The demands of everyday life can be overwhelming. Organizing your time well can help you get everything done while still being able to take care of yourself. Maybe this topic is significant enough that you’ve made it one of your new year’s resolutions.
How can you improve your time management? Check out these tips for organizing your schedule in the new year.
Make a Plan and Follow Through
Consistency is one of the most critical characteristics of an effective time management system. If you don’t write everything down, then you’ll have no chance of accomplishing what you planned. Having discipline in this area will allow you to get a lot done and still have time to rest.
Choose Your Format: Online or Hard Copy
It doesn’t matter too much which system you choose, as long as you stick to one. Writing some things in a physical planner and recording others in a digital calendar is a recipe for failure.
If you try to maintain both, you’ll likely find it impossible when your life gets busy. Choose one system for everything, including contacts, reminders, and appointments.
How can you choose the best format for you? If you love the look and feel of writing on paper, then you might stick to a physical copy. Make sure the book is small enough to take with you everywhere you go.
Digital calendars also have many advantages. They include:
- Convenient integration between contact information and your phone
- Cloud-based backups that keep you from losing your information
- The possibility of downloading events straight to your agenda
- Online sharing of calendars or events
- Time-saving functions that allow you to input recurring events only once
Regardless of the format you choose, be sure to stick to one system to avoid headaches.
Pay Close Attention to Deadlines
Many people struggle to remember responsibilities or deadlines. If you have a project for work or school, then it’s ideal to record it twice: when you receive the assignment and shortly before the due date. It’s dangerous to place the reminder only on the day the task must be complete since you may see it too late.
For longer assignments, you can schedule specific times to work on them. Try to estimate how much time you need, and divide it across several days or weeks to avoid last-minute stress.
Color-Code Your Tasks
Whether you choose an online or paper calendar, color-coding can help you keep track of varying responsibilities. If you’re a college student, then you might choose a different tone for each subject.
Someone who has multiple jobs could select a color for each set of responsibilities. In the beginning, you may need to make a list of the different shades you plan to use, but after a while, you’ll have no trouble remembering.
Cross Off Completed Tasks
Crossing off completed tasks can provide motivation. If you’re using a paper planner, you can use a highlighter color to mark completed assignments.
Online calendars and organization apps also offer the possibility of marking completion when you choose to classify something as a reminder or task as opposed to an event. Crossing assignments off your list can be gratifying and bring a sense of accomplishment.
Use Weekly and Monthly Calendars
Often the monthly calendar option in a physical or online planner goes unused. You might feel it’s a little overwhelming to look at all you need to do the whole month. However, using this overview can help you manage your time more effectively.
It can be challenging to estimate how much time a task will take. Setting a timer while working can help you understand how long you need to complete specific assignments.
You may wish to try one of the following free online time tracking applications:
By tracking the amount of time you spend on each type of project, you’ll learn to better plan for similar tasks in the future.
Say “No” When Necessary
Is your day so busy that you hardly have time to eat? Are you getting run down because your work takes up so much time that you don’t sleep enough? If so, you may be agreeing to take on more tasks than you can complete.
Learning to say “no” is essential for a healthy life. Don’t feel like you need to give detailed explanations, either. Simply affirm that you don’t have time in your schedule at the moment.
Know When to Ask for Help
Sharing tasks is another way to reduce an excessive workload. If there are responsibilities that you can delegate to other team or family members, then take advantage of the opportunity to free up your time for the things that others can’t do for you.
Schedule Relaxation Time
This concept can be difficult for someone who likes to be busy, but it can save your life. Everyone needs time to decompress, and high stress levels over long periods can lead to serious health problems.
When you schedule time to relax, your health improves. You feel better, and as a result, you become a more pleasant person. Consider taking this step for the sake of your well-being and your relationships with others.
Summing It Up
Effective time management is critical for anyone who studies or works. It’s essential to make a plan and follow through, whether you use a paper or digital system. Careful planning for deadlines can make a vast difference, as can color-coding your entries.
Cross completed tasks off your list, and use both weekly and monthly calendars to plan realistically. Say “no” when necessary, delegate tasks if possible, and schedule relaxation time. Doing all this can help you successfully organize your schedule in the new year.