Time management is not rocket science. Frankly, anyone can learn this art with a little practice and learning. So here are a few steps that tell you how to become a time management expert:
Planning plays an important role in time management as both go hand-in-hand with each other. You can make the most of your time only when it is thoroughly planned. When we talk about planning, you don’t necessarily have to follow a strict routine, instead, it means making smarter decisions of knowing the right time to do a task or an activity. The idea behind time management is to work smarter than harder and make time to do other things as well. You can use project management software to plan your tasks and save time smartly.
Best-seller author Brian Tracy once said,
“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent Return on Energy.”
Prioritizing your daily tasks is the key to successful time management. That said, many employees start their day with unimportant tasks or something that can be easily done later. Prioritization helps you realize that not everything you do is important. It is important to focus on your priorities to achieve success at work. Figure out the most important tasks and the ones that are urgent. This categorization will help you focus on what actually needs to be done. You can use various project management tools that help you set your priorities straight from the day a project starts.
Multitasking is one of the biggest time-wasting activities. Instead of accomplishing too many things, you end up achieving nothing out of them. The best way to utilize your time is to take one thing at a time and accomplish it before jumping to the next thing. Make a list of tasks that need to be accomplished in terms of their priority. Not only you would be able to focus better but there would be lesser distractions as well. And no distractions mean less likelihood of mistakes.
CUT OFF DISTRACTIONS
In our everyday life, distractions cost us many valuable hours in a day. Mobile phones, chatty coworkers, social media are some of the common distractions at work that almost cost us three hours a day. To not let these distractions eat up your time, it’s better to cut them off completely from your schedule. Take a moment to learn about the things that distract you. If social media and mobile phones are halting your productivity, set a fixed time in a day where you can check your social media
USE A TIME TRACKING SOFTWARE
No one understands the importance of time management in the workplace better than a project manager, especially when you have to handle too many tasks and team members simultaneously. Many effective project managers use a time tracking software to stay on top of everything. Such tools are helpful in managing and tracking the time being spent on each task. It helps you to keep a record of every minute so that you can manage your time efficiently at work.
SCHEDULE YOUR BREAK TIME
Taking regular breaks while working is an effective way to stay productive all day. But it’s effectiveness is subject to management risk, especially when you start taking too many breaks. It’s obvious that you can’t power through a big project or task in one go, you need a break. What’s even better is having a well-scheduled break time. Take a walk, so some quick stretches, or plug in earphones and listen to your favorite music, do whatever helps you to relax and gets back to work with energy later – but don’t take more than 10 minutes.
FIND YOUR MOST PRODUCTIVE HOURS
The next time management hack is to match your highest priority work to your highest productivity hours. The basic idea here is to check in with yourself frequently to track when, where, and how you’re the most productive. Research clearly shows that our day is driven by cycles that affect how alert and motivated we are. For example, you might be at your highest brain capacity, with your best focus and attention, before lunch hour, and slow down significantly in the evening. So, if you have a project that involves critical decisions and complex thoughts, the best case scenario is to manage it in your “golden hours”.
ACCEPT YOUR LIMITATIONS
Even with 110% effort, there will be occasions where you simply cannot get things done within the specified time frame. This is the point where you accept that there are limits to how productively and efficiently you can manage your time. For example, if you have got twice the normal workload in a day, outsourcing and delegation are your best shots. Don’t just assume that you can get everything done that you wanted in any given time frame. Effective time management skills can have a positive impact on your work and life in general. When you learn to take control of your time on a daily basis, you improve your ability to get things done, make better decisions and most importantly, gain ultimate control of your key priorities.