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Updated 16 Oct 2019


9 Steps you can take to master the art of time management

If you feel like you haven’t achieved half of the things you had set out to do for the week maybe it’s time to address how you manage your time? 


Karolina Sky Rafalski , 26 December 2016  Share  0 comments  Print


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Being busy makes us feel good and productive, but when your workload is too much and you start to forget certain tasks, or are unable to keep up, it can get very overwhelming and put you under a lot of stress.

Nevertheless, these nine tips on how to manage your time more effectively can enable you to do more in a day than you probably give yourself credit for:

Step 1. Stop and focus

You need to stop, breath and focus.

Step 2. Plan your day

Start your day off with more than just a coffee. Get yourself a diary or planner and sit in a comfortable place where there are no distractions and where you can focus. Being able to look at everything you need to complete sets you up perfectly for the day. Set goals and you will strive to achieve them.

Related: Time management super tactics

Step 3. Create checklists

By having a checklist, you can see what needs to be done and it also allows you to prioritise your tasks. Visually seeing all your tasks for the day helps you keep track of your time in order to make sure you can achieve everything on your to-do list. You’ll also find you wont be saying “sure no problem, I’ll do that” to just any task or request as now you have a structured list of all that needs to be done.

You will also save yourself from that moment when you remember, last-minute, to do something that was the most important thing to do, but all the small tasks that come in throughout the day create a constant distraction. Lastly, it’s a great list to review at the end of the day and see just how much work you have done.

Step 4. Avoid distractions

It’s human nature to favor one task over another. Social media seems to be the main distraction these days; from Facebook, to Messenger, Twitter and Instagram. if you have social media tabs on your bookmarks, they are going to be staring at you and distracting you. Set times during the day that you can have a tea break and then catch up on your phone and social media.

Switch your cellphone to silent if you can and allow yourself to truly focus on just the task at hand. You’ll be surprised at how much work you can get done in just an hour of pure and focused concentration. 

Step 5. Tackle one thing at a time

Time -management -tasks

You might have a million and one things to do, but you can’t do them all at once. Take each task one at a time and you will complete them much more effectively. 

Step 6. Ask for help when needed

There are only so many hours in the day, and no matter how hard you try to do everything on your own, just remember you are human and it is okay to ask for help. Identify your struggle and ask someone to help you out. It will take the pressure off and free up your time.

Step 7. Use time-outs wisely

‘A break’ doesn’t mean checking your emails, a break is literally breaking away from the office, your computer and phone. Try get out and change your surroundings, let your eyes and mind rest by focusing on something completely different like having lunch with a friend, popping into the shops or sitting on a bench in a garden. When you get back to work you will be far more productive when it comes to trying to focus.

Related: Getting time on your side

Step 8. Know what’s urgent

Prioritising tasks can make your to-do list that little less daunting. If something doesn’t need to be done today then don’t trouble yourself with it, leave it off todays list. Use your time wisely to complete today’s deadlines only. 

Step 9. Reward yourself

What better incentive is there to get things done than rewarding yourself? Whether this is a tea break after each task completed on your checklist, a glass of wine at the end of the day, or a bit of a shopping spree; it will definitely help your work-mindset.

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About the author


Karolina Sky Rafalski

Karolina Sky Rafalski Motivational and Keynote speaker, Businesswoman, Miss SA top 5 finalist, mother, entrepreneur, communications and psychology professional. With a BA Corporate Communications Degree, an honours degree in Psychology and a specialised postgraduate degree in BPsych Psychometrics Karolina has uniquely married these two diverse fields of study. Combined with her public profile platform, experience as a model in image and creating your own brand, communication, PR and public speaking skills, and expert knowledge in the field of psychology, she is able to motivate, inspire and create self awareness in the business sector and to individuals.

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