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Time Management Techniques
Everyone is looking to save more time and be more productive. That’s why I’m sharing my top time management techniques. These time management techniques will not just save you time and make you productive, they will allow you to get in time for yourself.
I have worked the corporate world at 60 hours a week while raising a toddler and running an Etsy shop. I had to learn ways to manage my time and boost my productivity. Now I use these same techniques to run two blogs and write for others – all while raising my son.
Great time management techniques will not just save you time but will also help you work more efficiently so you can do more in your day.
Avoid Time Sucks
One of the biggest killers of productivity are time sucks. You need to identify and avoid anything that wastes your extremely valuable time. Social media is just one example of a time suck that can take hours out of your day. I know my weakness is those cooking videos on Facebook. I’ve probably wasted hours watching them.
Try only allowing yourself two 15 minute windows each day to browse through social media. Then turn off all push notifications on your phone, so you are not tempted to check social media outside of the allotted 15-minute windows. Doing this will save you time and allow you to focus on the tasks and projects that matter most.
Prioritize Your Tasks
There is an analogy that works really well in learning to prioritize your time. You have a jar, three rocks, a handful of pebbles, and sand. The jar represents your day. The rocks are your highest priority projects, the pebbles are medium priority, and the sand is the lowest priority projects. You want to fill your jar with projects that are the most important before doing anything else, because if you first fill your jar with sand, there will be no room for the rocks.
Take a look at your tasks each day and prioritize them. Complete your high priority tasks first to make sure they get accomplished. Next, work on your medium priority tasks, and finally, the lowest priority tasks. Doing this will allow you to get the most important things accomplished first.
Learn To Delegate
Delegating can be especially hard for all of my fellow control freaks out there, but you will need to learn how to do it. Learning and doing this particular time management technique can be difficult at first, but you will get used to it, and it will be a real time saver. Using our previous rock, pebble, sand analogy try delegating some of those lowest priority tasks first. This allows you to build up trust in who you are delegating to.
As you start delegating you will start freeing up more of your time so you can focus on those really difficult and high priority tasks. Remember, delegating does not mean micro-managing. Give someone the task and then let them handle it however they want to handle it. If you micro-manage the person handling the task, you are not saving yourself any time, and you are probably going to find it difficult to find people who will perform more tasks in the future.
Make lists for everything. Lists are a fantastic way to stay on track. I use my bullet journal to create lists of tasks I need to accomplish every single day. As I accomplish these tasks, I can mark them off my list. As you mark each task as complete, you will start to feel more motivated to complete your list.
Lists are also a great way to make sure errands are run, supplies are picked up, and every part of a project is completed. Break down bigger projects into smaller lists to stay organized.
For instance, if your project is “Clean House” you might break your list down like this:
- Load Dishwasher
- Wipe counters and stove top
- Sweep Floors
- Vacuum Downstairs
- Clean Bathrooms
- Make Beds
- Do Laundry
While it seems a lot larger than just a clean house task, you are making sure there isn’t any portion of the task you miss and need to go back to fix. Lists help you to make sure everything is accomplished within your projects too. Implementing this time management technique saves you from making mistakes that need to be fixed.
If there is anything you can automate, do it. This goes for social media posts for your business, getting the weather emailed to you daily, so you aren’t searching for it later or setting timers on your lights and thermostat. Automating everything in your life will save you time each day.
IFTTT is a great free option for automating tasks in your life. You can set everything from reminders to logging mileage driven. The number of daily tasks you can automate with IFTTT will save you loads of time every single day.
Learning to say no is one of the best time management techniques to save yourself time by avoiding unnecessary projects and tasks. It’s ok to tell people no. You don’t need to come up with excuses as to why you are saying no either. All you need to say is “I’m sorry I can’t, my schedule is pretty packed right now.”
Saying no is one of the most powerful tools you have in your time management arsenal. It keeps from more projects and tasks piling up in your already busy life. To learn more ways to say no to family and friends check out my post: How to Stop Favor Asking When Working From Home.
Take a Break
Taking a middle of the daybreak can go a long way to helping you reset your mind so you can be more productive. Step away from the work and the tasks and go for a walk, meditate, or do something creative like coloring. By taking breaks from your work, you can attack each project with a clear mind. This is especially useful if you are feeling overwhelmed by everything you need to accomplish.
Exercise is a great way to boost your energy and your brain by releasing endorphins. By getting in a lunchtime walk, you can clear your mind and boost your happiness levels. This will make you more productive throughout the remainder of the day.
Schedule a day off. You need to take actual days off from time to time. This helps your body and your brain rejuvenate from all the work it has been doing lately. Scheduling relaxation days will help to prevent burnout. Burnout can be detrimental to your productivity, so avoid it by taking some time for much-needed self-care.
Spend a day binge-watching a favorite TV show, watching movies, reading, or getting into your favorite hobby. Not only is the day relaxing but it gives you something to look forward to each week or month. Scheduling a day off is like giving yourself a goal to work towards and a reward at the end of a long week.
Time Management Techniques For Productivity
To sum up, these eight techniques; prioritizing tasks, avoiding time sucks, using lists, delegating, automating, saying no, taking breaks, and scheduling relaxation will help you to manage your time and boost your productivity. It’s important that you set habits like these to maximize your time and be more productive.
What are your favorite time management techniques? Let us know in the comments below.