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Health and Fitness News

Where'd the Time Go?

Seven tips for better time management.

Do you find you're always running late, missing deadlines, or procrastinating until the last minute? Seem to lose track of time and can't accomplish what you planned? If your answer is yes but you wish it was no, then this article is for you.

Whether you're a student, businessperson, or stay-at-home parent, these time management tips can work for you.

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity. - Henry Van Dyke

Time Tip 1: Say “No” More Often

It's no wonder you feel like there's not enough time in the day when you're over-scheduled and over-committed. Part of staying on track is keeping your track as open as possible. Prioritize what's most important in your life and then cut out the things in your schedule that don't support those priorities. Before committing yourself or your kids to another club, sport, or event, think twice and learn to say no more often.

Time Tip 2: Prioritize Tasks

At the start of each week or day, make a “to-do” list of what you hope to accomplish and rank your list in numerical order by what's most pressing compared to those that can wait. Then, start working on number one. When that's finished, cross it off the list and move on to what's next. Try not to look at the list as a whole or you may feel overwhelmed. Just focus on the task at hand.

Time Tip 3: Set Time Limits

At the same time you make your to-do list and rank each task, assign each job an estimated time limit. This gives you a set goal to work toward. Whether you need to mow the lawn, give the dog a bath, or write a work proposal, make an educated guess at how long each should take and write it down. If it would help, set a timer and try to accomplish each job in the allotted amount of time.

This process may lead you to realize you have unrealistic expectations when it comes to how long tasks take. Or you may learn how quickly you can work when you make use of the next tip.

Time Tip 4: Limit Distractions

It's no wonder you can't get your project done, the clothes folded, or the paper written when you've got so many distractions in the room. The television is blasting away, social media is calling your name, and the kids are begging for your attention. Manage your time wisely by limiting outside distractions. Turn off electronics and find a quiet location where you can be most productive.

Time Tip 5: Keep a Calendar

A major part of managing time is seeing the big picture. How many days or weeks do you have to accomplish a job? What's on the schedule for today? Which child has what sporting event at what time? A calendar can help remind you of appointments, deadlines, and events. A calendar app on your phone is with you wherever you go and can even send reminders and sound alarms.

Time Tip 6: Plan to Be Early

Make a resolution to be early rather than on time and then you may arrive on time. Have a doctor's appointment at 10 a.m.? Write it on your calendar as 9:45 a.m. Use alarms on your phone to alert you half an hour before you're scheduled to be somewhere and you won’t be rushing. But you will be on time.

Time Tip 7: Get Enough Sleep

On your list of priorities, sleep should be near the top. Even though you're completely unproductive while asleep, your body needs at least seven to eight hours a day in order to concentrate, focus, and have energy for the next day. Don't think sacrificing sleep is a good idea for being more productive. Actually, skipping sleep will have the opposite effect.