We’ve all felt “overwhelm” – that feeling of having so many tasks to juggle that you don’t know where to begin. We feel it when we’re at work, and when our inboxes and to-do lists start to spiral out of control.
No matter what you do for a living, the key to using your time more productively is to focus on what’s most urgent and important.
Easier said than done? Here are 3 foolproof ways to manage your time and transform the way you work:
  1. Create a personalized planning system and USE IT. Call us biased, but when you set up your own planner and commit to using it, the daily ritual of mapping out your day will become second nature.
  1. In your planner, create a long to-do list of everything that needs to be done. Then highlight the most important priorities to create a priority list.
  1. The priority list only includes tasks that MUST be done immediately. These matters have a deadline in sight, but they’re also linked to your goals and take you closer to where you want to be in life.
  1. If you’re having trouble prioritizing, close your eyes and think about what you want to accomplish. Once you write it down, change your mindset from simply feeling overwhelmed to beginning the task at-hand. 
  1. Those other tasks on your list? Delegate! Assign non-urgent work to others (whenever possible) to help you focus on your work and nothing else.
  • If you don’t feel comfortable delegating, think of it as asking for help on a task that’s slowing you down. People are usually more than happy to help; all you have to do is ask.
  1. Stop multitasking! Focus on one task at a time. Multitasking is actually “switch-tasking,” but when you’re really focused, you want to be mono-tasking. Learn to start a task and stick with it until the end. Your work will have less errors and it will take you LESS time.
  1. Turn off notifications on your phone, computer, and watch so that you’re not distracted. If you do see a text while you’re working and it doesn’t look like an emergency, wait to answer it until your next break.
  1. Breaks are necessary! Step away from your desk. Go for a walk outside. Get a change of scenery. Use this time to clear your head, get ready for the next task, and answer important texts or emails.
At the end of your workday, be sure to reflect on what you accomplished and check those items off your priority list. You did it! And if you didn’t, write down how far you got. Then you can start at the right spot the next day.
If possible, use your evenings for relaxation and fun. Spend time with family, your favorite hobby, or reading, so that you’re ready for the next day ahead. 
Better time management can’t give you extra hours in a day, but it can help you focus. Use your planner, work on one task at a time, and turn off notifications to really buckle down and get your best work done today!