Talent

Time Management Tips for the New Year

While it isn’t possible to add more hours to a day, it is possible to find time through better management.

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Here are a few tips from experts to help you do just that.

Plan Ahead

Leadership guru Brian Tracy advocates for preparing in advance. Prepare a to-do list for the following day the evening or the day before, he says.
Doing so will allow you to sleep more soundly, he explains. It will also help you increase productivity throughout the workday, Tracy says.
Indeed, Tracy is such a fan of the to-do list that he refers to it as “one of the most powerful time management tools available.”

Schedule Your Day

However, even Tracy acknowledges that a to-do list will only take you so far. It is therefore essential that you schedule your time. Doing so reduces stress and increases energy, he says.
As important, it gives you a plan, and plans are powerful.
Jan Jasper, productivity coach, consultant, and author of the book Take Back Your Time, is also a great believer in the power of planning. Don’t procrastinate—plan, she says. Planning includes organizing your workday, and other aspects of your life.
In addition to scheduling your work, Jasper recommends that you schedule time with yourself and include it on your calendar as a priority—and then honor it as you would any other commitment.

Know Your Clock

Tracy recommends that when scheduling your time you make sure you are doing creative work during what he refers to as your internal “prime time.” This is the time of day when, according to your body clock, you are most alert and most productive.
He notes that for most people, this is early morning; for others, it may be evening. Regardless, plan accordingly.

Ignore Unsound Advice

Time management advice includes supposed “words of wisdom” you should ignore, says Jasper. She gives an example you’ve probably heard: Handle each piece of paper only once.
What if it’s a low-priority matter? “If you deal with it right now to avoid handling the paper again later, you’ll be late to today’s meeting with your biggest client,” says Jasper. “I don’t think so!”

Avoid Online Distractions

Social media, news, weather, shopping, and email have the potential to zap minutes, if not hours, from your workday.
Jasper recommends eliminating easy access to “procrastination sites” by deleting desktop shortcuts. Logging out of these sites will also require you to enter a password for access.
These steps may not prevent you from spending work time at non-work websites, but they may make you more aware of how you squander your time—and how often.
Why not make this the year you find more time?

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.