Time management is the line separating success from failure. It explains why big enterprises invest into training their employees not only to develop professional skills but choose the right time management strategies and maximize personal productivity.
Without addressing the question of strategies, we tend to stick to the traditional 'time management techniques' teaching us useful but hardly realistic rules: their chaotic implementation leads nowhere. As Maura Thomas stated:
... most knowledge workers spend their days in a state of constant distraction and task switching. The results are perpetual stress, and being busy instead of being productive.
Why we need to build strategies:
★ to adjust to changes quickly
★ to become pandemic-proof
★ to balance work and life
★ to prevent burnout
★ to meet deadlines stress-free
★ to cope with procrastination
★ to cultivate a healthy lifestyle.
Time management strategies are built around three pillars:
Time Management Strategy #1: Time Tracking
To avoid disruption, anyone with time management in mind requires metrics. Time tracking for accuracy of metrics on time spending gives insights into how:
- ample your time allocation is
- productive you are during the day
- financially rewarding your work time is.
Great Strategy Quote by Lord Kelvin:
If you can't measure it, you can't improve it.
Aside from cushioning the time loss pain, time tracking brings focus on profitable activities, limits multitasking and delivers a review of your day in a clear timeline.
Time Management Strategy #2: Goal Setting
Time management is impossible without planning. Learning to plan and prioritize creates space for important things, which diminishes stress and improves motivation by bringing purposefulness. The planning strategy includes:
- setting objectives
- choosing priorities
- building the tasks dependencies.
Great Strategy Quote by Michael Porter:
Sound strategy starts with having the right goal.
Creating action plans according to importance rather than urgency removes the question of time shortage by constructing the unbroken daily workflow and providing the instruments for accomplishment of long-ranging as well as short-term goals.
Time Management Strategy #3: Habit Building
By instilling keystone habits (not being late, exercising, avoiding sleep deprivation, eating healthy, recognizing stress triggers, etc.) into your daily routine, you elevate your time management skills to a new level.
Habits when developed and cultivated, tend to become automatic. Hence, creating the 'right habits menu' empowers you with skills to achieve success in the long-term perspective.
Great Strategy Quote by Seth Godin:
Fitting in is a short-term strategy, standing out pays off in the long run.
Habits pave way to practicing certain behavior on autopilot. It makes habits more important than willpower. Having good habits 'feeds' determination and clears vision enabling you to take a strategic approach in achieving the goals you set. It brings us to the previous time management pillar.
Tools to Try
We researched assisting software that guaranteed to improve time management skills to collect tools for this guide. Our goal was to find the software that best:
- track work hours to bill for them
- facilitate goal setting
- support in building healthy habits.
We checked that our recommends would apply to work-related tasks and, thus, could promote the idea of work-life balance.
Time Trackers and Daily Planners
Timekeeping can be a thorny task but TMetric removes the pressure of memorizing and calculating. It has support for all the devices and platforms, which means that users can switch without fear of losing data or locking out of a tracking system.
The implementation of TMetric time tracker allows you to become solution focused🕒🚀🌟. Moreover, time tracking can also be the means of coping with the fallout from crisis: knowing time metrics will help adjust to new normal and alter ways of time and resource allocation for better accomplishment.
More top tips: Choosing TMetric supplies you with 'right-measure-metrics' that excludes lack of strategic planning and ensures your time management works for you.
Regarding the fact that knowledge workers experience 56 (!) interruptions of their work per day, it comes as no surprise that lots of employees work beyond scheduled time and on weekends to meet deadlines or have tasks completed, which in the long run causes stress and decreases productivity.
TimeBloc is the top time blocking app that creates smooth time blocking experience. Users can block a day be events, hours or minutes. They can also mark events with icons and colored tags 🎨or reschedule events in a drag-and-drop manner across the timelines.
More top tips: By applying a calendar integration, you can incorporate your existing calendar events into time allocation plan.
By implementing this app, time management comes naturally. It helps control your phone time, improve your focus and elevate your productivity.
Smarter Time records your time whether you are monitoring it for your personal or business goals.
It is designed to create a detailed time log of all kinds of activities. It helps you create adequate timeframes and achieve deep focus while performing the tasks.
More top tips: For identifying the probable missteps in your time management strategy, it provides precise analytics of your time spending📉.
It is a physical time tracker that you keep on your desk. Its digital presence is available across Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and you can try for free for 30 days to explore all the features in-depth.
Timeular is an innovative solution for tracking time and maintaining motivation for increased productivity🐱👤. Being tangible, it enhances time tracking experience and provides users with novel ways of taking control over time.
More top tips: Switch between a variety of symbols for maintaining work-life balance and strategic time allocation.
Kimai is a time tracking system that has a web browser based interface. This time tracking open source solution suits individuals and teams and in addition to work time calculations provides project budget tracking options to build proper time management while realizing strategic project planning.
You can keep track of your expenses✍✅ based on activity to get an instant overview of the profitability of your time.
More top tips: You keep your data safe with self-hosted environments and enjoy service for free.
Goal Setting Apps
Strides is one of the leaders among goal-setters: it lets you track both specific goals and recurring tasks. The app helps you focus on your streak and turn it into a habit. The progress is marked with green or red to keep you on track. Strides is equally suitable for big or small-scaled projects.
With the option of the Milestone Tracker, the user can easily spot what holds them back and what brings guaranteed success🥇💯. The user account is in sync with all devices.
More top tips: Navigating among 4 types of trackers, you will close the distance between goal and achievement stress-free and will be able to align with time flow proactively.
The app presents a comprehensive solution to focus on the goals and stay motivated for making steady progress daily. GoalsOnTrack enables you to set SMART goals and categorize them into sub-goals. It has a simple intuitive design to help you perform goal tracking hassle-free.
It ensures keeping the most important routines and goals together in one place. Additionally, the solution offers a percentage indication of goal achievement📢, so that the user could monitor their progress easily.
More top tips: the reminders in this goal tracker can help you hold accountable, and Active Goals dashboard will keep you motivated once you tap in your phone.
Making plans and incorporating goals into the scheduled day by day is the only way to create life-changing habits and achieve results. This app promises to listen to you personally, and, with the options it offers, it proves it does.
Use a detailed day planner alongside long-term goal actions. Besides, it has a life assessment tool for sharpening your focus and a mood journal📖 to maintain work life balance.
More top tips: Without leaving the app, you can dive in a collection of articles and exercises on almost any aspect of life.
If you do not limit your screen time, your time management road can be bumpier than anticipated. To focus and increase productivity, applying My Phone Time can be the right solution.
It helps you measure time spent on your phone📴📳. It also tells you which apps you're using most frequently and allows you to block 'goal-distraction-agents' while keeping a whitelist for updates and communications.
More top tips: If you feel that your time management strategy requires a review, you can get detailed overtime analytics of phone apps usage.
We all know that the time we spend on prioritizing we are not spending on the actual work. Therefore, a tool that would help us automate this process and see our priorities in hierarchy, could be a game-changer🎯.
Toodledo can not only track the priority but operate on various kinds of input including start date, due date, time, length or status of a task. Users can also apply search by filters while keeping top priority tasks on top.
More top tips: It has customizable widgets and full integration with Android accounts for a more consistent experience.
App number one for building good habits. The Habit Forest assists not only in creating useful habits but maintaining them. If a user keeps focus on the habit, the trees🌳🌲🌳 of the Habit Forest grow. With small seeds you plant, you establish the habit that will benefit you in the future.
More top tips: You can grow various trees, enjoy nice sticker packs and choose among colorful themes to boost your motivation.
The best choice for stress⚡ management. Developers collaborate with mental health professionals to create guided journaling exercises that assist in defining goals, self-discovery and building a positive relationships with time.
The addressed issues include career-related experiences, self-esteem and adjustment to the role of a student, parent, etc.
More top tips: You can choose among 1000 of journaling exercises to tackle challenges with ease.
The great app that will help you track your daily goals hassle-free. With its scheduling🗓️ features, it enables you to set the habit for a certain number of days on a weekly basis. This kind of frequency is proved to be optimal for developing a good habit: you don't have to change habits too often but still maintain motivation for moving forward with confidence.
More top tips: It works perfectly well for achieving long-range goals and cultivating the healthy habits with insights delivered in stats📊📈 and multi color diagrams.
The big advantage of the app is its intuitive design and smooth integration with the Apple Watch and other health-related apps, which means that you don't have to overstretch yourself and deal with data re-entry.
It provides you with just enough habit building goals to try. Habit setup is extremely easy, and in case you still have questions, there is great customer service📞 available in a click.
More top tips: it has a nice widget that allows you to track your progress directly from the iOS home screen without starting the app.
Getting enough sleep is one of the underrated habits in the fast pace environment consumed with the idea of achievement at all cost. Meanwhile, healthy sleep routine is vital in time management because it ensures you wake up refreshed and ready for the day.
SleepBot-Sleep Cycle Alarm records your sleep hours and generates suggestions on how you can improve your sleep. In a series of graphs, it introduces the patterns for better sleep💤.
More top tips: SleepBot-Sleep Cycle Alarm helps not only create a good sleep routine but calculates the exact time of the sleep duration a user needs.