Not sure how to manage your time? Read these tips on time management from experts to increase your productivity and reduce stress.
Most people are indeed aware of the importance of time management, but not everyone has made the necessary effort to make improvements.
It’s essential to recognize the value of your hours and therefore become more willing (not necessarily more able) to prioritize high-priority tasks first.
Try These Effective Tips On Time Management
Learn how to conquer time management with these simple strategies and tactics.
Conduct a Time Audit
The first step in optimizing your time management is figuring out where you spend your time. To do this, make sure to track your daily activities for a week or so.
This will give you insight into where you should start saving more time. Conducting a time audit gives you a chance to:
- Understand how much you can realistically accomplish in one day.
- Identify time-wasters.
- Focus on the right tasks and activities.
You’ll have a good idea of how long specific tasks take you, and this will be a valuable tool to use later in the process.
This activity can help you determine your most productive hours of the day so you know when to schedule long-term projects requiring focus and creativity.
Never Ever Multitask
Multitasking is one of the essential tips on time management, yet it’s also one of the hardest to follow. In terms of productivity, multitasking is the worst thing you could do.
You might save time when you start doing one task or another, but then you’ll end up losing time in the long run by not working on either task effectively.
Don’t let the seemingly endless to-do list make you panic. Breathing deeply can help, but there is no need to worry since you can take it one task at a time.
No Is Your Friend
Learning to say no is a gift. It would be best if you only said yes to the requests that matter most to you. Rather than tackling many tasks that only produce little value, spend more time on the things that yield more value.
The Pareto principle highlights that 80% of your output comes from 20% of your input. Concentrate on those tasks instead.
If you find it hard to say no, delegate the task. Do this, and you’ll be able to put more time into what matters in your life.
Do Your Most Demanding Tasks On Your Biological Prime Time
Research suggests that people are more productive in the first few hours of the day and during periods of low energy. You’ll be able to focus better with fewer distractions and brain fatigue.
Take advantage of your fresh mind and tackle your most mentally demanding tasks early in the morning.
What if you’re not a morning person? Do you know when you are the most productive? Knowing this can help you to optimize your workload.
To find your biological prime time, you should break down your workday into a few different chunks. Track how productive you are for the week. Then, rank them from most to least effective at the end of the week.
Now that you’ve found your most productive hours, schedule the most challenging or most involved tasks for these times. This will maximize your productivity.
There’s A Time Management App For That
There are several apps and tools available, so there’s something out there that will work for you. You might want to examine the options and try a few out before settling on one, so you get the best possible outcome.
Remember, a tool is nothing if you don’t use it! Technology and devices should always help us make our lives easier, so it’s great that we have so many different time-saving apps available. This way, we can save more time on the things that matter in life.
Use Your Waiting Time Wisely
We all know that waiting times can be frustrating. From tedious client meetings to unanticipated medical appointments, there will inevitably be a time when you need to wait for something or someone. The good thing is there are many ways to keep yourself occupied and productive while you wait.
Technology now makes it easy to work anywhere, with just your tablet or smartphone. You can watch a video, read an e-book, or fix your calendar on the go.
Set A Deadline For Each Task
If you are given a day to do a task, you will take the entire day to complete it. When we are given time, we try to use that time up.
Review your time audit and identify tasks that took more than you expected. From now on, limit how long you spend doing these tasks, and you will focus more and work more efficiently by specifying your time on these tasks.
It can be hard to create a regular work schedule, and it’s normal to find yourself overbooked from time to time. When such a thing happens, the best thing you can do is look at your workflow and see if you might need more extended periods allocated to specific tasks.
You may also want to eliminate short breaks during which you’re not doing anything productive.
There are many distractions at work, like social media and browsing the web. Juggling them all might become very difficult, so it’s essential to get peace of mind by staying proactive and getting rid of them when they come up. Focus on the distractions that take up most of your day and limit them to just two for two weeks.
Use Eisenhower Matrix for Time Management
Eisenhower Matrix is a practical tool that helps you organize your tasks by importance and urgency. Evaluate your to-do list and manage it with high to low importance tasks instead of urgency.
We should focus more on the work that matters the most. The ones requiring urgent attention are usually not as important as you might think and can often wait until later. This will help you prioritize other tasks which need your attention.
Here are the four quadrants of the matrix.
Important and urgent
These tasks have critical deadlines with high importance—get them done as quickly as possible.
Important but not urgent
These are important but not critical enough for action right now. Consider spending your time on developing long-term strategies for this type of project.
Urgent but not important
Avoid these tasks because they don’t contribute much to your output. They’re often distractions that may happen due to poor planning from others. Make sure you delegate, eliminate or minimize tasks under this quadrant.
Not Urgent and Not Important
These tasks don’t always help you get any closer to your goal. Ditch them!
Take Scheduled Breaks Between Tasks
The human brain goes through cycles of higher and lower alertness every 90 min. During both waking hours and rest, the brain will alternate between these two levels of awareness. After working at high intensity for more than 90 minutes, we’ll start to draw on our emergency reserves of energy to keep going.
That is why taking even a 15-minute break every 90 minutes is essential to maintain focus and increase productivity.
Good Is Better Than Perfect
We are constantly striving for perfection, which is good, but it can also be harmful. When you try to do everything right, nothing will be done at all. So to not get overwhelmed, you need to stop worrying about every little detail and just give yourself a break.
To be exceptional, you should try different things always be open to new experiences and failures. Remember to learn from every experience and experiment.
Group Similar Tasks Together
Keeping related tasks together is vital for productivity. When you have similar jobs, group the tasks and complete them simultaneously. You can save time by not switching back and forth from one project to another.
Different tasks require different types of thinking. By grouping similar jobs, you can hone your focus on a particular goal and save more time than if you try to do them one at a time.
Leave Room for Distractions
Planning can be a struggle, and it’s essential to have time for unexpected challenges. Make sure you set aside an hour each day for anything that comes your way.
One good idea is to create open office hours and offer time for people to meet with you. Sometimes we just need a little outside help getting back on track. However, it’s important not to overbook yourself, or you’ll always feel behind.
Your time is valuable. These tips on time management will help you get started, but it is essential to find what works best for you and to be adaptable. Remember that it takes time to develop good habits, so be patient and keep practicing. With a bit of effort, you can get your time under control and achieve your goals.