There are people in your vicinity who manage to complete everything they have to get accomplished, and then some even with plenty of time. How are they able to accomplish so quickly in such a short amount of time? The answer lies in managing time.
Time management is how we plan and allocate our time among activities and activities, resulting in maximising productivity and reaching targets. Effective time management results in less stress levels and better levels of work performance and overall satisfaction.
High-achieving people aren’t born productive. Instead, they’ve learned and practiced the techniques needed to complete more tasks in a shorter amount of time. The ability to be productive isn’t a gift. It’s a skill learned that each person will need to learn.
It’s possible (and simple) to improve your time management abilities. There’s a variety of tricks, tips and strategies available to assist you in doing just that. We’ve collected our top 32 tricks to assist you in making more of the time you spend.
Time Management Planning
Beginning your time management journey by creating a strategy will help you build an excellent foundation for your future behavior, which will increase your odds of getting there.
Tip #1: Create A Time Audit
The first step is to start by determining the areas you’re spending your time. Sometimes, there’s a difference between what you believe occupies your time and what it actually is. Humans do not know how long tasks will take.
Let’s say you need to write a 300-word email. You might believe: “Writing an email is simple. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.” But, you’re probably overestimating your time and underestimating other tasks that are smaller and less important that you’ll need to accomplish in order to reach your ultimate goal.
Proofreading, analyzing your language choices, and tracking email addresses can all increase the time needed to complete the task. When you consider all of these the 5 minute email might take you 20 minutes or 500 percent more than you had originally anticipated.
Let’s say you’re facing the same issue with multiple things to do. The task that seemed to be balanced at the time you started will quickly become an overwhelming list of tasks throughout the day. It is essential to be realistic about what you’re capable of accomplishing and what’s the main focus of your time. This is the reason it’s important to conduct a time audit.
The easiest way to perform an audit of your time is to utilize a time tracking program. A lot of companies provide no-cost versions of their programs however, Toggl Track offers the most simple alternative, and is free that has apps for all types of devices. To obtain a complete view of your time consumption make sure you record all your activities for the week.
After your week, go through the reports and assess the amount of time you worked on various projects. By analyzing this information it is easy to pinpoint ways to make improvements. You could, for instance, be spending too much time in meetings that are not productive or hectic work. With this information you’ll be able to get an accurate idea of the way you use your time and make plans according to your needs.
This brings us to our next point.
Tip #2: Create Reasonable Objectives And Prioritize Your Work
If you’re overwhelmed by the amount to be doing and you’re overwhelmed, no amount of time management can allow you to complete everything. After you’ve done an audit of your time you’ll be able determine if you need to be more efficient with your time or if you have plenty of work to do.
If you believe your goals can be achieved then skip tip 3. If you feel you’re trying to accomplish way too many things, you could try making an Eisenhower matrix or using the four Ds in time management that are Do, Defer Delve and Delete. Both of these methods can help you prioritize your tasks by placing your tasks in four groups:
- Do Things that are crucial and urgent.
- Defer tasks that are important however not essential.
- Delegate tasks which are urgent, but not crucial.
- Eliminate tasks which aren’t urgent or significant.
These methods can assist you in determining which things you need to prioritize and which tasks you need to plan and plan for either delegate or delete.
Whatever your goal is you want to achieve, they must be specific, measurable attained, achievable, relevant and timely.
Tip #3: Make Your Daily Schedule Or To-do List
It is possible to do this within the first few minutes of your day or in the final few minutes. Utilize either one of these chunks of time to make your daily list of tasks.
When creating your list of things to do, be sure you keep it short. The sight of a list that’s not completed each day can be demoralizing. It’s better not to over promise and exceed expectations, especially in the realm of personal productivity.
Write your list of items as when you’ve completed them. For instance, instead of the phrase “Submit Report to Project Manager” write “Report to Project Manager Submitted.” This technique can give you a boost of energy as you attempt to complete the tasks on your to-do list.
Tip #4: Plan Your Week On Sunday
Making sure you start your week with the right plan can help you concentrate on the most important things. It will also help you transition from a relaxed mindset of the weekend to a productive early Monday “work brain.”
Spend a few minutes each Sunday to make a plan for the rest of your week. Improve the chances to be successful by breaking your goals for the week into daily activities. This way, you’ll know the things you must do each day in an instant.
Get yourself set for success by scheduling tasks that are not high priority for Fridays , and other low-energy time slots. Keep in mind that your energy levels and creative levels vary throughout the entire week. Do your best to complete challenging and creative tasks on Wednesday and on Tuesday. Set up meetings for Thursday when the team’s energy begins to decrease. Make use of your Fridays and Mondays to do scheduling and for socializing.
There are a myriad of strategies for personal productivity. We are aware that every person works differently, and that’s why the trial and error method of these strategies for managing time can assist you in finding the most efficient method for you.
Tip #5: Make Sure You Complete All Of Your Important, Difficult Tasks Early In The Early Morning
For the majority of people, those first couple of hours of work are among the most productive.
Strangely enough, you’ll be able to focus better in a state where your mind isn’t alert. Brains that are awake and booted up have less energy to spend time daydreaming and worrying about other things.
Utilize this advantage to your advantage and begin the most mental tasks the moment you wake up.
Tip #6: Use The 80-20 Rule
This rule known as the 80-20 Rule, often called the Pareto Principle was developed through Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who noted that the majority of the results generally resulted from only 20% of the inputs.
Profit from this knowledge and learn what activities comprise the 20 percent.
As an example, let’s say you’re an owner of an agency searching for new clients. You’re spending 30 minutes each day sending out emails to potential clients, and one hour communicating with them and managing your company’s social media profile. The only client you have introduced to you through social media, but five of your clients that were acquired via email. It’s obvious that you need to concentrate your efforts on email outreach if you wish to get the most out of your clients.
Anyone can utilize the 80-20 rule to figure out where they should use their time. If you’re not certain of which activities fall within the 20% of your time, then you need to perform a time audit, or utilize a time tracking tool, as it will provide a better understanding of which is having the biggest impact and occupying the most of your time.
Tip #7: Make The Most Of Golden Hours Or Prime Biological Time
Do you know what is the best time to be most productive? Knowing this information will aid you in optimizing your workload.
To figure out your golden hours, or your biological prime time, divide your day into three time intervals. You can track your performance throughout the week with either a notebook or a free time tracking software. At the conclusion of the week, sort these time slots from most productive to least productive.
Once you’ve discovered your golden hours, you’ll be able plan your schedules according to. Plan complex or time-consuming tasks to be completed during peak times of productivity.
Tip #8: Try To Use The Swiss Cheese Technique
It’s not uncommon to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of tasks. If you aren’t sure where to begin, the feeling of overwhelm could lead to procrastination and lack of focus.
The Swiss cheese approach, conceived by Alan Lakein, argues that the best method to combat this problem is to break larger projects into smaller chunks of work or time. If you complete only a small task or 15-minute time block and make the project easier to handle as well as more probable to finish in time.
Everyone could use some extra motivation every now and then. Utilize these simple strategies and techniques to bring an extra boost to your productivity strategies or approach.
Tip #9: Set The Tasks Under A Time-limit
Tasks grow to fill the time allotted according to Parkinson’s law. If you set a task for 2 hours instead of 1 and a half hours, what you’ll need to complete to finish the task will just increase to take up two hours.
Review your time audit and find things that took more time than you anticipated. Create a time-limit for these tasks. By setting limits, you’ll increase your focus and be more efficient in your work. Also, you will be able to avoid scope creep, which is the growth of an undertaking that happens when the duties aren’t clearly defined or managed.
If you find yourself exceeding these limits, review your process and decide whether you need to allocate more time to these projects in the near future. It is also possible to eliminate minor time-wasters, such as breaks that are not scheduled.
Tip #10: Include The Words “Done List” To Your To-do List
Whatever you plan your day, unexpected tasks are bound to pop in the course of the day. Write them down in an additional list beside your tasks to give yourself additional satisfaction at the end of your day.
On Sunday, reflect on your achievements from the previous week and thank yourself for your accomplishments. This time of review will boost your confidence and assist you to plan your schedule for the week ahead.
Tip #11: Start One Day Early
A lot of people think that they work best when under the pressure of a deadline, and they are prone to putting on hold work for the next day they have to submit it. But for the vast majority of people, this isn’t the reality. The time it takes to complete projects is often longer than originally thought, making it hard to complete projects in time.
Make a timetable for yourself and adhere to the deadline. You should finish your work one day earlier than the deadline.
Tip #12: Do Not Answer Immediately
Do not automatically respond to email or Slack messages the moment they are received. You can batch process your emails and take care of phone calls during your break. Shut down messaging or email apps to ensure you don’t get interrupted while performing tasks that require a lot of focus.
Tip #13: Prior To Meetings Make Sure You Know What You Want To Achieve
While important and necessary meetings can be an acknowledged time sucker. Everybody has experienced the Zoom meeting that lasted much longer than necessary. To ensure timely and efficient meetings, ensure that you have a specific goal prior to the meeting.
Set up an agenda and communicate it with the participants of your meeting prior to the meeting. Your team and you will have less time to waste and can get back to work faster.
Tip #14: Schedule Breaks Between Tasks
In the wake and resting hours The human brain undergoes a basic rest-activity cycle which is BRAC to refer to short. The brain shifts between high and lower alertness each 90 minutes. After working at a high level for longer than 90 mins, we start to draw upon emergency reserves of energy in order to keep active.
Making sure you take a break at minimum every 90 minutes will aid in staying focused and increase your productivity during the course of your day.
Tip #15 Use The Best Waiting Intervals
It happens to all of us waiting in waiting rooms, lines, trains stations and airport terminals and so on. Make use of these idle hours to check your email on your cell phone or get caught up on missed messages and calls, exercise, stretch/relax, or take a moment to meditate.
You can also carry either a book or an electronic reader to work and make an hour of reading. Even if the book isn’t directly associated with work, reading improves concentration and boosts brain connectivity.
You may need a little help. These tools for managing time are you new productivity companions.
Tip #16 Utilize Apps To Block Distractions
Make use of your phone’s and computer’s “do not disturb” functions while working on a task that you are focused on. Tools such as self-control and Freedom can be utilized to stop distracting websites. Utilize these tools to block distracting sites like news sites or social media.
Tip #17: Utilize Time Management Applications
The most effective way to control the time you have is to understand the direction your time is heading at the beginning. Time management software will enable you to keep track of your progress and identify the patterns of your procrastination. The use of a timer can improve your concentration and serves as a signal for your brain to go into working mode.
We recommend the free app toggl Track that is simple to use and is available on all types of devices. It also provides extensive reportage to help you observe your patterns of procrastination. There are also a variety of paid time tracking programs accessible, including Clockify, Harvest and Time Doctor.
Tip #18: Minimize Your Open Windows
Concentrate your attention on a single monitor and only open one tab. It is also possible however, let’s not take it that far.
Tip #19: Organize Your Email
Inboxes that are cluttered can be time-wasters. The most efficient way to improve the speed of email communications and save time exchanging messages is to manage your inbox. Gmail comes with a wide range of features to aid you in conquering your pile of emails. If you’re using another client , consider changing to Gmail (either via POP3 or SMTP forwarding) or employing an alternative application such as Airmail.
Here are some tips to help you sort through, arrange and respond to emails faster:
- Archive emails may contain valuable information but do not require an immediate response.
- Create actionable labels like URGENT, WAITING, NEEDS ACTION.
- Filters can be used to label mail according to the sender’s address or other information/keywords that they have.
- You can also identify all newsletters by making a filter on each email with the word “Unsubscribe”.
- Allow Canned Responses and make templates from emails you’ve sent more than twice. You can modify these prior to sending them out, but having a basic outline prior to starting will make the process much easier.
Learning never stops about time management, and it’s not something that should be taken lightly. If you’re just beginning to learn about time management or are an experienced professional, these suggestions can help you progress in your learning journey.
Tip #20: Turn Your System Into Habits
It is crucial to incorporate the ideas above into permanent practices. By continuing to implement these tips for managing time can help to develop a productive attitude.
Make a plan that you are able to maintain for the long haul (at minimum, one month). The behaviors will become more automated over time. The study in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that it takes over two months before a new habit becomes automatic. 66 days, to be precise. So don’t blame yourself for taking a long time to establish these habitual behaviors.
Tip #21: Let Go Of Bad Habits In The Meantime
The most effective way to stop habitual patterns is to begin small. Break up larger bad habits into smaller pieces or focus on the smaller mistakes from the beginning. Smaller modifications are less likely to cause physiological stress reactions and are therefore simpler for the body as well as your brain to take in and keep repeating.
Make a choice, create an agenda and adhere to it. When you adhere to this program it will be easy to get rid of your old useless habits.
Tip #22: Don’t Multitask
Multitasking can have a negative effect on productivity. Researchers have discovered that people who multitask are more troubled in staying focused than their single-minded counterparts. Furthermore, multitasking may affect the cognitive capabilities of your.
Choose one task to complete then set a timer to focus on that one thing until you are finished or the timer expires. This will ensure the focus of your efforts and your high quality standards.
Tip #23: Don’t Wait For Inspiration—Do It Now
Certain artists are waiting for inspiration to strike, while other writers wait for their writer’s block to ease, and businesspeople are waiting for the perfect silence to tackle difficult tasks. If you’re always waiting for the perfect moment, you’ll never be ready for it when it arrives.
Motivation and focus can be gained by attempting to persevere through times of low motivation. Like the artist Chuck Close said, “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.”
Tip #24: Don’t Strive For Perfection
Perfection is the enemy of quality, as the saying is. If everything has to be flawless, will anything ever be satisfactory? Most likely not. Done is always better than perfect.
To achieve excellence You must make mistakes repeatedly as well as learn from mistakes. Each effort should be considered an opportunity to try something new, and a crucial step on your path, no matter what the result.
Tip #25: Don’t Get Hung Up On Small Details
Instead of focusing on perfection Instead of focusing on perfection, keep the big vision in your mind. Keep your focus on your goals and not on the smallest aspects of your job. Take care of the most important things on your agenda and do not worry about the little things.
Tip #26: Use Your Calendar
A calendar can be useful to do beyond organizing meetings. You can utilize your calendar to block out time for your work time and keep on top of deadlines, and even adding locations automatically to your schedule.
Making use of a calendar can assist you in taking responsibility for your schedule. If you believe that a planned entry isn’t helping your plans to accomplish your goals for that day simply remove the entry.
The world of work and personal life might seem distinct, however the actions you take on your personal life will have a significant influence upon the next. A healthy lifestyle can enable you to achieve more in the workplace.
Tip #27: Work Out Regularly
Physical activity has a huge influence on productivity. In one investigation’s participants reported an increase of 72% in managing time and completion of work after adding exercise to their daily routines.
Research has proven that quick and intense workout sessions are as beneficial as long ones. Make time for at least a quick exercise every day.
Tip #28: Sleep Well
Do you think of giving up some of your time to complete that project with an imminent deadline? We’d advise against doing it.
Scientists have discovered that being less sleepy to have more time for work is actually detrimental in the short and the long term. People who are tired tend to be more procrastinative and become distracted more easily. Give your brain 8 hours of sleep each evening, even if the date is due soon.
Tip #29: Schedule Relaxation Time
When we exercise, our bodies undergo a process referred to as an Effort Recovery model.
In the course of a normal day there are many things that require exertion. The body responds to this exertion by increasing heart rate and increasing blood pressure, which increases the fatigue level and strain the body.
If you are able to make time to recover after your day, these reactions will return to normal levels. If you don’t take time to recover there could be negative psychological and physiological effects.
It is essential to shut off your working brain to ensure your future health and productivity. You’ll be amazed at the positive impact that silence can bring to the creative process. Consider activities such as yoga or meditation to relax your body and quiet your mind.
Tip #30: Learn To Say No
Your time is valuable. Do not waste it on projects or tasks that aren’t in line with your goals and mission.
Instead of simply accepting offers and invitations you can say, ‘I’ll go through my calendar and get back with you’. This short phrase can give you the time to consider options and make wise choices.
Tip #31: Train The Other Side Of Your Brain
The activities that are productive stimulate parts of your brain that you might not do during your day however are vital to improve your mental performance. Through developing these areas of your brain, you’ll be able solve issues faster and have more imagination available.
Furthermore, getting out of your comfort zone could boost your confidence and allow you to learn new skills. Find a hobby that you like and be able to keep it up for a long time. Popular hobbies include dancing, cooking, reading or gardening and meditation, as well as language learning as well as improv and volunteering.
Tip #32: Have A Great Time—No Matter What
Do not stress about completing the items on your list of things to do. Everybody needs a good life/work balance. A full day of work today shouldn’t be a reason to have an ineffective or exhausted day in the future.
Keep working steadily and at your highest level of performance. Doing things too fast reduces the quality of your work and causes stress.
Start your time audit by clicking the link below. By following these time management strategies you can stop procrastinating and begin to take control of your time.