Do you struggle to consistently manage your time? It is a common struggle amongst many but effective time management is essential to running a successful business,maximising productivity and ensuring a satisfactory work-life balance. However, managing your time when you have a busy schedule can quickly become stressful and overwhelming. So, if you feel like you need a hand with your time management, here are some simple, practical tips to help you become more productive.

#1: Set your goals effectively

In order toimprove your time management, use the SMART method for setting goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely goals are likely to feel more achievable and, as a result, you will be more motivated to accomplish them. Your goal should be specific, so that it is clear what you will be achieved when the task is complete, measurable to track progress, achievable so that you are challenged but still successful, relevant to your overall goals and time-bound with a specific date to aim towards.

Michelle from virtual assistants Virtual Hand “You can break seemingly enormous tasks down into smaller SMART goals to reach your desired end-goal in a more timely manner.”Using this method is a simple but effective manner of creating easier, manageable sub-tasks, making for a practical way to tackle a large project.

#2:Give yourself time limits

Simply adhering to deadlines is not enough to be efficient, especially when a taskfeels daunting, because this leads to overthinking and procrastination. Instead, try setting a time limit for how long you will commit to a task.

Setting time limits is crucial if you want to improve your time management. If you tend to obsess over the small details, then giving yourself time constraints can help you stay on track and be more efficient. Whilst the fear of compromising the quality of your work may be intimidating, you will ultimately focus on what is most important in a restricted time frame, improving productivity and alleviating stress.

#3: Plan for the following day

While it is important to manage your long term plan, you shouldn’t neglect the importance of planning on a daily basis. Make sure that you go into each day with a clear plan for what you plan to achieve and how you are going to get there as this will increase productivity. Planning on a daily basis allows you to structure your day in a way that will maximise your outcome.

Where possible, at the end of the day,try to make a to-do list for the following day. This habit will kickstart the following day into being well-organised and productive so that over time you will see your time management improve.

#4: Stop multitasking and start prioritising

Though it may seem counter-intuitiveto avoid multi-tasking when trying find practical ways to manage your time, it often results in being less productive. Switching between different tasks means having torepeatedly shift your focus, which takes up more time than it saves.

Instead, opt for working on completing one task at a time so that you can concentrate fully on the task at hand. Try to prioritise tasks as urgent or non-urgent to help you determine an order which will be the most time efficient and productive.

#5: Eliminate distractions

Everyone knows that distractions impair productivity, but its important not to underestimate the importance of having an organised work space.Creating an environment which is free of distractions is a simple but effective way to improve time management because it is much easier to focus in a clutter-free space. This can be as simple as spending five minutes getting rid of any unnecessary papers so that you can concentrate on the task at hand. Remember, this can apply to electronic devices too so try to keep your virtual workspace equally tidy and distraction-free.

#6: Delegate where possible

The urge to take care of each and any issue within your business can be overwhelming, but certainly will not help you manage your time efficiently. It’s important to be able to decide which jobs you need to do personally. Why not outsource these tasks instead?

If you wondering how to go about outsourcing to somebody outside of the business, a Virtual Assistant is an excellent place to start!Having a Virtual Assistantallows for you to share the workload, concentrate on the tasks most important to you and allow you more productive. This way, you will have more time and motivation to commit to your business.