Time is limited.  We get 24 hours in a day and no more.  How do some make great progress while others wonder where their days have gone?

Here are a 7 strategies to help you maximize the effective use of your time.  From the boardroom to the boardwalk, remember these little budgeting tips to tame the time-wasters in your week.

1. Master the To Do List (Don’t serve it.)
It’s easy to get run over by goals or work demands on a to-do list.  Too many tasks can lead to overwhelm, overwork, and a sense of failure.  Try prioritizing your task list, then select and focus on the top 3 “most important” and top 3 “most urgent” items.  Put everything else out of sight (and mind) for a while.

2. Block Your Time
Break your days into usable chunks.  Set specific times for activities like reading, research, project work, email, and returning calls.  TURN OFF email alerts and other interrupters.  Multi-tasking is often more accurately described as multi-stopping.  Eliminate wasted refocus and restart time by allowing yourself the freedom to deal with some tasks later.  You will get more out of now.

3. Say NO
No is an incredibly powerful word.  Use it.  Don’t add more than can be done.  Just say no when you need to.  If you use it wisely, you will be respected for it.

4. Work in Peak Times
Drag at 10am but wide awake at 10pm?  Wide awake at 6am but yawning at 2?  Know your body’s peak times of performance, and put them to maximum use.  Schedule the more challenging tasks at peak times.  If a challenging task must be completed during your natural “slump” time, take a brisk walk around the building first.  Wake up that body and mind.

5. Schedule Fun in the Valleys
Mark your calendar for vacations, weekend trips, and time with family & friends. What’s more, you should schedule a mini-mental vacation for yourself once a day.  Whether you read a poem, take a walk, or watch a re-run… making time for little breathers in your day will enhance your mental focus and effectiveness during work sessions.

6. Unplug
We’re inundated with digital communication and notifications.  Take a walk on the wild side… Turn them off.  Most emails and texts do not require an immediate response.  Check these at 3-4 planned intervals throughout the day.  Use the rest of your focused time to power through high-priority items on your list.

7. Keep Practicing & Reap Rewards
If you apply these strategies and keep practicing them, you’ll determine what works best for you and you’ll find you’re more productive.  Don’t obsess with perfection, reward progress.  It’s easy to appreciate someone else, but you should also appreciate yourself.  You have worked hard, you are being diligent… show yourself some love.

What’s a Time Management Strategy that always works for you?



Cindy is the founding President at 17blue Digital Marketing. She's passionate about helping businesses reach their goals and impact their communities.