When it comes to time management there’s no one size fits all approach. Different things work for different people. Planning your day-to-day tasks means you can factor in time for breaks to do things you enjoy, making you less likely to burn out. Have a look at our tips and techniques on prioritising tasks and managing your time.
Why Prioritising is Important
Being able to sort tasks by how important they are, also known as prioritising, is a key part of managing your time.
Sometimes you may have a lot on and it can be easy to become stressed. If you’re able to look at your tasks and arrange them by priority it can help lighten the load and make things seem much more manageable.
Often, the time you feel like you can’t possibly stop and rest…— Tiny Changes (@tinychanges) May 20, 2021
…is the most important time to stop and rest.
The Eisenhower Technique
This technique involves looking at your tasks by urgency (how soon they need to be done) and importance using the table below.
Once you’ve done this you can prioritise your tasks using the tips below.
- Urgent and important – do these tasks first
- Important but not urgent – this can be planned for later on
- Urgent but not important – these tasks need to be done soon but you might be able to ask someone to help
- Not urgent or important – don’t do these tasks, or only do them once all other tasks are completed
It can be helpful to arrange your to-do list into sections, like how long tasks may take. Try sorting your tasks into three types:
- ‘Quick ticks’ – things that will take you no longer than two minutes to do
- ‘Tasks’ – things that will take you up to 30 minutes
- ‘Projects’ – things made up of multiple tasks that you might start working on today, but not complete
Plan Your Time
Now you’ve prioritised your tasks and how long they will take, you can begin time blocking. This means blocking out time in your day to work on specific pieces of work.
Plan in high priority tasks first, then you can add in less important things but make sure to leave time for breaks and things you enjoy too.
Know What Works For You
The best way to plan your day is to know yourself and what works best for you. If you work best in the morning, after lunch or the afternoon you can plan tasks around those times.
It’s also important to be flexible and to not be hard on yourself if you don’t stick to your plan. You may begin to feel burnt out and need a break or catch up with friends, letting yourself rest is important too!
Ask For Help
If you feel like your mental health is hard to cope with, remember it’s OK to ask for help by talking to someone you trust like a friend, parent, carer, guardian, or GP, or by calling a helpline. It can seem scary but it’s really important to talk to someone about how you are feeling. Visit our list of organisations that you can speak to for emotional support.
Find out more
Visit our #AyeFeel page for loads of information and support for mental health and wellbeing.