15 ways to improve Time Management
According to statistics, 80% of our workday is spent on things that bring little or no value! Only 20% of our average workday will be spent on doing important tasks. Do you recognize yourself in this ratio? Let’s see how we can better manage our time...
The main goal is to thoughtfully control how you spend time on important tasks and activities, whether at work or in your personal life. Managing your time will help you to better plan and organize activities, increase productivity and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
As PKE (Process Kaizen Engineer) and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, time management is a lifestyle that I have developed over the last 15 years!
Here are top 15 time management techniques and tips you can use to improve your time management skills, which really worked for me:
- 1. Plan your day in advance. Planning is the first, the best and most proven management techniques of all time.
- 2. Limit e-mail intake. Checking and answering e-mails is a burdensome task. Nobody likes it, yet everybody does it. Statistics say that “the average worker spends around 30 hours a week checking email.” Think about all the tasks you could do during that time.
- 3. Find your productivity zone. Some people are early birds, whereas others are night owls. We are all different and like to work in different parts of the day… or night.
- 4. Eat the frog. Mark Twain said: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” It’s all about prioritizing. Do the most important tasks first, and when you’re done, switch to those less pertinent.
- 5. Take regular breaks. Working without breaks may bring you more harm than good. We need breaks so that our brain can refresh and then refocus on work.
- 6. Say “no” or delegate. Everybody has their limits. We simply cannot do everything people want us to. It will lead to burnout and work anxiety. That’s why it’s so important to be assertive and say “no” when people want to assign you additional tasks.
- 7. Focus and block distractions. Notifications, pop-up messages, e-mails, colleagues constantly talking to you, it all pulls your attention away from work.
- 8. Set goals. Set goals and you will exactly know which direction you’re heading to. Goals are part of the organizational processes, and they are extremely important in time management.
- 9. Stop multitasking. Many job offers state that multitasking is one of the key skills of the candidate. But it’s better to throw such an offer right to the bin. The truth is multitasking damages our brain.
- 10. Allocate your time. If you know how much of your time you allocate to tasks, projects and different activities, you will be able to better organize your workday and workflow.
- 11. Create a morning routine. If it’s making a bed or exercising, you’re on the right track. But if it’s checking social media, you’re doing it wrong. A good morning routine will set you in the right mood and motivate you to work.
- 12. Exercise. Exercising is a great way to boost energy level. It’s a way for the body to get rid of the tension caused by stress. It can also help clear your mind of unnecessary or disturbing thoughts, which only make your work worse. Work communities can ease the integration of exercising during your workday. For example, at METRO.digital we have a great program called GoHealthy that helps all our employees to keep a healthy and mindful life.
- 13. Tools, tools, tools. In today’s highly developed world, tools are an inseparable part of our work. If you want to be able to fully use time management techniques, you should implement the following into your daily work:
- Time tracking software
- Project management software
- Communication tools
- Apps helpful in creating good habits (try Habitica)
- 14. Reward yourself. Have you finished the task or project you were working on? Good, now take a break and do something for yourself. Drink a cup of coffee, listen to your favorite music, or call your friend.
- 15. Communicate. Proper communication can save a lot of time. If you don’t convey your plans, intentions, or requirements clearly, people won’t understand their tasks, or yours. And that will lead to conflicts and misunderstandings.
THE FINAL POINT about time management is the concept of balance. The most important thing that you can instill in your life is balance and moderation. By practicing the methods, ideas, and techniques in this article, you will become a master time manager, and have more time for your family and your personal life.
Often, people take time management programs so that they can increase the number of things that they can do on a day-to-day basis. However, as the wise man said, “There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.”
The main purpose of learning and practicing time management skills is to enhance and improve the overall quality of your life. It is to increase the amount of pleasure and happiness you experience.
So, what will you do next to better manage your time? Start with 3, 4 or 5 actionable points for a week and see how your work-life balance will get improved!