What is time management?

Time management is the coordination of tasks and activities to maximize the effectiveness of an individual’s efforts. Essentially, time management is enabling people to get more and better work done in less time.

Why is time management important?

Learning the art of time management could yield a positive impact especially on your professional life — where most of us suck at giving due time to each and every task. So, let’s take a brief look at the benefits it offers:

  • Higher productivity
  • No stress levels
  • Better work-life balance
  • Poor work quality
  • Higher stress levels
  • Work imbalance
  • Lead to a burnout

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What are time management skills?

There are some people who seem to have enough time to do everything they want to while others are always switching from task to task. This simply means that one who does everything they want to use their time more effectively and practice good time management skills. Time management skills are a variety of skills that help to manage time well.

  • Prioritizing what you need to accomplish
  • Setting goals clearly
  • Strong communication skills
  • Effectively planning out the day
  • Practicing delegating tasks
  • Handling stress in a positive way

How can I improve my time management skills?

Now that you know the importance of time management, you also need to apply these powerful tips to manage your time wisely. Let’s have a look at time management techniques and tools to achieve massive success.

15 time management tips at work to achieve your goals:

1. Wake up early — Make your day longer

All of us get 24 hours in a day. Though it’s not possible to change the number of hours in a day but you can definitely try waking up a little earlier and make your day longer than others. Ideally, your body requires 6–8 hours of sleep to be at your optimum energy levels.

Do you know that there is a right and wrong way to set goals? When your goals are not reaping benefits, something is missing or lacking in your approach. Whereas if you set goals the right way, your productivity could reach the sky.

One of the easiest ways to keep a track of every minute being spent at work is by employing a time management software. These time tracking software are designed to set time estimates, track time spent on tasks and maintain a record of every minute you spend while working on tasks.

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4. Keep mornings for MITs — Most important tasks

Mark Twain once said, “Eat a live frog every morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.” His point is to tackle the most important task as the first thing in the morning. And, if you have two or more frogs to eat, eat the biggest one first.

You must have noticed that at specific hours you are as focused as an eagle and your productivity shoots up like anything. It happens when your mind is in complete harmony with the external conditions. Some call it ‘flow’ while others refer it as their ‘zone’.

Emails, phone calls, and social media messages are some of the common yet biggest distractions at the workplace. So much so, that you end up wasting 759 hours each year due to workplace distractions. All thanks to these distractions that a task that requires 60 minutes takes more than 3 hours to be accomplished.

If you pride yourself for juggling too many tasks at once, here’s a news for you. A research suggests that only 2% of people can multitask effectively. For the remaining 98% of people, multitasking is actually wasting their time and lessening their overall productivity.

It may sound counterintuitive but breaks are one of the effective time management strategies. How? Let’s assume two scenarios. In the first scenario, picture a team member working on a task for 5–7 hours at a stretch. And, another team member is working on the same task with frequent small breaks. Who do you think is using his time effectively? Of course, the later.

Following a to-do list or a specific pattern can be boring. It’s hard to concentrate at work when you aren’t fully motivated within. Instead of wasting that time doing something unproductive, utilize it to inspire yourself.

Sleep is a detrimental factor that could affect many things both positively and negatively. When you get a sound sleep for six to eight hours, not only you feel fresh and rejuvenated but it also contributes to a healthy lifestyle. On the contrary, when you don’t get enough sleep, you are also increasing disease risks such as diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, obesity and more.

It’s never a good idea to take up more than you can handle. High achievers and great performers all over the world do less but better. When you prioritize tasks, it gives you clarity and direction so that you can start working on things, save time, and be more productive.

One of the greatest time management tips for managers is to start using an online calendar. Long before, calendars have been used as a fundamental tool to manage time. With the advent of online calendars, one can easily manage his/her schedule, mark important dates and events, set up reminders, create time blocks and what not.

  • Set automatic reminders — Set automatic reminders for events or tasks.
  • Multiple views — Set the calendar view: day, week, 2 weeks or even a month.
  • Create private milestones and events — Limit the visibility of tasks or event to yourself by setting it to private.
  • Download calendar — Download calendars in PDF, CSV or iCal formats.

13. Batch similar tasks together

Little things such as putting together similar tasks can also save you a considerable amount of time. We all know different tasks demand different types of thinking and arrangement. Instead of hopping from one task to another mindlessly, it would be intelligent to batch them together.

You don’t have to do it all whether you are a newbie, executive, or a manager. One of the best things about delegating and outsourcing is that it gives you enough time to focus on important things and reduces your workload a big time. No matter at which professional stage you are at this point in your life, it’s always a smart choice to learn how to delegate tasks to others and let other people share some load with you.

You got to know how and where every hour is being spent at work in order to manage time better. Start tracking your time either manually or with a time tracking tool. People who like to keep track of things they do are usually focused, productive, and organized. They not only monitor and track hours they work for but are also mindful of the number of activities they perform, tasks and projects they handle, and clients they work for.

Time management techniques

With the above time management tips for work, now is time for amazing time management techniques that will make you a time management pro. Embracing time management techniques is not about grasping a lot of tasks into your day but to simplify how you work to do things better. By adopting good time management techniques, you’ll have more time to do the things you love. Because we follow the concept of: do not work hard, work smarter, time management is a must.

Let’s take a look at some popular and widely used time management techniques:

  1. The 80/20 principle
  • 80 percent of a company’s revenue comes from 20 percent of its customers.
  • 80 percent of a company’s production comes from 20 percent of its employees.
  • B stands for less important tasks: Such tasks should be done but won’t affect as much as the ones falling in the above category.
  • C stands for tasks with no consequences: Such tasks are something that would be nice to do, but for which there are no consequences at all, whether you do it or not.
  • D stands for tasks for delegate: If there is something that could be delegated to someone else, it would be marked as D. However, it could be situational because not every task could be delegated to someone.
  • E stands for tasks you can eliminate: An E task is something that is completely irrelevant and could be eliminated as doing them isn’t already doing any good to your productivity and efficiency.
  • Delegate: If someone can do something even 75% as well as you, delegate it to him. If there ain’t no one you could delegate work to, you can either start training him or even outsource the task.
  • Defer: Not everything is supposed to be done immediately. If there is something could be done later and has no serious repercussions, defer it.
  • Do: If there is something important to do and you have the time to do it, get it done there and then.