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25 Effective Time Management Tips to Boost Your Productivity

Ash Lal
November 20, 2020

“A man who dares to waste one hour of life has not discovered the value of life” - Charles Darwin

Time is indeed your valuable resource, and managing it effectively holds the key to both happiness and success. After all, you can’t create more!

Learning time management in a work context is critical in the modern business environment. It can boost your work quality and can increase your productivity as well. This, in turn, can make you more valuable to your employer and can create new opportunities for career advancement. 

Learning to make the most of your working time means that you can enjoy your free time and engage in the things you really love to do. Sound like a worthy goal? Let's start with understanding the importance of time and check out the most amazing and effective 25 time management tips to improve the way to spend your time at work.

Why Time Management is Important

Implementing effective time management strategies at work allows you to be more productive, achieving more in less time, which ultimately creates more time for you to focus on other tasks or for new growth opportunities. 

Moreover, effectively managing your time can help you in lowering your stress and improving your focus on work, thus making you more productive in the workplace and possibly leading to achieving your career goals.

Let's quickly dive into these best, tried and tested 25 time management tips for work so that you can implement these tips into your daily schedule, and become a dependable, productive, and efficient professional. 

1. Create an Effective Morning Routine

Right from the moment you wake up, time management starts. With a proper morning routine, you can set yourself up for a day full of productivity and your best work.

It is vital to customize your morning routine to what works best for you, but here some basic things that you shouldn't miss:

  • Meditate: You need to attain a level where you are at a peace to handle a power-packed day. 
  • Exercise: It is vital to take out some of the time from your schedule to let your body be in its good shape.
  • Writing Daily To-Do List: Clear your mind by preparing your daily to-do list.

2. Track Your Time Spent

Tracking your time spent at work is quite important. When you start tracking your work, you are aware of how much time is spent on a particular task. 

With proper time tracking, you can set clear objectives, increase your productivity, manage your projects in a better way, and can provide complete transparency of your work.

There are various time tracking apps and tools, you can pick the ones that work the best for you

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most essential step towards managing your daily tasks and activities. If you use Outlook or Google Drive, the calendar comes as part of your software.

If you are in sync with your calendar on your mobile phone and your system, you can easily access your schedule no matter where you are. By adding calendars to your work schedule, you can:

  1. understand your priorities for the day
  2. Be on track and in sync with your team
  3. never miss any important discussion and meeting
  4. set your boundaries for the day
  5. keep a track of the work done on a particular day

4. Put a Time Limit on Tasks

Work has a terrible tendency to expand to fill the time that's available for its completion. By setting a proper time constraint for several tasks, you can focus better and work more efficiently during your office hours.

Moreover, if you discover that you are working beyond the time limits that you have set for yourself, you should examine your workflow and look for things that could be wasting your time or drawing your attention away from the task at hand.

5. Stop the Meeting Madness

Meetings can drain your time, particularly when your involvement in the meeting is not high. Even if attending a meeting is necessary, try to keep it short and to-the-point. 

You can always look for alternatives such as Skype, Slack, or other project management tools in order to avoid wasting time unnecessarily in meetings. 

6. Complete your High Priority Tasks Early

Various studies show that the first hour of your day is the most productive one and your brain can easily focus on the work without using an excess of energy. 

So, always make it a point to complete your most important tasks in the very beginning. Not only does this ensure that your time is invested in a timely manner but also makes you feel relaxed.  

7. Perform Weekly Audits of your Time

The best way to improve your time management skills is by auditing your time. Record how much time you spent on a project weekly. 

As you work on a particular task, track your time until you complete it. This way, by the end of the week, you’ll have a proper record wherein you can compare actual time spent and estimated time spent. 

You can use various time management tools to get a proper daily and weekly audit report. The best exercise is to continue reviewing your results weekly to understand your work trends and gradual improvements.

8. Use the 2-Hour Solution to Set Up Your Week

What is the 2-hour solution? The rule was developed by Roger Seip, author of Train Your Brain for Success -- you spend 2 hours weekly to plan for next week. It is different from regular scheduling. Though, this method assists you to focus on your goals and analyze what has and has not been working for you. This two-hour solution mainly focuses on your goals by dividing your time into:

Green time: The time spent on the work that gets you paid.

Red time: The time that supports your green time.

Flextime: Unblocked time to address the unexpected.

Recreation time: The time spent on hobbies, relaxing, exercise, etc.

9. Block out Distractions

What distracts you the more in your work? Your Messages? Phone Calls? Social Media?

It is very important to find out what these distractions are and ultimately blocking them in order to manage your time. Otherwise, you will end up wasting your time in activities that are not relevant to your work or career. 

10. Avoid Multitasking


Many studies and facts have shown that multitasking burdens the brain. Instead of focusing on getting more done at once, work towards the quality of your work. 

Multitasking can have adverse effects. Multitaskers are usually prone to errors, they take more time to complete the projects, and focus less on quality. 

It is vital to understand that the brain can only focus on one or two things at a time. Switching between tasks only disorients the brain, so avoid multitasking if you can.

11. Use an Organizer

An organized person always seems to be on top of everything.  By organizing your information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items, you can always perform your best and on time. 

There are various time management tools available that have the option so that you can organize your work. So, find the one that is suitable for you. 

12. Delegate Responsibilities

If you are in a managerial role and frequently find yourself behind schedule or working through lunch, you may need to consider delegating more of your responsibilities to your team. 

You need to know who your go-to team members are, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Make sure to make them understand the goals and expectations as well as the deadlines. 

It's also necessary to make yourself accessible and open to questions along with letting them know what resources are available for them.

Check Out this video for some more amazing Tips & Tricks for Time Management at Work:

13. Embrace the 1-Minute Rule

It is a quite simple concept wherein if something takes you 60 seconds to complete, do it immediately.

The best part is these tasks are so quick and aren’t too hard to follow but the results are big. Hence, keeping all those small, nagging tasks under control will make you more serene, and less overwhelmed.

14. Keep a List of Backup Tasks

It is quite frustrating if you are in a proper flow to work, but due to one or the other reason, you find yourself waiting. It can be hearing back from your colleague or manager, whatever you’re waiting on, make sure to use that time to take care of smaller or quick tasks. 

You can respond to emails or calls. All in all, you should have a list of backup tasks ready in order to save your time and energy at work. 

15. Listen to White Noise

Do you know that ambient noise is ideal for improving creative performance? Yes, you read it right! From helping your sustaining concentration to promoting your focus and encouraging you to work faster, white noise can help you a lot. 

If you don’t want to bother your co-workers, you can invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones.

16. Learn to Say “No”

One of the most precious pieces of advice is to be cautious about committing to complete something that will require your time. It is always advisable to respond by saying that you'll check your schedule and get back to the person. This gives you the required time to evaluate whether the ask is with your goals and whether you realistically have the time to give. 

  • Saying no to your boss: Politely explain your priorities and the consequences of taking on additional work. 
  • Saying no to a coworker: Be transparent with your workload by sharing calendars or task lists.

17. Use the Pomodoro Technique


A Pomodoro technique works with 90-minute sprints, which means you would work for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. We’re most productive during the initial 90 minutes. After it peaks, your mental energy drops for roughly 30 minutes. 

Also, schedule your day more effectively in favor of this technique and you will see that it works like wonders. As opposed to working with low energy, you would work when you’re most productive. And when your energy dips, have a list of tasks that are less critical and you can focus on and ultimately take a break. 

Check out the video to understand about the Pomodoro Technique in a better way:

18. Create Meeting Agendas

Some meetings are productive whereas others are not so productive. To avoid any confusion and to let your team know about the meeting goal in prior, create agendas for any meetings that you’re hosting. 

Define the meeting’s purpose and share your notes with the team before the meeting starts. Always remember that any prep you do beforehand can help you in running the meeting smoothly. And most importantly, the meeting will likely get over early leaving everyone to appreciate your capabilities.

19. Set SMART goals

Your productivity is usually measured by your strength to accomplish your goals. If you reach those goals quickly, with a modest investment of resources, that is a definite indication that you are efficiently managing your time and are productive in your work. 

However, an extensive part of this is having SMART goals. SMART goals can be defined as specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-limited goals. Always ensure that the daily, weekly, and monthly goals that you set for yourself are SMART. 

20. Always Finish What You Start

It can be stressful and distracting to leave something half-completed because it will be in on your mind until it’s finished. Even worse is that you would again need a schedule to circle back to this task. 

It’s just more practical to complete things that you have started once and then move on to something else.

21. Organize your Email


Source: https://www.freepik.com/

A cluttered inbox can be your enemy. You are most likely to spend more time looking for important emails or you overlook some important emails altogether. 

It is always recommended by experts to archive emails that may contain important information but which don't require an immediate response. 

Creating labels for emails that require some kind of action from you, such as "urgent," "needs action," or "waiting" works wonders. You can always create filters to automatically label the incoming email based on a keyword in the email or who is sending it. 

22. Use the 30X Rule to Delegate Tasks

Do you know you are spending 41% of your time on tasks that you could easily pass off to others? (if you are not delegating your task properly) Prioritization and delegation are key to making sure that you’re getting the most out of your time.

If something can be done 80% as well by someone else, delegate it!

Taking the time to delegate and train someone else gives you a net gain of 1100 minutes a year.

A Note to Remember:

Managing your time isn’t just about today, it’s about setting up systems and processes that will bring you more time in the future.

23. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most of the calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, it is always a good idea to set that alarm 15 minutes before. This will help ensure you don’t miss the meeting, of course, but more importantly, allow your mind to have the freedom to fully pay attention to the task at hand, without constantly worrying what the time is.

24. Follow Consistent Routines

Once you establish a particular routine, you can easily carry out tasks faster since you won't have to ‘think’ about the task or prepare for it.

The best way to get started is to establish a morning ritual and prepare your ideal work schedule. After creating your schedule, add it to your calendar. This way you will be timely updated with your routine.

25. ‘Batch’ your Communication Time

Do you have the habit of checking your email and communication tools regularly after a few minutes? Most of the people keep their inboxes and chat apps open all day and check in on them every 6 minutes. 

However, various studies show that we’re more creative, productive, and happier when we communicate less. More precisely, we tend to waste less time and be more productive when we talk in rapid periods of scheduled collaboration followed by long periods of silence. 

Conclusion

In this fast-forward life, we can’t control time moving forward, but we can always try and work on the best time management tips to control how we spend our time. 

Hope these time management tips and strategies will help you in delegating, prioritizing, and scheduling your time properly.

Did we miss any tips? Let us know the time management tips that you follow in the comments section!


Ash Lal
Ash is the Founder and CEO of Prodivy. He was a Product Manager at a large technology firm before starting Prodivy.

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