The more disciplined you are at managing your time, the more of the professional goals you can achieve. And don’t we all want to be more productive?
Unfortunately, the theory of time management is simple, but putting it into practice is not easy. It can make or break your professional life. More precisely, it is the recipe for success in your professional life. Luckily, there are ways to improve and master time management skills. Here are a few time management tips that will boost your career.
Time Tracking To Improve Productivity
Time tracking is one tip that will boost your career more than anything else. Our ability to understand productivity has improved drastically over time. With solutions such as time-tracking tools, we can necessarily uncover insights into how we work. Time tracking tools such as timesheet app provide us with the building blocks that we use to measure productivity.
Simply put, time tracking will help you save money and precious time. The thing is- time tracking tools will help you identify the time-draining tasks in your schedule. So you know what tasks, workflows, processes, and behaviors are obstacles to your productivity. How? By quantifying all the time, you spend on low-value tasks, which don’t drive your career objectives forward.
Do you know the limbo time you always have between two meetings and meetings that still overrun? Time tracking can help you identify such unproductive patterns so that you can look into your routine and habits. What do you often do when you get to the office and after lunch break? How often do you check your email? In short, where do you waste time? Identifying and controlling such patterns, along with changing them for the better, will help you be successful in your career.
Why? Since it usually takes about 30 minutes for your mind to refocus after a distraction, controlling daily disruptions is essential. Time tracking can help map out all daily interruptions, such as email queries that disrupt your productivity focus. You can also identify tasks that creep into your daily workload and throw you off your higher priority tasks.
Research shows that we produce our best quality work when we enter a state of deep focus. Time clock apps help boost your cognitive performance by helping you identify precisely what to do in a day. As a result, you can identify quintessential productivity killers and monitor deep work. By showing you what you are supposed to work on and for how long, time tracking allows you to keep your priorities in check. Another thing you can do is to use a WP booking system on your website so that clients can book certain time frames of your schedule. This way, you’ll optimize the back and forth you usually have on the phone or on emails to schedule a meeting.
Time Management Tips That Will Boost Your Career
It can be easy to get sidetracked at work. Especially when you don’t have clearly defined goals for what you wish to accomplish each day. If you want to boost your career, one of the first skills you need a firm grip on is time management. Having a time tracking companion is the first step; here’s how to master time management:
1. Learn to say “no”
Are you the type of person who would rather juggle a million tasks rather than refuse to help? Can’t you say no when you are left with little to no time for yourself? If you answered yes to both questions, you should put your foot down and say no.
One of the primary reasons you can’t say no is that you believe that saying no sounds uncaring or selfish. Alternatively, you may have a fear of letting people down or of being disliked, criticized, or risk a friendship. However, the ability to say no is closely linked with self-confidence. People who fear to offend others usually rate other’s needs more highly than their own, which lowers their self-confidence.
Being unable to say no will make you stressed, irritable, and exhausted. And you know what? Your family might be suffering because of your inability to say no. So, don’t wait until your burnt out to asses the situation, here’s how you can learn to say no:
- Be true to yourself
- Be yourself
- Avoid compromising when you need to say no
- Keep the response simple, and don’t be over-apologetic
- Remember, you are turning down a request not rejecting a person
- Avoid feeling guilty about saying no to those requests
2. Prioritize High-Value Activities
You are an entrepreneur with a lot of big ideas, and a solid plan to become successful. However, the challenges that come with entrepreneurship and pressure to deliver a product or service might be too overwhelming. You probably even feel like you never have enough time to get real work done.
If you want to be in control of your time, you’ll need to focus on what matters. No joke here, not all the tasks you have to do in a day will be of high value. So make sure you pick high-value tasks to work on first and boost your bottom line. Here’s a simple way to determine if a particular task is high-value:
- Does this task bring you closer to achieving your set goals?
- How does this task impact the bottom line of your work?
- Does this task affect the completion of a significant project?
When you have answered these questions, you’ll be able to identify where to focus your energy. It is essential to have a strategic approach to planning your time each day to maximize your productive hours. One thing you can do is to use focused time-blocks. Here you can remove distractions, such as email and phone, and spend time on high-value activities that require complete attention.
This approach means that you take advantage of your peak mental performance of your morning hours. Alternatively, you can create a list of three tasks that bring you closer to your goals. You can focus on completing these three tasks each day. Whatever time is left can be directed towards replying to emails, and other activities.
3. Clearly Define Your Purpose
One of the most effective steps to control your time is keeping your eye on the prize. Ignoring purpose makes it difficult to accomplish your goals. Most people have no clue what they want to do with their lives. Your life purpose is the reason why you get up in the morning. It is the central motivating aim of your life. Your purpose will help guide your life decisions, shape your goals, and influence how you behave.
This explains why thousands of professionals dedicate time each year to building happier and more careers. Everyone needs to identify a key and overarching purpose of their life. By living from that knowledge will help you open doors and experience more joy, satisfaction, and positive energy. Here are three simple ways to identify your life purpose and leverage it for a successful career:
- Understand the meaning of “life purpose”
- Enjoy what you love to do and start saying no to what exhausts and drains you
- Recognize new ways to be of service
These tips are the best and surest way of discovering your life purpose and setting life goals that will nourish you and improve your time management skills. Identifying your life purpose could also introduce you to a career in motivational speaking, where you can help others in their journeys, too.
4. Identify where you’re waste time
It’s the end of yet another day, and you look back and wonder, “where did all the time go?” Is this you? If yes, then the most likely part of your time was eaten up with little distractions, which take away time from productive tasks that matter.
All the time we have in a day is limited. It comes down to how you chose to spend your time. As you have learned, time tracking allows us to identify the frivolous and silly ways people waste time during the day. This may include time spent;
- Hanging out with negative people
- Watching TV
How you use your time has a lasting impact on your ability to succeed in your professional life. This explains why you need to attach value to your time. Using your time wisely means that you will have more time to do the productive things that matter, like exercising and spending time with your family.
The best way to structure your day is to focus on what’s in front of you. You need to fight the urge to waste time on less-productive things. To do this, you need to know how to track your progress. Here’s how:
- Break down large tasks into smaller pieces
- Set daily quotas to measure your progress and start each day at zero
- Use technology such as time-tracking tools to track your progress on specific goals and projects actively
- Use a calendar track your progress
- Take time from each day to so daily reflective writing on a diary
- These tips will allow you to focus on progress rather than perfection, which puts you in a position to waste less time and be more productive.
5. Stop Procrastinating
Simply because procrastination is a universal problem doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea. Too often, we’ll find ourselves procrastinating when we shouldn’t. You’ll find yourself muttering “I should be working”, as we’re watching epic fails on YouTube. In the end, by procrastinating, you’ll find yourself regretting the time wastes. Deadlines will be fast-approaching, time running out, and opportunities slipping through your fingers.
Here are five reasons why you’ll find yourself procrastinating, and a customize approach to fighting procrastination:
- The tasks aren’t urgent- Consider the big picture rather than nit-picking the details. Look at each task with the lens of the broad perspective.
- Not knowing where to start or what may come next- Make “figure-out steps” the first step or talk things out with a coworker to come up with where to start.
- You’re afraid of failure- Keep in mind the difference between performance and self-worth.
- Some of us work best under pressure- Know yourself. You might prefer working under pressure because of the adrenaline rush that comes with a close deadline.
- You just don’t want to work- Allocate time to waste and fun from the get-go, and compensate this time by working more.
In a nutshell, if you want to stop procrastinating, consider the big picture, recognize the fact you’ll be confused at first, remember your worth, and know yourself.
6. Avoid Multitasking
If there’s one skill that you need to eliminate from your resume is multitasking. Even though multitasking is viewed as a valuable skill, focusing on one task at a time is more effective. Doing a million things at once slows down productivity. Here are ways you can avoid multitasking:
- Avoid looking at your phone in the morning
- Eliminate any outside distractions such as pop-up notifications
- Identify your prioritize and list them
- Stay mindful of each task
- Do certain assignments during specific times of the day
- Learn to say “no”
- Clean up your workstation
- Strengthen your focus by scheduling time to tackle mentally challenging tasks
- Identify when you’re most productive so you can singularly focus on a specific task
- Beware of your habits and keep a log
- Use apps like SelfControl to block certain websites for s set amount of time
7. Start Early
One thing the most successful men and women have in common is that they start their day early. This way, they can have time to sit, think, and plan how they want to approach their day. Here are the reasons why you need to get an early start to each day:
- It helps you organize your mind to be able to control your time and all other aspects of your life.
- It provides you time to work out in the morning to prepare for the day ahead.
- Getting up early sets a calm tone to keep you from fretting and fumbling.
- It helps you maintain a healthy-living cycle.
- You can also avoid the morning traffic.
If you want success to come your way, then you’ll need to manage your time correctly, and it starts with rising early. Waking up early is easy and has a lot of benefits.
8. Take Breaks
When you have a tough challenge on your hands, it can be tempting to work past your point of fatigue. However, taking a break can allow you to perform at your best. Here are some of the most compelling reasons why you need to take regular, well-time breaks:
- Taking a break will help you process information effectively
- It will allow you to get a better sense of the bigger picture
- You will enhance your ability to be creative
- Taking a break will help you cultivate a healthier habit
- You will become more productive
9. Deal with Stress Wisely
When you take in more work than your ability, you’re more likely to feel stressed. As a result, your body will start to feel tired, which will then affect your productivity. Here are tips for managing and reducing your stress levels:
- Avoid taking caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
- Incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine
- Sleep at least seven to eight hours
- Try relaxation techniques
- Talk things through with someone
- Keep a stress diary to understand your stress trigger
- Learn to find solutions to your problems to feel more in control
- Manage your time effectively
- Learn to say “no”
- Take a break to rest and help your body recover
10. Delegate Tasks
Delegating tasks may sound easy, but business managers and team leaders know that there’s a lot to consider before passing the baton. It requires a lot of trusts, communication, and coordination. Still, delegating empowers your employees or team builds trust in your organization or group, and assists in professional development. If you want to be your boss, this is a skill you’ll need to master.
Besides, for leaders, delegating can be a great way to learn how to identify who in your organization is best suited to tackle a particular task or project. If you learn how to delegate tasks effectively, you’ll be able to manage your time effectively, and everyone in your team wins. Here’s how to delegate tasks effectively:
- Understand your employees or team members, and choose the right person for each job.
- Provide context by explaining to the person why you’re giving them that task.
- Every good delegator should provide the correct instructions for each task.
- Ensure the person tasked with the project has the tools and resources to complete the task.
- Ensure you delegate both responsibility and authority.
- Check the work you delegated to your employees once it is complete.
- Show genuine appreciation when the task is complete.
When you delegate tasks effectively, you can increase trust and commitment with your employees. Moreover, delegating helps to improve productivity and time management.
Now that you have learned all these tips to improve your time management skill start by teaching yourself to say “no” to tasks that don’t add to your bottom line. Next, get an early start every day and use that time to list out all the tasks you wish to work on, and arrange them by priority. Remember to delegate tasks to others to avoid multitasking and feeling overwhelmed. Schedule deadlines and breaks to keep your eyes on the target.
Time management skills require you to think ahead, plan for contingencies, prepare for work, and focus on a broad perspective. Only then you can enjoy more freedom and flexibility.