It’s the new year, and it’s time to refresh, reignite your passions, and reinvigorate your minds! We are all aspiring to achieve our resolutions and goals, but before you get started (you guessed it!) you need to get organized. Perhaps the most important thing to do is learn how to manage your time. Time management is one of the most effective ways to reach your goals and make changes. Because I love to share professional organizing tips, I’ve put together my top five tips to managing your time this year.
- Use one calendar as your “hub” – With multiple calendars, you can miss an event or important occasion. As a professional organizer in Boston, many of my clients have tried to juggle multiple calendars with little success, so avoid making this same mistake. Create one “hub” with all of your appointments.
- Plan your day – This might seem straightforward, however many people forgo this simple step before starting their day. Because of this, there is no structure and the day becomes disorganized. Plan your day the night prior or first thing in the morning. Write down the top 2-3 actions that must get done and block them in your calendar. If you just write them down on a piece of paper, there is no plan of when you will do the task. If you can’t do the task in the selected time, move it down in your day but do try to get it done the day it’s scheduled.
- Learn how to say ‘no’ – One of the most important things I share with my clients is that ‘no’ is not a dirty word. By learning how to say this two-letter word, you can protect your time and limit the number of commitments. This will put YOU in control, versus at the mercy of others. After all, we only have 24 hours in our days and we need to prioritize what’s important in our professional and personal lives.
- Set a timer – Time flies when you’re checking Facebook. It’s true; sometimes browsing social media channels and checking email can go from “a few minutes” to more than an hour. The best way to avoid this time trap is to set a timer for 15 or 30-minute increments. When the timer rings, you can evaluate if you have more time to continue or if you have to move on to another appointment or task.
- Minimize distractions – One distraction – or phone call from your mother – can derail your day. Before you get started with your note, make an effort to clear the air of distractions. Turn your phone to vibrate. Close out of your Facebook page. Close your office door. If you work in an open office where people will swing by without an appointment, see if you can find space in a conference room. If you know your day will inevitably be filled with impromptu, schedule it in your calendar so you can set your expectation at the beginning of the day. Going through your day with minimal distractions will help keep you on task so you can get more work done in a timely manner.