These 12 easy tips to master time management will make your productivity soar.
Imagine what your workday could look like if your optimized your time for the best productivity. Think about what you could do when you manage even one minute better. What about 30 minutes? What about an hour?
The following 12 tips, simple as they are, will help you master time management so your workday is more productive than ever before. But first, it’s important to know your abilities and limitations, which will help you plan how long you need to spend on tasks for work and home life.
Second, it’s crucial to work diligently so that you don’t have to worry about your tasks when it is time to unwind and relax. Procrastination will only add to a backlog of duties and likely increase your stress levels.
1. Use technology for time management.
If you find yourself typing a lot on the job, learn how to use keyboard shortcuts that would save time on your reports and complete projects more efficiently.
2. Talk-to-text and save time.
The talk-to-text feature on your phone is a great tool, especially if you suffer from dyslexia, arthritis, or if you are not much of a texter. Speak your commands clearly, and your phone will be doing all the typing for you. Thanks, Siri!
3. Start practicing how to multi-task.
Multi-tasking is a skill set that can be tailored personally to you when you are aware of your abilities. Whether it’s organizing your desk while listening to your work voicemails or taking notes while listening to your boss share wisdom, multi-tasking can be a great time-save. Just be sure that the result of your work is what you intend it to be and represents your skills and knowledge.
(And this shouldn’t have to be said, but do not multi-task while driving. Consider the time, expense, and frustration an accident or traffic ticket will cost you and this will help you see the benefits of safe driving habits.)
4. Prioritize what needs to be done and when it is due.
Keep a to-do list in order to help you prioritize what needs to be done, when. One way to do this is by ranking your tasks in order of urgency and importance.
5. Use a calendar to keep track.
Set calendar appointments, and use reasonable reminders that give you time to prepare for your day. You can review your tasks in the morning and prepare for the schedule ahead.
Calendar appointments now likely have address fields, which will allow you to hyperlink to a mapping application that automatically gives you directions and an estimated arrival time. I find most mapping applications, such as Google or Apple Maps, are getting better at predicting best routes for reaching your destination.
6. Pick up the phone when necessary.
Sometimes, it is easier to make a quick phone call as opposed to writing a lengthy email or text message. This also tends to have a higher impact on comprehension and understanding of what needs to be completed. However, it is important to understand that there is a hierarchy in communication – in-person, on the phone, email, text message, or traditional mail. Each method of communication has its own effectiveness in terms of the message you are trying to deliver, level of detail involved, and timing of the delivery.
7. Work as a team.
Many busy people don’t take the time to think about what tasks on their to-do list could be delegated to someone else. Empower your team members to help you complete tasks and offer to help them in return when your workloads vary.
8. Memorize basic, repetitive tasks.
You may have to write things down at first, but once you have repeated the task multiple times, logical routine sets in. Naturally memorize those steps for future activities and complete them more efficiently each day!
9. Call ahead of time, make reservations, or order online.
When it comes to lunch or work supplies, work smarter, not harder. Doing this cuts out unnecessary wait times and helps you become more efficient in your work. Get to the things you enjoy sooner!
10. Consider delivery versus cost of your time.
Yes, there is a cost associated with most deliveries, however, you should at least consider a cost versus benefits analysis. A few questions you might ask yourself are, “Will my vehicle be at risk? Will there be dings or dents when I get back, or a break-in? Is the purchase too heavy or too large where delivery may be worth it? Also, will it be in stock when I get there?”
11. A good night’s rest always benefits time management.
It’s common knowledge that being less fatigued provides you with sharper focus and energy. When you get more sleep, you’ll benefit the conservation of your time in the long run.
12. Batch your activities to save time.
If several items on your to-do, or to-pick-up list are related, try to knock them out in one go. Speak to your boss about those three agenda items you had planned to space out over time! Put all shopping items for the month in your shopping cart instead of coming back to the store when you need them.
In summary, these 12 easy tips to master time management can be great tools for work and non-work-related tasks. Learn to apply these techniques and tools in both environments to reap the benefits. Use technologies and learn how you can take advantage of the tools that will save you time.
Complete tasks more efficiently one at a time, and you will see the available space add up. The newly found availability will enable you to catch that concert, show, or game you have been wanting to see, or to spend time with family, making those quality memories that matter most.