10 Tips For Maximizing the 24 Hours In Your Day

Confession: for the past week, I have not been effectively managing my time or finishing everything that I want to get done. In fact, I’m going to be roughly a half hour late posting this post.

This post was originally supposed to be about how I fit everything in that I want to do even though I have a day job. As I sat down to read that post topic in my editorial calendar, I couldn’t help but laugh and feel ashamed. In general, I’m able to get a lot done, but in the past few weeks, I feel like I haven’t been as on top of things as I generally am.

To help motivate myself, and to hopefully motivate you, I’ve put together 10 tips for maximizing the 24 hours in your day.

1. Plan ahead.

Try mapping out your week and month for major events and milestones.

2. Make a list of everything you need to do.

I used to be really good about keeping a daily task list. I have let that fall to the wayside in the past few months. Tomorrow will be the day that I bring back my daily task list.

3. Keep a detailed calendar of what you do throughout the day.

I am diligent about this during the work day, but it helps even in the off-hours. When you are trying to work on side projects, this is key to making sure you are maximizing your productivity. Once you get into the habit, it becomes like second nature to update your calendar.

4. Resist the urge to aimlessly peruse Facebook.

You’d be surprised how quickly this time adds up!

5. Get up at the same (early) time every day.

I’ve built a routine of getting up at roughly the same time each day. This allows me to exercise or work on personal projects before work.

6. Use your commute to your advantage.

If you take a subway or train, use the downtime on the train to work on projects that don’t require the internet. You could also use this time to plan out your day.

7. Multitask when you are able.

Dying to watch the new episode of 30 Rock, but still need to get things done? Consider watching your show while working on simple tasks. I personally like to have a show from Netflix on when I’m working on design or coding projects.

8. Attend to emails as they arrive.

Whether you check your emails at several distinct points throughout the day or on a rolling basis, it can help to immediately respond to emails. I often find that I respond later than I’d like when I read an email and decide to not address it immediately.

9. Get enough sleep.

It may seem counter-intuitive for me to say get enough sleep, but make sure you maximize your 24 hours. I think it’s important to make the best use of your time, but I also think it’s important to feel refreshed and not miserable during those productive hours. I find that the amount I am able to get done (and my general happiness) is much lower when I have not had enough sleep.

10. Remember that the 24-hour clock resets once a day.

It’s important to not get so caught up in trying to get things done that you make yourself crazy. Tomorrow is another day and another opportunity to be productive.

Tomorrow, I’ll have another 24-hours to get things done. Here’s to a more productive and organized day for us all!

What are your tips for maximizing the 24-hours in a day? Do you ever feel like you’ve fallen behind on your tasks? What did you do to solve this problem?

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