If you desire to have good time management, then you need to have a strategy or an action plan.  Following these strategies will help you get the most out of your days. 

Prioritize Your Work

Start each day by ranking the things that you do.  Start with the most important and unpleasant tasks first and then go from there. Those things that can wait for later that day should be listed towards the bottom of your list.  Don’t make your list too long because there are only so many hours in a day and you don’t want to feel like you will never get it all accomplished. 

Assign Work Time Frame for Each Task

At first this might not seem realistic but it is mostly so that you will have some sort of idea how long it will take to finish each task; it won’t really take very long unless it is a big project.  If so, then break it down so that you can see some progress. 

Be Flexible

Unexpected things come up from time to time so if you have to stop to take care of some other matter, do not worry and stress out if you don’t accomplish a certain task in the time frame you set.  Just like the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”- so make sure you allow for those times when things come up.

 Don’t let these things such as phone calls, important emails, kids and life in general frustrate you.  The important thing to remember is that you are making progress on your list. 

Say No If It’s Not Important

Whether you work from home or out of the home, there are things that can distract us and waste time. Limit small talk with co-workers, family, friends, etc. while you are working.  Respect our decision to make a plan and stick to it.

Others will need to understand that if it isn’t something that needs to be taken care of right this minute than it can wait. 

Delegate

Remember that you probably can’t do everything yourself so if there is a task that you might not be very good at or like doing and there is someone who can do the task, then by all means pass it on.  In this way, the task will get done and you won’t waste time putting it off because you can’t accomplish it yourself. 

Compromise When Necessary

As your day progresses, the urgency of a task may also change.  There may be times when your tasks will need to be re-prioritized, re-scheduled, postponed or dropped altogether. Making adjustments if things come up that need your attention is important.  Everyone has limitations and if you realize what those are then you will know what you can work on later to improve those skills and know in advance what tasks you will need help with. 

Learning to manage your time is not to stress your day, so remember to relax and learn as you go.  The more you practice managing your time, the better you will get at it.

Time management is so that you will take control of your days and see how much you really can accomplish each day and then enjoy some time with family and friends.  This is your only viable option no matter where you are working and the only way to accomplish anything worthwhile. 

Reprinted with permission of the San Antonio Apartment Association magazine.