Whether it’s at work or around the house, virtually everyone has bad habits that can have a negative impact on time management. The techniques below offer useful methods of minimizing wasted time during the day, boosting productivity and leaving you with more free time to do the things you enjoy:Make a To-Do List:Even if you have a good idea of what you need to get done within a given day, making an actual list can still be beneficial. Lists give you a visual run-down of your daily schedule, ensuring that you don’t waste time by forgetting an important errand or task. Being able to cross things off your list also shows you exactly how much progress you are making, which can have psychological and motivational benefits.Divide Complex Tasks:If you are facing major projects or complicated work with multiple steps, it can be helpful to break them up into smaller tasks in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed. If appropriate, consider delegating parts of the project to others who are more capable and efficient–just don’t use it as an excuse to pass off your work to others. Working as a team can often save tremendous amounts of time on large, multi-faceted projects.Prioritize:After you’ve made a list, the next step is to determine which tasks are the most important and which can be safely postponed if the need arises. Always strive to finish your most difficult or time-consuming tasks first: not only does it make the rest of your day more manageable and less stressful, but it also guarantees that you aren’t caught off-guard by any problems or complications when a major project deadline is looming.Prepare Beforehand:Though not everything will require advanced preparation, taking a few minutes before bed to come up with a basic game plan for the next day can help boost productivity and save time when it counts. Preparing beforehand ensures that you have all of the materials and information required to get the job done quickly and efficiently.Embrace Imperfection:It may be tempting to spend time and effort making sure that every single task you work on is perfect, but oftentimes the reality is that such an attitude can be unpractical. Not everything can be done perfectly if you hope to be productive and stay on schedule, so know when it’s okay for something to be “good enough.” That doesn’t mean that you should be sloppy, but rather that you should reserve your best efforts for the most important work. For me it is the most difficult thing to do.Set Personal Deadlines:Whether it’s busywork at the office or chores at home, procrastination can easily take hold when there aren’t strict deadlines to adhere to. Many people are able to dramatically boost their productivity and save hours of their day simply by creating their own deadlines for tasks and sticking to them. Deadlines create accountability and specific goals that help people prioritize work and finish on time.Eliminate Distractions:Distractions can range from social media or non-business related emails at work to having the television on while doing routine work around the house. Take a few minutes to assess situations or objects that commonly cause distractions, and make an effort to limit your exposure to them or eliminate them altogether. Some people are incentive-driven and may find it helpful to use those distractions as a reward for finishing tasks on time.Everyone could benefit from a few extra stress-free hours of freedom in their busy days. The tips and techniques above represent some effective methods for improving productivity, boosting efficiency, and maximizing the effects of time management, whether you are trying to earn a living or simply spend more time with loved ones.