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Practicing good time management techniques is a great way to ensure the workday goes smoothly, no matter the tasks that need to be completed. People who work efficiently and manage their time carefully tend to accomplish more in a day than others. Some of the most common time management techniques involve scheduling and planning; as much as possible, determining the most important things that need to be accomplished during the day, and then scheduling around them is a good method. In addition, minimizing distractions and focusing on one thing at a time is a good way to manage time and accomplish more.
One of the most often recommended time management techniques is to always be sure to prioritize. Identify the most important tasks, and look at the schedule for the day to determine where they can fit. Many people find that tackling the most unpleasant or most challenging tasks first, though it may not seem too appealing, is the best way to get them accomplished. This way, the work gets easier as the day goes on, not more difficult. This is beneficial because most people have more energy in the morning.
Some people make lists every day of tasks that need to be accomplished, while others start at the beginning of the week with determining what needs to be done. Another one of the most important time management techniques is to focus on just one thing at a time and minimize distractions. For instance, while it is tempting to try to write a report while replying to emails or even just looking on the Internet, these breaks in concentration can make each task take longer and make it much more difficult to focus on work. Unless absolutely necessary, don't leave email open all the time; instead, just check it every few hours. A great deal of time will be saved, which can then be devoted to other tasks.
If it is possible, identify tasks that can be delegated to others. Some people also find it helpful to keep track for a few days of how they spend their time; this can help to identify potential areas for improvement. Though it may seem counterintuitive, taking a few regular breaks throughout the day, even just ten minutes to step away from the computer and go outside, can help to refocus the concentration and increase productivity. The same time management techniques may not work for everyone, so it is important to try different ones until the most effective methods are discovered.
Some people struggle with differentiating between urgent and important. Try this: Important stuff = good things happen when you do something. Urgent = bad things happen when you don't do something!