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Time-Saving Tips to Get Time on Your Side

Time on your sideIf there’s one thing we could all use a little more of, it’s time. More time for our families, jobs, friends and ourselves. Our tips below may not slow the clock, but they will help you make the most of those precious minutes.

Less Than 10. Most women keep a running To Do list that never gets any shorter. We cross off one task while adding another to the bottom. Challenge yourself to keep your daily list under 10 tasks and categorize each one as “Must Do Today,” “Would Like to Get Done Today” and “Could Wait.” Start with the “musts” and move your way down. Revisit your list at the end of the day, and celebrate your progress.

Set the Stage. Take 30 minutes every morning to prepare for your day. Or, take 30 minutes each evening to look ahead. Review your To Do list, and set your priorities. Having a well-defined picture will help you set expectations for the day ahead.

Stop Multitasking. Multitasking makes us feel as if we’re pumping up our productivity, but it can actually slow us down. Instead, give your full attention to the task at hand. When one task is 100% complete, move on to the next. Focusing on one task at a time helps clear your head as you move about the day.

Write It Down. When you focus on one task at a time, it’s inevitable that additional tasks and thoughts will pop into your head. To avoid becoming distracted, keep a pen and paper close by so you can jot these thoughts down and get back to the task at hand as quickly as possible. When you have a few free minutes, review your list and prioritize each item. Resist the urge to use a mobile app to record your pop-up tasks. When you go mobile, the temptation to check Facebook or play a round of Candy Crush while you’re using your phone may derail your progress.

Embrace the Concept of Good Enough. We want to do our best work always, but at some point we have to say, “This is good enough. I’m moving on.” Otherwise, you waste time trying to get everything just right. If you’re a perfectionist, challenge yourself to redefine your standards, as necessary.

Looking for more time management advice? Read Stress Management: Managing Your Time

Recommended Reading: 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam