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Useful Time Management Tools And Tips To Gain More Time

Useful Time Management Tools And Tips To Gain More Time

Have you ever had the feeling that time runs out so fast and you can’t finish everything on time? Or sometimes you have a super long to-do list and you have no idea where to start with?

You’re not alone.

Fortunately there are a lot of time management tools that can help. And we’ve also prepared some practical time management tips plus some common mistakes people make.

Time management tools

Toggl: Keep track of your time

    Forget about the traditional timesheet. Toggl is the best tool for you to keep track of your time spent on different tasks. It consists of a timer and a dashboard which gives you an overview of how much time you have spent for different tasks in the past week.

    Panda Focus Mode: Stay Focused On Your Tasks

      Panda Focus Mode is an extension for you to stay focused on your daily tasks. You can simply enter your tasks to be finished on the day and then whenever you open a new tab, you will immediately see them as a reminder.

      Hocus Focus: Hide your inactive windows automatically

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        If you always open many apps and they often distract you from your work, you should try Hocus Focus. It is a Mac menu bar utility that hides your inactive windows.

        Forest: To beat internet addiction

          Forest is an interesting app that helps you to beat Internet addiction. When you press the button to plant a tree, you can’t switch to another app unless you give it up. It helps you to make good use of 30-minutes to fully concentrate on your work and finish it effectively.

          Trello: Organize Your Tasks Well

            Trello is a productive app allows a team of people to monitor on the same task together. You can categorize different tasks according to their natures. Everything is just at a glance.

            TimeTree: A neat overview of your schedule

              TimeTree is a user-friendly app allows you to arrange your schedule with your friends and family. You can share events with them so that you can discuss and confirm plans together. Sorting your schedules by updates allows you to review any updates instantly.

              Wunderlist: Clear to-do list with reminders

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                Are you looking for an app which allows you to create a comprehensive to-do list? Wunderlist might be the answer. It allows you to create different to-do lists and you can even add hashtags on each item of the lists.

                Todoist: Distraction-free to do list

                  Todoist has a simple and distraction-free design for you to stay focused and motivated. By breaking big tasks into smaller sub-tasks with multi-level, you can organize and review tasks in a better way. You can also easily add due dates using normal language, such as “monday at 2pm”.

                  Noizio: Ambient background sounds

                    Perhaps sometimes the noise of surroundings is the reason why you find it difficult to focus on your work. Here’s the solution: creating an ambient background sounds to find your comfort. You can even mix the sounds on your own.

                    Best time management tricks

                    Apart from the tools, there are also a number of tips that can make us much more productive.

                    Spend The First 90 Minutes On The Most Important Task

                    As our brain are most active in the morning, we should spend the first 90 minutes of the day on the most important task so that we can finish it efficiently. Stop doing trivial matters like scrolling the to-do list or checking emails in the morning. You would miss the golden time of getting things done.

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                    Have A Timesheet To Keep Track Of What You Have Done

                    A timesheet is the simplest and perhaps the best tool to have a clear picture of what you have done in each time slot.

                    By dividing your day into different time slots and filling in what you have done, you can compare the reality and the expectation. Did you finish your task as expected? Or did you spend too much time on it? And why? You might also see how much you have improved on your efficiency day by day.

                    Create A Stop-doing List

                    Instead of a to-do list, which most people have, a world-class productive person should have a stop-doing list.

                    You might find yourself spending too much time on things that don’t really matter. That’s probably the key to manage your time in a better way and become more efficient. Stop scrolling social media at work and quit doing all those meaningless things. These might be the items you would write on your list.

                    Set Time Limit

                    Work expands itself if we allocate more time to a task. That’s what the Pakinson’s law about. In other words, as Cyril Northcote Parkinson writes, [1]

                    If you give yourself a week to complete a one day task, then (psychologically speaking) the task will increase in complexity and become more daunting so as to fill that week.

                    So set time limit. If you can finish a task within an hour, then next time, try to finish it with 50 minutes. By allocating less time to a task, you would gradually figure out the actual time needed for you to finish it without wasting any time.

                    Identify Your Peak Hours And Schedule The Most Important Tasks For Those Hours

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                    Everyone has different working patterns. What’s important is to identify your own peak hours.

                    Our brain has limited attention span and it varies among people. So it’s important to organize your day around your body’s natural rhythms. Try to schedule your most important task for this period and work on minor tasks during your non-peak times. For example, arrange an appointment with a client during your peak hours and check emails during your non-peak times.

                    And Here Are The Don’ts:

                    Make Checking Email The First Thing To Do At Work

                    Checking email seems to be the vert first thing you have to do at work. But that’s not the case.

                    It is not the most important thing at work and it gives you an illusion that you’re achieving something. Think about it: what have you achieved actually after marking all emails read? Probably you have something more important to work on.

                    Multitask And Think That Would Make You More Efficient

                    Some people believe multitasking do work. But expert tells us that it brings harm to our brain: [2]

                    In fact, multitasking was found to increase the production of cortisol, a stress hormone, as well as adrenaline, which can overstimulate the brain and cause “mental fog”.

                    Put simply, the more information you have to handle, the less time you have to give it the thought it deserves. When you enter a “mental fog”, you start making poor decisions or responding irrationally. So don’t try to do research for an article and write it at the same time. This probably takes you a longer time.

                    Not Taking Breaks

                    Taking breaks is not a waste of time. In fact, it boosts our productivity.

                    As we know our brain has a limited attention span, there is no use in working for consecutively for a long period. After an hour or two, we begin to lose focus. That’s the time for you to take a little short break and give your brain some fresh air to recharge. Have a cup of tea or grab some snacks to eat. The valuable down-time enables you to think creatively and work effectively.

                    It is fair for everyone. Regardless of age, gender, occupation, and anything, everyone has 24 hours a day. But why some people can do that much within just a single day? The key is time management. With suitable tools and smart tricks, you can maximize your productivity and succeed in whatever your goal is.

                    Reference

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                    Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                    25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                    25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

                    Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

                    Or even better:

                    What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

                    You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

                    Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

                    How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

                    The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

                    In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

                    • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
                    • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
                    • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

                    As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

                    Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

                    Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

                    But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

                    his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

                    5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

                    Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

                    But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

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                    1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
                    2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
                    3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
                    4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
                    5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

                    Who can use Excel shortcuts?

                    There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

                    • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
                    • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
                    • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
                    • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

                    Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

                    With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

                    25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

                    Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

                    1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

                    If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

                    2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

                    If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

                    If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

                    3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

                    Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

                    =sum(

                    …and then press F3.

                    When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

                    4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

                    Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

                    =match(

                    …and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

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                    When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

                    But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

                    5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

                    If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

                    • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
                    • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
                    • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
                    • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
                    • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

                    6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

                    By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

                    The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

                    For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

                    A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

                    7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

                    When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

                    8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

                    When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

                    9. Use filtering

                    Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

                    It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

                    To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

                    10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

                    Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

                    Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

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                    To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

                    11. See formula results with F9

                    If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

                    Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

                    12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

                    If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

                    13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

                    Here’s how to use EDATE:

                    =EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

                    =EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

                    14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

                    Here’s how to use EMONTH:

                    =EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

                    =EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

                    15. Remove spaces with TRIM

                    TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

                    16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

                    In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

                    17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

                    When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

                    And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

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                    18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

                    If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

                    19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

                    Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

                    You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

                    20. Use data validation

                    This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

                    • Create dependent drop-down lists;
                    • Create drop-down lists;
                    • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

                    21. Use conditional formatting

                    It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

                    22. Use formula auditing

                    This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

                    The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

                    23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

                    Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

                    It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

                    24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

                    INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

                    25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

                    OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

                    The bottom line

                    As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

                    That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

                    If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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