Time is one of the most valuable resources that we all have. In a single day, we are all only allotted with a limited number of hours, which is why it is essential to maximize the way we are spending them.
Using time management techniques can be very beneficial, especially in today’s world, where our time is so divided. We all want to feel calm and get done in a day, everything that we set up to. You can do this; all is needed is to use these simple time management techniques.
Learn below more about this topic in this article created by our team at Trafft.
Time Management Techniques Ideas
Do a Time Audit
If you want to have better control of your time, you first need to analyze how you are spending it. Changes cannot happen until you have fully clarified where you are at this moment and what is working or not in your life. A time audit consists of the following three steps:
- Write down your goals. How do you want to spend your time?
- Track down your data and analyze how you spend your time.
- Adjust new intentions and track progress.
Let’s also look at an example to better understand. If your goal is to create a website, but you spend all your time watching YouTube videos or answering emails, you will never feel as though you have enough time to accomplish your goal.
Give Up the Unimportant
When your schedule is overbooked, it is a good sign that you need to scale back on your activities. Make sure you can reschedule individual appointments to have more time with your family or to relax.
Until now, you have likely been setting goals around how you want to spend the time you have. And this means that there is already some data available showing how you are spending it. Next, we will teach you how to set realistic expectations and not make fake promises to yourself.
One of the most natural time management techniques that you can use is to prioritize. Not everything we do is equally important. Finishing an important paper compared with listening to a song is an obvious example. When you need to choose between activities, go for the more important ones.
Setting up a weekly plan can help with this. Decide what activities are the most important and highlight them. By doing so, it will be easier to see them, and you can mark the urgent ones or reschedule when something comes up.
Again, this comes back to the goals that you have. Seeing an old friend is going to be better for your well being rather than going to a sales meeting. Know your priorities, and things get easier to manage.
Keep the Urgent Separate from Meaningful Work
Time management techniques are all about getting the best return on any given day. When you complete your daily or weekly to-do list, remember the 80/20 rule. This states that 20% of all our efforts tend to produce 80% of all our results.
To minimize the stress of having so many deadlines, you must understand the following:
- Activities marked as valuable help to achieve goals, whether they are professional or personal.
- Activities that are marked as urgent need immediate attention and are usually related to someone else’s goal. They are the ones we concentrate on and not dealing with the results of immediate consequences as well.
Organize Work Around Energy Levels
One of the best time management technique tips is to go for what works for you. If you work better at night, then schedule the most laborious work at that time. If you like to work out in the morning, then that is how you should train. Being productive is also connected to the energy levels that you have.
A lot of research has shown that our energy levels have a natural flow in a day. They are called personal productivity curves. Each one of us is different.
Decide When to Say “No”
Saying “no” can be difficult because it brings a feeling of frustration and fear. Instead of “no”, many people choose “maybe” or “possibly”, which puts a lot of pressure and obligation on the individual.
On the other hand, when we say “yes” to something urgent but not necessary, we are giving up precious time that should be spent on meaningful work.
Learning to say “no” is one of the most laborious time management techniques that we need to learn. Indeed, it is going to be hard when the person that is asking is our boss or partner, but it still needs to be done from time to time.
Do Not Multitask
Time management techniques that rely on multitasking are not going to save you time. What they do is the opposite. When you switch from one task to another, you lose time, and this leads to lower productivity. There have also been studies that show multitasking being connected with difficulties in maintaining focus when needed.
The goal of an active schedule is to protect your focus. Focused work hours bring more productivity compared with non-focused hours. Aside from lost focus, when we multitask or switch context, you lose a significant percentage of productive time.
A great personal time management strategy to use here is to go for a single task. Doing one thing at a time has been shown to help build focus, increase attention span, and get more done in a shorter period.
Set Up Systems to Help You Track Progress
Image source: ALEXEY FMNH
Once you have found a time management method that works for you, the next step is to create a track system. This is one of the best things that you can do for your time management and motivation by gaining insight into the daily progress of your goals.
Time management experts advise getting a planning tool that improves productivity. This could be something small, such as a calendar or a sophisticated computer program that has different features. One of the most common ones is writing down all the tasks, schedules, and so on, to free your mind.
Today, even audio can be an option, and some people prefer to dictate their thoughts. Just discover the planning tool that works for you and use it consistently.
Delegate and Outsource
There are moments when we consider we can do all the tasks by ourselves sometimes, though; it is useful to give up on work that we do not enjoy doing and delegate it to someone else.
Instead of thinking about how we can fit everything in our schedule, we should think about who are the people that can take on specific tasks. Time management techniques speak about delegation a lot.
Some people choose not to do so because they do not trust their team; they feel they can do the work better and are not sure who to choose. This can lead a lot of times to aspects of the job that do not make it feasible.
Start the Day With Critical Work
One of the best time management techniques that you can start using is starting the day with critical work. Get the essential task of the day and jump on it first. This should be the task that creates the most impact on your work.
If you complete this task, you will gain momentum and a sense of accomplishment early in the morning. This is how big goals get achieved, small steps day after day. At the start of your day, create the two to three important things that you want to do. Start as soon as possible. Keep this list separate from any other one that you have.
Some questions that can help you create this list are:
- What are the most important things I need to do today?
- What would make a big difference if I get them done?
- How are they helping me in the future?
Remember, create a separate list and make sure you do it in the morning.
Ending thoughts on time management techniques
In conclusion, there are quite a few time management techniques that we can use ourselves. What is important is to figure out what we need at this moment in our lives. If we get the answer to this, it should be easier to improve our productivity and time management.
If you enjoyed reading this article about time management techniques, you should read about why time management is important.
We also wrote about a few related subjects like time management systems, the time management matrix, time management courses, time management quotes, time management strategies, and time management statistics.
Do you want an app for that? We also selected the best time management apps, but also free time management apps for tight budgets, and if you’re looking for a time tracking app, we picked the best of them.