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What is the best way to manage your time online?

Learning how to better manage your time won’t happen overnight. You will need to be prepared to work at it – and it will require willpower on your part.

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Image: IEVA

Many of us wish that we were better at managing the time that we have available to us, but it can be difficult to know where to begin. If this is sounding familiar to you, here is some tried and tested advice for managing your time more efficiently.

Set Yourself A Schedule

One of the most effective things that you can do in order to take charge of the time you have available to you is to begin setting yourself a daily schedule. You might find that when you sit down and actually break your day up into smaller chunks, there is more time available to you than it feels like.

Start by populating your schedule with all of the unavoidable tasks and commitments that you have to complete over the course of the day. Once you have these in place, you can then allocate the rest of your time to less essential tasks.

It might take you a few days to get your schedule right. If you find that the schedule you set yourself is too ambitious, or leaves too much free time unallocated, adjust as necessary for subsequent days.

Stick To Your Limits

Setting yourself a schedule is not going to achieve anything if you aren’t able to stick to it. Wherever you set yourself strict limits, or you have allocated a specific amount of time for a task, do everything you can to stay within these limits. If you are routinely breaking these limits, that implies that you need to adjust your schedule.

It is also important that you resist the urge to overwork yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of setting yourself a schedule, and then undermining it by trying to cram in as much extra work as you can. Your schedule should include downtime as well as work. If you are not making enough time for yourself then stress is going to build quickly.

Use Software Tools

As with most things in life, there is now a range of apps and other software solutions designed to help you manage your time better. Combining digital software time management techniques like Blocksite with analog strategies like the Pomodoro Method will give you the best chance possible of taking control at whatever time you have available to you in your life.

Pay particular attention to the apps that are multi-platform. These software tools will enable you to maintain to-do lists and your daily schedule across devices.

Prioritize Your Workload

A key aspect of proper time management is the ability to prioritize your workload. When you are compiling your daily schedule, after you have penciled in all of the tasks that you absolutely have to do that day, you can then fill the rest of the time with your highest priority work, even if it does not absolutely essential that it is completed immediately.

Keep Track of What You Are Doing

If you are struggling with your scheduling and don’t know what to do next, start by keeping a simple journal of everything that you do throughout the day and how long you spend doing it. After a week or so, you should have enough data to begin building a more accurate picture of how you are currently using your time.

Once you have a good understanding of where your time is currently going, you can begin to make the necessary changes to take control of the time that is available to you.

Learning how to better manage your time won’t happen overnight. You will need to be prepared to work at it – and it will require willpower on your part. There are plenty of tools and software options that can help you to manage your time, but none of them can do it for you.

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