These days, efficiency and productivity are the top goals of managers. Everyone is looking for higher productivity. Experts believe that one of the prerequisites for effectiveness is time management techniques.
Highly efficient people manage their time very well because they focus on the results instead of focusing on the activities needed to accomplish a goal, so they:
- Do everything on time.
- Provide high-quality work.
- Have a professional reputation.
- Have a better Work-life balance
- Experience less stress.
Keep reading to find the easiest time management techniques.
Personal time management techniques
- 80/20 rule
- Create a TO-DO List
- Do not multitask
- Learn to say NO
- Set due dates
- Take a break
- Align time management with your goals
- Swallow the frog first!
Time management techniques 1: 80/20 rule
There are many ways to manage your personal and team time, but one of the most effective is to implement the 80/20 rule. This rule states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In other words, you get 80% of the result with 20% of the effort. The key to increasing efficiency is to focus on 20% of the tasks that lead to the results. These tasks may be complicated, hard, and time-consuming, but they should be at the top of the TO-DO list. Your other tasks should have lower priorities.
Time management techniques 2: Create a TO-DO List
Time management starts with planning. Make a list of tasks that need your immediate attention. Use the 80/20 Rule to prioritize the things that will improve your department. The TO-DO list has many benefits, it:
- Keeps you focused on the goals.
- Helps you remember even small tasks.
- Helps you prioritize what is important or urgent.
- Saves time.
- Keeps you under control and on track.
- Prepares documents about what you did and the time it took.
- And when you cross-completed tasks out, you will feel achievement and success.
- (taskbrowse will put your assigned tasks into a list such as the TO-DO list and warn you when you are close to their due dates.)
Time management techniques 3: Do not multitask
To have the most efficiency, we think about multitasking, but in fact, we get more success when we focus on one task at a time. Multitasking reduces our productivity because it takes longer to complete tasks.
Time management techniques 4: Learn to say NO
If you have felt exhausted and you have been under a lot of pressure, refuse to take on more tasks. Check the TO-DO list to see if accepting a new task can prevent you from completing the high-priority tasks. The ability to say no is one of the most significant time management techniques.
Time management techniques 5: Set due dates
Set realistic deadlines and stick to them.
Time management techniques 6: Take a break
Your mind needs to take breaks to rest and be refreshed. If you give yourself a little rest, you will be more focused and creative. In addition, you will have the ability to cope with stressful situations.
Time management techniques 7: Align time management with your goals
- What are your business goals?
- Do you spend your time in a way that helps those goals?
Without answering these questions, you don’t know how to prioritize, organize, and ultimately finish your long to-do list.
1) List your goals.
- You and your manager should meet at the beginning of each year to set goals. As a result of this meeting, you will find out how these goals relate to the mission of the company.
- Review the goals and write down them on paper or in an app. Use these goals to prioritize your daily tasks, and to measure your progress.
- By regularly reviewing this list, you will be able to identify essential tasks to handle so you will be able to plan.
2) Track your time.
Once you have identified your goals, it is time to examine how you have spent your time:
Are you working on the things you need to do? (Issues that allow you to achieve your goals)
Or do you endanger them through unrelated tasks?
Track your tasks for two weeks by completing the exercise below to understand exactly how you have spent your time and to determine if your workload should be adjusted. You may find that the results do not match your goals. Understanding where this discrepancy happens helps to fix it.
1-2) Write down your activities.
Don’t miss anything. List all the tasks you do, the meetings you attend, and even the time you have with your co-workers. Once you’ve completed the list, categorize it, then you can track how much time has been spent on each category’s tasks and find out whether your work is currently in line with your goals or not.
Main Responsibilities: These tasks are the most important part of your career.
Personal activities: Activities and projects that are meaningful to you but may not be part of your routine responsibilities.
People management: Your relationship with others.
Distractions: Interruptions and urgent issues sometimes occur unexpectedly.
Free time: Lunch breaks and time has been spent on writing personal emails, web browsing, or social networking.
Administrative Tasks: It includes managing and distributing information within an office, such as fill out a timesheet or answering phones.
2-2) Track your time.
Once you have created your categories, start tracking the time spent on each one’s tasks. You can use online time-tracking apps.
Time management techniques 8: Swallow the frog first!
“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.“
If you are going to do a hard task today, even if it is as hard as swallowing a frog, at first, you should eat that frog so that the rest of the day, you will feel released because you have done the hardest work of the day. It is essential for improving your personal and working life. The best part about it is that you don’t spend the rest of the day thinking about it. Besides, if something bad happens for the rest of the day, it is nothing compared to eating a frog.
“Eat a Live Frog Every Morning, and Nothing Worse Will Happen to You the Rest of the Day”
Time management techniques to improve team efficiency:
- Delegate the right things to the right people
- Communicate clearly.
- Set deadlines as a manager.
- Use technology.
- Be a role model.
- Provide training opportunities.
Delegate the right things to the right people
Successful leaders share power and responsibility with employees. It means that the manager trusts their employees, encourages them, and motivates them.
Clear communication needs careful listening, reading, speaking, and writing to transfer information correctly. Valuable time is wasted, when members come back for more explanation, spend all morning exploring a topic, or perform some tasks incorrectly because of poorly given instructions.
Set deadlines as a manager.
After assigning a task to employees, set a realistic deadline for them. Ask employees what else they have to do and which one should be done first. Be flexible to change priorities. Employees who often miss deadlines need to improve their time management skills.
Some software can help manage and track projects. Find a system that works for you and go with it. Constantly changing systems confuses employees, and wastes a lot of time to learn new software. Using online time-tracking, you will see a clear status of the project.
Be a role model.
As a manager, you need to be a role model for effective time management. If you were not a special employee, your employees would not care about time management techniques.
Provide training opportunities.
Provide training sessions to boost time management techniques and encourage staff to participate in them. Take part in these educational opportunities with them to show how important time management is to you.