If you’re looking for the best tips to help get those all-important tasks done, here’s my top 10 that offer you a time-efficient way of helping with every aspect of your time management.
Start putting these 10 time-efficient tips into practice and you’ll conquer time management soon before long.
Make it a priority today and start and use your time wisely.
What we'll be covering
01 – Track time
Make a record of all your appointments, calls, meetings, conversations and activities for a week. Evaluate how much time you’re spending making the things you want to happen, happen, and how much time you’re wasting on unproductive activities and even negative thoughts.
Why don’t you keep a timesheet?
I keep a timesheet every week that helps me identify my billable hours versus ‘admin’. You’ll be surprised where the time goes!
02 – Make time
I find under committing my diary and leaving gaps in my week gives me space for the unexpected, and it really helps with overwhelm.
Get time-efficient with Attention Management
Also, there’s a simple, but effective technique called Attention Management that will help you focus on the things that really matter when they matter – talk about being time-efficient! In another blog, I talk about how you can make master prioritizing tasks and time management through the use of this technique.
03 – Behind Time
The worst thing you can do is go straight into your email first thing in the morning. If you do this, it means you’re prioritising others tasks over your own set for the day. It can feel quite overwhelming too as you are adding more to your to-do list before you’ve had a chance to get anything you’d planned ticked off your list.
When to respond to emails?
You can easily spend the day firefighting and responding to issues and emails. Have you ever got to the end of your day and realise you still haven’t done anything you had on your list?
Note it down
To help, you need to be a bit more disciplined with your time. It’s best to schedule chunks of email time if you can, so you cut down the distractions.
Another good tip is to put ideas, reminders, and general ‘stuff’ that pops into your head throughout the day down on a desk pad. Doing this stops it distracting you further. It gets all the noise out of your head and allows you to deal with them at another time when it’s more convenient for you.
04 – Downtime
Leave a little room in your schedule for emergencies, the unexpected, or a bit of fun with your team. Go outside, get some fresh air; this will increase your productivity, and make you far much time-efficient on your return. All work and no play is no plan!
05 – Take time
Use the first 20 minutes of your day apart from drinking your cuppa to plan it out or even better, do it the night before. You can hit the ground running when you get back to your desk the following morning. Doing this helps you clear your head and unwind for the evening, safe in the knowledge you are all set the next day.
I find batching up similar tasks, and doing them in one go helps save time too. Try responding to your emails or calls in one go.
06 – Time out
If you are easily distracted, how about trying short bursts of time. Try 25mins then a 5 min break or 60 mins and a 5 min break. Breaking the whole day into smaller chunks or more significant tasks into bite-size pieces of work offer comfort and help with distraction and overwhelm. I used to sit at my desk for hours on end, and it’s not good for you, now I regularly take a bit of time out throughout the day to stretch and get away from work. It will help with productivity, trust me.
07 – No time
Come to terms with the fact you will never get everything done, that’s not the game anymore. Get the most important stuff done and lower your expectations. Be selective about what you say yes to, and don’t bite off more than you can chew (easier said than done I know!). Sometimes the most difficult task to do each day is to figure out what you’re not going to do!
08 – Right time
Don’t just answer the phone because it rings, or open an email because it arrives unless it’s more important than what you are doing. Your phone does have an off switch, you can quit your email program, and you don’t be afraid to stick a ‘Do Not Disturb‘ sign above your desk (even if you work at home!). Schedule some time to chat, check your messages, or get back to people. But don’t be afraid to go dark, turn off your internet. Your time and attention are precious, protect your attention.
09 – Own time
Use social media when you’re relaxing, not working (unless you work in social media, of course!). Do you really need to watch that video right now? It’ll be just as cute or funny with a glass of wine later!
10 – Time of your life
80% of your results are likely to come from around 20% of your effortsThe Pareto Principle
You can never get everything done. No-one can. Bear in mind the 80/20 rule – 80% of your results are likely to come from around 20% of your efforts (activities, tasks, meetings, chats). You just need to work out which 20% to do (odds are you already know!).