Getting Smarter about Time Management

Time. There never seems to be enough of it, and we’re always trying to find ways to make it work harder for us. With busy schedules, demanding jobs, families, chores, exercise, rest and social commitments, most of us are stretched thin trying to put more hours back in our days.

And then there’s time spent on Facebook and other social media. Procrastinating. Sleeping in. Running late. Or a million other reasons we’re not using our time wisely. Fact is, time management is a learned skill. You just have to use the things in your life more effectively to help you get smarter about how you manage the time you have in each day.

The new school year is quickly approaching. Whether you’re a student, parent, or teacher, managing your time will be vital to your success this semester.   Below we’ll give you  5 key tips on how to improve your time management, and how your smartphone can help!

1. Jumpstart Your Morning

Put yourself in a position to make sure that the day ahead will be productive. Here are some things you can do to start your day off right:

Program your coffeemaker the night before

The programming feature is there for a reason. Because the smell of fresh-brewed coffee sends a signal to your brain that says, “It’s time to get up.” Also, plan your breakfast and have it easily accessible.

Put your alarm clock out of reach

One way to get going early to is to actually force yourself to get out of bed to turn off your alarm. Some great Android alarm clock apps that offer lots of smart wake-up functions include:

Go outside

If the weather permits, take your coffee or tea outside. Not only will it clear your head and connect you with nature – it keeps you from jumping online right away.

Plan your day the night before

Review your day planner before hitting the sack for the night. By thinking through what needs to be done the next day, you’ll start your morning more prepared to hit the ground running.

2. Create Better To-Do Lists

Lists are essential for making sure that the things in your life that matter – get done. Unfortunately, many of us put way too many things on our to-do lists, which can become overwhelming and work against the goal of completing your tasks. The trick is to treat your list strategically, by incorporating a few basic rules:

Keep it simple

Limit yourself to the most important tasks you need to complete.

Add quick descriptions

If you’re completing your task list the night before, a few words of description can help you remember the important details.

Shuffle the priority of tasks as needed

As you work through your day, you may want to move a task that isn’t as important but is easier to complete – to the top of your priority. Crossing it off your list can provide a necessary sense of accomplishment.

Android apps that can help you manage your to-do lists:

 3. Do More With Your Digital Calendar

Keep track of important appointments, social events, payments and commitments by adding reminders to your smartphone calendar. When the reminder is due, your phone notifies you with a sound or buzz – and a pop-up graphic. You can even add options to your reminders to tell you how much time you need to get to an event and the current traffic conditions.

To help keep your family or work group aware of upcoming events or deadlines, use the option to share your calendar with others – so that everyone is up-to-date and in-the-know.

Android apps that can help you keep your calendar organized and working hard:

 4. Limit Distractions

If you want to get things done, give yourself a quiet, clean place to be productive – and do as much as you can to restrict interruptions to your workflow.

Information overload is real. While the ability to get notifications from your smartphone about key events or deadlines in your personal calendar is great, what’s not so great is getting notified about non-essential items, constantly. Whether it’s Facebook notifications about posts, news notifications about current events, or available updates to your apps – these push notifications can easily distract you and ruin your productivity. Turn them off.

5. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is not only essential to life – it’s also essential to being productive. People who are sleep-deficient have a much-increased chance of storing fat and becoming sick, as well as experiencing a sharp decline in their cognitive performance. Experts say that adults should get between 7-9 hours a night, without exception, to ensure good health and peak brain function.

Android apps that can help you manage your sleep cycles, drift off more easily and slumber more deeply:

Finding the time to tackle the important things in your life takes initiative, planning, and smart decision-making, especially in our fast-paced, jam-packed lives. By utilizing proven strategies to improve your time management, you’ll feel more focused, prepared and ready to get things done.