It’s a new year - and that means it’s time to make our new year’s resolutions. It’s time to self examine and decide what change, big or small, we want to make to start the year off right. If you don’t have a resolution yet (or you want to add to your goals), improving your time management is definitely the way to go. By making small changes to your space, routine, and mindset, you can become more productive, more satisfied with how you spent your time, and less stressed because of it. And who doesn’t want to be less stressed?
So what exactly does “time management” mean? The term is a bit of a misnomer, because you can’t change the amount of time you have, but you can manage what you do with it. When things seem to pile up and you find yourself procrastinating or getting distracted by less important tasks, time management can really help. As Beverly Flaxington from Psychology Today puts it, “Time management is not about having all of those things done; it’s about having enough time for what matters most to you.”
Check In With Yourself
The first place to start is with yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to productivity? What are your “time wasters?” By identifying what distracts you the most, you can become more aware of your pitfalls and are better suited to avoid them. For instance, if you’re distracted by your phone, try to place it out of reach, or commit to only answering work-related messages. Outside of work, do you always stay up late watching tv and regret it in the morning? It might be time to get your sleep schedule back on track and resist the “one more episode” mindset. You know yourself best. The more in-tune you are with your patterns of behavior, the better you can master them.
Your To-Do List: Upgraded
To-do lists are popular tools for productivity, but can easily make the day seem overwhelming and unfocused. Try identifying which tasks matter to you the most, and put them at the top. Then focus on your top 3 throughout the day. If you have big tasks, break them down into individual steps with due dates for each. This helps map out the more daunting to-do’s and makes them more manageable. Also, while looking at your to-do list, do you need to be handling all these tasks? Is it possible to delegate some of the workload to your team? You don’t have to be a one-man-band. Trust your team to handle the tasks that are crowding your plate.
Make Your Space Work For You
This may be an obvious one, but a neatly organized workspace will do wonders for your ability to focus. It’s hard to keep stress levels down when you’re sifting through a cluttered desk for that one thing you need. This goes for your digital workspace too. If your computer desktop is cluttered with shortcuts, take some time to go through and delete what you don’t need. Does it always take you ages to find the file you were looking for? Take a moment to reorganize and relabel your documents so they’re right where you need them. Lastly, make sure your space feels personal. By decorating your workspace, you’re creating a “home away from home” environment that your brain recognizes and becomes more at ease in. Much like how sports teams tend to do better when playing at home, if you take the time to own your workspace, you’ll be scoring goals too!
Whether you’re working from home, on site, or on the road, time management has benefits for everyone. As with any new discipline, it can be difficult at first, but with practice it can become part of your regular routine. When you master your time, there’s no telling what you can accomplish in 2021 - Happy New Year!
By Aubrey Dion
Aubrey Dion is proud to be back working for the family business she grew up in. Over the years, she has performed a wide variety of jobs in both the office and factory, becoming a true "jack of all trades." Aubrey credits her quick learning ability to her strong theatre background, where memorization and attention to detail are vital. Working in the marketing department allows her to stay creative and work on exciting new projects for the company.