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Six tips for better time management

September 12, 2013 - Psychology

160526309If you’re always rushing, it pays to remember your time truly belongs to you. Here, we consider ways in which we needlessly give it away and steps you can take towards better time management.

Needy friends
Needy friends who monopolise our time and resources may well be selfish – but, remember, we choose them! Lay some firm boundaries. Agree to meet them or talk on the phone for a set amount of time. Most of all, remember it’s not your job to fix someone else’s life. You may offer advice and support, but if you become over involved you’re simply encouraging them to carry on being needy.

Meetings
Forward-thinking bosses beware! Although meetings can be extremely constructive in terms of managing workloads and staff communication, they can also be road-blocks. Too many meetings might mean the team spends too much time brainstorming instead of getting things done.

Sleep
We all love a lie-in every now and then, but if your routine becomes too topsy-turvy you’ll lose time fast. Discipline yourself to get to bed at a reasonable hour so you wake up and start the day on a positive footing. There’s nothing worse than feeling as if you’re running behind and rushing all the time. What’s more, if it means you’re driving too fast, or not focused on tasks in hand, it could actually be quite dangerous to your health!

Disorganisation
So much time can be lost trying to find items in a messy home or office, catching up on missed appointments or trying to limit chaos. Tidy as you go and keep a firm eye on your diary (if you don’t have one it’s a good idea to get one!) You could write a ‘to do’ list every day, ticking off the items as you go along.

Shopping
Retailers employ all sorts of sneaky tricks to slow us down and keep us spending for longer. They change store layouts and move products, forcing us to wander around looking for items. Supermarkets are the worst culprits, with products like bread, milk and vegetables deliberately spread throughout the shop to force everyone around more aisles. There are two solutions: one is to shop online. The other is to make a list of what you need, stay focused and stick to it.

Procrastination
So often we put off doing boring or tricky tasks and waste time avoiding them. Try not to do this. One good trick is to think about the task in the present tense instead of the future, so the subconscious clicks into gear. For instance, try saying, ‘I’m cleaning out the cupboard,’ instead of, ‘I’m going to clean out the cupboard later on.’

For more useful tips and tools, check out LighterLife magazine.