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How To Manage Your Time

Getting to the end of your week and wondering why you haven't made a dent in your to-do list can be frustrating. While you can't spin time out of thin air, there are strategies to managing the time you do have more efficiently.
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Write It Down

If you're not sure where all your time is going, keep a log for a week. It may seem tedious to track every activity but you'll have powerful insights when you're done. You may be surprised by how much time you're losing to scrolling apps or watching TV. You don't need to eliminate these activities but you can be mindful of how much of your day they're eating. Habits or automatic behaviors are hard to see when you're in them. Writing them down forces you to be honest. You can also look at your phone to see where all your screen time is going but ideally, this isn't your whole day.

Pay Someone Else 

If you've taken stock of how your time is being spent and there's simply nowhere to cut back, consider hiring someone for tasks you don't enjoy. Get your weekends back and find a neighborhood kid to cut your grass. Use a meal delivery service for those nights you'd rather not cook.

Plan Ahead

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It's a cliche, but it's also true. Write down your goals for the day. You can do this at night or in the morning, just make sure you do it. Another mantra is 'eat the frog.' Take on your biggest chore first thing in the day. You'll be more likely to accomplish it when you're still fresh.
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Get Healthy

Your brain needs to function properly to make decisions. Poor diet, lack of exercise and too much alcohol can all contribute to a less than ideal mental state. A sugar high can rob you of as much as five hours of productive thinking. Replacing bad habits with healthy ones helps you maintain focus.

Get Organized

Even laser-like focus won't save you any time if your priorities are all over the place. Organize your files, organize your goals, organize your bathroom, organize anything that feels cluttered and messy. Having a system lets you spend less time hunting for things and more time doing what you intend to do.
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Stop Procrastinating

Most time wasting activities are just another form of procrastination. If you're having a hard time getting started try devoting just ten minutes to a task. Once you're moving, you'll find that continuing isn't as hard as you'd thought.

Examine Your Values 

When all else fails, take a long hard look at why you're doing what you're doing. Are you in the wrong job? Can you ask for less hours? Could you make more money doing something else? Sometimes change is required to get where you want to go.

Managing your time is a skill that takes practice. Evaluating your habits and making meaningful changes can help you make the most of your day and ultimately your life.

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