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Five Tips to Mastering Time Management

Everyday we are each allotted 24 hours. And while at first this seems like a lot, once you factor in the time you spend asleep or at work, you’re left with little time to accomplish everything else on your to-do list.

Thankfully there are several ways you can manage your time to ensure you’re making the most out of each day.

In this blog we’ll be outlining 5 different time management techniques you can use to increase productivity.

What is time management

Time management is the process of organizing and planning your time towards your priorities.

Despite what you may have heard about time management, it’s not about cramming more tasks onto your to-do-list. It’s about organizing your days so that they reflect the things that are most important to you.

Now that you’re familiar with what time management looks like, let’s dive into five techniques that will help you organize your day more efficiently.

Create a time audit

Humans are notorious for overestimating how much time they work and underestimating how much time they spend on distractions.

For a better understanding of how you’re spending your days, you can track your time using an app like Toggl or RescueTime. Both allow you to track your daily activities and view detailed insights. After a week of using the app, you’ll be able to see where you’re spending most of your time and where you need to make adjustments.

Set a time limit for each task

A timer is a procrastinators kryptonite. There is something about seeing a timer count down that really prompts you to work faster with more focus.

Setting a time limit drives productivity as we often allow our tasks to expand to fit the time they’re given. Even though you have all day to complete a report, doesn’t mean you need all this time to complete it. Next time you’re checking your emails, only give yourself 15 minutes. You’ll be surprised at how much you’re able to get done when you put a time limit on your to-dos.

Plan ahead

After waking up in the morning, your first thought may be to just start working. But without a plan in place, you might end up spending too much time on tasks that aren’t urgent.

To avoid this misuse of time, plan ahead. Whether you plan a week or day ahead is up to you. But organizing your workspace and making a list of your most important tasks will surely help guide you in the right direction.

Spend mornings completing your most important tasks

Taking care of your most important tasks first thing in the morning is another way to become more productive with your time.

It’s no secret that most of us are more enthusiastic and energetic in the morning so why not take advantage of this? Eliminating challenging tasks early on will also make the rest of your day feel a lot easier.

Apply the 80/20 rule

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, was created by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. The concept asserts that 20 percent of activities will account for 80 percent of results.

At the core, it’s encouraging us to place greater focus on the things that matter the most, specifically tasks that help us reach our goals.

To use this method, start by looking at your schedule or to-do-list. Eliminate or delegate any tasks that aren’t instrumental in achieving your key results or goals. 

Eliminate distractions

Distractions come in many forms, from a cellphone that keeps lighting up with notifications to a work environment that’s echoing with co-workers.

Regardless of what they look like, they can turn a simple 20-minute task into one that exceeds an hour. Eliminating these distractions, to the best of your ability, will help you focus and improve your performance.

So, next time you’re trying to get work done, do yourself a favour, turn off your phone or turn on do not disturb mode. You’ll be blown away by how much time you save from this simple tip.

Tom Chopp is Managing Partner at SWS Warning Lights Inc. He can be reached at 905-357-0222 or tom@warninglightsinc.com

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