Time management is crucial to staying organised as a trader. Here are ten easy tips to get you started.
10 Time Management Tips
#1: Getting organized is the first step
Getting organized is the first step. Organizing your time will help you to prioritize tasks and set goals. Time management is not about how much time you have daily but how effectively and efficiently you use it. It would help if you were realistic with yourself when setting time limits for different activities, such as studying or working out.
Being flexible with your schedule is important so that if an emergency arises, everything doesn't fall apart because of one delay or cancellation of plans. Being focused on what needs to be done is also key to being successful at managing our days' events and appointments without wasting a single minute!
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#2: Keep a list of all tasks and rank each according to priority
The first step toward effective time management is creating a to-do list and prioritizing your tasks. To do this, ask yourself what you'd like to accomplish within the next week, month or year. Then, write down all of the things that need to get done, no matter how large or small they may be.
Next, rank each task according to priority by placing numbers from one through five next to each task: one being the highest priority and five being the lowest. You can also use letters A through E if you prefer more categories of importance (A = high/urgent; B = high/not urgent; C = medium/not urgent; D = medium/low urgency; E = low).
After you've listed everything that needs to be done and ranked them accordingly, start tackling those top-priority items before moving on to those with lower priorities, so nothing slips through the cracks!
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#3: Always do the most important jobs first
Prioritizing tasks is a great way to make sure you're making the most of your time and that your day isn't eaten up by things that aren't very important. What are some examples of "not very important"? Answer: the emails you're sending around at work, or even just hitting up Twitter at lunchtime.
No matter how much fun those little distractions are in the moment, they can quickly turn into time drains if they become habits. It's much better to spend your precious daylight hours on something meaningful. For example, catching up on forex books, the best forex podcasts or learning new skills with a free online training course.
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#4: Do not procrastinate!
Procrastination is an insidious time management issue; you may not even realize you're procrastinating until your boss points it out (and they will). The good news? Once you recognize that you are, in fact, a procrastinator, then the real work begins: changing your ways.
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#5: Unplug while you sleep
We all know sleep is important. Our brains process the day's events while we dream, so getting a full night's rest allows us to wake up refreshed and ready to take on the world (or at least the 9-5). But did you know that one of the best ways to get a good night's sleep is by unplugging from your devices?
The blue light emitted from our phones disrupts melatonin production, making it harder for us to fall asleep. This can lead to poor quality sleep overall. The screen also triggers stress hormones like cortisol through constant alerts and notifications on what feels like an endless news feed cycle that never stops until we do.
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#6: Don't spend too much time on your phone
Here are some guidelines to help you manage your phone use:
- Don't use your phone as an excuse to avoid other tasks. Sure, checking your Facebook feed is a fun way to spend some time, but it's not a good excuse for not doing something else that you should be doing. If you have projects due soon, then spending hours on social media will only make it harder for you in the long run.
- Don't check your phone every 5 minutes. It's easy to get caught up in checking every notification when there is no need for it. If it takes less than 30 seconds to deal with what has popped up on the screen, then do so immediately and move on with whatever else needs doing without looking back at the device again until later (perhaps half an hour). Otherwise, leave whatever has come up alone until later when there is more time available. Don't worry about missing out on anything important either because most things that people send over SMS/instant messaging services can be dealt with this way too!
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#7: Clear out distractions and stay on task
It's easy to let distractions get the best of you. Scrolling through Instagram, checking your email every 30 seconds, and glancing at the clock every two minutes to see how much time is left in your workday—are all common practices that can derail your productivity. Instead of allowing yourself to be distracted by these things, try these tips:
- Close your email and social media accounts. If possible, turn off notifications for them (or at least make sure that they don't sound off while you're working).
- Set a time limit for checking them (for example, once an hour or twice a day).
- If possible, take breaks from working on something else and enjoy other activities during this period (such as going out with friends or watching Netflix).
If none of this works and you still need more help staying focused on what's important right now without getting distracted by something else (or nothing), try creating a list of tasks that are most important and putting them into order based on priority level—then follow this list until everything has been crossed off!
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#8: Take breaks when you need them
You know you're supposed to take a break every 90 minutes, but do you? It's easy to forget. Or maybe you think that checking your email or answering texts will help keep your mind fresh. But if you're constantly distracted, it will make it harder for you to stay focused on the task at hand.
When we work too hard without taking breaks, we become more fatigued, and our productivity decreases—and then there's the fact that we risk making mistakes! Instead of trying so hard for perfectionism's sake (a mindset which does not lend itself well to time management), why not just take a short walk outside? Or eat something delicious? Maybe call a friend?
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#9: Delegate some tasks to others
Delegation is an essential part of time management. Don't be afraid to ask for help or delegate tasks to others. Letting others do things for you will save you time, and letting them help you with tasks will allow you to focus on other things in your life.
#10: Establish routines for regular activities to save time every day
- Set a time for each task. It is important to set specific times instead of letting yourself worry about "getting to it later." For example, if you want to write an article for work and check your email after lunch, commit to doing this at 12:15 PM every day. That way, your day will be more organized and less stressful because you know what needs to get done by the end of it (and when).
- Establish routines for regular activities such as exercise or cooking dinner. You can also create routines around less frequent tasks that may benefit from having a set schedule in place. For example, weekly cleaning or monthly bill paying. The idea here is that once you've established this routine and stick with it regularly over time, it becomes easier and less stressful overall!