Whether your New Year's Resolutions focus on achieving better health, reaching career milestones, or strengthening relationships, they would undoubtedly be easier to accomplish if only you had more time. In a digital world of constant distractions and information overload, most people feel that the days slip away and they are left wondering why they were unable to accomplish more. Embark on the new year with a commitment to optimizing your time in order to fulfill your goals and create a better sense of balance in your life. Here are a few tips:
1. Plan your day the night before, making note of the most important tasks and estimating how long each item will take. Schedule time for inevitable interruptions. By creating a roadmap for the day, you gain a sense of how much free time you will have and keep the commitments that cannot be ignored at the forefront of your mind.
2. Refrain from checking email first thing in the morning. The frenzy of people demanding your attention may generate stress and deter you from the productivity plan you have created. Instead, schedule time for checking and answering email at various points throughout the day.
3. When you are working on an important task, silence email and social media alerts on all you devices. Switch your phone to airplane mode and close the door to your office, if you have one.
4. Have a designated end to your work day, and commit to it unless you need to meet a firm deadline. The boundary between work and leisure time can easily become blurred, especially if you work from home. When work assignments are constantly encroaching on your time off, you may become exhausted and less efficient.
5. Schedule time for self-care. When life gets busy, many people allow their own well-being to sink to the bottom of their priority lists. However, neglecting physical or mental wellness by not getting enough sleep, eating unhealthy foods, or allowing stress to dominate your thoughts will catch up with you. If you become ill, you will lose more time than simple preventive measures would have taken.