Time Management Tips
These are just some simple ideas that can save you time and help you work more effectively. Please pass on these tips to any of your friends, family, or colleagues who may find them useful.
1. Utilize “productive procrastination”
Procrastination doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing if you use it to delay working on low priority tasks that may not need to be done at all. Wait until a task becomes important enough to deserve your time before you work on it.
2. Ask questions
Asking questions can be an effective tool to help keep you on track. Whenever you are unsure of what to do next, just ask yourself “What is the most valuable use of my time right now?”
3. Apply the 80/20 rule
The 80/20 rule states that 20% of your tasks account for 80% of the value in your to-do list. Some tasks have a much greater return on your investment of time and energy than others. Use prioritization to identify and focus your time on these high payoff tasks.
4. Avoid attempting to do too much
While it is good to balance important long-term projects with urgent tasks, you can take this too far. If you spread your time and energy over too many different projects, you may not be able to make meaningful progress on any of them. Good time management often requires that you focus your time on a smaller set of objectives.
5. Use your energy cycles
We all have times in our day when we feel productive and other times when we feel sluggish. Use these highs and lows to your advantage. Get complex and mentally challenging tasks done during your energy highs. During the lows, take care of low priority, routine, or non-challenging tasks.
Achieve Planner time management software helps you get organized, set and achieve your important goals, and take control of your projects and tasks. You can use the time charts feature to identify your energy cycles and map out what your ideal week looks like.
6. Avoid saving too much stuff in your files
Experts estimate that between 60 and 80 percent of items that
people file they never look at again. Learning what to save and
what to throw out is the first step in creating an effective
7. Urgent vs. Important tasks
A key principle in time management is that important things are not always urgent, and urgent things are not always important. Learning to distinguish between the two is essential for effective time management. Weekly planning helps you maintain a balance between projects with long-term importance and your more pressing matters.
8. Make time for important projects
Schedule regular time each week to work on important long-term projects. If a project is important and not urgent, you run the risk of neglecting it unless you make regular time for it.
9. Clean your desk
When you have too many things on your desk, it can be distracting. Only keep things on your desk that are necessary. When you eliminate unnecessary distractions, you will find that you use your time more wisely.
10. Learn to relax
Working hard is important, but you also need to take time off to relax and enjoy yourself. When you do, you will find that you use your time more wisely while you are at work. The extra time off renews your energy and gives your brain much needed rest.
11. Avoid wishful thinking
Wishful thinking can ruin any well-laid plan. Avoid this by identifying risks and learning how to place realistic expectations on your projects. Make sure to schedule room for error and unexpected problems when creating a timeline.
12. Don’t over schedule
When you over schedule your days, it can cause unnecessary stress. When creating your weekly plan and scheduling appointments, always create room for error.
13. Learn to group your tasks
In order to use your time wisely, try to perform certain tasks in batches. For example, sort out the papers on your desk and file at the same time, or process several emails in your Inbox at the same time. Related tasks don’t take as long when you do them all at once.
14. Don’t automate email
Some email programs have a timer so your email gets checked on a certain schedule. Turn this feature off. Handling emails as they come in as a distraction and it wastes time. Depending on your needs, use 3 to 5 predefined times during the day to check your email.
15. Don’t file an item that still requires an action on your part
Avoid filing an item that still needs your attention before you record it in your time management system. Otherwise, you might easily forget about that item and the associated work that you still need to do. The same rule applies to emails and paper documents.
16. Write things down
A common time management mistake is to try to use your memory to keep track of too many details leading to information overload. Using a to-do list to write things down is a great way to take control of your projects and tasks and keep yourself organized.
17. Prioritize your list
Prioritizing your to-do list helps you focus and spend more of your time on the things that really matter to you. Rate your tasks into categories using the ABCD prioritization system described in the time management course.
You can get all 50 tips in our "50 Practical Time Savers" special report when you get your free Productivity Start-Up Kit.
The kit also includes the 7 time management secrets of very productive people, the Ten Deadly Productivity Killers report, and a complimentary subscription to our Goals to Action newsletter.
Your "50 time savers" tips have already been beneficial to me. I appreciate your efforts to help keep work "smarter" and therefore, less hours. Keep up the great work! You are definitely on my "list of recommends."
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Investing in yourself through time management training could be one of the best investments you make because time is one of your most precious and valuable resources.
If you'd like additional help, time management coaching and life coaching are both a great resource to implement these ideas and improve your time management skills. You can use personal coaching or group coaching depending on your needs.
In a corporate setting, executive coaching is also very valuable to help you be more productive and perform at your best.
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