Time Management Tips to Help You Succeed in the Fast-Paced IT World
Do you ever find yourself feeling like there’s just not enough time in the day to do everything you need (and want!) to do? You’re not alone. Time management can feel like an elusive concept. This is particularly true for Carolina Career College students that are often balancing work, family obligations, and social activities in addition to their coursework.
We’ve noticed over the years that the way our students manage their time while attending CCC can translate into time management skills that will help them find success in their new IT careers.
Here are some of our favorite time management tips to help you work more efficiently now and in the future.
1. Log how you’re spending your time… honestly
The best way to improve your time management skills is to see exactly how you’re spending your time. Spend a few days logging exactly how you spend your time, and make sure you’re doing it honestly. This means you should track how much time you spend scrolling through your phone, browsing the internet, working on tasks, etc.
You can track your time through a sophisticated productivity app, in a spreadsheet, or even just in a paper notebook. This will give you an accurate idea of where your time is being spent and how you should make adjustments.
2. Eliminate distractions
We live in a world that has us constantly inundated with news alerts, text messages, phone notifications, and more. It’s never been easier to stay “connected,” but that means we’re also perpetually distracted. Stay on target with your goals by putting aside all distractions (and sticking to it!).
This can include putting away or turning off your phone, limiting your internet use until your tasks are complete, and finding a quiet place to work away from home so you’re less likely to be interrupted.
3. Know when to say “no”
You can completely master time management and still not be able to complete everything on within your deadlines if you simply have too much on your plate. Understand that it’s ok to say “no” and recognize when it’s appropriate to do so.
Prioritize the things that must be finished and let the other things fall to the side, at least for the time being. There’s no shame in declining, for example, to be the person responsible for planning your next family reunion, if it means that your other priorities will suffer.
4. Give The Pomodoro Technique a try
Explained in the simplest terms, The Pomodoro Technique involves breaking your work into 25-minute segments. You work on something for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. After working through four 25-minute segments, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes.
While it might seem counterintuitive to schedule breaks when you’re trying to get a lot done, research shows that the short breaks leave you feeling refreshed and that you’ll work harder during the 25-minute sprints. Learn more about the method and how it got its name here.
5. Find what works best for you
Honestly, not every time management tip will work for everyone. So, try out a few different things and see what works best for you! You might find that a reward system keeps you motivated, where you give yourself a treat after accomplishing certain goals. Or, maybe a traditional paper to-do list keeps you on track better than a fancy app does.
Experiment and then stick with what works for you. You’re more likely to be successful if you can find something that is easy for you to adhere to in the long run. After all, experts believe it can take about a month before forming a habit.
Need help setting goals for success so you can put these time management tips to the test? We’ve got your back! Check out our post on How to Set Achievable Smart Goals.