Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had an enormous list of things to do, but not enough time to do it all?
Or maybe you thought you had plenty of time to get things done, but a quick glance at the clock later and there’s still so much to do? Both of these scenarios can lead to unnecessary stress.
But with a few easy tips, you can learn to maximize your time to reduce stress.
Time management is a highly valuable yet challenging skill to master for most people. But it’s a crucial skill to develop if you want to get everyday tasks and projects done. When you manage your time wisely, you can reduce your stress, find time to get the important things done, and still have some time for yourself.
To help you, I’ve put together a list of my top seven ways to maximize time. Whether you work at home, a traditional 9-to-5, or part-time, these are simple things you can implement in your day so that you can stress a little less.
Start with a List
At the beginning of the week, write down everything you need to get done in the coming days. Include your daily exercise, time with family, cooking and household tasks, work-related tasks, and time for yourself. If you can set a list of small goals like “work on a certain project for 1 hour” or “read a book for 20 minutes,” then you can more easily block out the necessary time needed to get something done.
As you move through your day, cross off each item you complete. Doing this gives you a sense of accomplishment and at the same time keeps you accountable to yourself. If you write down a goal to get in at least a 30-minute workout, you now need to actually do it so you can cross it off your list.
Block Out a Set Amount of Time
Tasks like cleaning or working on a project can easily become something we waste a whole day on. Once you start, you can get distracted, or go so far down the rabbit hole that hours pass and you’re still working on the same thing.
On your daily to-do list, give yourself a set amount of time to complete each task. For example, give yourself one hour for a project, 30 minutes for cleaning the house, and 30 minutes for exercise.
Set a timer and see how much you get done in that time. When you focus only on that one task for that amount of time, you may surprise yourself with how much you get done. Working like this will also let you break up your day, so you don’t get stuck in a rut.
Do Double Duty to Achieve More
A great way to do this is by listening to a podcast or audiobook while doing other mundane tasks. Small, mindless chores are ideal. For example, try doing this while you’re cleaning, going grocery shopping, or getting ready in the morning.
Listening to something you enjoy while tackling mindless or tedious tasks allows you to fit in something for you and get things done at the same time.
Limit Distracting Screen Time
While it can be tough to put away your phone, it can be the reason a lot of time is lost. Scrolling mindlessly through emails, social media, and apps throughout the day may not seem like much, but it can add up to quite a bit of precious time being eaten up.
When you’re working on a task, try to limit your screen usage to just the task at hand. You can even set time constraints on your devices to help you stay focused. Limiting your screen time can also lower your stress and overall anxiety.
Get in the Right Mindset
Expectations are everything! So, make sure that before you start any task, you’re getting in the right mindset to work on it. Give yourself the expectation that you’re going to focus and get something great done.
This advice also goes for downtime and family time. Make sure you keep your mind on what you’re enjoying at the moment. Try not to let your work or worries disturb you. Your time is always best spent when focusing on the present moment.
Multitask in the Extra Moments
You know those 15 minutes you spend waiting for dinner to cook? It’s a perfect time to wash dishes or add a load of laundry to the washing machine. Or if you’re watching tv, do some squats or lunges during the commercials. There are tons of small moments throughout the day that are perfect for multitasking. You’ll feel like you get more out of your day when you utilize those moments.
This tip may seem like an obvious one but staying organized can significantly reduce your stress. Make sure you’re writing things down, like the list from above. When your belongings and mind are organized, you can get a lot more done. Keep all your tasks in order so you can get them done efficiently and cut down on procrastination.