It is not easy to analyze one’s time. Hence, even if you think you already know where your time goes, time management tools might reveal some hidden factors that can drain your time. It is important to note that working hard does not always correlate to better productivity results. Occasionally, those that work the hardest are usually the ones that consume the most amount of time. In fact, all the hard work in the world cannot make up for bad time management.
So, if you are looking for ways to manage your time and also increase productivity, then it is a good thing you are here! This is because this article will show you the time management strategies for increasing productivity and other relevant information.
Let’s dig in!
Meaning of Productivity and Time Management Strategies
In the context of economics, productivity is a way of measuring the output that comes from units of input. However, in our context, It’s achieving your goals with minimal time and effort. When you’re trying to figure out how to be more productive, what you’re really looking for is a means to accomplish your objectives while still having time to do the important things. In simple terms, productivity is calculated by how much work is done in a given time.
Time management strategies are principles that would help you balance your time with whatever you are doing. They are calculated by the use of a business’ resources to reach the company’s expectations and purposes. Strategic management of time requires continuous evaluation of the methods and procedures within an organization and the external factors that may influence how the company functions.
To get more accomplished and be more productive, good time management skills are necessary. We all have less productive days, but our overall productivity today should be higher than that of yesterday.
Time Management Strategies That Increases Productivity
There are several time management strategies that you can utilize to improve your productivity at work, school, or wherever you are. There is nothing wrong with having several systems for time management as long as they are effective and increase your productivity. The following are effective time management strategies that can help you increase productivity :
1. Value your time
They say time waits for no one, so you should value your time. Distractions are a substantial barrier to your time management. Training hard does not always ensure better productivity results. Occasionally, those who labor the hardest are also the ones that consume the most amount of time. All the tough labor in the world cannot make up for bad time management. With so many distractions in today’s world, it is easy to be sidetracked and lose focus. Hence, it is important to value and manage your time.
2. Set a duration margin to finish a task
Setting time limitations for completing tasks helps you be more focused and productive. Making the small extra effort to decide on how much time you need to allow for each task can also help you identify problems before they arise and that way you can make strategies for handling them.
3. Plan ahead
Make sure you commence every day with a precise idea of what you require to do and what needs to get done that day. If you go through the day without a solid plan of how you want your day to go and what you plan to do during the day, you might just end up living through 24 hours without achieving anything substantial. This is why it is so important to plan ahead of the day.
4. Make a daily task list
This is an offshoot of the above point. This is especially motivating because it gives an obvious idea of what is to be fulfilled each day. The best time to make a daily task list is at the end of each day so that you can start implementing your plans afresh the following day. So, get a to-do list and itemize everything you plan to do throughout the day. You can add the time frame to each of your activities to be more precise. You can also add some breaks so you can be realistic with your plans. All of these can be effortlessly done by using a project management software
How to Create Your Daily Task List
- Create task
- Break them into smaller, manageable tasks
- .Appoint start dates and due dates
- Set conclusions and track time spent
5. Avoid multitasking
This is simply performing two or more tasks at the same time. According to a recent psychological study, individuals who prefer to practice the pattern of multitasking find it tough to concentrate and maintain focus on work when needed. Most of them assume that routine multitasking assists to save time and accomplish more in a day, but in reality, the opposite is often true. So if you think doing many things at the same time equals productivity, then that’s wrong. Choose to focus on one thing per time and see the amazing results you would get.
6. Stop late delivery
Have you thought about the many times you missed a deadline because you weren’t able to finish the task on time? Not only does this lead to you receiving bad bottom-line results, but you end up feeling incompetent, which demotivates and demoralizes you.
With a dedicated approach to time management, you can start working on your projects far ahead of time and even get them done before time to have more time in case there are any modifications or adjustments required to be made. With more time at your end, the quality of your work is bound to improve as well.
7. Limit how much time you spend on a task
You shouldn’t spend the whole of your time on one task. If a particular task seems challenging, you can take a break or move to another task. Even though you may think you’re pretty good at estimating how much time you’re spending on various tasks you can use a tool like Rescue Time. This can help by letting you know exactly how much time you spend on daily tasks, including social media, email, word processing, and apps.
8. Routine breaks
As earlier stated, breaks between tasks are important! It may sound like working on a task with breaks leads to a steady decline in performance but this is not true. While we usually think of stress as a bad thing, a manageable level of self-imposed stress can be helpful in terms of giving us focus and helping us meet our goals. For open-ended tasks or projects, try assigning yourself a deadline, and then stick to it. You may be stunned to realize just how focused and productive you can be when you’re inspecting the timepiece.
9. Just say no to meetings
Meetings are one of the enormous time-suckers around, yet somehow we continue to interestingly book them, attend them and, inevitably, complain about them. According to Atlassian, the typical office worker spends over 31 hours each month in unproductive meetings. Before securing your next meeting, ask yourself whether you can have motives or tasks via email, phone, or Web-based meeting (which may be barely more productive). If you totally must have a meeting, there’s some evidence that standing meetings (they’re just what they sound like–everyone stands) can result in decreased territoriality, and improved group performance.
10. Understand that no one is perfect
It is common for entrepreneurs to get hellbent on attempting to perfect a task but the reality is nothing is ever perfect. It’s better to finish off the task and move it off your sheet; if need be, you can constantly come back and adjust or enhance it later. Remember that perfection is not the goal, progression is.
11. Take exercise breaks
Using work time to exercise may assist in improving productivity, according to a study which was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. If possible, outline set times during the week for taking a walk or getting on to the gym. Getting your blood pumping could be simply what’s needed to extricate your head and get your focus back.
12. Turn off notifications
Allowing incoming phone calls and emails to dictate how you spend your day will mean you do an incredible job of putting out fires but that may be all you get accomplished. You should consider setting aside time for responding to emails and calls but you should not let them determine what your day is going to look like. You can have a schedule to take care of that during the dawn of each day, and then do your best to glue to it.
You may not be able to resist the temptation of an email, voicemail, or text notification, however, during labor hours, deactivate your notifications, and rather, create in time to check email and messages.
13. Provide yourself something nice to glance at
It may sound weird but some research has shown that adorning an office with aesthetically pleasuring elements like plants can boost productivity by up to 15 percent. Light up your office space with pictures, candles, flowers, or anything else that puts a smile on your face.
14. Minimize interruptions
Having a colleague pop her head into your office to chat may seem interesting but even brief interruptions appear to produce a change in work pattern and a corresponding drop in productivity. Reducing interruptions may mean setting office hours, keeping your door shut down, or working from home for time-sensitive projects.
How Time Management Strategies Increase Productivity
It can feel as if 24 hours are barely sufficient to get everything accomplished. This is where time management comes in handy. Time is incredibly precious to us all, and in the issue of business, time is money. The extra efficiency you allocate your time to do your tasks, the more productive you’ll be, and the more money you will generate.
Time management helps you prioritize your obligations so that you are convinced to have enough time unrestricted to conduct every project. The quality of your work increases when you’re not rushing to finish the work ahead of a fast-paced deadline. The additional work an individual gets done during this time, the more productive that individual is. To get more done and be more productive, good time management skills are important.
The Right Planning Tools for Strategic Time Management
Planning your work is easier with tools providing you rapid access to tasks you or your team members need to achieve. Having a project schedule and a time tracking tool also helps, as it’s easier to follow. Examples of these include:
- Jira: This is used for managing tasks all over the world, It allows us to create subtasks for every task, allocate them to people and track them in the workflow consisting of duties that need to be done, the ones in development, in review, and finalized.
- Team Deck: This is all about resource management. This application was developed by the “software house” and was initially developed for their use only. They use it to keep track of employees’ daily performance, daily schedule, and timesheets which they then add up using consumable reports.
- Clarizen’s: This is a cloud base management software that offers configurable workflow customized to fit how your company/enterprise does business. The goal of this tool is to move your business forward. It helps in budget tracking and expense management.
Ways to Improve your Business’ Productivity
Eventually, reasonable productivity commences with business leaders capitalizing on attainable frameworks for success. It’s significant to discover what motivates teams and individuals, from setting reminder notifications and frustrating multitasking to offering generous vacation and wellness programs. So, below are the ways you can improve productivity for your business :
- Avoid Procrastination: We are all guilty of this. The best way to avoid it is through clearly stated deadlines and responsibilities. Every individual who has an expected date for their project should have someone following up with them, confirming that the target is completed. You can also use goal-tracking tools.
- Motivate your team: Motivation is key to reaching the productivity sweet spot. Business growth strategies keep your team members motivated. The “how” might be different for just about anyone you ask. So it’s important to have a detailed understanding of what’s most valuable to each person you work with.
- Keep things simple: While maintaining a productivity strategy is essential, it doesn’t have to be sophisticated. Creating a simple, focused agenda with clear steps and results helps people stay on task and sets them up for sustainment.
- Review goals daily: Setting goals is one of the most significant parts of any business strategy. But they signify nothing if they aren’t always being reviewed and revised. After defining clear goals, make sure everyone has the means to review their growth levels daily. If daily doesn’t make sense in a given system, then you can try weekly.
Time Management Skills
There are numerous other critical skills when it comes to time management. Below is a detailed list of time management skills:
Batching can be a good solution to multitasking and an enormous way to enhance your productivity. There are various activities you can batch together to become extra productive.
Several people have trouble completing a task. Many experiences emotional blocks preventing them from crossing the finish line. You need to know how to get past such a burden.
3. Coping skills
In sophisticated and stressful surroundings, you need to stay concentrated and immune to many external distractions. To avoid feeling devastated while performing tasks you need to cultivate good coping skills. That includes abilities such as withstanding anxiety and handling difficult people.
Discipline implies that you do something whether you like it or you don’t. It takes discipline to undertake a task, it takes discipline to continue the task, and it takes discipline to finalize it. It also takes discipline to overcome procrastination and to get stuff achieved.
5. Goal setting
Extensively valuable tasks are always closely affiliated with your life and business goals. If you don’t have favorable goals in your life, there’s practically no need for time management. The better you understand the direction for where you want to be, the better you can establish your scheme and the responsibilities that need to be performed to achieve it.
If you don’t meet up on time, you are late. How would you manage your time if you’re always late? Being late is constantly an obvious sign that you don’t have control over your time. For instance, an upside-down desk can be such a pointer.
You can only be very productive if you take time off tasks. Getting sufficient sleep, grabbing at least one day a week off, regularly going on vacations, and not being tyrannical to yourself with too much work could help in being productive. Otherwise, your productivity may begin to drop drastically. Finding an equilibrium between work, play, and rest is a significant part of time management.
After reading this article you would agree with me that an increase in productivity works hand in hand with time management. When assessing your time management behaviors, ask yourself if they increase productivity. If not, use the pointers above or think of your strategies to adjust your time management techniques so you will have more time to get work accomplished.