tasks completed as efficiently and realistically as possible. If anything goes out of plan, be quick to move on and resolve it improve your performance.


Summary

To wrap everything up, it’s worth remembering that these time management strategies can help you live a more balanced life and achieve your goals. That said, mastering these techniques cannot happen overnight.


Things may crop up and knock your time management off but keep evaluating your habits and make corrections where needed. For real change to occur assess where your time is going, plan out your days, avoid distractions, start with the highest value task and refrain from multitasking.


Find more tips to help you be productive with our other time management posts - read more.

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