When you are at work you have a lot on your mind. When is lunch? Did I turn the curling iron off? What did my boss ask me to do again? I can’t wait for Friday! Wait, it is only Monday! In today’s fast paced world we are physically and emotionally drained from our careers. In fact, the average American works nearly 60 hours a week. With some jobs it feels like we are always on the clock. Some of us are still up at 11p.m. finishing up an event, answering emails in the wee hours of the morning, scrambling to finish a case brief, taking care of a family — the list goes on. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with how to manage your time check out these helpful tips and tricks!
Procrastination is our worst enemy. Procrastination in our life dates back to the days of sitting in our college library typing up a 12 page research paper the night before it is due with a red bull and a side of coffee. We like to think we can do all and juggle all, but we simply cannot. The more you take on the more overwhelmed you will feel. Start prioritizing your tasks. Start the day with a to-do list and cross off as you go along. Having a to-do list is a good habit to fall into since all your tasks are clearly defined.
Despite what the Rolling Stone’s song may say, time isn’t always on our side. We usually find ourselves saying, “There aren’t enough hours in the day!” Working on time management is something we as humans just can’t figure out. Similar to making a to-do list try formulating a daily schedule and routine where you leave enough time for work, exercise, family and of course, sleep. There’s probably an app for that.
We all wish we had an on/off switch for our brain. When you are sitting in an office you have distractions from every direction coming your way. You may have a chatty neighbor, an office phone that constantly rings or email alerts every two minutes. Try a pair of noise-canceling headphones and listen to your favorite Pandora station. Get in the zone and start doing your work!
When it comes to finishing a task excuses are unacceptable. We learn from the early days of our career, no one cares if it’s your birthday, you didn’t get enough sleep or if you had a rough night out. If a task isn’t complete the blame rests on y-o-u. Self-discipline is a learned skill. Start your day off right and organize all tasks in a timely fashion. If you know you have a huge presentation next Friday break up everything day-by-day. Managing your time and finishing your tasks instead of waiting until the night before will give you peace of mind.
When you do spring cleaning you feel like you and your space can breathe again. If your work desk is a disaster take the time to clean and rearrange! Organizing your desk, computer files and above all your life will help keep you on track. Invest in colorful folders, binders or a filing cabinet to organize all of your important information. Everything in your life should have a place where you know exactly where it is so you can grab it a moment’s notice.