Searching for specific advice in a sea of useless information often leaves you frazzled, frustrated, and even more confused than you were when you started. It doesn’t take long to recognize when someone doesn’t know what they’re talking about, especially when all you really want is to hear from the real experts. This holds true when looking for proven time management strategies that actually work.
As a trusted time tracking solution, we at Harvest consider ourselves time management experts.
If you’re looking for real advice on how to better manage your time, look no further. Time management defined
Time management is a critical skill to master if you want to be successful in life. It not only helps you make the most out of your time but also reduces stress and anxiety in the process. The better you manage your time, the more productive and profitable you will become.
Time management skills are essential for setting goals, keeping track of progress, breaking tasks into smaller chunks, and meeting deadlines. It enhances focus, eliminates procrastination, and helps us choose between activities according to our values and priorities in life.
When we are able to use our precious time well, we are more effective in accomplishing tasks with less worry. We can balance work and leisure and work smarter instead of harder, which leads to greater efficiency, productivity, and profitability.
Having good time management skills ensures that your daily or weekly tasks are completed on schedule, meaning you can concentrate deeply on the important ones — paving the way toward ultimate success. It allows you to plan out your day ahead so that nothing gets forgotten or neglected, reducing your stress levels significantly. Good time management allows you to get more done in less time, making it an invaluable asset for achieving long-term success.
What can time management do for your business?
Time management is essential in the current 24/7 lifestyle, especially in a professional setting. Too often, you and/or your employees feel overwhelmed and stressed out with too much work to do and too little time allotted for completion. This can result in lower productivity and that dreaded burnout. It’s crucial to identify strategies to optimize time management and maximize efficiency.
Fortunately, there are numerous time management methods that you can implement to improve your team’s skills. These include prioritizing tasks, breaking projects into chunks, and setting mini-deadlines along the way. To do so you can use tools like lists or calendars to plan and organize work, delegate tasks when possible, take realistic breaks during work hours, and eliminate distractions such as notifications on smartphones or laptop applications, etc.
Time management must-dos according to experts
Be an early bird
Grandpa was right: The early bird really does catch that worm. Getting up early in the morning can be one of the most beneficial habits for you to adopt. Starting your day earlier than usual allows you to take control of the day and set yourself up for success.
When you start your day early, it gives you plenty of time to think and plan. Most successful people get up early in the morning in order to sneak in some exercise before hitting their workplaces. This is because exercising gets them energized and helps them clear their minds. A clear mind can focus.
Early mornings also have a positive effect on our cognitive processes since they bring more peace and serenity. In this calm state of mind, we are likely to be more creative and make better decisions that benefit us throughout the day.
When you start your days with activities like exercise and meditation, it helps you to stay focused on important tasks that lie ahead instead of worrying about minor worries of life. So if you want to maximize productivity in life, try starting your days early with some physical activity or meditation sessions.
Triage your to-do’s
In other words, scrap the idea that you need a checklist of to-do’s. Keep an ongoing priority list instead. Creating a priority list instead of a to-do list is an important part of planning and organization.
Instead of taking one long look at all the tasks you need to complete, focus on prioritizing the most critical items first. This allows you to be more efficient because you are tackling the hardest parts of your task list first. You will also get a sense of accomplishment as each item is checked off, which can provide motivation going forward into the next tasks.
The best way to use this strategy is by utilizing calendar tools such as Google Calendar. This will allow you to plan out different pieces of your day and document what needs to be done in order of importance. Not only does it make it easier for you to stay organized and motivated, but it can also help you keep track of time so that no task falls through the cracks.
Be done with distractions
Distractions can be a major hindrance when trying to increase productivity. Emails, texts, or even social media can easily draw your attention away from the tasks you’re striving to complete. To tackle this problem, you need to minimize these distractions in order to make sure you’re able to focus and get more work done.
One way to do this is by setting boundaries for yourself when it comes to responding to and checking messages. This could be simply turning off notifications on your device, or even going further and taking more time away from technology, leaving email and text messages alone altogether until you hit certain designated times during the day.
Making it a point not to scroll through social media during work hours can also reduce the temptation of being distracted. While getting rid of some forms of technology may seem inconvenient in the short term, it will definitely result in greater productivity in the long run. Taking control over distracting elements such as these has been proven to be an effective way to minimize distractions, ultimately resulting in improved efficiency.
Segment your workday
To make the most of your day, you can try a time management trick that relies on breaking tasks into short, 15- or 20-minute segments. Each morning create a list of tasks you'd like to accomplish, but instead of tackling them all in sequence (which can be overwhelming), assign each one a value based on how much time it will take to accomplish (prioritize!)–usually in 15- or 20-minute segments.
This system makes it easier to keep track of your progress throughout the day as you work through each task. You can dedicate equal amounts of energy and focus to each task knowing that when you complete one 15-minute block, you'll shortly be rewarded with a break before moving on to the next item on your agenda.
This system also helps build up healthier working habits over time as you plan out your days and become more conscious about how you're using your time for different activities.
Delegating tasks is a key part of time management. It’s important to learn how to properly delegate tasks in order to maximize the efficiency of your team and free up your own time for tackling more complicated tasks.
Task delegation should involve figuring out which tasks the most appropriate person in your team should work on, depending on their specific skills, abilities, and availability—this could mean delegating to colleagues, subordinates, contractors, or freelancers. This will create an environment where team members feel valued as they will be working on tasks that they’re supposed to do and that they can do best.
By delegating or outsourcing whenever possible, you give yourself more time to focus on the core business actions and take on the most challenging tasks with full dedication. Allowing yourself the capacity to increase your productivity by collaborating with others enables you to move closer to a goal of becoming an expert organizer and the most efficient version of yourself possible.
Good decision-making is a key factor in efficiently managing your time. Every day, you are presented with a multitude of tasks and activities that can be performed in the 24 hours of the day. Making the right choices on these tasks allows an individual to optimize their time, reaching goals faster and more effectively.
If you tend to overthink, you’ll need to practice making decisions. Start with small things. Be decisive quickly and move forward. This will help build your confidence.
One action that can help ensure that the right decisions are made about your time is prioritizing. (There’s that word again.) You can take into account what short-term and longer-term goals you have so that when presented with different options for activities, you’re able to assess which ones make sense for you in relation to your goals.
Saying “no” to certain things gives you control over their time and energy, allowing you to stay focused on what needs to get done first and foremost. With an organized plan of action that takes these considerations into account, you’re more likely to get your important tasks completed–leading to excellent results and better outcomes overall.
Reducing stress is for the best
Stress has a multitude of negative impacts: it can reduce our productivity and affect our physical and mental well-being. If you take on more work that’s beyond your capacity, inevitably you’ll feel stress.
It’s essential to be aware of what works for you in managing stress response. There are many strategies you can apply that may enable you to cope with the level of stress, including taking a short break, exercising, meditating, practicing a hobby, calling up a friend, or listening to music.
Taking breaks may help reduce the tension by allowing your brain and body to take some time off from working so hard. Exercise has been known to be one of the best ways in relieving stress since it releases endorphins which would improve your emotional state and keep you relaxed during stressful situations.
Meditation helps calm down your senses and bring your mind into clarity allowing you to make decisions without being overwhelmed with emotional feelings. Pursuing hobbies could be a way to distract yourself from problems while talking with friends can allow you new perspectives from other parts of life helping in easing anxiety or tension.
Something as simple as listening to music has also been proven effective when dealing with worry and sadness as it is a form of distraction that allows you to relax and unwind. Basically, your brain needs a reset, and you need to do something to make that happen.
Diligently follow a system
Building a system and following it diligently is an important element of personal growth and development. By trying out different techniques that match your unique personality, strengths, and goals, you can devise a system that works best for you in order to achieve success.
Once you have identified the methods that fit best, it’s important to build a systematic approach that ties together all the different techniques. It should be comprehensive enough to cover all aspects of whatever goal you’re pursuing, whether it be academic, professional, or personal.
Following this system regularly and efficiently will give way to efficient progress. Creating mini-goals along the way that correspond with larger milestones toward achieving your overall objective can help break down the system into smaller sections and make it easier to monitor and gauge improvements over time.
Breaking up the process into manageable chunks will prevent an overwhelming feeling associated with taking big strides in one go. Diligent implementation of these plans will enable accountability as well as promote further self-discipline which is essential for achieving long-term goals.
Technology is your friend
As a modern-day professional trying to maximize productivity, technology can be your best friend. One of the most useful technological tools is Leechblock, an app that allows users to limit their time spent on sites like social media and email when working from their computers. Blocking yourself from such distractions helps you stay focused and finish tasks in a timely manner.
No matter what kind of business you’re in or the project you’re working on, there is likely to be an appropriate program out there designed specifically to make your job easier and more streamlined. For example, consider task-management applications that help prioritize lists, schedule programs to organize events, or coding software to write code quickly and accurately.
All of these tools exist to support whatever specific requests your job requires of you. So if you feel overwhelmed by having multiple projects on your plate at once, look into using one or more relevant technologies today—they just might help you get back on track!
When you’re ready to heed this expert wisdom and add technology helpers to your playbook, give Harvest a go. We’ve got a free trial so you can check out all of our features and experience the benefits of Harvest.
Reach out to learn more about Harvest. We’d love to help you improve your time management.