Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management Tips

Need to improve your time management? Here are some tips to help you use your time more effectively.

Ever feel like there isn’t enough time in the day? Our modern, digital lifestyle creates time famine; we rush from task to task, checking emails and social media while doing chores, eating and travelling. 

Even if we manage to get most of our tasks done eventually, we often jump from one thing to the next without even realising it. Here are some tips to help you work smarter - to prevent you from having to work harder!

1. Make a list and stick to it

Each day, identify two or three tasks that are the most crucial to complete and do them first. Once they're done, decide whether to make the most of being on a roll or relax. You have already finished the essentials, making the day a success.

Man in suit on stairs

2. Get enough rest

Everyone is different, but it's recommended that people aged 18-64 get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Feeling well-rested will boost your productivity.

3. Start your day early

Some people work better on the ‘my deadline is in 2 hours’ adrenaline rush, but the more time you take to sit, think and plan, the more organised you'll be in every aspect of your life. 

4. Stop trying to multitask

Studies show that there is no such thing as multitasking. In fact, we switch tasks rapidly – and this takes its toll on our productivity and well-being. After a day spent trying to multitask, you'll likely feel you haven't given it your all. Focus on one thing at a time.

5. Be conscious of the time spent on 'time-wasting'

We all need breaks, but time spent on Facebook or watching TV can easily creep by, leaving you wondering where your day went. Become more aware of the time spent on these and soon you will begin to use them less. 

6. Don’t fret over your to-do list

The size of your to-do list might seem overwhelming; remember you don’t need to complete all the tasks at once. Break them down into bite-size pieces, prioritise and breathe. Start working on it one task at a time. 

7. Take time out

It is important to give yourself breaks and time to relax. Set yourself a time limit in which to complete a task, say, “I am going to work on this for two hours”. Once you achieve it, reward yourself.

If you've got exams coming up and are struggling to concentrate, why not check out student Ashesh's blog on avoiding the undying art of procrastination?