Are you wondering at times where the time went? That’s the sign you need to apply some time management tips that will help you be more productive with your work throughout the day!
Sometimes, we plan so many tasks to do during the day, but we can’t even finish half of them.
And then, we feel disappointed because we realize that we didn’t manage our time well.
If you’re looking to gain some time to achieve more or to simply be more productive, you’re in the right place!
Here are 9 time management tips to be productive and efficient, and help you be more organized throughout the day.
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1 – Analyze where you allocate your time and declutter your schedule
Before applying any other tip, you first need to understand where your time is going.
Analyze what tasks and what activities you are doing during the day.
Have you planned an activity or a task that you could skip doing? Are all the tasks that you have planned to do necessary, or are some useless?
If you’re overcommitting, you’re not doing yourself a favor.
These activities might not be aligned with your goals or values, so they don’t bring anything to your life.
Are you attending social events that you don’t enjoy? Are you planning meetings with people you don’t like spending time with?
If an activity doesn’t contribute to your growth or happiness, try to eliminate it from your schedule.
Of course, we all have commitments and obligations and cannot get rid of every activity that doesn’t bring value.
But, I’m sure you could eliminate at least one or two useless tasks from your schedule today.
2 – Make lists of things you need to get done
When you don’t write your tasks down, it’s very hard to focus on one single thing. Because you need to remember everything else that needs to get done.
You try hard not to forget anything. But, doing that prevents you from being in a state of flow and from actually focusing on your work.
Writing down the tasks you need to do is an excellent way to quickly remember what you need to do each day.
I like writing my to-do lists in a planner, but you can also use apps like Evernote on your phone if you want to do it digitally.
Doing so, you don’t spend time before each task thinking about what to do and how to do it.
Everything is written down so that you can get to the next tasks quickly, without thinking too much.
This highly increases your focus and quiets your mind, so that it’s not wandering around thinking about non-essential things.
It helps you gain minutes between every task, but they add up at the end of the day.
Not to mention how your increased focus makes you work more efficiently and faster!
3 – Choose 3 tasks to focus on for the day
As I explained in the previous tip, it’s important to do a brain dump to write down every little task that you’d like accomplished.
However, you can easily plan too many tasks to do during your day. You’ll probably hardly be able to achieve all of them, so you’ll end up being disappointed.
Worse, having too much on your plate makes it hard for you to understand what are your top priorities for the day.
What are the most important things you need to do today?
Choose 3 tasks that, if they are achieved by the end of the day, you’ll feel like you have won.
These are the 3 priorities you need to focus on during the day!
Being aware of the most important tasks you need to get done will save you time when deciding what task you need to do next.
If these 3 tasks aren’t finished, you shouldn’t do anything else. It will greatly help you with working more efficiently and decreasing decision fatigue.
It’s also a great way to ensure that you are focusing on your goals and that you are working towards them.
And when the 3 most important tasks are complete, you’re free to do any other task you want to do. Or you can simply decide to rest and enjoy yourself.
Knowing that you only need to do these 3 things will motivate you to work faster and in a productive way.
4 – Batch similar tasks together
One of my favorite time management tips to be productive and efficient is to batch similar tasks together.
For instance, if I need to go to the grocery store and the bank, I try to go to both places on the same day.
This way, I’m going into town once and save time doing these things in one go.
Same thing for when I work. I try to group creative tasks together and more analytic ones together as well.
At the moment, I am also working at only checking my emails at certain times of the day.
Batching similar tasks together helps me be more efficient and productive.
When tasks are similar, it requires less brain space to switch from one task to another.
I focus more easily and do things faster. So I end up saving a lot of time doing similar things at the same time.
I cannot recommend this habit enough! You should try it for yourself.
5 – Allocate the right amount of time for each task
When planning tasks, write down how long you want to work on a given project.
For each task, you need to allocate a realistic time frame during which you’ll work on them.
Maybe you want to have a one-hour cleaning session at your house? Or maybe you want to study for two hours to learn a given lesson?
It can be complicated to plan how long something is going to take. But, try to be realistic with the amount of time a task can take.
For instance, allocating 2 hours to work on a whole project and to finish it in the time frame may be impossible.
We often need to give ourselves extra time, because things tend to take longer than expected!
However, it’s also important that we don’t give it too much time to complete a certain task.
According to Parkinson’s law, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.
So, if you allocate 2 hours to clean your whole house, it will probably take 2 hours.
If you give yourself 30 minutes to read a chapter of your book, you might need 30 minutes to complete it.
So, try to be realistic with the time you need to complete a task, but don’t give yourself too much time.
You’ll do things more efficiently, which will save you time during the day.
6 – Learn to say “no”
Did you recently say “yes” to an event you didn’t want to attend? In the past, I was guilty of this one.
I used to say “yes” to almost every invitation I got, even if I didn’t feel like attending the event. Since I didn’t want to upset anyone, I chose to go anyway.
It can be very easy to say “yes” to people. But I think it can be such a waste of time because you should only do things that add value to your life.
Don’t be a people-pleaser and do what you want in your spare time. You don’t need the approval of others to choose what is best for you.
By saying “no” to invitations and events you don’t want to attend, you’ll gain a lot of time in your day. And your schedule will feel lighter and less packed.
You’ll also be able to focus more on your priorities and your goals, which will help you grow and work towards your dreams.
Chances are you’re struggling with saying “no” to people because you’re afraid they’ll get upset.
In this case, kindly explain that your schedule is jam-packed and that you’d like to prioritize working on your goals.
Thank them for the invitation and I’m sure they’ll understand.
7 – Delegate your tasks
I think that one of the most overlooked time management tips to be productive and efficient is to delegate tasks.
Of course, we cannot delegate everything we need to do.
But, if there is one task you can delegate, you can save up to hours in your day. For instance, you don’t have to do every household task yourself.
If you have a spouse or children, try to get them to help you with cleaning.
They can also participate in tidying the home, doing the laundry or the washing-up, cooking…
Splitting up household tasks between family members will help you gain more control over your time.
At work, when you have too much on your plate, try to look for things that can be delegated to a colleague.
Or maybe you can hire a freelancer on sites like Upwork or Fiverr for them to do the work for you.
A nice tip I like is to find ways to automate things on your computer with programs you can find online.
I consider it to be a way I delegate my tasks to my laptop, which can save a lot of time.
8 – Get enough rest
I know, this might sound counter-productive. But, when you get enough rest and sleep, your body can perform better throughout the day.
You are capable of finishing tasks quicker and more efficiently, and your brain is more alert and creative.
So, to be more productive and manage our time better, we need to get proper rest.
This means that you should get enough sleep during the night and that you need to take regular breaks during the day.
Having a 30-minute nap when you’re feeling low-energy is also a great way to take a break. It helps you rest so that you feel ready to work efficiently again.
Overworking yourself throughout the day isn’t going to be productive.
You’ll feel overwhelmed and your problem-solving capabilities will not be at their highest level.
Take regular breaks and don’t work for four hours straight. And make sleep a priority.
These simple tips will benefit your health, and you’ll be able to work quickly and more efficiently, saving time in the process.
Having a good night’s sleep is also a great way to practice self-care in your day-to-day life.
9 – Limit your distractions
One of the most important time management tips is to eliminate as many distractions as possible when you’re doing something.
When you are working on something, give it your full attention. Put your phone on airplane mode, turn off the TV in the background.
What I like to do to focus and not get distracted while working is to have some instrumental music in my earphones.
This way, I don’t hear any disturbing background noise, and I can fully immerse myself in work.
If you want to check your phone or go on Facebook, allow yourself to do it once you finish your task.
But not before, because checking social media for 5 minutes can quickly become one hour of scrolling and procrastination.
You can also get a browser extension that blocks your access to social media if you spend more than a given amount of time on the website.
To have more control over your time, it’s important to limit these distractions during your work and when you need to complete a task.
There you have it! Those were 9 time management tips to be productive and efficient!
They have helped me make better use of my time and work more efficiently.
Some of these time management tips can make you get back hours of your life, by mastering and controlling your schedule more effectively.
Having this extra time on hand can allow you to focus more on your goals.
You also have more time for your hobbies, or for spending more time with your loved ones.
What are your favorite time management tips to be productive and efficient during the day?
I’d love to know, let’s share your tips in the comments!