Published on April 22, 2020
Read time 9 minutes
9 Tips to Time Management for Maximum Productivity
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When it comes to tips to time management, I love how Jackson Brown Jr. put it all together. He said, “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
Well, Brown may be right about 24 hours theory, but time management is an entirely different realm. If you are not able to manage time, you will either make do with a minimum amount of work per day or nothing to show for. It’s that simple. Period.
Time Management Is an Art:
This holds true, especially in the modern age because we have “so many things” to do and so little time. However, I’d ask you to do a retrospective of your past 24 – 48 hours of activities. What did you do exactly? Were you able to get your work done – or a small portion of it?
I can guarantee that the deductions of your retrospective analysis will suggest that you didn’t score enough. That “I’ve got so many things to do” analogy is a kind of false hope because a huge portion of those activities makes up for distractions. I’d say that the lack of time management starts with distractions. Cut the clutter, and you are halfway through to the right path.
In that order, I’d say that the baby boomer generation was more time-oriented. Sure, you can argue that the older generation was doing well on tips for time management because they had minimum distractions. The most debatable point of this argument could be the lack of cellphones or the unavailability of smartphones during the baby boomer generation’s time.
While it is true that baby boomers didn’t have smartphones, you cannot say that there were “no distractions” during that time period. Human beings are a very interesting species. They can find tons of distractions if they want to. Especially, when it comes to working, you can find distractions and all that “stuff to do” even if you are seated in an empty room! That gratitude monkey in your brain will suggest different ideas for wasting time – trust me on this one because we’ve all been there.
Get Started on These Tips to Time Management:
Although there is an abundance of time management applications available in the market these days. The truth is that they all act as reminders. Some of these “reminders” are annoying, which causes users to delete the applications. Others are so subtle that they usually go on the ignore list. Eventually, the person deletes the application and calls it quits.
Here are some tips to time management that might save you a ton of hassle in the long run:
9. Use Software Tools for Time Management:
This technique is especially useful in cases where you have a lot of work to do, but you are easily distracted.
Time management software is an application that not only keeps track of your progress over the week but also suggests subtle references to stuff you should be doing while you are “distracted.” So, if you are finding it hard to focus on work or just managing time like a pro, download and install a time management tool.
It is not a bad idea to try the infamous Pomodoro Technique. It splits work into smaller chunks while offering enough breaks to maintain focus.
Almost every renowned company like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, etc., use time management software to ensure maximum productivity while working. Paid versions of these programs offer a rather more refined degree of control over your tasks at different levels.
Get to it, before it’s too late!
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8. Prioritize your Tasks:
Start with the most important task, first. If you will initiate an imperative task, then the burden is slightly reduced in comparison to those tasks that carry less weight. Moreover, you will automatically end up saving time because of your task prioritization rituals.
Prioritizing tasks also reduces stress since everything is synchronized and orderly. You can divert your attention to other critical issues that may have been pending earlier.
Bear in mind that task prioritization is not easy. It will take you several weeks, or months on end to hone this skill. This part of time management comes with practice and consistency.
7. Depute, Deploy, and Redistribute:
No one is perfect when it comes to multitasking and completing projects single-handedly. This is why teams are created in the first place. Should you find yourself as a project manager in a position to delegate, go ahead and do that.
Deploying and delegating work is not only important but it also helps to take literally take that sack of brick off your shoulders. Meanwhile, redistribution is mandatory whenever the work quality is not high enough. If someone is slacking, review their work and resend it to the same person for a revision. If nothing comes out of it, go ahead and distribute it to someone more capable.
As an independent contractor, if you are outsourcing your work to freelancers, it will enable you to manage other aspects of your projects. Sometimes it is okay to “share” and trust other people’s capability just as much as you do unto you!
6. Find a Partner in Crime:
Not asking you to get married; a partner could be someone who can help you to manage time. Let me give you a very real example from any local gym. You can see those people who have a partner to spot them, doing better. A partner motivates you. If you could find someone who has the same interests as you, he/she can push you to go the extra mile.
So, gym buddies aside, what could a partner in crime do for you in the business world? I suspect a lot more than you could think of. One of the tips to time management is a genuine friend who is there to hone your time management skills. If you two have planned something together for a day, your friend could pursue it. He will push you to be punctual and get regular at doing it like clockwork. That’s what a partner is for. Make the right friends at the right department, and you’ve got yourself, someone, to cover the base.
5. Your Timing is Unique:
Every person has a biological clock. Some people are active during the day. Others are more productive during the late hours of the night. On a personal note, I think you should develop a habit of waking up early in the morning. That way, you can do more work because you start early. This is one of the best tips to time management in my humble opinion.
Arguably, if you cannot wake up early, find your clock. Identify which hours of the day are the ones you could work at the highest peak. Likewise, what time are you at your lowest low? The time on the clock and the time on your biological clock are two different things. If they are coherent, that’s perfect. If your biological clock has a mind of its own, don’t fret about it. Just adjust accordingly, and you’ll do well.
Alternatively, you can install habit tracking apps on your cellphone. They are a great way of getting things done while being most productive throughout the day. I am not a huge advocate for habit trackers. But hey, if it saves time and helps you to maintain a good habit, then why not give it a shot?
4. Important Tasks Go to the Top of the List:
One of the key tips to time management or getting things done is all about prioritizing tasks. If you have numerous things to do, prioritize them accordingly. Perhaps there’s this very important “Ninja Report” that’s due by the end of the week. Get started on it on Monday, instead of waiting until Thursday or Tuesday.
I know it’s hard to prioritize tasks but some people in Agile Project Management do it like a ritual. I know a few guys who are so meticulous at prioritizing things, it’s as if someone is holding a gun to their head. That’s a nice example of sheer responsibility for there.
3. Getting Enough Sleep?
Are you sleeping for at least 6 – 7 hours a day. Researchers argue that the average human needs at least 8 hours of sleep a day to recover. We either don’t sleep a lot or when we do get a chance, we sleep more than an entire stretch of the day.
Secondly, an excess amount of sleep is also attributed to stress disorders and depression. I like Jason Fried’s philosophy in his bestseller book: ‘Rework.’ Fried believes that a positive middle attitude is all that’s needed to excel in life. Be it time management or a preset number of tasks that you are supposed to follow up on.
As far as sleep’s relation to tips to time management is concerned, don’t stress on overworking. Work at a moderate pace and give your body enough hours to recover. Some people work extra hard. They burn the midnight oil to crank some work, but the body eventually shuts down. I kid you not, you will burn out sooner or later. It happens to everyone. Therefore, don’t mess up your biological capacity to work optimally. Sacrificing sleep is not worth it.
2. Keep Distractions at Bay:
This is a no brainer. If you want to get by with tips to time management, minimize distractions as much possible. A couple of weeks ago, our staff writers at nTask published a great post on ‘The Pomodoro Technique‘. This technique is especially useful in cases where you have a lot of work to do, but you are easily distracted.
The Pomodoro timer is set by-default at 25 minutes interval. Followed by that, you get a 5 – 10 minutes break. This way, your brain remains active, and you get to “distract” yourself after 25 minutes of non-stop work. As of right now, Apple and Android users can download Pomodoro apps to get started on tips to time management without any hassle.
Download your favorite Pomodoro technique application today. You won’t regret it.
1. Make those Weekends Plans Work:
Weekends are a gold mine of resources for those looking for useful tips to save time. Just like new year resolutions, we make a lot of plans for our weekends. In reality, we wake up late and we are hardly able to do anything until Sunday evening. That’s when the realization phase kicks in and we are reminded of all the hours we wasted during the last two days.
Friday is when you should do retrospective analysis. Think of whatever you have achieved and your plans ahead for the weekend. You don’t have to overdo it. Weekends are not for work. Mind it. You should give time to your family; do some chores and attend other important stuff that is neglected during the business days of the week.
However, do a little bit of work over the weekend. You will still have plenty of time to watch Netflix, read books and do whatever your little heart desires.
How do you manage time when it comes to tips to time management? Do you have anything to add? Please let us know through the comments section below. By the way, bookmark this post. We will be updating is soon with additional and resourceful tips on time management skills.
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