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 an integral way of our living. When a person manage their time wisely by investing in time management techniques, they are more likely to achieve much-needed work-life balance.
Table of Contents
- What is time management?
- Time management strategies for work
- 1. Know how you spend your time
- 2. Prioritization
- 3. Make a to-do list at the end of the day
- 4. Focus without distractions
- 5. Time-blocking method
- 6. Decision-making
- 7. Tony Robbins rapid planning method
- 8. Record your daily routine
- 9. Automate your workflow
- 10. Get organized
- 11. Spend your mornings on MITs
- 12. Batch similar tasks together
- 13. Stop being a perfectionist
- 14. Just say “NO”
- 15. Learn the 80-20 rule
- 16. Leave buffer time between tasks
- 17. Overcome half-work
- 18. Consider delegating/outsourcing
- 19. Just STOP multitasking
- 20. Rethink your time management strategy
- 21. Use an online calendar
- 22. Don’t waste time waiting
- Importance of time management
What is time management?
To most of us, it seems as if there’s never enough time in the day. However, we all have 24 hrs in a day to accomplish our tasks, and some people are exceptionally good at it, while others struggle to meet deadlines.
Why is it that some people utilize their time more efficiently than others? The answer lies in effective time management.
To explain it better, we must understand what time management is. In simple words, time management is the process of organizing and planning the amount of time you want to divide between specific activities. Effective time management is about allocating the right time to the right activity.
It allows individuals to make the best use of available time by prioritizing tasks according to their importance and the estimated time taken to complete them. On the other hand, failing to manage time can negatively affect both your professional and personal life.
Up next, you’ll read about some of the most popular time management tips for work that will help you achieve more productivity in less time and effort.
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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 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 tool to better manage how much time they are spending on their work. All in all, efficient time management makes their job easier and they can spare some free time doing other things.
Manage your time>achieve your goals> and be successful. This is the pattern to follow. Managing time also simply means spending time on priorities and not spending 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 the 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 so that you clearly know where to resume work the following day. You can easily do that using a project management software like ProofHub.
Using ProofHub, you can easily:
- Create tasks
- Break them into smaller, manageable tasks
- Assign them
- Set start and due dates
- Set estimates and track time spent
Efficient time management tips at work can be successful when you push yourself out of the distractive circle. It’s not easy to stay on task 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. Time-blocking method
Elon Musk is possibly one of the busiest men on earth. His secret to 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 thought to how you are going to plan all your work. There are many things to think about, like;
- Which task is of high-priority
- When a task is to be completed
- Which resources are available to do the task
- Which task needs 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 one kind of 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 it clear to find out which activities you are wasting your time on. You can start by tracking your activities at work using time-tracking apps and 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 one of the most effective time management strategies. You can create recurring tasks if it needs to be done on a regular basis. This will help to save time otherwise spent on manually creating such tasks.
By using a top project management software, you can create automated recurring tasks Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Yearly.
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10. Get organized
It is said that super achievers are super-organized. It can be quite overwhelming when there are a large number of tasks to focus on that can diffuse productivity. However, a good project management system with built-in task management software will help you divide bigger tasks into small, manageable subtasks.
This time management technique will organize all your tasks into manageable categories. 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. It also helps you to share your workload.
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 tasks together
Different tasks demand team members to invest a different amount of time and effort. 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. You can add custom labels to filter tasks under one label.
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13. Stop being a perfectionist
A major reason why most people put off tasks or constantly delay the 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 on your to-do list? Obviously, the answer is “no”. Since there are many other tasks on your to-do list that need to be completed within the same day, stop running after perfection and concentrate more on getting every task completed as efficiently, and 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 the “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 a 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
Congratulations if you have a sharp memory. But don’t you think it would be a lot better if you have all your important events, tasks, and milestones marked on an online calendar. The efficiency of calendars in time management is well known 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 project scheduling calendar, you can schedule meetings, create events, set reminders, and check your availability for a specific date from almost any device. You can see all calendar data across all projects in one place using one project calendar.
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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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 time damages effectiveness and causes stress.
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
These time management strategies for work can help you live a more controlled life at work and at home. These time management techniques are like the mantras for changing the way you live. With the right mindset and the right strategies, you can live a more joyous life.