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If you think you don’t have enough time to do all the things you need to do, you aren’t alone; everyone feels that way. But here’s the dirty little secret — you do have the time to do it all, as long as you know how to manage that time.

It might seem like the little things are taking up all your time. In reality, those little things are symptoms of poor time management skills, not the causes. If you feel like you don’t have enough time in your day, here are some of the biggest time thieves, along with tips for overcoming them.

You have too much to do.

It’s hard to say no sometimes. Your kids need a ride to soccer practice, your boss needs that report yesterday, and the project has a thousand little pieces. Thinking you have too much to do is  an illusion sometimes but the truth at other times.

What to do: The best way to eliminate the overflow is to stop it before it starts. If something doesn’t need to be done, just say no and don’t think about it again. If something needs to be done, delegate what you can to someone else. Give project tasks to a subordinate, or ask family members to help out with household chores.

You don’t know where to start.

Even if you’ve pruned your to-do list, you might still find it larger than you can handle. When that happens, you can feel overwhelmed and pulled in different directions until you’re so confused that it’s better to do nothing than to do something.

What to do: When your life is filled with responsibilities, plan them out. Start with a daily schedule. For instance, if you’re a heavy equipment dealer, schedule sales calls in the morning and paperwork in the afternoon. Or set priorities based on urgency and importance, completing important tasks first and saving less important tasks for later.

You don’t feel up to it.

Maybe you’re not overwhelmed by all you have to do; maybe you’re exhausted, either because you’re sleep-deprived or under the weather. No matter how hard you try to push, if you aren’t taking care of yourself physically, it takes a toll on your overall productivity.

What to do: Before taking care of the things on your to-do list, take care of yourself. Make sure you get plenty of rest every night. Eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise. Don’t work if you’re sick; you’ll just prolong the illness, and your work won’t be very good. Finally, no matter how busy you are, take a few minutes to just relax.

Everyone is busy these days, but effective time management can make you feel less busy while making you more productive. Put these time management skills to work and take control of your time and your life.

Guest Post by Michelle:

Michelle is an aspiring writer with a passion for blogging. She enjoys writing about a vast variety of topics and loves that blogging gives her the opportunity to publicly voice her thoughts and share advice with an unlimited audience.

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