With its non-renewable nature, time is our most valuable asset.
Whether we're talking of measuring employee engagement in a large company or achieving the goals from those New Year's resolutions we never shared in public, sophisticated time management skills are sure to guarantee success, as they are equally important in both professional and personal settings.
Furthermore, in the post pandemic world scarred with losses the value of time will be greater. Thus, adapting to reality under the terms of high uncertainty and searching for practical ways of bettering time management is actual as never before.
Choose any of the 10 proven, simple ways we list below, and you'll be able to improve your time management without any extra effort.
The 4 Ds stand for Do, Delay, Delegate, and Drop. Dissect your plans, list your tasks under these headings and focus on 'doable'. Incorporating this strategy in your daily life, you will get the instant overview of all upcoming projects and tasks at hand regardless of their complexity.
How It Improves Your Time Management: Categorizing tasks under 4Ds helps automate decision making and determine which things are under the radar and which plans can be postponed without fear of negative repercussions.
It might seem like no-brainer but when you are stuck any techniques promising success should be considered. Even exotic ones like... talking to the duck. This original way of taking control of your time and your emotions is known as 'yellow duck debug' .
How It Improves Your Time Management: When utilized for the purpose of improved time management, it is based on the idea of taking breaks in a productive way.
When you pause your work, make sure you unplug completely. Rather than staying online and fighting the resistance of checking emails or news on social media that inevitably leads to 'doomscrolling', all you need to do is... talk to the duck.
The dangers of multitasking were exposed multiple times. Bringing too much on your plate can cause mental fatigue, cloud reasoning and, in the long run, decrease the output.
Nick Wignall nailed it in one brilliant quote:
Confusion is the mother of procrastination. Productivity is the child of clarity.
How It Improves Your Time Management: Refusing the idea of multitasking in favor of concentration on a single task wholeheartedly will help you not only allocate time wisely but get in flow and move one step at a time for ensuring the best and most sustainable results.
Due to having different preferences in organizing workspace and different work habits, we differ in time when we perform at our best. Track time to identify your personal productivity peak.
Apply a digital time tracker. Self-monitor your work timeline for a week in a row: it will show you the hours and tasks you feel most engaged in. Allocate these time slots for most challenging activities to save time and energy.
How It Improves Your Time Management: Of all the various ways you have to improve your time management and productivity, discovering your peak performance time by analyzing your time tracking data is one of the most effective.
The Secret Of To-Do
To unlock potential of our brain, ironically, first thing to do is to keep in mind its limits on processing information confirmed by scientific research, and 'show respect' to it by refusing the idea of information overload.
How It Improves Your Time Management: To feel in better control, start with the basics. The ideal to-do list is no more than 5 items. Planning too excessively might cause anxiety and lead to imbalance in time consumption.
At times when we feel we lost track of time or get confused and stuck, it is productive to look back for validation of obtained results. This technique breaks down to creating an I-Did list. The items on the list can vary depending on what time you want to analyze and include achievements of a year or tasks completed in a day.
How It Improves Your Time Management: It is not only an effective way to regain power but also see things in different perspective.
The ALPS method stands for a technique of managing your time with following just 4 steps: Activity, Length, Plan, Supervision. The technique was offered by Professor Lothar J. Seiwert, a recognized time management expert and an economist.
The areas of focus when managing time are built around stating the activity, allocating its duration (length), planning its performance and monitoring the process in progress.
How It Improves Your Time Management: The ALPS strategy is elegantly simple and effective because it is universally applicable to both work and personal environments and saves time and resources throughout all the stages of planning and performance.
Unlike traditional strategy of ABC overview of tasks, we mean ABC in sales for Always Be Closing transported into the realm of time management. Taking an ABC approach of sales people, you will train resilience, feel more confident and prevent turning of tiny tasks into big monsters.
How It Improves Your Time Management: When having a task at hand, intent for focusing on it for just 2 minutes. This 'closing' time can be just enough to make an effort and address the issues of procrastination and low motivation.
Bullet journaling (BuJo method) helps you avoid the struggle of choice by itemizing things you have to deal with. Furthermore, it assists you not only in staying in control but in releasing the stress by freeing the mental space.
How It Improves Your Time Management: When done regularly, this practice turns into one of the most effective productivity systems. It keeps record of what is important and lets focus on completion of the tasks in an unobtrusive and well-planned way.
Organizing your workspace so that it nurtured your mind rather than distract is the baseline. According to Princeton University researchers' studies, task performance suffers from disarray of space. It means we need to get rid of extra, which promises to be liberating, time-saving and productive.
If you do not know what to start with when it comes to mastering the art of decluttering, we highly recommend this step by step guide that we tried and it worked miracles.
How It Improves Your Time Management: We admit it may not be effortless, but the rewards of a decluttered mind, i.e. creating space for the brain to access new information, certainly outweigh the effort of adjustment.
A Seth Godin put it:
A new habit takes at least thirty uncomfortable days to form, and a new habit is unrelated to the external forces (positive and negative) that we’re so good at finding and embracing.
Tools To Help
We know we can't tackle all time management issues, but we can suggest the top 6 tools that help.
To adapt your tech stack at best, try:
It is an efficient planner for professionals catering to the needs of individuals and teams.
According to reviews:
It's well suited for people who follow GTD, too.
OmniFocus has a functionality enabling you to lower stress and increase control over tasks and projects.
With activating its forecast options, you can have a laser-focus view on what is your top priority of the day.
It is a Pomodoro technique based app that guarantees to deliver its users the improved focus as the name suggests and, most importantly, keep it on prioritized activities without fail. The app tagline states:
Work with time. Not against it!
Keeping priorities in check will help you prevent not only time mismanagement but address burnout before it becomes and issue as well.
With more accounts we create, there comes a challenge of keeping track of the passwords. NordPass is one of the best password managers for securing sensitive information, and not an overkill in terms of features though it also offers advanced functionality for most demanding clients.
It helps you stay safe, have your passwords under one holder and save tons of time and energy at the same time.
Introduced by Intuit Inc., this app can be recommended as the best choice for both effortless tracking of expenses and learning budgeting skills on the go. Its capabilities include:
- easy-to-start tracking of your expenditures
- setting financial goals hassle-free.
The success of the tool is based on incorporation of machine learning in its design and automation of mundane tasks.
Since we firmly believe that prioritizing mental health and work life balance leads to improvement of time management skills, we are never tired of recommending this app of perfection that uses gamification (plant tress and see them grow) for enhanced customer experience.
There is a good reason for Forest to be ranked as a top productivity app in 136 countries. Aside from its beautiful design, it brings multiple advantages for its users like:
- training focused vision
- effective unplugging
- decrease of 'codependent relations' with the phone
- polishing time management and organizational habits.
In the work environment, it is an optimal tool for creating a realistic data-based employee engagement matrix. Applicable to any industry, TMetric provides employee time tracking that caters to industry specific time management and tracking needs.
It was stated:
90% of remote managers believe that remote tools will become standard even for non-remote staff.
TMetric is the example of such a tool as it belongs to software that delivers best experience of remote and in-office work with the aim at improving time management.