Working smarter, not just harder, is the key to better time management tips. We asked professionals in productivity to provide their top time management advice. Try out several tactics from this list to determine which ones work best for you.
Perfect Time Management Tips
1. Do a Time Audit:
Understanding where your time is spent will help you make better use of it. Although there are excellent time management tools available, I honestly prefer to keep things simple—Marc Andreessen’s notecard technique has always worked for me.
Organize your daily tasks on a straightforward three-by-five notecard. Because the workday always manages to sneak in lots of extras, you should list any tasks you completed that you had not originally planned to complete on the back of the card.
You can check what you prioritized (and if you completed it) by glancing at your three-by-five card at the end of the day. You can also see what tasks were added to your to-do list. Additional work is acceptable, but if your daily major chores aren’t getting completed, there’s a problem.
2. Create a Daily Schedule:
I believe that if something isn’t scheduled, it won’t get done! So, planning out every hour of my workday is essential for me to be focused and productive. Even “free time” to engage in extracurricular activities is scheduled.
It won’t get done if it isn’t scheduled! By dividing my goals into manageable daily tasks, I am able to achieve my objectives.
It shouldn’t take more than an hour per day to complete each phase. If I discover that process will take longer than an hour, I haven’t broken it down sufficiently.
Even if I complete the steps for that day early, I restrain myself from moving on to the next one. Although it may seem paradoxical, doing so prevents me from burning out and increases my motivation for the hour of work the next day. This tactic also prevents me from completing a task only partially, which doesn’t seem as satisfying as doing everything that was scheduled for that day.
3. Prioritize and Delegate:
Establish your professional and personal priorities, and then schedule them in your calendar. The rest must adjust to fit around them or be abandoned.
Hire a fantastic assistant to whom you may assign scheduling and other normal tasks. One of your best resources for increasing productivity and lowering stress maybe this person.
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4. Group-Related Tasks Together:
Take some time to go over the complete list rather than starting at the top and working your way down. Then group related tasks together. You might classify your activities into categories like phone calls, money, networking, paperwork, or artistic endeavors.
Your brain can avoid switching between different types of thought by grouping (or batching) activities that are similar in character. Smoother transitions are made. When you complete related chores, you acquire momentum and, in certain cases, even speed up!
5. Try not to Multitask:
We all seem to have less time than we’d like these days to complete the tasks we wish to. The internet and social media have accelerated how quickly you can access news, maintain personal connections, and interact with clients. We have all developed certain negative habits as a result of it, one of which is multitasking.
Multitasking doesn’t save you time, according to research conducted by the American Psychological Association. In actuality, it slows down your workflow, raises your stress level, and ultimately interferes with your ability to function normally.
According to a Stanford University study, multitasking even has an impact on both long-term and short-term memory. Prolonged daily multitasking actually impairs your capacity to retain and process information.
According to neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, “All that task switching has a neurological cost. When we try to multitask for an hour or two and find that we are exhausted and unable to concentrate, it is because the neurochemicals required for concentration have been depleted.
6. Set Time Limit for Tasks:
Now, take that project or work product and divide it into smaller subtasks. Set up time monitoring or time-block how long it will take to complete each of those activities, even if they just take five minutes each.
Hence, be extremely specific about what you want to do so that you can tick things off your list when you’re finished and get that dopamine rush that will keep you inspired, motivated, and delighted to keep working.
If we don’t, we often wake up and start working without thinking, and we labor for hours and hours and hours without ever feeling like we’ve achieved what we set out to.
7. Take Breaks Regularly:
Taking pauses increases productivity. Little breaks can actually help with concentration, as William S. Helton, a professor of human factors and applied cognition at George Mason University, showed.
He and a few of his colleagues ran an experiment on two teams of college students who had to keep an eye on a set of railway lines on a screen. While the other group received a five-minute break halfway through the job, one group did not receive a break for the full 45 minutes.
The second group was given a selection of tasks to complete during those five minutes. No of the task, the second group’s performance showed a discernible improvement.
The study also demonstrates the significance of the kind of breaks you take. According to Psychology Today, it’s crucial to step away from your electronics, notifications, and text messages in general. Do something that won’t tax your brain or your eyes, like go for a walk in the park, draw, or work out.
Keep this time management tool in your toolkit and make sure to give it important if you want to maintain working at your best.
8. Eliminate Distractions:
Only to the extent that you also control your attention on the subject at hand is how you manage your time important. This is due to the fact that if you set aside time for a task but spend that time switching between multiple other things, the outcome will probably not be what you anticipated. In order to effectively manage internal and external distractions and complete tasks more quickly and with higher quality, you must learn to control your attention.
9. Stay Organized:
One essential time management strategy is organization. According to Jennifer Verdolin, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Arizona, “Research demonstrates that excessive disarray and clutter is distracting and limits our capacity for focus and concentration.” She continues by citing instances from the animal kingdom that demonstrate how cleanliness has aided creatures in giving their best efforts.
Maintaining mental organization is equally as important as having your area physically organized. Contrary to Step 4, maintaining mental organization requires prioritizing your to-do list rather than grouping related chores. Set daily objectives and try categorizing your tasks into the following categories:
- Daily Tasks
- Urgent Tasks
- Important Tasks
- Small Tasks
10. Pace Yourself:
Being all in as an entrepreneur keeps you frequently in over-performance mode. Take it slow. Time will allow. Yet, you’ll need the time, effort, and focus; if you launch into high gear straight once, you’ll exhaust yourself.
For each of the tasks on your list, do you know what constitutes well enough? Both the organization and you will find this acceptable. Overanalyzing, over-editing, and over-tweaking are unnecessary time wasters. Perform good work, and then put it to rest.