How do you make the most of your time to make sure you are working efficiently? Time holds quite a large relevance to the world in bringing some big results. The objective lies in making every day count for something. How we spend our time is becoming integral to the way of our living. When a person manages it’s time wisely by investing in time management techniques, they are more likely to achieve much-needed work-life balance.
Importance of Time Management
Time management is about valuing your time ― the more you do, the better you will be at it. While it helps in increasing productivity in every area of your life. You will get a clear direction of what you want to do and how long you will have to give to a thing.
Time management is a strategy that completes tasks in time with a steady and efficient workflow. And failing to manage the time damages effectiveness and causes stress.
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Time Management Stats & Figures That May Surprise You
- 20% of the average workday is spent on “crucial” and “important” things, while 80% of the average workday is spent on things that have “little value” or “no value”.
- The average person gets 1 interruption every 8 minutes, or approximately 7 an hour, or 50–60 per day. The average interruption takes 5 minutes, totaling about 4 hours or 50% of the average workday. 80% of those interruptions are typically rated as “little value” or “no value” creating approximately 3 hours of wasted time per day.
- When someone is asking for our time for a meeting, 80% of the time, there is an alternate date and time that will be acceptable.
- In the last 20 years, working time has increased by 15% and leisure time has decreased by 33%.
- 10-12 minutes invested in planning your day will save at least 2 hours of wasted time and effort throughout the day
Time Management Strategies for Work
1. Know how you spend your time
The basic idea lies in being aware of how long you take to do whatever is on your list. If you have 10 things to do, are you able to cover up everything in the number of hours you have for the day? When you clearly define how you spend your time, you will be better able to keep a record of how you spend your time. Analyze your free time. At ProofHub, the teams track their time on a time tracking software to better manage how much time they are spending on their work. All in all, it makes their job easier and they can spare some free time doing other things.
Manage your time>achieve your goals>be successful. This is the pattern to follow. Managing time also simply means to spend time on priorities and not to waste time on non-priorities. Know your priorities by asking yourself these questions:
- Identify urgent vs important
- What are your values?
- What are your goals?
- What is the result of the activity?
When you know how to prioritize your goals you will be probably successful in your role.
3. Make a to-do list at the end of each day
To-do lists are predominantly motivating because it gives a clear idea of what is to be accomplished each day. The best time to make a to-do list is at the end of each day because you are in the flow of work and you can easily pick up where you left off the next day. When you are making the list, try breaking large projects into small daily tasks to track the progress towards the final goal. Be realistic when scheduling tasks.
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Time management tips at work can be successful when you push yourself out of the distractive circle. It’s not easy to stay on tasks when you need to do millions of tasks. Getting distracted is normal. So to stay on track with what you want to achieve, keep in mind your end goals. Focus on only one part of your work at a time. No responding to texts, no browsing the web.
5. Elon Musk’s time blocking method
Elon Musk is possibly one of the busiest men on the earth. His secret to his effective time management is the method of time blocking. He follows the “superhuman” ability to focus without distractions. Time blocking is actually the method of committing a certain number of hours to just one task and blocking off time for other tasks. Kevin Kruse in his book 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, has suggested that top performers organize their day through time blocks. You are more likely to be productive with a plan of action.
There are not many jobs where you can just sit down and start working without making a prior decision or giving thoughts to how you are going to plan all your work. There are many things to thought upon, like;
- Which task is of high-priority
- When a task is to be completed
- Which resources are available to do the task
- Which task need to be done later
All such decisions are to be made before you sit to work, so a task doesn’t affect another task. This is a one kind of a time management strategy which if done wrong can bring a zero outcome for the day. Make clear decisions related to your tasks to greatly improve the way you have to work.
7. Tony Robbins rapid planning method
Tony robbins, the rapid planning method is a results-focused planning system to change your mindset to concentrate more on the outcome. Rapid planning method (RPM) stands for result-oriented, purpose-driven, massive-action plan. These three portions help in getting better answers to focus our efforts in a better way.
8. Record your daily routine
This time management strategy will make you clear to find out which are the activities that you are wasting your time on. You can start by tracking your activities at work using productivity apps. When you have recorded your daily routines for a week, you will be able to spot all the time-wasting activities and better keep a conscious effort to cut them out of your day.
9. Automate your workflow
While we are talking about the strategies of time management, automating recurring tasks is another one of the most effective time management strategies in the work. Tasks like recurring invoicing or billing can be automated to make it easier to perform every week or month or daily. You just need to set up the recurring tasks on your app.
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10. Get organized
It is said that super achievers are totally super-organized. It can be quite overwhelming when there are a large number of tasks to focus that can diffuse productivity. To avoid this problem, it is suggested that “Chunking” will turn your a lot into a little. This time management technique will organize all your tasks adding it into a manageable category. With the chunks of work, you can do your work in a manageable way, with easy categories to handle and get important goals accomplished first.
11. Spend your mornings on MITs
Do you want to be productive with your time? If so, then identify the most important tasks (MITs) from your to-do list and get them completed first thing in the morning. It’s no secret that you have the most amount of energy and enthusiasm in the AM. So, why don’t use it to tackle the biggest and the most challenging tasks? Also, when you accomplish the most important tasks, it will be a lot easier for you to get through the rest of the day.
12. Batch similar task together
Different tasks demand team members invest a different amount of time and efforts. But since most of the tasks that teams get today are similar to each other, the best way to handle them is to batch them together. The reason? Well, batching similar or related tasks together within a project allows teams to cut out time reorienting and deliver projects faster.
13. Stop being perfectionist
A major reason why most people put off tasks or constantly delay the delivery of a project or product is that they are running after perfection. It’s great that you want to be the best at whatever task you are doing, but here’s an important question – Do you have only one task in your to-do list? Obviously, the answer is “no”. Since there are many other tasks in your to-do list that needs to be completed within the same day, stop running after perfection and concentrate more on getting every task completed as efficiently, realistically as possible.
14. Just say “NO”
It’s okay if you don’t want to upset anyone but only agree to deadlines that you can handle in reality. If your to-do list is already full and you receive a request to complete an additional task on the same day, decline it. Don’t agree to work on a task or help a colleague until you have some spare time. Keep your priorities straight and simple.
15. Learn the 80-20 rule
By now, everyone in the business world knows what “20/80 rule” is. It basically tells us that 80% of the results we get are achieved from 20% of our actions. Now, when it comes to effective time management, this rule suggests you look at your to-do list and find ways to keep it simple. According to this principle, you should get down to the most important tasks and focus on accomplishing them first.
16. Leave buffer-time between tasks
You want to make the most effective use of your time within a day and that’s why you jump from one task to the next without wasting any time in between. Now, this might look like a good use of your time at first sight but eventually, it proves to be the exact opposite. After all, the human brain needs a break after every 90 minutes in order to maintain the highest levels of concentration and motivation. So, schedule buffer-time (10-15 minutes break) between completing a task and starting the next one. Just go for a walk or read something nice online to recharge your mind before you get back to work.
17. Overcome half-work
In this age of constant distraction, it’s easy to get lost between what we should be doing and what others want us to do. For example, you’re working on a task from your to-do list, but you stop randomly to work on a report that your boss asked for. This is what we call “half-work”. No matter how or where you encounter half-work, the result is often the same – poor commitments, poor engagement, poor performance. Now, the best way to eliminate half-work is to block a significant amount of time for the task at hand and eliminate everything else.
18. Consider delegating/outsourcing
Delegation and outsourcing are tricky, agreed. But this doesn’t change the fact that they are a crucial aspect of the modern workplace. We understand that it’s often difficult to let someone else complete certain tasks, but remember, you’ve got limited time to complete certain tasks and delegating/outsourcing can be a real time-saver. Just make sure that you hand over the responsibilities to the right person with the desired skills. And, if you do that, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
19. Just STOP multitasking
Managing two tasks at once often results in loss of productivity. According to a recent psychological study, people who prefer to practice the habit of multitasking are finding it difficult to concentrate and maintain focus on work when needed. Most of them believe that routine multitasking helps to save time and accomplish more in a day, but in reality, the opposite is often true.
20. Rethink your time management strategy
If you’re here and you’re going through these easy time management tips then it’s pretty obvious that you are looking for ways to make the most of your time in a day. Now, if you’re struggling with time management, it simply means that your current strategy isn’t working and you need to change your schedule around. Just spend 5 minutes at the end of each day to review the targets you have achieved and the performance you have delivered. Use this information to identify your peak performance hours within the day, as well as the improvements that you need to make to succeed in the long run.
21. Use an online calendar
So, you have a sharp memory. Well, congratulations! But don’t you think it would be a lot better if you have all your important dates marked on a calendar. Calendars have been used for time management for years. The good news is that now we have digital calendars that have taken time management and scheduling to the next level. With an online calendar, you can schedule meetings, create events, set reminders, and check your availability for a specific date from almost any device.
22. Don’t waste time waiting
Let’s be honest. The time you stand waiting in a project is the time wasted. Now, we’re not suggesting you be impatient. It’s just that every project needs to be completed within a specified timeframe and the time you wasted waiting could be easily spent better elsewhere. If you’re looking for ideas, consider listening to a podcast or read through some helpful blog post while you are waiting for an important piece of information or advice in a project. This will help you reignite the fire within you and get motivated to be back-on-track.
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These time management strategies for work can help you live a more controlled life at work and home. The above mentioned time management techniques are like the mantras for changing the way you live. With the right mindset and right strategies, you can live a more joyous life