Whether it’s submitting assignments at university, trying to meet a training contract deadline or getting to social engagements on time, time management is something that a lot of people struggle with.
Having lots of tasks and an increasing number of deadlines can lead to an increase in stress and it can really affect an individual’s morale. The reality is that in life, we are all going to have demands on our time and we are often going to have more tasks to complete than we would like. However, there are some simple strategies you can use to help you to manage your time better:
(1) Use technology – with people using social media apps more and the widespread use of instant messaging services such as WhatsApp, some may argue that the existence of technology has actually had a negative impact on our time management skills!
However, technology should be used to your advantage and there are now lots of apps that you can download to help you to manage your time better. How about using an app like Wunderlist to manage your time? Apps like this will help you to collect, organise, prioritise and complete your tasks and allow integrated access across a variety of different devices.
(2) Avoid multitasking – numerous studies have been done on how our brains work when dealing with multiple tasks and there is research to show that humans are not as good as they think they are when it comes to doing different tasks. In fact, by trying to do lots of things at once, there is a danger that we are spending longer on each task and this is having an impact on our time management.
When practising as a lawyer or working in any other job, the client or customer will want a product or service delivered to a high standard but with efficiency too. If you’re finding it difficult to do lots of things at once, it might be better if you focus on one task, complete it to a high standard and then focus on another task.
(3) Wake up earlier – many highly successful people have commented that one of the keys to their success has been waking up early. It can be horrifying to think about waking up at 5.00am but if you have lots of tasks and you are finding it difficult to fit them all in, one solution might be to increase the amount of time you have available to work on them by waking up earlier. However, it is important that this is balanced with getting enough sleep because adequate sleep is vital for our health.
It might take a while to get used to the earlier start but once you have got into a routine, it will become much easier to wake up earlier. However, if you work better at night than in the morning, it would make sense to try to do most of your high energy work in the evening when you are the most productive. Whilst in practice this can be difficult, if you can do it then you should be able to increase the amount you get done.