5 Time Management Tips for Productivity




You are a boss. You can do anything even manage your time well.

I don’t care if every single day up to this point has ended with you feeling like you have accomplished nothing at all. We can change that because you... you are a boss.

In this article, we will talk about the following tips:

✓Staying focused on a task to save time

✓Being more organized

✓Effective ways to plan, schedule and manage to-do lists

✓The Time Management Matrix and how to use it to prioritize

✓Internal and external prime time and productivity


The thing is this, it is not so much about time because we all have just 24 hours in a day, a third of which we spend sleeping. Some people get a lot accomplished while other people get nothing done within the same 16 or so hours.

The difference is FOCUS. Time management is one important aspect of attention management.

If you can get yourself to stay focused on your priorities, you will be able to work effectively, and find yourself left with more time to spare than you can use.

Click here to read the top 10 tips for staying focused.

Click here to read about creating habits that stick.

Here are the 5 top time management tips:

1. Manage your attention

We waste a lot of time performing simple tasks for hours because we are multitasking or distracted while doing them.

Monitor the things that most distract you and as much as you can remove them.

Learn and master the art of deep work. Getting into a flow state where all your attention is being given to the task at hand. Read more about that here
You will save yourself a lot of time by simply doing one task at a time quickly and effectively.
Multi-tasking is definitely a time management hack but only if just one activity requires brain power while the others are automated.

For example reading a book and watching TV is not effective multi-tasking. But listening to an audiobook while you drive is. 


2. Be more organized

According to Author Brian Tracy, 30% of working hours in America are spent looking for misplaced items like files and documents, both digital and physical. 

I remember spending hours trying to sort through all my images on Pinterest for my blog until one day I made a Pinterest planner. Changed my life. Saved me hours of scrolling.



Use simple filing systems for documents and files. Some people go alphabetical others topical. Pick something simple that you can quickly use to retrieve things you use often.

Minimalism and decluttering may not solve all of your life problems but they sure will save you a lot of time.
Some times it is not about organising your stuff better, it is about having less meaningless stuff altogether.
If you are spending hours cleaning and looking for important things underneath piles or junk, there is a problem.


3. Prepare in advance (schedules, planners, to-do lists)

Remember that old saying,
proper prior preparation prevents poor performance. Well, it is still true for today. 
Plan your entire work day tomorrow as the last thing in the evening today. This will make you feel more in control and even boost your confidence and drive. 

Planning also helps you determine your priorities early on. It puts you on the offensive instead of just reacting to wherever the day takes you tomorrow.

There is always room for reacting to crises and things you did not see coming but try as much as you can as far as you can see, to have a plan for the next day. 


4. Set your priorities. Do first things first. The Time Magement Matrix

We have all the time in the world to do everything God created us to do but we spend a lot of our time hunched over the busywork of life.
To help us determine what is important or not, Stephen Covey, Author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective made popular the Time Management Matrix.

He says that everything that we do can be categorized into one of four quadrants: urgent and important, urgent and unimportant, important but not urgent and unimportant and not urgent.

If you spend a lot of your time responding to crises and putting out fires, it is likely that you neglect the important and not urgent pile.



As a result all your time is spent in the urgent and important. If you are a procrastinator, a poor planner or you have no system of tracking what needs to be done, this will be the story of your life.

There are things that always seem like they need our immediate attention. Without even thinking whether they are important or not, we tend to rush into doing them at the expense of important work. 

For example, as a new blogger or YouTuber desperate for some eyeballs, you may spend hours working on your Instagram.

Getting an audience is urgent and you think Instagram is important for that but if you investigate closely you will find that your efforts will be better rewarded on Pinterest.

The other quadrant you want to avoid completely is the not urgent and not important like switching your website theme for the 30th time instead of just writing compelling content.

This quadrant is where most people spend 80% of their time. It is the escape.


The tasks you perform to convince yourself you did something today and therefore you deserve a good nights sleep.

It is spending the whole day reorganizing a perfectly neat drawer.

You want to spend spend your time doing the important and not urgent.

Doing things way ahead of time to prepare for the future. Do them now to avoid crises.

Do them now before the deadline so that you can do them well and not have to repeat them again.


5. Do the most important tasks at your internal prime time


Your internal prime time is the time when you are most productive in the day. For most people it is the early morning. For a few people its is midday or nighttime.
It may take you 20 minutes to perform the same task during your internal prime time and  that would take even up to an hour at other times.
If you want to save time, this is the time to do difficult time consuming time tasks. I write in the mornings.

Try working at different times to see when you are most productive and endeavor to do your most important tasks at that time.

If you are a morning person, do not start your mornings by checking your email or doing unimportant reports unless they are the most important part of your work.

Sometimes your internal prime time does not co-relate with your external prime time (the time when you receive most clients or when your boss expects you to work or even your kids schedule).

Don't worry. One thing is true of all humans, we can adapt.

Try as much as possible to simulate the conditions of your internal prime time.

If I have to work at night I usually start with a nap early in the evening so I feel like I am just waking up when I start working. It’s quirky but it helps.

I have a few other tips that I will write in a part two of this article.

Stay tuned for that. Thank you for reading some of my thoughts and tips. Share down below what other tips I should include in part two.



Comments

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