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20 Quick Time Management Tips For Really Busy People

20 Quick Time Management Tips For Really Busy People

Do you wish you could manage your time more effectively? Many people struggle to do everything that they want to during the day. It can be even more difficult if you are busy and have other priorities. However, a few simple time-management methods can help you to find more time in the day – check out these 20 quick time management tips for really busy people.

1. Start tracking how you spend your time

Every day for a week, track your work and your spare time and see how long you spend on different tasks. When you look over how you track your time, you may notice that some activities take much longer than you expected. This can help when scheduling and prioritizing.

2. Do your work in chunks

Break your working day down into hour-and-a-half-hour chunks, and assign different tasks to these chunks. This will help you to stay focused and less overwhelmed by your work.

3. Schedule some empty time

Make sure to schedule some empty space for thinking or possible interruptions. This will help you to stay on top of your work without stressing, and it means you are less likely to feel like you are falling behind.

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4. Erase any distractions

If you struggle with social media distracting you, consider downloading Cold Turkey, an app that can block social media websites temporarily while you work.

5. Don’t be chained to your email inbox

If it is going to be a busy work day, ignore email completely for a few hours so you can focus on finishing off your other, more important tasks.

6. Prioritize your tasks

Choose three things every day that you must complete, and don’t leave until they are finished.  Prioritizing will help you to make sure you have a productive day.

7. Schedule your weekly priorities

At the beginning of the week, choose your top five priorities for the week, then decide how much time should be spent on each.

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8. Tidy your workspace

Keep your working space tidy – one of the biggest office time killers is searching for misplaced objects.

9. Track your time

Continue to track and evaluate the time you spend working on different tasks. Use the results to work out if you are working effectively, and note which bad habits suck up your time the most.

10. Schedule time between tasks

Take some time to yourself between your tasks and restart before you can get distracted. Remember that taking a break isn’t about slacking, it’s about recharging.

11. Do things that you can start easily first thing

If you struggle to get started with a task at the beginning of the day, switch to a task you can immediately and easily start. Once you are in the working zone, other tasks will be easier for you to start and complete.

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12. Start your work day by planning the whole day out

Start working once you know exactly how your whole day will be spent – planning out your day will actually save you time as you always know what you need to do next.

13. Use your commute wisely

Do some tasks while you travel to work. If you’re on the train, you can check your emails. If you are driving, you can make hands-free phone calls. This saves you time once you arrive at the office.

14. Focus on one task at a time

Most people actually struggle to multitask and often waste time when they try. Stick to one thing at a time to maximize your productivity.

15. Send others what they need to prep for meetings

If you set meetings, share the agenda with your co-workers in advance so they can prepare questions or comments. This saves everyone time and makes the meeting more efficient.

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16. Learn to say “no”

Say no to any extra tasks that may disrupt your work schedule. It may feel like you are being rude, but your ultimate priority is to have a productive day. If you feel guilty, offer to help with the task once you have finished with your other projects.

17. Batch similar tasks

If you have related tasks, batch them together to increase your efficiency.

18. Break up your tasks

Break up more difficult tasks with smaller, easier ones. This will help your mind to stay fresh — avoiding that feeling of being mentally exhausted.

19. Take breaks

Stretch your legs every two hours – both your body and your mind will appreciate the break.

20. Use easy tasks to get working

Remember that the best way to be productive is to get working. If you are struggling, start with the easiest task to get you into the working mindset.

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

Let me guess.

You should be doing something else rather than reading this article. But due to some unknown force of nature, you decided to procrastinate by reading an article about how to hack procrastination. You deserve a pat on the back.

Fortunately, procrastination is not a disease. It’s just a mindset that can be changed, however, here are some productivity tips you need to start getting work done:

First, you need to acknowledge that procrastinating is an unhealthy habit. Not only you’re prioritizing unimportant things, basically, nothing gets done. Still unsure if you’re a procrastinator? Check out this article: Types of Procrastination (And How To Fix Procrastination And Start Doing)

Second, your commitment to change is very important. You should be physically, emotionally, and mentally determined to change this habit. If not, then you’ll just succumb to the tempting lure of doing other things rather than your tasks or chores.

Here are sthe best productivity hacks to improve productivity and keep yourself from procrastinating at work:

1. Give (10+2)*5 a Try

Let’s start with a classic but very effective hack called (10+2)*5 created by Merlin Mann,[1] author of 43Folders.com. Don’t worry. This is not a complicated Mathematical formula you need to solve.

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The (10+2)*5 simply means 10 minutes work + 2 minutes break multiplied by 5, completing 1 hour. It is crucial to stick with the time limits and not skipping work and break schedules. The point of this is for you to create a jam-packed routine of work and break schedules. The result? You will eventually skip your break schedules.

2. Use Red and Blue More Often

Clean your desk and remove things that might distract you. According to a Science Daily study[2] about which colors improve brain performance, red was found out to increase attention to details while blue sparks creativity. Surrounding your workplace with these colors not only benefits your brain, it’s also pleasing to the eye.

3. Create a Break Agenda

List all the things you want to do on your break, be it surfing the web, checking your emails, snack time, taking selfies, Facebook/Twitter—everything.

Like the (10+2)*5 hack, squeeze these in between work time but the difference is you schedule these activities for ONLY 20 minutes. Eventually, you’ll take your break minutes wisely. You’re finishing tasks while sidetracking to doing the things you enjoy.

4. Set a Timetable for Your Tasks

Like any other habits, procrastinating is a tough wall to break. Replace this habit with another habit. When you’re assigned a task, set a timetable for each step. Let’s say you have a big research task. Here’s a sample timetable:

9:00 – 9:10 am – Set up all your tools, browser tabs, emails, coffee, etc..
9:10 – 10:00 am – Internet research
10:00 – 10:45 am – Look through existing files
10:45 – 11:00 am – Break time!
11:00 – 12:00 pm – Outline the research report

Deadlines are the best hack for getting things done. Setting a specific time to finish a task creates time pressure even if the deadline has passed.

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5. Take It Outside!

Do yourself a favor and don’t ruin the comfy vibe of your home. If you need to work on a stressful project, do it in a library or coffee shop. You’ll never finish it anyway. Your cozy sofa and toasty bed will just lure you into napping yourself to doom.

6. Become Productively Lazy

Instead of finding all sorts of ways to unproductively procrastinate, use your habit to look for shortcuts and new ways to finish your tasks. Staple multiple papers at a time or master the 3-second t-shirt folding technique. A strong drive combined with laziness sometimes bring out the productive and creative side you never knew you have!

7. Assign a ‘Task Deputy’

It could be your colleague, your supervisor, or your significant other, anyone who has the unforgiving guts to reprimand you when you procrastinate. You could go the extra mile by paying up unfinished tasks or times you open your Facebook or watch a funny cat video on YouTube. Let’s see how five bucks every time you procrastinate will change you.

8. Consider a Gadget-Free Desk

According to a study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, average users check on their phones 150 times per day and having your phone just an elbow away just creates sizzle to this habit.[3]

Removing mobile devices and gadgets allows you to focus on your work without the constant interruption from notifications, calls, and text messages. It eliminates the very distracting ambiance and the urge to unlock your phone just because.

9. Prepping the Night

Before hitting the sack to oblivion, prepare everything you’ll need the next day. This will probably take you 15 minutes tops, saving you more time for coffee in the morning.

Spin class at am? Pack up your gym clothes, shoes, socks, etc. or better, create a checklist so you don’t miss anything. You can also prep your food into containers and just grab one before leaving.

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10. Do a 7-Minute Workout in the Morning

Exercising is proven to increase productivity and stimulate release of endorphin or “Happy Hormones”.

Take a jog outdoors and get warmed up for the day. Don’t feel like running outside? Hop on a treadmilli. It’s a great investment and there are a lot of ways you can use a treadmill like endurance running and metabolism training. On a budget? Here’s a 7 minute, no-equipment needed workout you can do at home:

11. Set-up Mini Tasks

If you’re given a big project, break it down into mini tasks. Create a checklist and start with the easy ones until you finish. Got an article to write? Just start with the title and the first sentence. Or perhaps you have a visual presentation to make?

Spend 15 minutes on your outline, take five minutes coffee break, then finish the first two slides. Accomplishing something, no matter how tiny, still gives you that sense of fulfillment.

12. Create an Inspirational Board or Reminder

I found these mini desk chalkboards from Etsy you can use to write motivating quotes.

Or you know what? Simply write “Do it now!” and stare at it for 10 seconds every time you feel like dropping by on Reddit.

13. Redecorate Your Room

Redecorating my room motivates me to maintain that ‘new’ look for some time until I get use to it and eventually stop. So I redecorate again and again, it became a monthly habit really. Here are some DIY ideas you can do to any room without spending much.

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14. Ready Your Nibbles

You know that trip to the pantry? It’s just seconds away but it took you several minutes just to get your fruit snacks in the fridge. Before starting a task, prepare your nibbles on your desk to avoid zoning out and losing yourself on the way to the pantry.

Bonus productivity hacks you can do at home:

15. Schedule Your Chores

Write down your chores in a weekly basis with matching day and time when you should be doing these.

For the artsy folks, you can create fun chore charts like these or simply stick the list somewhere visibly annoying e.g. mirrors, doors, TV. The trick is listing as many chores as you can for the week and including unfinished chores the following week. Who likes seeing a long list of chores first thing in the morning?

More Tips to Overcome Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

Reference

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