24 Time Management Hacks to Help You Get More Done in Less Time
Time management is one of the most critical abilities in today’s fast-paced environment. There are only 24 hours in a day, so making the most of every minute is essential if you want to get everything done. In the end, every second counts.
What Is the Importance of Time Management in the Workplace?
- It boosts productivity and performance in the workplace.
- It aids in task management and work organization.
- Relieves stress and lowers the risk of health problems and exhaustion
Everyone benefitsCoworkers, family, and friends may all benefit from having a healthy work environment. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is made possible through effective time management. How you use your time at work affects your personal well-being, happiness, and achievements. A compilation of the most effective and proven time management ideas has been gathered to help you get the most out of your day. As soon as possible, let’s get started.
1. Keep track of your time
First and foremost, it’s critical that you know where you’re spending your time. You’ll be able to see exactly how much time you spend on each activity, as well as what activities take up the majority of your time and where your time is being wasted.
There are two ways to track your time: manually by keeping an eye on the clock and writing down each task with a timestamp (which we strongly discourage because after all, you don’t want to waste time on something that should actually save you time), or by using an electronic solution—time tracking software that will automatically track the time you spend on all your projects and tasks.
The first step is to figure out where your time goes. You’ll be able to choose the best time management strategy for your situation with its assistance.
2. Identify your zone of intense concentration
The notion that the most productive and successful individuals wake up early in the morning is one of the most common statements in the world of productivity. Oprah Winfrey claims she wakes up at 6:02 am, whereas Apple CEO Tim Cook says he gets up at 3:45 am. Many individuals like working in the evening or even at night, and this may work for certain people. That’s just OK, by the way.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Find a sweet spot where you’re most productive and find out when that is for you. Getting up too early might have the opposite effect, resulting in sleep disorders and decreased performance.
Experiment and find out what works best for you, but don’t let the fact that other people are already awake discourage you. Even if your business hero rises before the chickens, it may not be a wise or healthy way to begin your day for some individuals, as BBC’s Bryan Lufkin points out.
3. Make a written record of everything.
For up to 30 seconds, a human’s short-term memory can hold on to knowledge. It’s human nature to forget things, therefore writing them down is a good idea. It’s very uncommon for individuals to mistakenly believe that “keeping things in your brain gives you a false feeling of control,” according to David Allen, author of the book Getting Things Done, which we discussed on the show.
According to his advice in the book, it’s a good idea to jot down anything that comes to mind, from a to-do list to your shopping list. You may organize your ideas and complete the job in a logical manner by writing them down.
Writing things down also aids in mental cleansing, concept organization, and re-concentration.
4. Establish a list of priorities.
Brian Tracy popularized (and Mark Twain initially devised) the “eat the frog” strategy in his book, which posits that the toughest and largest assignment is completed first thing in the morning.Developed by the 34th President of the United States of America, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Eisenhower Matrix assists in setting priorities for activities based on their relevance and urgency, as well as distinguishing between those that should be delegated and those that can wait. Using the ABCDE approach, you assign each assignment or activity a letter A, B, C, D, or E, and then prioritize them according to the letters’ importance.
Set Smart Goals
SMART goals: SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound, and is an acronym that allows you to manage tasks by objectives. Prioritize your goals based on the categories they fall into.There are other methods for organizing your to-do list, but the most basic is the master list technique. Or, if you’d like, go about it your own way in a method that suits your needs.
5. Avoid multitasking
Multitasking isn’t healthy for your brain, according to scientific research. Clifford Nass, a Stanford University professor, performed a research that found that multitasking decreases cognitive function.
We fool ourselves into believing we’re doing more when we juggle many tasks at the same time.. But in actuality, there is a 40 percent drop in our production. We aren’t genuinely multitasking. Interrupting our work and wasting valuable time is a hallmark of the “switch-task” mentality.
You may believe you’re exceptional because you’ve practiced so much that you’ve mastered the skill. As the saying goes, “perfect practice makes perfect” and suchlike.
You’d be mistaken, though. When it comes to handling many tasks at once, heavy multitaskers are less effective than light multitaskers. When it comes to multitasking, the more you do it, the less effective you get at it. This is an instance when experience works against you.
Why Multitasking doesn’t really work.
I decided to do a test of my own. I decided to experiment with not multitasking for a week to see what would happen. What methods may be used to help? Is it possible for me to keep my attention on one subject for so long?
I was able to achieve the majority of my goals. On the phone, I did nothing except chat or listen. When I was at a meeting, all I did was concentrate on the meeting at hand. Emails and knocks on the door didn’t disturb me until I was done with what I was working on.
First and foremost, it was a joy. When I was with my children, I saw this the most clearly. I was able to fully immerse myself in the conversation with them when I turned off my mobile phone. I didn’t know how much of an impact a brief glance at my email has on my ability to focus on the people and things in front of me. The first time I’d seen this for a while, I was struck by the beauty of a wind-blown leaf.
“We evaluated folks who were chronic multitaskers and found that their cognitive functions were hindered even when they weren’t asked to perform anything close to the degree of multitasking they were doing. As a result, they do less well in tasks that demand concentration, such as multitasking and deep contemplation.
What’s the takeaway here? It is a myth that multitasking is beneficial to productivity. Instead of doing many things at once, concentrate on one activity at a time.
6. Say "No" sometimes
Refusing to take on yet another job is an important part of effective time management. Stress and tiredness may be caused by overwork. Over time, this might lead to stress and exhaustion in the workplace. It is possible to maintain a healthy work-life balance by learning to say no.
Say ‘no’ the next time someone asks you to take on a new duty. Refusing has its benefits.
7. Don't overwork yourself
There are days when we’re so productive that we don’t want to take a break because we don’t want to disrupt the flow of work. That’s just OK, by the way. Even if the flow has stopped, you’re doing yourself harm if you keep doing it on a daily basis.
We all need a vacation to recharge, relax, and cleanse our brains of all the knowledge they’ve accumulated over the years. That includes obtaining the required 7-8 hours of sleep each night. After a long day at the office, take a few minutes to relax and recharge your batteries.
Taking care of your fundamental requirements is an important part of effective time management.
8. Delegate or hire someone else to do a job for you
Delegation is OK! That’s because of these four factors:
- You are just overburdened with work and unable to do all of it.
- You become bogged down in your job and don’t know how to improve your productivity.
- It’s too difficult for your abilities.
- A decrease in productivity occurs.
It’s one of the quickest and most effective strategies to reduce your burden. Delegating a job to someone who can do it better than you is also a good idea. In no way, shape, or form is this about delegating responsibilities to others so that you have nothing to do. It’s all about getting the most out of your efforts by pooling them with others and making them accessible when needed. Many commercial functions may also be outsourced at a fair cost.
9. Establish a timetable
Making a work schedule is a great way to better manage your time. If you have a lot of activities coming up, you’ll find it simpler to manage your time and see the big picture if you have some kind of calendar.
Design your own plan by using Excel templates, paper calendars, specific applications, or a basic task list. If you’re feeling really creative, you can even make your own schedule from scratch and tailor it to your own requirements.
10. Try not to be perfect all the time.
When it comes to time management, being a perfectionist may be both a blessing and a problem. “Shift your mentality, be less flawless about certain things, so you can focus on what’s essential,” says Alice Boyes, a psychotherapist and novelist.
A lot of the time, it’s best to simply get things done rather than obsess over every tiny detail that may not matter in the end.
11. Check out your to-do list.
Add a ‘done list’ to your to-do list. See what you’ve accomplished and what you haven’t. Reflect and form your own findings.
Former Walt Disney World® Resort Executive Vice President of Operations Lee Cockerell stresses the need of reflecting on your actions:
It’s called “reflection,” and it’s important to rectify what went wrong in the past first. Reflect about the day before. Inquiry: What might have been done better?’
That’s self-explanatory, so let’s go on.
12. Make use of a calendarFor all the years they’ve been there, calendars seem to have no intention of disappearing any time soon. For the time being, they’re still relied upon to help people keep track of their time and accomplish their goals. A calendar may be used by anybody, anywhere. To-do lists, bullet journals, and other formats are all possible uses for Wunderlist. It can help you remain on top of all your assignments, activities, and responsibilities by providing you with a full and clear view of your daily, weekly, and monthly schedules.
13. Give yourself wiggle roomOne of the most effective time management practices, according to author, lecturer, and writer Laura Vanderkam, is to provide extra time for unanticipated activities. “Leave some room for expansion.” Honestly, this is one of the finest ways to go ahead. When you fill your calendar to the brim, you leave no room for the unexpected. Unexpected phone calls and meetings, a burst pipe at home, and so on and so forth… You never know when something unexpected may come up on your calendar. To be on the safe side, be prepared!
14. Keep in touch with your coworkers and clients.When it comes to time management, effective communication is essential. Because time management influences how you can interact and network with others. This is particularly true when working with people, whether it’s colleagues or customers. To improve your time management skills at work, it’s important to constantly express the following: Preventing late-night phone calls from customers or a boss by sticking to your normal working hours
Achieve BalanceIs your availability outside of normal working hours crucial? If so, it may assist with critical tasks or allow you to maintain a work-life balance. In order to prevent excessive expectations and missed deadlines, you should know how much time you typically devote to certain jobs and projects not to cram too much work into a little amount of time in your schedule You’ll be able to better arrange your time and resources with its assistance. Additionally, others will have an easier time figuring out how and when you work.
15. Combine jobs that are related.There are certain jobs that can be completed as a single unit without the need for further division. As an example, take phone calls and responding to emails. You may streamline your time management by grouping them together. Shorten your to-do list and group together related things instead of adding more.
16. Make the most of the latest tools available to you.What’s the point of doing things manually if you can automate and optimize them? Make technology a part of your everyday routine if you want to improve your time management at work. And it doesn’t imply you should buy robots! Get to know your business’s operations and duties before implementing applications that fit those demands. Apps for time tracking, productivity tools for remote workers, project management, task management, online calendars and many more may be found among the most popular applications. When it comes to administrative tasks, there are several options to pick from that may save you time, enhance your focus and provide you access to all your projects and data in one place. There are many more, so go ahead and look them up.
17. Remove all sources of distraction.Author and productivity speaker Maura Nevel Thomas recommends focusing on your attention. In order to release your brilliance, you must learn to control distractions, be present in the moment, discover flow, and maximize attention. Rather of reacting, it’s important to plan forward. Instead of letting distractions get in the way, you may concentrate your attention at any given time, “based on an awareness of your objectives and goals,” which can help you remain focused. You may also use a time management program like RescueTime, Focus@Will, or StayFocusd to prevent distractions.
18. Organize your appointments in advance.Meetings are loathed by everyone on the earth (or is it?). Either they are loathed or they are seen as impartial. In large part as a result of their generally low utility. Statistics suggest that more than 67% of meetings fail, with 92% of attendees multitasking and 49% performing work that is not connected to the topic of the meeting. You must thus schedule meetings in advance. Timeframe, expectations, key takeaways and an agenda should all be included in any successful strategy. You need to be considerate of other people’s time and adhere to a precise timetable for the meeting. To have a successful meeting, you must include everyone and listen to their concerns and ideas.
19. Keep your meetings to a minimum or… abandon them altogether.The meetings can go on a little longer, shall we? Limiting meetings, save for planning ones, is a good idea. For example, consider Elon Musk. One of his most important productivity standards, as detailed in this essay, is to have as few meetings as possible. The best course of action is to get rid of as many of them as possible in order to devote more of your time to worthwhile pursuits. “Walk out of a meeting or get off a call as soon as it is evident you aren’t bringing anything,” advises Tesla CEO Elon Musk. It is impolite to make someone remain and waste their time, not disrespectful to go.”
20. Find a partner who will hold you accountable.Having a friend or coworker to bounce ideas off of might help you better manage your time. Your feeling of duty inspires you to put forth the effort. It’s a someone who can help you see things from a fresh angle, teach you new skills, and provide guidance when you’re stuck. There are many different types of accountability partners, such as a spouse, a family member, or even an employee at your place of work. It may help you better manage your time by encouraging you to concentrate on your job and cut down on time spent on things that don’t provide value.
21. DisconnectWhen you’re not trying to do something in particular, your brain is more engaged. If you want to improve your mental health, disconnect and let your mind roam. A more active brain is one that is able to process information more efficiently, and this is what happens when you unplug. Take a break from your job and technological gadgets and recharge. In fact, even simple things like taking a sleep or a stroll around the block may have a significant impact on your output.
22. Find the time management method that works best for you.You may not be able to use all of the time management tools available, particularly if your system of work is unique. The Pomodoro method, time blocking, and the Pareto principle are some of the most popular and ubiquitous strategies. While there isn’t any one technique that will work for everyone, you may mix and match many approaches to find the greatest fit for your situation.