When people search tips for time management, usually their end goal is to increase productivity. Although there are several strategies to boost productivity, time management is proven to be one of the best ways to do it.
But with the number of strategies available online which ones work the best? In this article, we’ve gathered the 6 best tips (all are proven and tested) to finally have long-term improved time management.
We will also be discussing the benefits of having time management in our daily lives and what are the most popular methods that people use. By the end of this article, you’ll definitely have one time management system you’ll be using. So if you’re ready, let’s get right to the article.
Why Bother With Time Management?
This is a valid question for most people. Some think that they don’t need any time management. But for people who are looking to be more productive, this can be a perfect solution.
Following a time management system is the most natural way to be more focused and productive. It is natural because some people resort to supplements like nootropics, creatine supplementation, and other synthetic ways to increase their focus.
Having a time management process makes you efficient. It removes unnecessary activities from your schedule to make you more productive throughout the day.
A lot of people struggle with being inefficient. This problem has caused an increase in demand from the productivity niche and has given birth to productivity gurus in social media. This shows how much people look for ways to improve their productivity.
But as mentioned earlier, some tips don’t usually stick too long. There are different time management strategies online, but the ones shared below are simple yet very effective in managing your time. It might be a slight change in your everyday life, but once done repeatedly, it can become a habit to make you a productivity machine.
6 Proven Tips For Time Management
Take note of the points listed below. Pick the ones that work for you and can easily integrate into your everyday routine.
1. Create A Daily Schedule
If you just do things randomly during the day, it’s easy to get distracted, making the day pass by. It’s time-consuming to wake up and still think about what things to do and at what time of the day you should do them.
But by creating a daily schedule, you get to plan out your day – if you write it down, you’ll also see the different time blocks, achievable tasks, know what to prioritize, and how much work you’ve achieved at the end of the day.
Writing the tasks makes it easy for you not to miss out on any priorities. A common mistake is letting these important things stay in their head, which can be deceiving since our brains can only handle a certain amount of information and data daily.
You can write it in the morning or the day before. Doing this will give you clarity before you attack the day. This makes your day more systematic and optimized for maximum productivity.
However, the creation of a daily schedule shouldn’t stop there. You should be committed to following it. Commitment and discipline play an important role here. If you don’t follow the schedule, you’re better off not creating one in the first place.
2. Set A Time Limit For Each Task
This one’s a tremendous time-tracking strategy. Setting a time limit for each activity you’re going to do is a hack that will help you be efficient throughout the day. Most people think that to be productive, you need to work non-stop. But in reality, it’s the fastest way to fry their brains.
When we say set a time limit for each activity, we mean everything from your tasks to what you do on your rest time. For example, if you check stock market updates on your break, make sure to set a time for that since it’s easy to be hooked and get lost in time when you’re deep in what you’re doing especially when looking for the next investment venture to take.
So to be physically and mentally in top shape, don’t exhaust your brain immediately. Set a timer for how much you will work on a specific task. Be realistic in setting up a time for each activity.
You need to be creative and find what works for you for this tip. Some completely stop working on the task when the time is up. Then they move on to another task and return to the previous one later. This strategy gives them clarity and a fresh mind.
If the task takes hours to finish, you can set up a time to thoroughly do as much work as possible on the task without any distraction. When the time is up, you take a breather. You walk around and let your mind rest for a few minutes. After the resting period, you go back to that task again.
A time limit for each task gives you a more structured way of doing daily activities. There are a lot of time management tools that can help you with this. Software like a project manager and other apps will help you with important and related tasks in a time-bounded period.
3. Have A “Done List” Separate From Your To-Do List
It’s no secret how great you can feel when you get something finished. What more if you really see it crossed out on your list? That’s one of the mental hacks people do to motivate themselves to do more and get things done.
When you check things off your to-do list, your body releases dopamine that makes you feel good. And since dopamine helps you feel motivated and satisfied, you’ll be more determined to do work that needs to be finished.
After every daily task, tick off that activity or write it down on your own in a different section. You can even do this at the end of every week. List down the activities you’ve done and accomplished to feel more confident going into the new week.
4. Automate What You Can
In today’s world, technology has reached a point that it has made the lives of people easier. Big and small businesses have automated several processes to make them more efficient and fast.
A lot of software can now work without you micromanaging it. We now have auto signatures, calendar reminders, calling apps, and many more. With just a few tweaks and adjustments, you’ll be able to list multiple tasks from your list due to automation.
That’s what some employees don’t fully understand – several tasks in their work can be automated without supervision. If they can automate three to five tasks in their list of responsibilities, they’ll have more time on their hands to focus on the more important things.
Here are some of the work that you can fully automate:
Client phone calls
Payroll for employees
Lead nurturing of clients
Bills payment in business
Initial customer engagement
Social media posting of work
Sending of emails to prospects
Backing of data in the organization
Schedule meetings with the department
5. Avoid Multitasking
Multitasking is one of the biggest myths about productivity and hacks. Many people pride themselves on doing more than one job at a time. They can possibly balance tasks, but they’re not being efficient.
One study shows that only 2.5% of people can multitask effectively. So most people doing this aren’t making good use of their time. It might feel like they’re being efficient, but in reality, they’re doing mediocre work.
This quantity over quality mindset has never done well in productivity and time management. So you’re better off focusing on one task at a time and giving your utmost focus and attention.
6. Delegate Tasks
People often overlook the delegation of tasks. Don’t carry all the responsibilities if you can delegate some of your workload.
Some don’t want to delegate because they lack trust in the output of their team. But having faith in the skills of your coworkers improves your teamwork in the workplace.
Just like when you automate certain tasks, you get more time to focus on the important things with delegation. The little and repetitive activities you do daily can be passed on to others to make your focus be directed to many essential things.
5 Benefits Of A Time Management System
Now that you’ve read a whole set of time management tips, it’s time to learn the most incredible benefits of incorporating a scheduled system into your daily routine. It’s an attempt to push you to integrate the tips above.
Benefit #1: Better Work-Life Balance
It’s no secret that we all want to achieve this. Whether working in an office or remotely, work-life balance is a must. When we have a time management system in our lives, we get lower stress levels and get to set goals in an organized manner.
Work-life balance is a state of not feeling burnt out every day. It gives a feeling of satisfaction that you’ve done excellent work while having time for yourself.
This balance can make anyone less stressed and drastically improve mental health. Both factors can play a role in one’s productivity in the workplace. So if you want to be happy at what you do, strive to achieve an outstanding work-life balance.
Benefit #2: More Confident As You Enter A New Work Day/Week
When you set a schedule for the whole week, you won’t be too anxious about the work you need to do. You’ll be more confident when handling different tasks because you’ve already set schedules for each activity.
Having a system in place reduces the guesswork in your week. You won’t have a problem prioritizing tasks and what needs less attention because you’ve analyzed this a week or day before.
Benefit #3: Less Procrastination
Procrastination is a bad habit and is the number one enemy of productivity and efficiency. With the ease of access to social media and chat applications, it’s so easy to get distracted from the tasks that need our utmost attention.
However, having a time management system can allow you to have fewer distractions within the day if you commit to the list you’ve created. Seeing what needs to be done and at what time makes you feel you are in control of your workload. This helps prevent getting sidetracked and procrastinating for several hours.
Plus, you'll be less likely to procrastinate when you see the things you’ve accomplished within the day because you feel much more motivated to check things off your to-do list. You’ll be determined to accomplish all pending tasks and responsibilities.
Benefit #4: Reaching Goals Faster
When you know where to put your time and focus daily, you’ll be able to reach your goals at a faster rate. When you create a pattern of accomplishing small tasks every day, this can lead to the accomplishment of bigger goals.
Once you’re determined to follow your time schedule, you will develop a sense of discipline and commitment, which can lead to increased productivity, better time management skills, and more goals accomplished within the week.
Benefit #5: Improved Employee Performance
You improve as an employee when you get more tasks done, and the quality of your output gets better. You’ll have excellent career management and can become an asset to your team, and eventually, you’ll play an essential role in your organization.
Even business owners benefit from having a time management system as well. It makes them focus on important elements that make them more profitable and increase the value of their online business over time.
Once you’ve successfully used time management systems in your work, you can transfer those strategies to your life. You’ll be able to achieve more meaningful daily activities and less time on time wasters.
3 Popular Time Management Techniques
In this hustle culture where productivity and efficiency are seen as a measurement of success, many time management techniques have risen to the mainstream. If you want to read the different popular time management techniques, continue reading below.
A. Pareto Principle
The Pareto principle states that 80% of results will come from 20% of your efforts. This principle tells you to prioritize more on the important tasks that can help you reach your goals. Since it’s just 20% of your efforts, your focus should be more on essential activities.
People see the Pareto principle as an effective time management system to help you know what tasks to prioritize, discover scheduling issues at an early stage, and how to use your effort and time.
B. The Eisenhower Principle
This principle was named after former US president Dwight Eisenhower. This principle is said on how he organized similar tasks to save the most amount of time. This principle divides several activities into four quadrants: the Eisenhower Matrix. It would look like this:
To start, list down all responsibilities and tasks that you need to do. Include everything and be detailed. Next, go through each activity and put it into the quadrants. Let’s explain each quadrant.
Important and urgent - These are activities that need your action right away. Usually, tasks with deadlines are placed here. Examples of tasks here would be:
picking up kids
paying bills in-house
responding to emails
projects with deadlines
submitting a draft article
Important but not urgent - These tasks help you accomplish personal and professional goals. Tasks in this quadrant are usually along the lines of:
Making school meals
Minor house repairs
Television not working
Exercise and cardiovascular training
Customer strategic planning with the client
Preparing sanitary essentials like kid masks and alcohol
Checking car problems for repairs on brake and light issues
All of these are important but do not require urgent attention.
Not important but urgent - The tasks here do not contribute to achieving your goals. These are unforeseen events that arise throughout the week. Examples could be department meetings, client pitches, favors, etc.
Not important and not urgent - These are pure distractions. These things prevent you from being efficient and productive. You can completely ignore these things and frequently say “no” to them. These tasks would be scrolling social media, engaging in friends group chats, and other pleasure activities.
When you know what tasks are important, you’ll put your focus on finishing them first. This principle gives you a framework on what activities you should give more attention to and what activities you should completely ignore.
C. Pomodoro Technique
This one’s a good time management technique that uses a timer to break down your tasks into several intervals. It makes you focused on the job for a number of minutes and rewards you with a small break.
How it works:
Choose a task that needs to be done
Set a timer for 20-25 minutes
When doing the work, complete focus is needed. No distractions, gadgets, and phones are out of sight.
When the timer is up, take a short break
Set a time for 5 minutes.
During rest time, you can walk around, drink water, or do something to relax your mind.
When the timer is up, go back to the task and start another 20-25 minute timer again.
Repeat the cycle.
The Pomodoro technique doesn’t only teach you how to have an efficient workflow, but it shows you how beneficial taking small breaks in between work is. It refreshes your mind and gives you new energy when returning to the task.
As you have read above, you can use many time management tips immediately. Many have used these strategies, resulting in increased productivity, better time management, and efficiency throughout the day.
If you haven’t done any of the strategies above, I suggest starting with number 1. Creating a schedule before any busy week will help you have a clearer picture of what needs to be done. It’s also the first step in any time management system.
If you’re looking for a platform to help you manage projects, organize work, and delegate tasks, try out Workast. It’s your all in one place to reach maximum efficiency and productivity.