Time management is an essential skill, especially in a workplace setting but also in the home and throughout many aspects of your life. By planning ahead, creating shortcuts for yourself and getting a handle on the things that take up more of your time than necessary, you can free more time to focus on the important things. Here are a few of our favorite time saving tips to better manage your time:
1. Create Templates Is there something in your life you do often? Thank you cards, weekly reminder emails, monthly presentations, etc.? All these can benefit from a time-saving template. Create a fill-in-the-blank template for each of your common tasks and you can easily shave time off your workday.
2. Block distractions The state of mind known as “flow” is terrific for getting a lot done in a short period of time, but it’s nearly impossible to achieve when being bombarded by distractions. Eliminate common distractions from your concentrated work hours by using things like headphones, website blockers, and screentime limiters. Close email and instant messaging apps, too – even if they’re work-related they can still distract you and pull you out of flow.
3. Maximize use of your commute with audiobooks and podcasts The drive to and from work can seem like a bit of a waste – whether it’s a ten-minute drive, two hours of gridlock traffic or an hour-long bus ride – but it’s actually a great time to get some learning in through an educational audiobook on the way in to work or decompress with a comedy podcast on the way home.
4. Find the time management strategy that works best for you For some people, the To-Do List is king of the game when it comes to tracking tasks and goals at work; for others the Pomodoro Technique (25-minute chunks of work separated by 5 minute breaks, with longer breaks between sets of four) is the way to work; and yet others prefer the 4 quadrant time management matrix which breaks tasks down by urgency and importance. There are lots of time management strategies out there – take a minute to research commonly used techniques, test them out on your own, and pick the one that works best for you and your workload.
Good time management skills are essential, but they can also be learned. We hope some of these tips will help you on your business journey!