Get the Most Out of Your Day

Posted: September 19, 2011

Do you ever notice that some people have more time than others do? We all have 24 hours in a day but we differ in how we manage our time. Learning basic time management skills can become an invaluable asset and will allow you to accomplish your goals and perform daily tasks.

    Katey Walker, Kansas State University Research and Extension family resource specialist, recommends starting with small changes. She says to find the time that is the most productive for you and plan on tackling jobs then. For example, if you’re a morning person, you may want to get up 15-30 minutes earlier to do some simple tasks like unload the dishwasher, do a load of laundry, or pay some bills.

     Below Walker provides some additional time-saving tips.

     * Prioritize. Identify what’s most important and move it to the top of the list.

     * Make “to-do” lists. These will help you keep on task and organized.

     * Try to do the least pleasant task first. It may not take less time, but it is likely to offer a time savings. Once the job is done, it’s not necessary to spend time thinking about it.

     * Learn to say "no." Consider what can be accomplished realistically and turn down additional requests.

     * Learn to delegate. Others may not do the job exactly as you might, but the fact that they’re doing it allows you time for other activities and interests, Walker said.

     * Minimize paperwork. Sort the mail the same day it is received; place bills and other mail that needs a response in one place.

     * Reconsider your routine. Perhaps doing a load of laundry each morning or evening can free up Saturday morning.

     * Break down large tasks into smaller chores. For example, if cleaning the living room is on your list but you can’t find an hour to do it, break it down into several smaller jobs like dusting, vacuuming and straightening.

     * Be flexible. Ask yourself: Is this still important? If not, move on to your next priority.

Karen Thomas is a family and consumer sciences educator for Penn State Cooperative Extension of Lackawanna County.