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5 Tips to manage your time better

A lot of people struggle with managing their time. This is something I think we all have in common. But how do you over come these battles of keeping on task and making time for everything?

I work from home as an online teacher and a VA (virtual assistant). When you work from home you have to be diligent about keeping on task to get thing completed, especially when you are running your own business like me.

Here are five things I find helpful in keeping myself on task.

1. Making a Schedule

The first thing I do is block out my time in my Google Calendar. If I don't have a schedule I don't know when I am supposed to do something and for how long. Having a schedule helps me to know what I am supposed to be doing at a certain time. The method I like to use is time blocking. Time blocking is when you schedule out your appointments, tasks and everything you need to do in your calendar.

I like to use Google Calendar for this, because I can get it on my phone, and I can easily move things around as needed when my schedule needs to change. I also find that using the tasks in google calendar is very helpful for those things I wants to check off.

This takes us to the next step.

2. Use check lists

In google calendar you can use tasks as a check list and drag it around on your calendar (on the desktop version) and set dates and times for when it needs to be done. Then when you complete it you can check it off just like on a simple check list on paper. This helps me stay on task and adjust the schedule as needed.

Be sure that you focus on one task at a time and not worry about the others until the one you are working on is done. This will help you remain focused and complete the task at hand. Be confident in knowing that you won't forget something after you have completed your task list, because all you need to do now is follow it one item at a time.

3. Set Deadlines

Using these two systems I can set deadlines for appointments and tasks in Google Calendar and follow this schedule daily to get the work done I need to do. If you don't set a date and time for when you will complete the task then you will find it easier to get distracted and wonder to something else. Setting up a schedule with dates and times for things that you need to do will help you know when you need to do something and when it is due by.

This is the hardest thing for some people because they are not sure how long something will take to complete. But as a VA I am happy to offer coaching in this area. You can book a time with me to go over your schedule and talk about ways to help you set up a schedule and manage your time better. The first call if free.

4. Eliminate Interruptions

Giving yourself a workspace with dedicated privacy and limited distraction from those around you will help you be able to be more productive in completing your tasks.

For me I have a desk in an office spaced with all the things I need to complete tasks for my business. Give yourself a desk, and supplies needed to complete your work. A kitchen table works too, but only if others around you won't disturb you and distract you. A library if it is at a school will work as well, but be sure you are secluded space at the library to give yourself the least amount of distractions.

Close all tabs on your computer browser that are not needed open for the task at hand. Don't go looking on social media or website that have nothing to do with what you are trying to accomplish. (If your working on social media, there is an exception to this).

Put away your phone unless you are needing this tool for a specific task you are trying to complete.

5. Take Breaks

This last one is important because often we get in the zone of what we are trying to do and don't get up and walk around, get a drink of water, eat a snack, use the restroom. These are all things that we need to do to keep ourself healthy and give ourselves a break, especially from a computer screen if what you are doing is on the computer.

The rule most people say is every hour take a 5-10 min break. Set a timer and then when the time goes off, get back to completing the task you need to finish.

And there you have it. These are the 5 things I believe are most important to help you manage your time better. I am happy to coach you with any or all of these areas if you need help to get yourself organized and or need someone to help hold you accountable to getting it all done. Reach out and book a free call with me to get started.

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