Time management is planning and controlling the time spent on different activities to boost efficiency and productivity. Meanwhile, time management techniques allow you to design and organize the activities, by adequately allocating the time between tasks.
Why is time management important?
The purpose of time management is to make you efficient by getting more work done in less amount of time. Here are a few ways you can be benefitted-
- Use the extra time to accomplish more or get a better work-life balance.
- You will be able to meet deadlines regularly.
- Being able to get the tasks done in time will lead to stress reduction.
12 Techniques to Improve Your Time Management
Check and implement the following techniques to improve your time management skills:
1. Plan your activities
An effective plan helps you do any work more efficiently. Even making a simple to-do list can help. If you make a checklist, be sure to cross them off at the end. Be sure to review them after you complete them, which will let you know how effective your work was. You will also get a sense of achievement with your accomplishment.
Having clearly defined goals helps you focus on what exactly you will need to do. Planning will help you feel accountable and not forget any tasks.
2. Schedule your tasks
Then, assign time for each task. Use a time tracker system to learn how much time you usually take for a task and use that to allocate time. Scheduling with blocks of time will help you know when to complete certain tasks.
Meetings, events, and tasks can be saved in calendars. Using calendar apps, you can get reminders and will be able to access the data across all devices.
3. Prioritize tasks
Prioritizing will help you know which tasks to do first, and which tasks can be avoided. The most simple way is to use a tiered priority list. For example, a 3 tiered system will arrange tasks by high, medium, and low priority levels. Start from the high-priority level and work your way down.
4. Eisenhower Matrix
As the name suggests, this method was created by Dwight D. Eisenhower. He created it to set priority for tasks and what to do with the numerous tasks he faced.
Eisenhower matrix is a simple, yet powerful tool for task prioritization. It consists of 4 different categories on the basis of urgency and importance. You should be focusing your time only on the important tasks. Here is how you should manage these 4 quadrants of tasks:
- Firstly, you should get rid of tasks that are both less necessary and less urgent.
- You need to delegate non-important, but urgent tasks.
- Try to do urgent & important tasks by yourself.
- Schedule tasks that are not urgent, but important in the long term.
5. Eat that frog
Do not worry, we are not literally asking you to eat a frog. This time management technique refers to a Mark Twain quote. It asks you to do the most challenging and important task first. That is the frog. You can move to the next task after you have finished eating this frog.
Have clear objectives in mind. Sort your list of tasks by priority. Put all your focus and attention on the first task, before picking up the next. This way, you will be able to complete tasks within the deadline, as you won’t be distracted by multitasking.
6. Set Deadlines
If normal scheduling doesn’t help much, you should consider setting deadlines. Assigning time limits will create a sense of urgency. This should increase your motivation, leading to the completion of tasks in a shorter amount of time.
7. Batch your tasks
Try to group similar tasks together, so that you can work on them consecutively. This will stop you from shifting too much. You can save a lot of energy by not switching tasks, as you don’t have to frequently adjust to totally different types of tasks. Doing so will help you focus better as you won’t have to adapt to new unrelated tasks frequently.
Email answering can be quite time-consuming. It is better to allocate some time for checking all the emails at once. This will lead to time-saving and reduced stress as you don’t have to switch tasks to check emails as they come in.
8. Limit distractions
Be it social media, emails, kids or colleagues, or your thoughts, you can be knocked off course by these distractions. Use any of the best employee monitoring apps to know how much time is being spent on which software and websites. You can also use the screenshots to know which tasks are you distracted by.
Try to get a self-management solution that works best for you. You can try muting all notifications, and blocking distracting websites. If you find yourself still unable to stay away from your phone, just keep the phone in another room during work.
9. Track the time
One of the simple improvements in time management can be knowing how much time you actually spend on tasks. You can use a spreadsheet to note these down or use a time tracker to automatically log the task time. You will be able to identify your patterns and analyze your workflow. You can use this data to make better plans and smooth out the issues.
10. Apply the Pareto principle
This technique was created by, you guessed it, a man named “Pareto”. Vilfredo Pareto found that 80% of the land was owned by 20% of people. The Pareto principle is therefore also called the 80/20 rule. It has been true for multiple distributions, be it world income, or output from employees.
As the Pareto principle goes, Among your tasks, only 20% gets you 80% of the benefits. Try to identify and focus on these tasks as these tasks will provide you the most value for your time.
11. Pomodoro Method
Pomodoro is a system for incorporating breaks into your workflow. This time management strategy requires that you take a 5-minute break for 25 minutes of work. Following this technique will increase your attention span and the quality of your work. Which will allow you to get more tasks done more efficiently. You can set the timer with a clock or a use Pomodoro tracker to follow the method easily.
12. Evaluate and adjust strategies
Even though what we have mentioned are some of the best techniques and strategies for managing time, they are not perfect. Many of them won’t work in your scenario. That’s why you should evaluate your situation. Then, adjust the strategies accordingly.
Find when you are most productive, and what is your energy level during different periods of the day. By tracking your work patterns, you will be able to more effectively understand how to manage tasks and time.
If you are interested in learning more time management techniques to improve your workflow, we recommend you check these games and activities for better time management.
Time management skills are crucial for improving your work productivity. Follow the mentioned 12 strategies and techniques to improve your time management skills. By taking control of your time, you can accomplish your goals with ease.