The key to getting things done and not feeling so overwhelmed is learning the art of time management. Either day works for me to be able to focus on what matters and prioritize my time. If you need help, here are five easy rules that will help you make it all work.

1. Get your priorities straight. 

A good place to start is by gathering all of your important tasks and writing them down. There is no need to put everything on one piece of paper, but jot down anything you can’t put off or that is important. I like to think in the order of importance; so if the phone rings, it’s time and I write it right on top and then revisit the list as a reminder throughout the day. This makes it easier to spot which tasks still need attention, without having to go through each one again. 

Next, prioritize your tasks by how much time you need to get them done, how important they are, and if they are upcoming or already due. You may find that you have several tasks that must be completed in a short amount of time, so group them together and get them out of the way first. Then tackle the big jobs and make sure everything else is placed in order according to importance. Use the number system on your phone for this – one being most important, five being least important – so you can easily find it again later when that same task is still due.

2. Take breaks to stay sane. 

You may think that you are a workaholic if you leave work every night at 6 or 7 o’ clock and never get a break in between. You need to recognize when you have worked too hard and need a break, or when you have nothing left for energy. Sometimes it’s just about getting some fresh air, so get out of the office and take your shuteye where it is safe. 

If you are finding yourself distracted at the office, it’s good to get away from your desk and get a new perspective on your surroundings. You can set a timer or alarm on your cell phone to let you know how much time you have to enjoy yourself. Do not waste time when taking breaks, as this will only make you feel as if the break was just a waste of time.

3. Schedule in your free time for yourself.

I’m a very organized person, but just like us all, I can’t plan in every scenario. Sometimes I get so caught up in being a machine that I don’t get to do the things that make me happy. Having an extra hour at a time to read a book and catch up on some work is perfect for me as long as it doesn’t interfere with my responsibilities. This free time can be used for catching up on or emailing friends or family, walking your dog, and even going out for dinner. It is important to take advantage of this time, because it will make you happy and help you be more productive.

If you ever find yourself overloading on work, the best thing to do is to set rules for yourself. For example, when I have a deadline coming up that I know I can’t miss, I put it in my calendar so that I won’t do anything during the time when I should be working. This way, if I get busy during the middle of it, then at least I can schedule in some extra time for meetings later on in the day and not feel guilty about not responding right away.

4. Keep the good times rolling. 

Most of us have had those days when we haven’t felt like going into the office and we’ve stayed home with our families all day. Don’t forget that you bring joy to others as well and you need to be around to do that. Your family might not always want to go work with you, but they can still appreciate it when you are home doing nothing but taking care of them.

5. Show your appreciation. 

This is something that I have struggled with, but the best way for me was to make an effort to let everyone know what I do for them and how much I appreciate their hard work. I like to make a list of the things that I do for other people and the tasks I complete, whether it be delivering a pizza, making a few phone calls, or shipping out products. This helps take the weight off me, makes them feel appreciated and lets all know that our hard work is appreciated.


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