Effective time management is a step by step process that takes determination and a long-term commitment. However, it is essential that you do not try to take on too much, too soon. In this article I advise you on how you can manage your time effectively.

We all have days when we are left frustrated and dissatisfied because we did not achieve everything we wanted to get done at the start of the day. This feeling of dissatisfaction can have a disruptive effect that can lower productivity and general happiness.

Because of this, it is essential not to pack too much into your day. It is true that we can achieve a lot if we focus and work very hard, but this is difficult to sustain and can be counter-productive in the long run.

When you are planning your day you should think about how you can use your time effectively. Think about what the most important things are for you to achieve and give these priority. Make a list outlining what you have to achieve and what you would like to achieve.

Allocate time slots for the things that you have to achieve and use any left over time for the things that you would like to achieve that are most important to you. Anything else will just have to wait until another day.

If you are just starting out with managing your time more effectively you may find it difficult to gauge exactly how long a task will take. As time goes on you will get better at this but for now allow a little bit more time than you think a particular task will take. This will make sure that you do not over stretch yourself at the beginning.

You can now go about your day happy that you have given yourself realistic and achievable goals. This will allow you to work in a relaxed and stress-free manner and most of us work better when we are relaxed.

However, it is at the end of the day that you will feel the most benefit from the exercise. The feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction will be replaced by a sense of achievement, and contentment that you have had a full and productive day where you attained all of your goals. This will leave you ready for the next day and, in the long run, increase your productivity and quality of life.

As mentioned, as time goes on you will be able get better at estimating how long various tasks will take. Two tools that can help you with this are the time log and the time plan.

A time log is basically a list of how you spend your time every day. Try writing down how you spend your time each day for a week. You will probably surprised at the results. This will allow you to see exactly where your time goes and will show you how long different things take. You can use this information to make a time plan for how you are going to spend each day.

Author's Bio: 

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Wendy Hearn works with business owners to be more effective and successful, achieving a more profitable business in less time.