Updated: Apr 5
Time management is something that some people struggle at, whereas others are champions of productivity. No matter the case, to actually master it, you need to know how to do it. And the Internet is full of tips, tricks, and methods. But they may not always work. You have to find those proven and used by time management experts.
Time can be tricky. And so, it’s important to know how to fit your work and daily activities into it. If you struggle with managing your work or want to experiment with your current methods, check out our list of 10 most effective and proven time management techniques.
1. Plan your day in advance
Planning is the first, the best, and most proven of all time management techniques. Firstly, because it helps to properly organize your work. Secondly, because it gives you a detailed insight into all the things you need to do. If you can plan your daily, weekly or monthly tasks, the rest comes easily.
There are many ways to plan and organize your work:
fancy calendars and personal organizers,
apps and tools, for example, Nozbe, Evernote, Todoist, etc.,
post-it-notes, and notepads.
2. Allocate your time
Do you know how much time you spend on particular tasks? Gotcha! You’re probably among the majority of people who have no idea how their daily work looks like in terms of work hours.
If you know how much of your time you allocate to tasks, project, and different activities, you will be able to better organize your workday and workflow. The simplest way to do it is to use time tracking software. It will help you precisely predict future estimates and better allocate your time.
Checking and answering e-mails is a burdensome task. Nobody likes it, yet everybody does it. Statistics say that “the average worker spends around 30 hours a week checking email.”
Limit the time you spend on e-mails to the minimum to keep those 30 hours for work. If you check it in the morning, reply only to those most important, which need an immediate answer. Leave the rest for breaks between tasks or go through them at the end of the day. Also, make sure to mark those unimportant messages as “spam” so they don’t dump your inbox.
4. Put a time limit on tasks.
By setting time constraints for these items, you will focus more and work more efficiently.
If you still find yourself going beyond these time limits, examine your workflow and eliminate little time-wasters like unscheduled breaks.
5. Say “no” and delegate
Everybody has their limits. We simply cannot do everything people want us to. It will lead to burnout and work anxiety. That’s why it’s so important to be assertive and say “no” when people want to assign you additional tasks.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with refusing to do things you’re not able to do. As well as with delegating tasks. Especially if there is someone, who can do the work better than you.
6. Focus and block distractions
Notifications, pop up messages, e-mails, colleagues constantly talking to you. It all pulls your attention away from work.
There are many ways to stay focused. You can put your phone away, turn off social media notifications or block distracting websites. But the best way is to concentrate and do what you have to do. It’s worth to limit your presence in social media to the minimum because it takes a lot of your time and doesn’t bring much value into your life.
Set goals and you will exactly know which direction you’re heading to. Goals are part of the organization process but they are extremely important in time management.
8. Create a morning routine
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? If it’s making a bed, you’re on the right track. But if it’s checking social media, you’re doing it wrong.
Having your own morning routine will unquestionably power you up for the rest of the day. It’s the first thing you do in the morning that determines the outcomes you will achieve during the day. Try from making your bed, then have a healthy breakfast, and leave social media for the end of the day.
Exercising is a great way to boost energy levels. It’s a way for the body to get rid of tension caused by stress. It can also help clean your mind of unnecessary or disturbing thoughts, which only make your work worse.
Put on your running shoes and go for a jog! You will see how much regular exercising can help in mastering time management techniques.
10. Create a daily plan
Use the first 30 minutes of your day to create a daily to-do list that suits your weekly plan.
Word your list items as if you’ve already completed them. Instead of “Submit Report to Project Manager” write “Report to Project Manager Submitted.”
This little trick will give you an extra boost of motivation.
Maybe there are other time management techniques which are not on the list? Share your tricks and tips and let us know what works best for you!