1) Set Short Term Goals.
Setting yourself short term goals is a great way of breaking up the work load and stress of an altogether bigger goal when you're under time constraints. Prioritise work with the most pending deadlines and bite size your way through it.
2) Set Long Term Goals.
By focusing only on the immediate, you can sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture. Years can pass without you really ever achieving anything considerable. Set yourself a couple of long term goals, implementing your shorter goals to help you achieve it.
3) Utilise Apps.
Stop what you’re doing and download ‘Wunderlist’. I use this mobile app every single day to manage all of my daily responsibilities. It's a fancy To-Do-List app that allows you to create and order lists, folders, set reminders and due dates, add notes, files, subtasks and invite people to share your lists with. My folders are; Admin, Studio Work, Household, Wish List. If you use your phone a lot, utilising time management apps such as these can be helpful.
4) Improve Your Environment.
Whether working from home, in a studio, office, shop or on the road, making sure that your surroundings are clean, tidy, full of natural light and air are crucial to allowing yourself to work effectively and efficiently. You want to avoid feeling uneasy, aggravated, distracted or unhappy in the place that you work.
5) Holding Yourself Accountable.
A good way to hold yourself accountable or meeting deadlines is by treating yourself with rewards based on your achievements. A reward can be anything from a tea break to a brand new pair of shoes. Failing that, tell a close friend or family member that you are working on a project, if you can’t keep yourself accountable, they just might!
6) "Under Promise, Over Deliver".
A motto the late Apple SEO Steve Jobs passed down to his employees... Always set expectations so that you can meet and exceed them. E.g. If a client wants to know when to expect a job to be complete, give them a date that exceeds the length of time you actually need to do it. This not only allows for unexpected delays, but likely means the client will be pleased when the job is completed ahead of schedule.
7) Calculate & Allocate Your Time Effectively.
For each task that you have, estimate how long it will take you to complete it. Plan your day accordingly so that any leisure activities or appointments you may have, can fit nicely around your work without stress. Allow yourself reasonable time to complete each task and remember to fit in rest times.
8) Deal With Procrastination.
"The avoidance of a task that needs to be completed". Here are some examples of some fairly typical distraction activities with accompanying tips to help overcome them:
|Facbook/Insta/Twitter||Wake up early, avoid the chatter. Delete the app or mute group chats.|
|Phone / Tech||Log yourself right out on your phone and laptop. The effort of logging back in can sometimes be a quick reminder to yourself that you should be working.|
|Youtube||Only allow yourself access between certain times. 1pm-2pm (Lunch) 6pm-8pm (evening). Use it as a reward.|
|Online Retail||Set a monthly spending budget so that you are not tempted to spend continously. Aim to only shop online once or twice a month if possible.|
|TV Shows||Get your housemate to hide the remote. Or better yet, take it to work with them. No TV until 6pm. DO NOT run a show run in the background.|
|BBC iPlayer / Apps||Delete distracting Apps from your phone or keep your phone out of sight until you have finished your work.|
|Internet||If you can, turn off the internet. Especially those who write/record.|
|Eating||Eat 3 main, prepared meals a day and 2 small snacks. If you are full you are less likely to snack regularly.|
9) Eat Well And Eat Regularly.
Nutrition is extremely import when it comes to time management. This is because if you fail to plan nutritional meals to eat at a regular intervals each day, then your body will not retain the sufficient energy that it needs to stay focused and perform. If you are the kind of person who regularly gets ill, and therefore behind on work, then you may want to take a look at your diet. Foods high in Vitamin C will ward off the common cold among other germs.
10) Drink Water
Being dehydrated will cause a slow and sluggish pace to your work, it is also one of the main causes of headaches. Making sure you have clean, fresh water to sip regulalry can help keep your body working well, aiding in the ability to concentrate.
Remember that improving your time management can be a gradual process. Implementing good habits into your lifestyle takes patience, good health and a positive attitude. Good luck! Kate Wild