A Five-Minute Guide to Effective Time Management

Develop an achievable goal for each day. Whether its a task you need to complete at work, an assignment you need to complete for school, or jobs around the house, wake up and decide which goal you want to, and can, achieve.

Now that youve set your goal, look at the hours in the day that you can devote to completing that goal. If you decide that the goal was in fact achievable, schedule your day so that your #1 goal receives the majority of your time. Dont dawdle or procrastinate by tackling the unimportant tasks or tasks that could be accomplished on another day.

Use the time when you are most productive to accomplish your most important goal. If you’re a morning person, use the morning for that goal assuming that other scheduling constraints dont exist. Dont start your day necessarily by attending to the emails that have accumulated in your inbox or the Facebook pages youd like to visit. Particularly stay away from online shopping, even if the deals seem too great to pass up. ¬†Conversely, if youre an evening person, leave your important jobs for the later hours of the day or night.

Take stock of where you are at different points during the day or night. If youre not going to manage to achieve your goal, dont give up. Recalibrate so that you can spend some time working on your most important task so that you dont let the entire day go by without getting anywhere.

Stick to schedules. Whether someone else sets your schedule or whether you do, dont let the times of appointments, job duties, assignments, or meetings slide. Be on time for assigned tasks that someone gives to you. If youre the one running the show, mind the clock and dont start or end things late. By being consistent, you will force yourself to think within the realities of the days schedule. Youll also be perceived more favorably by your co-workers, supervisors, or employees. The same rules apply around the house. You dont have to be a field marshal, but letting family members know that you will be on time for your obligations will make it more likely that theyll be on time as well.

End your day by examining how close you came to accomplishing what you wanted to do. Make sure you actually do end your day at a reasonable hour so that youll get a good nights sleep. One of the best ways to stay productive is to allow your body and mind to recoup from the days stresses.

Your five minutes is up. Now get going!!

via A Five-Minute Guide to Effective Time Management | Psychology Today.