Time management tips to increase productivity
10 tips to manage your schedule better.
Are you the kind of people who think 24 hours aren’t enough to accomplish all the tasks in a day?
If you answered yes to this question, maybe this is just the right time to think about how you’ve been managing your time.
Of course a person may have (and usually has) thousands of daily tasks. However, this can’t stress you out and get in the way of your productivity.
We’re not doubting, much less questioning how busy you are. After all, we understand how time can go by fast, especially if you own your own business.
It becomes a problem when the same thing repeats over and over again and you end up not being able to complete your tasks every day.
However, you should know that, even with so many personal or professional tasks, it’s possible to get better organized to be more productive and accomplish everything you set your mind to do.
To help you with your time management, we’ve selected 10 tips that can make all the difference in your 24 hours and make them enough to complete your tasks.
On this post, you’ll see:
1. Set a goal
For a better time management, you need to have goals you can accomplish.
It doesn’t matter if you have personal or professional tasks in mind that you need to optimize your time. Having a goal will help you better organize everything you need to do.
This happens because, when you have a target, you can think of different ways to plan your time and your actions to accomplish your goal.
So, try to set short, mid, and long-term goals. Then, you can come up with strategies to reach these goals by focusing on a given period to complete each task.
But be careful to set yourself a trap!
It’s very common that we set nearly impossible goals. When you do this, besides not being able to reach them, it is likely you get extremely tired and less productive during your day.
If you don’t know how to set goals, be sure to read our post on how to do so and learn to establish real, possible objectives.
2. Come up with a to-do list
After you set your goal, you can think of actions you need to do to accomplish it.
If you have an online business and want to attract a more numerous audience to your sales page, you can think of actions such as:
- Improvements on your website;
- Create a blog;
- Write relevant content for your audience;
- Post more on your social media;
- Create videos for your YouTube channel, among other strategies.
After you think of everything you can to reach your goal, put all those actions in writing.
It’s important to have a list with all you need to do. This will help you not forget anything that needs to be done.
3. Prioritize what’s urgent
Having your to-do list in hands, it’s time to set apart what’s urgent from what can wait.
Think about the most important actions to reach your goals and put them into practice before all the others.
Can you see why your to-do list from the previous item is important?
Whenever you have everything you need to do in writing, it’s easier to understand what’s urgent and
However, you need to be careful not to extend other tasks for a long time. If you leave everything for later and don’t set an order nor come up with a schedule with a start and end date for your tasks, you’ll end up not doing anything.
So, it’s not because something can be left for later that it should be forgotten. Remember to map it and place it somewhere in your day, which is our next topic.
4. Have a calendar
Having a calendar with dates to start and end each activity you’ve mapped is something extremely helpful with time management. Whenever you set a deadline, you send an unspoken agreement to your brain, which will know that something will need to complete in that time span.
Therefore, even if you have prioritized most urgent and most important tasks, you’ll never forget the other tasks you scheduled for later.
Our advice is to set your Monday mornings to plan your weekly schedule. Then, you get to plan your near future, which might help you manage your time better.
Of course some time-demanding tasks will only be possible to perform in a month or two. But if you already have these tasks mapped out, put them on your calendar so, whenever you’re close to delivering them, you’re aware they require your attention.
5. Do one thing at a time
There’s no point organizing your tasks in order of importance and scheduling your calendar with start and end date if you do them all at once.
As we’ve said at the beginning of this post, we know it’s quite likely you have a lot going on in your day. But if you try to do it all at once, you won’t finish any of your tasks, it will all be always halfway done and it can be even more tiresome.
That’s why you should focus on one single task to put all your potential into it thus finishing everything you set yourself to complete in time. Also, by doing so, you’ll perform your tasks without forgetting anything.
In time, you’ll notice that organization and focus on just one task at a time will help you with time management, which you’ll learn to pay attention to.
6. Avoid procrastination
Even though not doing more than one task at a time, it’s important to remember Benjamin Franklin’s saying: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
People who can’t manage their time well always make the same mistake. They procrastinate. Extending your deadlines too much makes you lose focus on tasks that need to be done.
That’s why the tips in this post are to be put into practice as a whole. Whenever you set your dates to deliver a task, even if it is a distant date in the future, do not settle and think you don’t think to do anything to complete that task now.
If you have some time left to start something that only needs to be delivered in two weeks, why don’t you start now and, later, you may have some extra time for other activity or unforeseen situation that might happen?
7. Organize your work environment
Having a well-organized work environment really helps with time management. Because at a tidy place, you don’t waste time looking for something you need.
That’s why, even if you’re your own boss, always have a separated space for work-related activities.
In this environment, put everything you need throughout the day next to you, like a computer; phone; notebook; pens; and, if possible, the good, old cup of coffee and a bottle of water.
8. Take breaks
Even when maxed out of tasks to complete, it’s important to understand that you also need time to rest.
We know a lot of people, especially when they’re feeling overwhelmed with work, think they need to work non-stop. However, this just comes to show they’re not managing their time appropriately.
Besides, it’s also counterproductive since a tired mind and body don’t work as well as if they were rested.
Therefore, you need to take breaks during your activities and you should make a point to sleep well during the night.
There’s a very common technique used by many professionals to help with your time management and your breaks. It’s called the Pomodoro Technique and to perform tasks using this technique, you’ll only need a timer, which can be your cell phone, really.
Basically, what you’ll do is:
This can be one way of organizing your time better and being more productive.
Remember to check your tasks once you complete them and, once again, use the tips as a whole and don’t start more than one task at a time. Wait until you finish one to act on the next.
9. Avoid distractions
This tip is especially important if you work from home. It’s easy to mistake your work hours with your household chores.
Besides, at home, you have distractions such as TV, kids, relatives, friends, and even pets, which can make you lose focus and distract yourself from what you had planned for the day.
The Internet is also an environment where distractions happen all the time. It may be a social media, a video on YouTube that leads to another and then another and another…, and even interesting websites.
So, avoid logging into your social media while you’re working online and, whenever you’re home, remember to let everyone who lives with you know that you’re working. Then, no one will interrupt you while you’re in the middle of something important.
10. Learn when to say no
It’s essential that you learn to say no to things you consider trivial.
Let’s assume you work with other people and someone wants to schedule a meeting to talk about a subject you know it’s possible to discuss in an email. If this is the case, suggest them to send the necessary information and let them know the meeting is not needed.
You’ll notice your day will flow much better when you start saying no to a few unrequired activities at that time.
But if you own your own business and have people working with you, learn to delegate. You don’t need to do everything related to your business by yourself, after all, that’s why you hired people! It’s possible to find good professionals to work with you.
Manage your time better
Time management is one of the best skills you can have to be more productive and complete your tasks the best way possible.
As we’ve said at the beginning of the post, we understand how your routine and the number of daily tasks can make many people lose focus. However, if you got here, you’ve certainly realized it’s possible to complete all you have to do throughout your day without needing those extra 8 hours you thought you needed.
Try to put together all these tips and start putting them into practice every day. And, to help you out even more, take a look at our post with 13 apps to optimize your routine.