Do you feel like you’re not making the best use of your time and that your schedule is all over the place?
If so, you’re not alone. In fact, a recent study found that only 20% of the workday is spent on important or crucial tasks, while people spend 80% of their average workday on non-essential tasks or tasks that have little value.
Luckily, no matter how disorganized your day currently is, there are things you can do to turn it around.
Check out this guide to discover the top tips you need to know to manage schedules like a boss.
1- Invest in the Right Scheduling Software
Investing in a scheduling software is one of the best things you can do to clean up your schedule.
With the best software, you’ll be able to keep track of all of your meetings, appointments, and tasks for the day. Additionally, if you’re running a business, you’ll be able to keep track of all of the same things for your employees.
By having a better handle on your schedule, scheduling software can help you prioritize tasks, keep everyone on the same page, plan out personal time, and reduce the number of missed meetings.
2- Plan Your Day out the Night Before
When you have a bunch of tasks to accomplish in one day but no set plan on how to tackle them, it can be easy to go into the day feeling overwhelmed.
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This feeling of being overwhelmed can quickly lead to procrastination as you try to figure out which task you should tackle first and in what order you should complete your work.
To prevent this from happening, you should plan out your day the night before. Before you go to bed or before you leave work, take 15 minutes to figure out what you’re going to do the following day.
One of the biggest things you should figure out is which project you’re going to tackle first. By having your first task figured out, it’ll be easier to jump right into your day and stick to your schedule.
3- Organize Your Workload Into Blocks
In today’s fast-paced world, multitasking has become the norm. Many people aren’t feeling productive unless they’re tackling a bunch of tasks at once.
While multitasking may be the norm, it’s not the best way to get things done. By devoting your time and attention to a single task, you’ll get things done in a much quicker manner.
So, figure out how much time you need to complete each task on your daily checklist, and block off each task in your calendar. Then, make sure you actually stick to these blocks of time.
Whatever isn’t planned, don’t do it. And if you want free time during the day, plan it out.
4- Organize Your Desk the Right Way
When it comes to staying on top of your schedule, an organized desk can make a big difference.
Each time you have to pause during the day to find a pen or a paper clip, you lose your flow and your train of thought. By keeping your desk tidy, you won’t succumb to moments of distraction.
Make sure you have everything you need nearby to get your work done, whether it be art supplies, drafting paper, or school books. Also, make sure everything is set up in a neat and tidy manner and in an arm’s reach.
5- Jot Down Appointments Right Away
Appointments can be one of the biggest hurdles when it comes to staying on top of your schedule.
Oftentimes, we miss appointments because we forget to write them down, or we write down the wrong information. Whenever you make or change an appointment, take a moment to immediately record it in your planner or in whatever device you use to manage your schedule.
This way, you’ll be a lot less likely to scramble later on when you can’t remember where you need to be. Additionally, recording appointments immediately will help keep your mind focused, as you won’t be distracted by millions of dates and times swirling around in your head.
6- Make Time for Breaks
Many people think that taking breaks throughout the day will just slow down their workflow and throw off their schedule.
However, breaks are great for recharging your batteries. When you take a break, you’ll be able to come back to work re-energized and with more focus.
To make your day as productive as possible, schedule for short breaks instead of just taking them at random. By scheduling your breaks, you’ll have something to work towards.
While there are a lot of theories out there about how long people should take breaks in order to stay productive, experts suggest finding an amount of time that works for you.
For some people, this may mean taking a 10-minute break every 50 minutes. For others, taking a 20-minute break every 2 hours may work better.
7- Start With Something Big
Many people start their day by spending one to two hours on busy work- ie, answering emails, opening mail, surfing the web.
These “easy” activities can suck up your time rather quickly, and leave you feeling like you’ve wasted the first couple hours of your day. When you feel like you’ve wasted the first couple of hours, it can easily send your entire day into a tailspin.
To prevent this from happening, scheduling right in beginning of the day is the way to go. This should be something that has a looming deadline, that you’ve been procrastinating on, or simply something that has been hanging over your head.
By knocking out a big task right away, you’ll have more momentum and focus going into the rest of the day.
Are You Ready to Manage Schedules Better?
Now that you know how to manage schedules like a boss, it’s time to put these tips into action. Before you know it, your days will be more productive than ever.
Be sure to check back in with our blog for more productivity tips and tricks.