Whether you’re a full-time student or the CEO of a successful company, mastering the skill of time management is of paramount importance in today’s fast-paced world. Wasted time leads to wasted money and opportunities, and with only a finite 24 hours to utilize each day, it’s critical that you make each one of them count. So with that in mind, we’ve put together ten top tips for managing your time more effectively and honing your schedule to perfection. Time flies, so let’s get started!
Time management is much more sophisticated than it used to be. Gone are the days of wall planners, alarm clocks and notepads.
Today, there are a huge range of software solutions for managing time, and a good time management app is now able to handle a wide range of organizational tasks, from to-do lists and scheduling, right through to reporting staff timesheet data and expenses.
For freelancers and creatives, the most futuristic time management app feature advanced tools for eliminating procrastination and fine tuning the time spent on client projects.
In order to work out whether you’re spending your working days as efficiently as possible, it’s vital that you know exactly which tasks are taking the longest to complete, and that means logging every task you undertake during your day.
That might sound counterintuitive and a waste of time in itself, but with a good time management app on your smartphone, it’s extremely easy to log your time during calendar scheduling and analyze exactly which tasks might be better delegated, outsourced or even automated in the future.
Once you’re using a time management app to make an accurate log of your day, you’ll eventually build a more detailed picture of the average time individual tasks take to complete.
Over the course of several months of fine tuning, you’ll find scheduling and time forecasting much easier to accomplish, which should ultimately lead to higher profits and a more manageable and fulfilling work-life balance.
To-do lists are vitally important for prioritizing important tasks and avoiding feeling overwhelmed. Not only will a regularly updated to-list keep you focused and distraction free, by ticking off actionable items on your time management app, you’ll feel an immense sense of satisfaction that will help you stay motivated.
Spending time up front to plan your schedule a week or two in advance is a great way of staying focused and in control. If you’re able to quickly check your smartphone time management app during conversions with coworkers or clients, you’ll not only make better designs and avoid taking on too much work, you’ll also instill confidence in others and improve your professional image.
Always arrange the to-do list on your time management app so that the big, important tasks are tackled first thing in the morning. The vast majority of people have more energy in the morning, and by completing the worst items on the list first, you’ll avoid unnecessary stress later on in the day.
About those important tasks on your to-do list: Always make sure you finish a task before moving on to the next one. Multitasking sounds like a great idea in theory, but in practice, most studies show that it’s a horribly inefficient way of working. So if you’re the type of person that stops a difficult task mid-flow to answer emails, you really need to work on your time management!
When it comes to time management, everyone is different. Some people work better in the morning, others do best in the afternoon or evening. Over a period of time, your time management app will help you collect some important data about your working habits and how to fine tune them for the most optimum productivity.
Some people are better at certain tasks than others. Besides, you can’t do everything by yourself! Learning how (and when) to delegate tasks to other team members or staff is often the hardest skill to master, but the one that yields the biggest benefits when handled correctly.
If you’re a freelancer, understanding how and where your time is being used inefficiently might even allow you to outsource certain tasks for increased productivity.
Our final piece of advice when it comes to time management is to avoid over analysis. A time management app can be a fantastic tool for honing your working day for maximum efficiency, but it’s important not to focus on total perfection. It’s often the small tweaks that yield the biggest improvements. Aim to perfect one aspect of your schedule at once and before you know it, you’ll have transformed your productivity!