Ever wish there were more hours in a day, so you could get more done? You may think that would be the answer to getting that project finished, but in reality, it doesn’t mean you would be more productive. It would actually lead to more stress and a poor work-life balance. This is why you need to manage your time wisely. Time management and productivity go hand-in-hand. Matter Solutions believes that the key to a healthy work environment (which leads to a happier home environment) is by working smarter, not harder, so here are 25 time management tips to help increase productivity for any profession.
1. Prioritize – Do your most important tasks first. Leaving them for last only builds up stress and strife, causing you to lose focus on what you’re currently working on. Once you have completed the essential tasks, you’ll feel accomplished about the day.
2. Don’t be afraid to delegate – There’s no point in taking on more tasks that someone free can do. If there is someone whose skills better fit the task, then ask them to get involved.
3. Know that it’s okay to say “no” – You should stick to the things you only know you have time for. Taking on too much work will lead to a frantic juggle of time. Decline extra work when you know you have a lot to get done.
4. Schedule your day – When you have a schedule in place, you feel compelled to stick with it. Each task has its own time slot where you dedicate yourself to it. During that time, your entire focus should be on that one thing.
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff – Unimportant details can just get you down. Focus on what’s essential.
6. Get 7-8 hours of sleep – Sacrificing sleep to get more work down does not mean you’re being productive. Always get a good night’s sleep in so your brain and body are refreshed and able to handle more. A tired mind will not help you finish anything faster.
7. Get an early start – Sleep is important but schedule it so that you arrive to work maybe a little bit earlier to get yourself situated before the working day. This will prepare you for the productive day ahead better than rushing in last minute.
8. Set realistic goals – Think you can squeeze in three projects and a meeting in one day? Be realistic about the hours in the working day and stick with what you know can be completed without rushing.
9. Use an organiser – It will become your best friend! Having everything organised in one place will make things so much easier on yourself.
10. Use a calendar – If you have more than one, make sure they are synced otherwise it can be confusing. Having important days clearly marked will remind you of things to come so there are no last-minute surprises.
11. Know your deadline and start targets to be slightly earlier – Be very aware of when things are due, but give yourself time too. If you do go over a little bit on your project, then it won’t be a big deal as you have given yourself extra time.
12. Set reminders for 15 minutes prior – Giving yourself 15 minutes reminds you it is time to wind down with whatever you are currently working on and prepare for the next.
13. Keep a clock nearby – Sometimes we lose track of time, but having a visible clock will help us better keep track of it.
14. Track your time spent – A timer is a good way of tracking the time spent on a project. This will also help give you ideas of how long future projects will take so you can delegate time to it wisely.
15. Do things during quiet times – Waiting around in the office? Then use the time to prep or complete smaller tasks.
16. Find time to do nothing – At home, make sure you have time for stillness. You don’t need to be go, go, go all the time. This will make for a healthier work/life balance.
17. Put related tasks together – As long as projects have similar parts, why not put them together and kill two birds with one stone?
18. Commit to plans – Don’t make excuses why you can’t do your own schedule.
19. Say no to distractions – Phone, social media and other socialising can wait. When you plan for something in a specific amount of time, do it. The others can wait for a break time.
20. Cut off time when you need to – Don’t be afraid to end a meeting if it is running over the allotted time. Otherwise, you cut into time for other things and throw the schedule off balance.
21. Consolidate meeting times – If you keep your meetings on certain days/times, then you know you have the rest of the time to work on things. Having meetings here, there and everywhere is not productive.
22. Mark peak performance – When do you seem to be at your very best? Is it first thing in the morning? Right after lunch? Put your important tasks during that time.
23. E-mails and messages – Dedicate a time during the day specifically for responding to e-mails and messages.
24. Arrange calls for specific times – If you’re asking someone to ring you, don’t be afraid to advise on when the best time would be.
25. Avoid procrastination! – The sooner you get it done, the sooner it will be over with. Don’t leave things to last minute. Your work won’t be very productive and will leave you with nothing but stress.