15 Best Time Management Techniques in the Year 2024
Time is one of the most precious commodities. It can neither be stored nor borrowed. The only way to make the most of it is to spend it wisely. You should spend it on those things that add value to your life. You need to find time for each factor such as family, health, work, entertainment, etc.
Knowing how to simplify the way you work and get tasks done more efficiently, can spare you enough time for whatever matters to you. Here are the 15 best time management techniques to help you manage your time in the best way.
15 Most Effective and Proven Time Management Techniques
1. Concentrate on your goals
To manage time impactfully, it is vital to set goals. However, you tend to lose sight of long-term goals amidst fulfilling the demanding daily and urgent tasks. You may find it difficult to identify and concentrate on the foremost matters on your list of tasks. If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is high time you review your task list.
Make sure that each task that you give priority would move you closer to accomplishing your goals. Also, refrain from setting vague or unrealistic goals. Your goals must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Accomplishable, Realistic, and Time-bound).
2. Stop multitasking
Some of us often try multi-tasking. However, it is not a good time management technique. It only diminishes returns. For, it decreases your efficiency and performance. Continually interrupting your main work with other tasks erodes focus and slows down your ability to complete tasks. It also fuels any difficulty in organizing, concentrating, and paying attention to detail.
So, instead of switching from task to task, schedule a time to do them. This will be difficult in the long run but imposing your boundaries will be profitable in the long run.
3. Workaround your energy levels
Your productivity is directly proportional to your energy levels. So, organize your daily tasks in such a way that the hardest ones are done when the energy levels are at their peak. Though it is unavoidable to have low energy levels at times, you can have stably high energy levels following a healthy lifestyle.
Take a balanced diet, do not miss your breakfast, take short breaks at regular intervals, stay well hydrated, get enough sun exposure, work out regularly, and sleep adequately. If you are feeling constantly fatigued get yourself checked for an underlying medical condition such as anemia or hypothyroidism.
4. Make schedules
The most effective way to manage time is being intentional about how you spend time. Establish the habit of structuring your time. This will help you improve focus, lower distractions, and progress toward your long-term goals. Take into account the various tasks that you need to perform and structure your time to accomplish each of those. A project timeline can help you if you are working in a team.
Besides, convey to your family members, friends, and colleagues the period when you don’t want to be disturbed. This will reduce potential conflicts and keep their interactions with you respectful.
5. Begin your day with the most crucial task
Starting your day with the most important task on your list is a great way to manage time. By completing the most crucial task first, you will gain a real sense of accomplishment that will push you to finish off the other tasks too. This works because morning is a time when you have more willpower and get fewer interruptions.
Make sure that you assign only one critical task to work on in the morning and set it on the day before. This will save you from wasting your precious morning time on deciding the foremost task to be done for that day.
6. Establish time blocks
Split your time into chunks and assign each block for achieving a specific or group of tasks. So, instead of having an open-ended to-do list, you will have a concrete schedule to work on. This time management technique is referred to as time blocking. It helps you visualize what you want to achieve and makes sure that you make progress. This also reduces the chances of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion.
You can put time blocking into practice by prioritizing your task list in advance each week. Take an inventory of the things you need to do in the upcoming week and sketch a rough time blocking to achieve it. At the end of each workday, review the work completed and work left unfinished. If there are any new tasks to be done, include those.
7. Nourish your brain
Focus is not merely the outcome of determination and willpower. It also largely depends on the nourishment of your brain. Nourishing your brain to keep it functioning properly is one of the ways to improve work performance.
Taking a balanced diet, working out regularly, getting enough sleep, taking short breaks, and socializing can take good care of your brain and nourish it. And this in turn will promote productivity, bust potential conflicts, eradicate emotional distress, and eliminate low-quality work.
8. Allocate time for checking messages
One of the best conveniences of this digital era is letting people communicate with each other through texting. However, it also consumes a lot of time and effort. Checking your messages in between work can distract you and lower your productivity. So, assign a particular time of the day specifically for it.
During this time, you can check your emails, direct messages on social media, and respond to phone calls. You may even have two different time slots for this purpose if you are someone who gets a lot of correspondence. This will help you stay in touch with friends, family, colleagues, and business leads without being interrupted at work.
9. Say no when necessary
A study found that it takes 23 minutes to refocus following an interruption. So, you need to say ‘no’ when you are interrupted. Courteously say no to a task or request if it is not important, you are too busy, it can be done later, or it is not your responsibility.
Being assertive, realizing your limits, and not over-committing to demands you can’t fulfill is one of the best time management techniques. This will not only protect your time but also keep you from the embarrassment of failing to stick to your words, which may also erode trust in you.
10. Outsource low priority tasks
Not all tasks that you perform each day are of high priority. Some of these won’t require talent or skills. Some of these won’t be enjoyable for you. You may not be skilled at some of these. Outsourcing these tasks can leave you with more time to focus on the more pressing ones. It also spares you the much-needed leisurely moments.
People who work from home, for instance, can hire household help for cleaning the house, washing dishes, cooking, etc. Businesses can outsource tax preparation and filing, payroll processing, content writing, event management, etc. Outsourcing also makes you happy as you would be providing an earning source to someone in need.
11. Automate repetitive tasks
Some of your daily activities like sending email responses, filling in online forms, scheduling social media posts, scanning documents, document proofreading, etc. are monotonous. These consume a lot of your time. You can automate these with today’s technological advancements.
Businesses too can go for e-commerce reminder automation, event registration automation, customer support automation, sales automation, payroll automation, pay billing automation, invoice reminder automation, workflow automation, and many more with a huge range of web-based time management techniques. Automating repetitive tasks saves you a lot of time each week and makes you efficient.
12. Realize that it is okay to be imperfect
Often, you tend to be caught up in trying to make everything perfect. Though perfectionism is a great trait, trying to be perfect at all times can slow you down and make you miss deadlines. At extreme levels, this can also lead to high levels of anxiety and sleep disorders. It can also lead you to have unrealistic expectations from others.
So, if you are someone who keeps working too hard in want of being perfect, it is time you slow down and realize that it is perfectly okay to be imperfect. Give up on the fear of loosening your standards, being never failing, never making mistakes, never disappointing others, and never losing control.
13. Track your time
Even after coming up with a work schedule, you need to look back at the end of each day to find if you have adhered to your schedules. This will help you discover your productive patterns, identify any surfacing time drains, recognize ineffective processes, and make efficient modifications. This will also help you track your performance.
Manually tracking your time can be difficult. That is why you should use an automatic tracking app for recording the details of how you spent your day. These apps do not require you to start or stop times or enter any details into them. You just can go on with your routine activities and the app does the tracking part all by itself.
14. Plan your breaks
No matter whether you are an office-going or a remote worker, you need to plan short breaks at work. When you allow yourself to take breaks only when you have completed a task or only when you are free from work, you get rare breaks. But when you do it at planned intervals, you will enjoy boosted energy levels and improved performance.
While planning your breaks, take care that you don’t do intense work continuously for more than 90 minutes. These breaks can be as short as 5 mins or as long as 30 mins. Any break can be rejuvenating. So, schedule regular breaks and feel entitled to take those!
15. Organize your workplace
For effectively managing one’s time and being productive each day, you need to have the right environment. So, have your entire work items close by, put everything in their place, set up an efficient filing system, cast away duplicate materials and information that will be outdated soon, archive resource materials you rarely use, and remove useless clutter.
Take 15 minutes at the end of each day to de-clutter your desk. This way, your work environment will be clean and organized when you return to work the next morning.
Wrapping it all up
Time is one of the most precious commodities on the earth. By employing our proven time management techniques one can make the most out of their time. So, put our time management strategies to practice to stay happy, increase productivity, lower stress levels, eradicate emotional distress, eliminate low-quality work, and bust potential conflicts in 2022 and the years to come.