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Article By: Jonnie Davis
Excellent time management is the key to success for women. Whether you’re a working mom, recent college graduate or starting at a new company, balancing all the elements of life is a challenge. Part of success is staying focused in order to meet professional goals. However, maintaining your mental, physical and spiritual well-being is also important so that you don’t become burned out or overwhelmed. Success is a long-term journey and high-quality time management skills help you to not only achieve success but also in maintaining success.
In addition, as women, we’re often expected to manage our households and families on top of career goals. Creating space for self-care and work/life balance easily falls through the cracks if we don’t manage our time well and set boundaries. Incorporate these habits into your routine to help achieve the success you want.
#1. They Get Enough Sleep
Research suggests that women need 20 minutes more sleep per night than men. While women are the ones who need more sleep, unfortunately, they get the less amount of sleep. In order to function best during the day, it’s critical to make sleep a priority. Find ways to improve sleep habits by consuming less caffeine, exercising, shutting off screens earlier and creating a quiet, dark and peaceful sleep environment.
#2. They Delegate
Good time management means that you don’t try to do everything yourself. Delegate tasks that don’t require your expertise. Opportunities for delegation are available at home and work. At home, assign age-appropriate chores to children or hire a cleaning service. At work, assign projects to other team members or hire an assistant to help with booking work travel or prescreening email. Don’t waste valuable time on non-essential tasks.
#3. They Maintain an Up-to-Date Calendar
A calendar is essential to stay on schedule. If you miss important meetings or deadlines because of a lack of organization, you won’t be successful or respected. Find a calendar system that works for you. With today’s technology options, you can easily keep track of your schedule on your smartphone. Also, an old-school desktop calendar is a great way to have a visual reminder of your time responsibilities and commitments.
#4. They Stay Energized
According to the Harvard Business Review, what we eat heavily impacts our energy levels and productivity, they suggest preplanning what you will eat during so that you make better choices. Another way to stay energized throughout the day is with exercise, like a walk or bike ride on your lunch break. Also, regular brain breaks help reenergize your mind. In fact, a brain break can help refuel creativity and problem-solving.
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#5. They Prioritize
Time management requires prioritization. Not everything gets accomplished every day. Procrastination occurs when we feel overwhelmed by our workload. In order to be productive, create a list of the most important or pressing tasks. Take care of those items first. Then, identify the second-tier tasks and so forth. By creating a priority list, you can focus on those items of most importance. This helps to meet deadlines and goals.
#6. They Say No
Individuals with excellent time management habits understand that saying no is required. Especially if you are good at what you do, people will ask for more and more. You must set boundaries and be willing to say no. Prioritizing will help! If you understand what you need to accomplish in order to reach your goals, then you know what things won’t help you achieve those goals. This gives you the wisdom to know what to say no to. Also, healthy boundaries lead to respectful relationships.
#7. They Define Their Goals
Like with prioritizing, setting goals lets you know how to measure success. If you don’t know what you want, then you won’t know if you’re successful. Make a list of S.M.A.R.T. goals, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and timebound. S.M.A.R.T. goals establish parameters for success. Goals also allow you to create a structure to meet your goals.
#8. They Stay Focused
It’s easy to get distracted by constant interruptions during your day, and these interruptions impact performance and stress levels. One study showed that when individuals experience disruptions while working that levels of stress, frustration and time pressure increase. Also, when interrupted frequently, individuals complete tasks at a higher speed but lower quality. Create an environment where you can focus to manage your time better. Avoid looking at social media, don’t check email or browse the Internet and even consider posting a “do not disrupt” sign at the entry to your workspace.
#9. They Don’t Multitask
Multitasking doesn’t help accomplish more work. Data suggests that trying to complete two tasks simultaneously can negatively impact productivity by as much as 40%. The human brain is not designed to switch between tasks easily or spilt focus. Instead, better time management means focusing on one task at a time for better quality work in a shorter timeframe.
#10. They Are Punctual
One of the most critical time management habits is to be on time. The importance of punctuality to achieve success cannot be overstated. When you are habitually late, it is a sign of disrespect to others. Not only does constant tardiness throw yours and others schedules off, but it will create professional distrust. In order to be successful, you need your co-workers, managers, and clients to respect you.
#11. They Set Deadlines
Like with goal setting, set deadlines to keep you focused and meeting expectations. It is easy to procrastinate on tasks that aren’t well defined. Even if you don’t have an assigned deadline, establish a timeline so that it doesn’t fall through the cracks. Deadlines help you to focus and accomplish your work, which helps you meet your goals.
#12. They Build in Extra Time
Good time management means creating space for urgent issues and unplanned events. Also, account for travel time between meetings to help keep you on schedule. If your calendar is so booked that having to take an urgent client call throws off your entire day, then you’re not practicing good time management. Life happens, and you need to plan for the time to deal with it.
Establish good time management habits in order to create success in your professional and personal life. Whether you are training for a marathon or working toward a promotion, you need time to work toward your goal. Evaluate your current behavior patterns to determine where change is necessary. Then, implement these proven time management habits of successful women.
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