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10 Simple Time Management Strategies To Boost Your Productivity

10 Simple Time Management Strategies To Boost Your Productivity

Time is by far one of the most precious resources that you have available.

You’re only offered so many minutes in the day to accomplish all that you need to, making effective time management a highly valuable skill.

In fact, many of the world’s most successful people give credit to their time management skills for helping them rise to the top.

We’ll look at how you can improve your time management skills to start putting the time you have available to better use these time management strategies.

Outsource your way to success

If you have the option available, outsourcing is an excellent way to free up more of your time. After all, paying someone else to complete a task you’d rather not do frees up time for you to focus on other projects or get a well-deserved break.

One thing that highly successful people are good at is energy management. You are what you focus on, and paying someone to do the tedious tasks allows you to concentrate on more value-producing tasks.

This strategy can pay off big in the long run, which is why most business executives and entrepreneurs are masters at outsourcing.

Paying someone to buy your groceries or do your laundry may sound like throwing money down the drain.

However, buying yourself an extra hour today can make a big difference to your career tomorrow if doing so improves your chances of getting a promotion or a raise.

Some everyday tasks that can be outsourced are hiring a personal chef to cook for you, cutting the lawn, hiring a driver, hiring someone to run errands for you, and more.

By outsourcing tasks such as these, you can free yourself up to focus on the most important tasks for reaching your goals and the tasks that only you can complete.

Getting Things Done

By David Allen

⏱ 10 minutes reading time

🎧 Audio version available

The gentle art of saying no

You may often feel quite a bit of pressure from the people around you to always say yes to various activities. To do what’s best for you and your goals, though, you have to learn sometimes to say no.  

Saying no can be challenging. You’ll never be productive if you take on too many commitments. Remember, giving a few things your full focus and full effort is always better than doing many things poorly.

Stop being a people pleaser and become a YOU pleaser.

Nevertheless, there’s an art to saying no. You don’t want to hurt the people around you or damage potentially valuable and enjoyable relationships.

Still, knowing when – and how – to say no is an essential aspect of effective time management. By prioritizing your own needs first, it will be much easier to manage your time in a way that will allow you to be much more productive in the long-run.   

Spend time in the mornings on MITs

We all have dreams, desires, and goals we want to accomplish. We often find ourselves moving further and further away from these goals with each passing day.

Often, the problem is that we don’t spend enough time on our most important tasks when we have the most energy and determination to get them done.

Instead of getting up and tackling our day with gusto, we are continually reacting throughout the day. When we fail to identify our MITs – most important tasks – and we stay in a defensive mode rather than going on offense.

In the morning, we’re fresh, energized and enthusiastic about the day.

During the day, you’ll find your friends and family continually contacting you throughout the day, your boss emailing you, your phone vibrating with push notifications, and more. In the mornings, this is not an issue – especially if you wake up early enough.

If you take advantage of these quiet morning hours, you’ll be able to focus on your MITs with limited distractions. Trying to accomplish these tasks in the middle of the day usually ends up taking twice as long. Those four hours in the morning should be your most productive.

To define your MITs, you need first to know your long-term goals. It’s essential to write down the three MITs you need to complete each day that will get you closer to these goals, as your MITs create the plan that will make your goals a reality. Goals that lack a plan are just wishes; you can’t achieve a goal without a plan.

We all have dreams, desires, and goals we want to accomplish. We often find ourselves moving further and further away from these goals with each passing day.

The Miracle Morning

The Miracle Morning

By Hal Elrod

⏱ 10 minutes reading time

🎧 Audio version available

Batch similar tasks together

You will find that batching similar tasks together is one of the most useful tools that can make you more productive in your work and personal life.

Routinely batching similar tasks together saves time and avoids the hassle by stopping you from making multiple trips. It maximizes your concentration and decreases distractions.

Batching tasks results in increased productivity, creativity, and mental sharpness while decreasing procrastination, burnout, and stress.

Every time we become distracted, it takes an average of 15 minutes to regain our focus. You can’t allow distractions to dictate your activities.

Unless you’re intentionally managing your time, there is a good chance that completing your tasks will take a lot longer than it should. If that’s the case, you are not as productive as you could be.

Batching tasks helps mitigate the distractions that are all around you.

Follow the 80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule – also known as the Pareto Principle – is a time-tested concept for maximizing your time in the best possible way.

The principle suggests that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results. This, in turn, allows you to focus on the key events that are producing most of the results. Understanding how to properly utilize the 80/20 rule is essential to learning how to prioritize your tasks and your time.

Start by writing down ten tasks that you want to achieve. Then determine which of those, if done correctly, would make the most significant positive impact on your overall goal? Determine the second most important task as well, and you’ll have highlighted the 20% that you need to focus on that day.

Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking may seem like a great way to get more done in the time that you have available.

In reality, though, most people aren’t nearly as effective at Multitasking as they think that they are, and Multitasking more often than not ends up being a drain on your productivity rather than a way to boost it.

Credible studies have shown that Multitasking reduces your productivity by a whopping 40%, making it one of the worst things you can do if you are trying to manage your time as effectively as possible.

Rather than Multitasking, pour all of your focus and effort into one task at a time, fully completing each task on your to-do list before moving on to the next one.

Avoid Distractions

There’s no denying the fact that our modern world is rife with time-wasting distractions. At a time when an entire universe of distractions is never more than a few clicks or swipes away, staying focused on the task at hand is more difficult for most people than it has ever been before.

In the end, there is no simple way to avoid these distractions – especially if you are required to work online, and distancing yourself from these distractions isn’t possible.

Commitment and self-control are ultimately the only real remedies for avoiding distractions in our distraction-filled world. If you can exercise this self-control, though, you are sure to be much more productive with your time.

Be Sure to Take Occasional Breaks

When you have a lot that needs to be accomplished, working nonstop at a furious pace may seem like the best way to get the job done. In reality, though, pushing yourself too hard is most often counterproductive.

Regardless of whether your work is of the mental or physical variety, there’s only so much that a person is capable of doing without rest before the quality of their work begins to suffer. Suppose you’ve ever gone cross-eyed staring at a computer screen or worked yourself to exhaustion doing physical labor.

In that case, you are likely well aware that you can only push your mind and body so far before your results start to fall off – no matter how committed or determined that you are.

However, the good news is that even a short break can often serve as a valuable refresher. If you’ve been working for hours on end behind a desk, for example, taking just a few minutes to walk outside and get a breath of fresh air may be able to reset your mind and give you a boost of renewed energy when you go back to work.

Of course, finding the right balance between working as hard as possible and taking breaks when necessary can sometimes be a little tricky. It is important not to take so many breaks that you end up wasting a lot of time in the name of trying to be more productive.

With that said, you should determine, based on how you feel mentally and physically, how much rest you need to be as efficient as possible.

Determine the Times When You are Most Productive

Everyone has a time of day when they are most alert, awake, and productive. Some people get their best work done in the early hours of the morning, while those who aren’t morning people often need a little more time to wake up and get into the flow of things before they start doing their best work.

On the other hand, many people can work in the later hours of the afternoon and night with no issue while others will find working after the sun has gone down to be very difficult and unproductive.

With that said, determining the time of day that your mind and body are running at optimum levels is one great way to ensure that you manage your time effectively and get as much quality work done as possible for the hours you put it in.

Related: How to Stay Focused at Work and Get More Done In Less Time

Make Use of Time Management Tools

If you would like to manage your time efficiently, there’s an app for that. In fact, there are hundreds of apps and online tools designed to help you better manage your time, so you’ve certainly got plenty of options to choose from.

These apps come in various forms, but most of them offer the same basic features. These include allowing you to set reminders and timers for yourself to schedule your breaks and work periods, allowing you to create detailed schedules and to-do lists, and keeping track of your progress on various projects.

Some of these apps also include distraction blockers that disable you from accessing certain apps such as Facebook or Twitter on your phone during the time periods that you set.

While time management apps such as these are certainly not an end-all-be-all solution to improving your productivity, they can be helpful in a variety of ways.

If you fall into the category of people who are a little more tech-savvy and who enjoy using smartphone apps to manage various aspects of their lives, then these apps – many of which are free to use – are worth checking out.    

Effective time management is one of the most essential ingredients in the recipe for success.

If you can learn how to make the best possible use of the time you have available, you’ll be on the fast-track to reaching your goals.

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