- 1). Start by setting realistic goals, both short- and long-term. Focus solely on the most important things that you'd like to accomplish and set deadlines by which you'd like to achieve your goals. Determine what your most relevant priorities are and spend just a few minutes each day working to attain your short- and long-term aspirations. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, be sure to allow an ample amount of time to reach your goals.
- 2). Make a plan for your daily routine. This can be done in a paper day planner or via the use of a Blackberry and Microsoft Outlook. By keeping a day planner, online schedule or utilizing time-management software, you can keep track of your appointments and engagements. Be sure to enter birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions and set a reminder to advise you in advance of these upcoming events. Create lists of tasks that need to be accomplished. Prioritize all of your tasks and responsibilities in order of importance, and focus on the imperative tasks first.
- 3). Remove clutter from your desk and workspace. Having a clean and comfortable work area will make it easier for you to concentrate and to find everything that you will need. Be sure to discard old magazines, papers, files, receipts and other items you no longer need. Use file folders and label them to arrange all of your important information.
- 4). Avoid unnecessary interruptions and distractions when you're focusing on a task. Set a time limit to work on the project, and stop once the time frame has ended. While you're working, let telephone calls go to voice mail and refrain from checking your email or surfing online. If you are working from home and have children, ask your partner to watch them or consider hiring a baby sitter for a few hours so that you can focus on your work.
- 5). Assess your progress regularly. Doing so helps to ensure that you are continually meeting your short- and long-term goals and that all of your tasks are being accomplished within a reasonable time frame. Reward yourself when the appropriate progress has been made. Rewards should be simple indulgences, such as purchasing a book you'd like to read or going to your favorite restaurant for a nice lunch. By giving yourself something small to look forward to for a job well done, you're providing yourself with ample motivation to stick to your time-management plans.
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