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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

Top 15 Management Skills Successful Managers Have

Top 15 Management Skills Successful Managers Have

Not all managers succeed at management. Harvard Business Review notes that the job of a manager is to take an individual’s talent and turn it into performance.[1]

While this is a pretty simple way to look at it, it’s true. The best managers are the ones that can turn your potential into actuality. To do this, they need to leverage some special skills of their own.

As a manager, you undoubtedly have questions about whether you’re doing “the right thing” when it comes to the employees you’re tasked with handling.

What if you could learn how to become the kind of manager that your employees look back on fondly and remember gracefully? The sort of manager that leaves behind them a legacy? To do so requires understanding the vital skills that successful managers use and how you can apply them to your workplace.

Are you ready to see the essential management skills that top managers leverage to leave their mark on the workplace?

1. Communication

Communication means more than just speaking or writing a killer memo. The art of communication also encompasses listening, reading, and understanding what’s being said, and it is one of the most essential management skills. The Houston Chronicle states that proper communication between workers and employees is essential for a well-functioning workplace.[2]

Some people think being an excellent communicator is a skill you’re either born with or not. But here’s the rub: Improving your communication skills usually comes from developing the different parts of that skill.

You should improve your listening skills by paying attention to what employees are saying. Employees who feel like management listens to them become more engaged with their job.

When speaking, you should organize your thoughts. Carry around a scratch-pad or mini-notebook to help you logically outline your thought process. Be aware of who you’re communicating with. Some employees prefer certain types of communication methods to others. Making them comfortable is a huge step towards being a better communicator.

Finally, learn about non-verbal cues in communication. Practice matching your verbal and nonverbal cues, so you don’t send mixed messages. Communication doesn’t have to be challenging. All you need to remember is that you’re speaking to another individual.

2. Decision-Making

Managers need to be decisive. In some companies, the delay of a few minutes could cost the business a lot. Some managers “fake it till they make it,” but this doesn’t help you gain your team’s respect. Good decision-making is an essential management skill for a company to thrive.

There are ways to become more decisive as a manager, however.

Always make decisions. Second-guessing yourself is part of the human condition. Science Daily mentions a study from Florida State University that shows us that second-guessing ourselves is a surefire way to remain unhappy.[3]

If you want to be more decisive, you need to make decisions. Whether those decisions lead to positive outcomes or not shouldn’t matter at that point. The decisiveness comes from taking action.

Action always beats planning into oblivion. Take action, even if you don’t have the perfect solution. In most cases, that ideal solution doesn’t exist.

Lastly, to improve your decision making, you need to focus on the direction that a decision takes you, not the end goal. Foresight is a characteristic of a great leader, but when you make a decision, you should be looking at what’s in front of you, not what you might be facing next week.

3. Delegation

No manager can run an entire department by himself or herself. Delegation is a necessary skill for ensuring that the department gets its work done.

Most managers have a secret, though: They don’t know how to delegate appropriately.

See, delegation isn’t just about assigning someone a task. It’s about knowing what an employee is best at doing and giving them a job that aligns with their abilities. Luckily, there are ways that you can improve your delegation skills as a manager.

Know your staff and what they’re capable of. For managers that have been in charge of a department for a while, this is easy. Learning the skills of a new department may be harder, but it’s a necessary bridge to cross. Knowing what your staff can do will inform you of what tasks suit them best.

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You should explain why you’re delegating that task to the employee. However, telling someone that you trust them without giving them all the details of a job qualifies as sending mixed signals. Show them that you trust them to do what’s right by sharing all the information with them.

The department should never throw an employee into the deep end when it comes to a new task. Always provide adequate training and resources to get the job done.

Most importantly, provide feedback to the employee. This feedback could be either constructive criticism or praise, but let them know that you’re doing this to help them learn from the task. The next time around, the process of delegating might be a lot easier for you.

4. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is how well a manager connects to his or her employee base and is an often overlooked management skill. Psychology Today defines emotional intelligence as the ability to spot and manage your own emotions while still understanding others’ feelings.[4]

Here’s a strange fact:

In the past, the ability to empathize with one’s staff wasn’t seen as a prerequisite to being a good manager. Society has since realized that an employee’s mental well-being is as important as his or her physical well-being.

Managers who display emotional intelligence have high levels of self-awareness. This trait helps them to understand how their emotions impact those around them. They also show self-regulation. The human mind can handle several emotions at once, but separating one from another is a skill not many have. This trait makes a manager able to handle challenging situations confidently.

All of these traits stem from empathy, and that’s a skill that you can practice. Listening and talking with your staff can help you to develop deep compassion for their individual conditions.

5. Teamwork

A business is never about a single individual but a group working together as a team. Managers need to head up this team but also understand how teamwork benefits employees’ individual skills.

A little-understood fact is that successful teamwork begins with the individual. Gallup mentions a direct correlation between employee engagement and positive outcomes for a business, including higher productivity and lower turnover.[5]

For managers focused on building teamwork, they need to understand their team’s strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, they should approach the job as a leader, not a boss. Employees respect managers that work alongside them instead of directing them in a hands-off manner.

Managers have a responsibility to their teams to let them know what the expected outcome of a job is and how to best approach it. The team environment that facilitates the group’s success starts with the manager.

6. Transparency

People put a lot of stock into trusting another person. Employees always prefer management that’s transparent and accountable because it gives them faith in the business’s management structure. Transparency creates a different level of connection between employees and managers.

Sadly, a grim reality exists: Not many managers see transparency as a vital trait in management.

Fast Company notes that many managers avoid being transparent because they think it impacts their authority.[6] Nothing could be further from the truth.

Managers who see transparency as a necessary trait can seek to improve how they interact with their staff. Communication is an essential element in ensuring transparency within the workplace. Managers must communicate the department’s goals and vision so that all employees are on the same page.

Feedback should be welcome. Employees who believe that their contribution matters to shaping the company will be more likely to share. These contributions may contain suggestions that could help the business achieve its goals much faster.

Finally, managers who want to ensure that transparency is a crucial part of their department should institute an accountability system. Accountability goes hand in hand with transparency, and by making members of the department accountable to each other, you foster a spirit of camaraderie that’s hard to break.

7. Mentoring

Mentoring is a management skill with high potential. People never forget their most impactful mentors. New employees or interns will see managers as the kind of person they want to be like. Mentoring is more than just teaching someone the ropes and hoping that they understand what you expect of them.

There’s a critical element to mentoring that most managers miss: Mentoring grows the mentee’s skills and personality.

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There are a few things that managers can tap into to improve the quality of their mentoring. Mentorship depends on developing an authentic connection between the manager and the employee. That human connection goes a long way towards helping the employee relax, which, in turn, impacts their learning and performance.

Setting goals and boundaries that are achievable is also an excellent way to build mentorship. By taking the process of teaching in stages, a mentor can guide the employee and correct their actions as they go along. Small corrections are more comfortable to implement than trying to divert the mentee’s entire course over a large project.

Mentorship is based on trust. Managers that want to improve their mentorship skills need to earn the trust of their employees. Building trust will build your mentorship skills as well. No matter how far up the hierarchy an employee gets, they never forget their first mentor.

8. Presentation Skills

Most of us know that, as managers, a lot of our job centers on presentations. Whether it’s telling the higher-ups about the department’s finances or in-office meetings where we try to explain the latest developments in the field, we’re surrounded by presentations.

While many managers think that being skilled at presentation means learning how to use PowerPoint, they miss a crucial distinction: Presentations are only partially about the data.

Excellent presentations should engage the audience and prompt discussion. Improving your presentation skills starts with knowing your audience. Your presentation should connect with your core audience and teach them something new.

No one likes an unprepared presenter, so having a plan and following it to completion is essential. When speaking, you should always try to make eye-contact with members of the audience. A sense of humor won’t go amiss and might encourage some members of the audience to lighten up. These steps can help you develop a presentation that viewers will remember and, more importantly, engage with.

For a manager, a presentation shouldn’t be a dry delivery of data but a method of engaging with staff and developing discussion about a work-related topic.

9. Anger Management

We all fly off the handle sometimes. Managers are in a tight spot because losing their temper in the office could not only lead to gossip but could threaten their position as well. Some managers think that the best way to deal with anger management is to keep it to themselves.

Managers with this point of view misunderstand a vital part of anger management. Keeping your anger bottled up does nothing to manage it. The BBC states a slew of health issues related to bottling up one’s anger.[7] That’s why anger management is an important management skill.

Instead of burying it, managers should instead seek to manage their anger. But how?

Most companies either have psychologists or psychiatrists on retainers for staff. Even if your company doesn’t, you can contact HR to make arrangements for you.

Spotting the problem and seeking to deal with it is a sign of strength, not weakness. Taking a time-out to sort through your emotions is also something you should look at. Letting emotions boil over can be dangerous and might lead to rash actions.

Similarly, if you have a problem with another employee or staff member, communicating that problem and working through it together is another way forward.

Anger management isn’t just a managerial skill but can be a useful tool for your everyday life as well.

10. Strategic Thinking

The best managers in the world have always been generals. Strategic thinking allows you to consider all the different facets of a situation and decide how to approach it to achieve the best results.

It’s common to find successful managers who remember this fact:

Strategic thinking suggests a proactive approach to running a department or office. Strategic thinkers within management tend to see the big picture and deal with preventing problems before they arise.

To be a better strategic thinker, you’ll need to spot trends. Whether it’s in business culture or employee behavior, spotting these trends gives you information that’s readily available, but that others routinely overlook.

To think strategically, you’ll need to ask tough questions. There’s a distinct difference between asking hard questions and asking obtuse ones. Hard questions have uncomfortable answers. Obtuse questions don’t have answers but frustrate your peers.

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When you speak as a strategic thinker, it’s evident that you value strategy. Identify issues and break down your solutions into easy-to-achieve steps.

Most importantly, take action. Strategic thinking helps you to be more decisive by doing things with imperfect information. The benefit is that you’re more aware of how those actions will impact the company.

The art of strategic thinking will benefit other skills. Knowing when and how to thin strategically gives you an edge on others, one that’s plain to see.

11. Problem Solving

We’re not talking about Rubik’s cubes here. Managers are faced with all sorts of problems, and for you to deal with them effectively, you need to be a master at problem-solving. Problem-solving is probably one of the most important management skills excellent managers possess.

Many managers who think they’re great at problem-solving miss a crucial element of this skill: Effective problem solvers make life easier for the rest of the teams.

They remove frustration and confusion as well as alleviate misunderstandings within the workplace. An effective problem solver doesn’t defer the problem to somewhere else – they approach the issue and its related factors head-on.

To be a better problem-solver as a manager, you should first identify problems affecting the team. Those problems might be external (in the company or the outside world) or internal (between team members). After identifying the issues, Break it down into more manageable parts. Analysis of the problem allows you to sift through the elements of the problem and find the root. Locating the source gives you a chance to develop and implement solutions that address that problem.

The key to being a problem solver is to remember that solving the problem’s symptoms doesn’t fix the problem. To solve a problem ultimately requires you to address the root of the issue.

12. Embracing Change

Change is scary, but it’s also exciting. Successful managers know how significant change and adaptation is to the workplace. If you encourage your employees to embrace change, you can adapt your team to any challenge.

Even so, all successful managers must be wary of a significant pitfall: Not all change is positive.

As a smart manager, you should know that implementing change for the sake of change won’t end well. However, implementing change to shake up a workplace can have dire consequences if you don’t think it through enough.

Improving your attitude towards change might require you to think differently about bringing change into the workplace. Implementing change should take input from your staff. Making them part of the decision will ease the transition.

If you’ve decided on a change, the faster you implement it, the better it’ll be for the organization. Be firm but flexible in bringing about this change. If some factors need to be addressed, do so immediately before they brew discontent among your team.

Management needs to be positive about change. As the leader in your department, you’re an example to the others who follow you. Staying positive, even in the face of challenges, will help the rest of your staff stay the course through the uncertain transitional period.

13. Promoting Innovation

There are better, faster, and more efficient ways of doing things, but many companies have a hard time accepting innovation. The problems with innovative solutions stem from managers that are afraid of new approaches to doing things.

The most detrimental way of thinking for a manager encompasses a single thought: If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

Innovative managers see new approaches or cutting-edge hardware and software as elements that could improve productivity and help employees be more efficient. Softwares such as Wave Invoicing or Wave Accounting are both online platforms that innovative managers would see as a boon.

To develop the skill of promoting innovation, you need to be able to spot the things that others don’t see. As much as we hate to admit it, problems with efficiency exist throughout our organization. Listen to the complaints of team members, and dissect their issues. Search around for similar issues and how other companies solved them.

Innovative thinking starts from within the team. Listening is a crucial ability that can help you refine this skill.

14. Critical Thinking

Everyone fancies themselves a critical thinker until it’s time to do critical thinking. The art of thinking critically helps us organize information in our heads so that we can make a reasoned decision.

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Most managers make a dire mistake when it comes to critical thinking: They believe that you need all the information to make a duly reasoned decision.

That’s not strictly true. In fact, critical thinking can help you make decisions with incomplete information that’s still logically sound.

Developing your critical thinking requires you to appreciate a problem from different perspectives. Your team can help you here, especially if you managed to build a rapport with them as a mentor or through transparent communication.

You should suspend your emotions when looking at the problem. Emotional responses tend to cloud logical judgment. Look for the best possible outcome given the situation.

Will it lead to harm for one or more employees? Would it be easier to deal with this in another manner?

The answers to these questions can help inform your decisions.

Critical thinking might make it seem like you need to look for the most complicated solution, but that’s a misconception. Sometimes, critical thinking helps you spot the most natural solution. You might even be pleasantly surprised that you missed it before.

15. Appreciation

All human beings enjoy when their contributions are appreciated. As a manager, your praise could be the reward or the motivation to help an employee be more productive. Appreciation can help to lift the spirits of an entire department.

Those who have this management skill always keep this in mind: All appreciation needs to be genuine.

Other skills like mentorship and transparency help build trust, but a poorly placed appreciative statement can erode all of that goodwill. It’s also important to remember that appreciation isn’t the same as recognition.

Appreciation is telling an employee they did a good job. Recognition is just giving an employee the nod for being involved.

Helping employees understand your appreciation can benefit from the department’s workplace culture. Don’t just focus on the significant actions, but look at the small ones as well. Understand the behavior and quirks of your staff. It’s a lot easier for them to accept your appreciation in their own “language” than yours.

Finally, don’t ask employees for their appreciation. If you earn it, you’ll get it. Instead, focus on appreciating employees and showing them why the department values their contributions.

Appreciation can be a powerful motivator for some employees. Your appreciation for their efforts can help them feel more welcome and engaged within the workplace.

Being the Best Manager

The term “best” can mean many things. Do you want to be the most memorable manager that your department has ever seen? Maybe you would prefer to be a leader that the organization will tell tales about long after you’ve gone.

What you define as “the best” can fall under several categories. However, being the best manager you can be is something different altogether.

These management skills provide a way to become a better leader of people – not a corporate automaton that does the bidding of the company but an actual, living, breathing, human being that understands others’ struggles.

Being the best manager doesn’t mean being the most productive or topping sales reports every quarter. It’s about being the most “human” manager that you can be and retaining your humanity throughout your career.

More Tips on Improving Your Management Skills

Featured photo credit: Jud Mackrill via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Chris Porteous

The CEO of Grey Smoke Media / My SEO Sucks, helping entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

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Last Updated on February 17, 2021

50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time

50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time

If you feel like you don’t have enough time to do everything you want to do, maybe it’s time to check-in with your time management skills.

No one is born to be very good at time management, so that’s okay if you think you’re bad in it. But everyone can learn to boost their productivity and achieve more!

Here are 50 ways to increase productivity and add hours to your day.

1. Set a Timer

Estimate the time you need to tackle different tasks and set a timer for each of your tasks. How you go about this is up to you as there are many different ways. There is the Pomodoro technique where you focus on a task for 25 minutes followed by a five minute break afterwards.

In the event that you have a task that will take much longer than that, you can consider one of the many timer-based apps. One that comes to mind is Clockify. It’s used for freelancers and entrepreneurs alike, however it’s a good way to be setting yourself a timer. It provides reports and you can serve as a project manager of sorts too. Best of all, it’s free.

2. Eliminate All Distractions

Distractions include the phone, email notifications and having multiple web browsers open on the desktop. Just as it’s important to be organized offline, it’s key to have things organized online as well. This free guide End Distractions And Find Your Focus is a good tool to help you. With this guide, you’ll learn how to get rid of distractions and boost productivity. Grab your free guide here.

You can also learn more on how to get rid of all distractions in this guide: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

3. Listen to Music That Boosts Productivity

Distractions should be avoided, but sometimes a bit of music in the background can help you focus.

Of course, it doesn’t need to be heavy rock music, but a bit of Beethoven may do you some good.

Here’s a complete guide to help you pick the right music for better productivity: How To Maximize Your Productivity With Music: A Complete Guide

4. Find Meaning in What You Do (And Love What You Do)

Enjoying what you do is the ultimate way to increase your productivity.

If you aren’t sure what you love doing yet, don’t worry. Leo Babauta has some unique ways to help you: How to Find Your Passion

5. Prioritize your tasks ahead of time.

By listing your tasks in order of importance, you can make sure that you finish all of your most important tasks during the day.

Learn a unique technique to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster.

6. Batch Similar Tasks into a Single Batch.

Tasks like blog writing, phone calls, email and errands can be grouped into a single batch. You will save time by completing similar tasks in one session. One way to help you with organizing all of those things is through the app Todoist. It’s an easy and simple way for you to plan out your day, set reminders, and group all of your most important tasks in a convenient spot.

7. Complete Your Most Dreaded Tasks First Thing in the Morning.

Whichever activity you are dreading the most is probably the one you need to complete first thing in the morning.

Many people tend to check emails in the morning because after checking a list of emails, they feel fulfilled. But that’s just an illusion of having achieved more.

Doing simple tasks like checking emails first in the morning is bad for you. Instead, do the difficult tasks because you have more energy in the morning to tackle them!

8. Reward Yourself for Finishing a Big Task

To stay motivated for whatever you do, reward yourself every now and then.

Keep track of your small wins and milestones and celebrate them. So whenever you struggle about your progress, you see how far you’ve come!

Find out more about this 2-Step Approach to Self-Motivation: Track Small Wins and Reward Yourself.

9. Don’t Multitask

Research has shown that multitasking is not productive. If you think you can multitask, think again.

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For optimum productivity, focus on one thing at a time.

10. Step Away from the Computer

The Internet has become one of the number one distraction. To increase your productivity, try to do as much of your work offline as possible.

I do this a lot when I try to brainstom new ideas and have found it to be very beneficial to simply unplug.

11. Use Focus Tools

Make good use of apps and technology to help you remove distractions.

Here’re 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools to help you stay focused. This way, you’re not distracted by the web, e-mail, or IM.

Also, join the free Fast-Track Class – Overcoming Distraction, and you’ll learn the one simple method to work even when you’re surrounded by distractions. Join the free session now!

12. Just Start

Often times, starting is the hardest part. People tend to wait for the perfect time with perfect condition to start. But there’s no perfect condition.

Once you get going, you will quickly get into a rhythm that could last for hours.

13. Find out Your Productive Hours

Everyone has a certain time of the day in which they are more productive than others. For me, it’s the morning.

Find out when your prime time is for productivity and optimize your work schedule accordingly.

14. Keep a Notebook and Pen on Hand at All Times

This way, you can write down your thoughts, to-dos and ideas at any time. The key is to get everything out of your head and onto paper. Your subconscious mind won’t be reminding you about it every other second. Another consideration is getting the app Evernote. Not only does this save you on ink and paper, Evernote is a convenient place for you to jot down notes and thoughts and then share them with the team. In certain circumstances, this can prove useful if you’re the type of person that has a lot of ideas that you want to share.

15. Write a Blog to Chronicle Your Own Personal Development and Achievements

The blog keeps you accountable and always working towards self improvement and personal growth.

When you write down all the small achievements you’ve been having, you’re also more motivated to move forward.

And you know what, this is how I started Lifehack too! What also helped me in starting Lifehack is WordPress, which allows people to set up a website for free. WordPress has simplified a lot of the process of building a site to the point that virtually anyone can build a website now.

16. Write out a To-Do-List Each Day

I like to plan my day the night before. This way, I can get started on my most important tasks as soon as I wake up. The Full Life Planner is a nice tool to help you organize your days and get things that matter done. Check out the planner here and start to plan your day ahead easily!

Make sure you don’t make any of these common to-do-list mistakes!

17. Write Your Most Important Tasks and To-Dos on a Calendar.

The key to good time management is knowing where to be and what to be doing there at any given time. Effective calendar management goes hand in hand with good task list management.

Learn here How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space.

18. Reflect on Your Productivity Constantly

As you go throughout your day, repeatedly ask yourself:

“Am I currently making the best possible use of my time?”

This one simple question can be an excellent boost to your productivity.

19. Get up Early Before Anyone Else

I know it could be difficult for some to wake up early in the morning but nothing beats a quiet house!

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Here’s How to Start Your Day at 5:00 AM and some Simple Things Early Risers Do to make waking up early easier.

20. Get Plenty of Sleep

When you work online, sleep can become a long lost memory. However, it’s important to get plenty of sleep so that your working hours can be as productive as possible.

Try out this night routine which I highly recommend for productivity: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

21. Exercise

Research has shown that midday exercise boosts productivity and morale in the workplace.

Take a short walk at lunch or do some simple stretches during your break to maximize your productivity.

Here I have some exercises recommendations for you:

22. Outsource as Much as Possible

If you want to achieve more in less time, learn to delegate or outsource work. Here are just a few of the companies that will help you outsource your everyday tasks:

Also, read this guide to learn how to delegate effectively: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

23. Set Some Exciting Goals

Without worthy goals, you will never be motivated to get things done.

Set goals that are challenging and achievable. The best goal setting framework is a SMART goal. That said, there are other tools that can help you out as well. For example, The Dreamers’ Guide To Reaching Your Goal is a great guide to help you set and reach goals effectively. Grab your free guide and learn how to make your goals happen this year!

24. Tell Other People About Your Goals

When you tell others about your goals, you will instantly be held accountable.

25. Listen to Podcasts

Listen to educational podcasts or audio books while you’re driving to work, cleaning the house, exercising, or cooking dinner.

Audio learning has the power to add hours to your day. Not to mention, your cranium is sure to thank you for it.

Some recommendations for you: 11 Podcasts To Inspire Yourself

26. Read David Allen’s best-selling book Getting Things Done

This is one of the most important productivity books you will ever read. Read it, apply the tips in your daily lives and get more things done.

Here’re more great books about productivity too: 35 Books on Productivity and Organizational Skills for an Effective Life

27. Learn to Speed Read

When you can read faster, you will read and learn more! Check out these 10 Ways to Increase Your Reading Speed.

You can also make use of the app OutRead to help speed up your reading speed!

28. Learn to Skip When You Read

When you’re reading a book, just read the parts that you need and skip the rest. But you have to read with a purpose.

Learn how to make it work here: How to Read 10X Faster and Retain More

29. Focus on Result-Oriented Activities

Pareto’s law (also known as the 80 20 rule) states that 80% of the outputs result from 20% of the inputs. This means that 20% of our actions result in 80% of the results.

We must find the 20% that is creating the 80% of our desired outcomes and focus solely on those activities.

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30. Take a Break

You can’t always be working at optimum productivity. Instead, you should shoot for working in short bursts at your most productive times.

31. Start a Polyphasic Sleep Schedule

What is polyphasic sleep?

Polyphasic sleep is a sleep pattern specification intended to compress sleep time to 2-5 hours daily.[1] This is achieved by spreading out sleep into short (around 20-45 minute) naps throughout the day. This allows for more waking hours with relatively high alertness.

While you can learn more about it here, you’re recommended to take some naps during the day to recharge your energy too.

32. Learn to Say “No”.

We can’t do everything and therefore we must learn when to say no in order to save our sanity.

Learn the Gentle Art of Saying No from Leo Babauta.

33. Go on an Information Diet

Most of the world lives on information overload. We must eliminate mindless Internet surfing.

Stop reading three different newspapers a day and checking your RSS feeds multiple times a day. Otherwise, you’ll never get anything done.

The key is to limit yourself only to information that you can immediately take action on. Here’re some simple tips you can try: 10 Simple Productivity Tricks To Manage Overloaded Information

34. Organize Your Office

The piles of paper around your desk can be a huge barrier on your productivity. Optimize your time by organizing your office, setting up a system and dumping the junk.

Check out these 21 Tips to Organize Your Office and Get More Done and 20 Easy Home Office Organization Ideas to Boost Your Productivity.

35. Find a Mentor

By modeling after those who have already achieved success, you will save yourself a lot of time and energy.

A good mentor is hard to find, so here’s a guide to help you: What to Look for in a Mentor

36. Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

With technology’s help, you can double your work efficiency. Even better, you learn all the shortcuts when using technology, for example keyboard shortcuts.

When you use keyboard shortcut, you gain 64 hours every year!

Not sure what shortcuts to lear? Check out these 22 Tricks That Can Make Anyone A Keyboard Ninja.

Besides learning the shortcuts, you can also create keyboard shortcuts with AutoHotKey.

37. Improve Your Typing Speed to Save Time

Do you know you can save 21 days per year just by typing fast?

You don’t really need to take some serious courses to type faster, try these typing games online:

38. Work from Home and Avoid the Daily Commute

If your job is a flexible one, consider working from home. This saves you the commute time and you’ll find yourself more energetic throughout the day as you have saved the long ride.

Take a look at these tips to help you stay productive while working from home:

How to Work from Home and Stay Ultra-Productive

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39. Get Rid of Time Wasters

Common time wasters include Instant Messenger, video games, Flickr, checking your stats 10 times a day, television and extraneous Internet surfing.

Don’t rely on your willpower, make use of some of these useful tools to help you stay focus: 10 Online Apps for Better Focus

40. Plan Your Meals in Advance

Plan out all of your meals a week ahead and make your grocery list accordingly. This allows you to focus on the necessary – saving you time and money. You can also save yourself even more time through a wide variety of apps. One app that I find helpful is Mealime. It’s an app that provides you with a wide selection of recipes and also a convenient spot for your grocery list as well.

Considering the fact that over 4 million users have this app, it goes to show that there is a good selection of meal plans that you can follow and that the app is friendly to use.

41. Cook Your Meals in Bulk

When you cook your meals in bulk, you will have plenty of leftovers. This can avoid having to cook everyday.

Find out more about how to make cooking in bulk works: Once a Month Cooking: Productivity Hack or Overrated Time Suck?

42. Protect Yourself from Unnecessary Phone Time with Caller ID

The minutes you spend on picking up unnecessary phone calls are time wasted. You can prevent that from happening.

Check out this detailed guide how you can deal with those unnecessary phone calls: How To Lose the Useless Items that Weigh Down Your Day – Cellphone Calls

43. Take Shorter Showers

This one may sound silly but it’s actually something I struggle with. I spend up to 30 minutes in the shower. Think of the time I could save simply by speeding up a bit.

44. Save the Trips to Bank by Taking Direct Deposit

Many employers now offer direct deposit. If yours does, then be sure and take advantage of it and save yourself from a number of trips to the bank.

45. Auto Pay Your Bills

How many times have you been worried about whether you missed the bills deadline?

Auto paying your bills will save you time and eliminate late fees and increased interest rates.

46. Shop Online

Whenever possible, avoid going to the store. When you shop online, you can be more focus about what you’re getting.

47. Speed up your Internet With a Broadband Connection

Many people are aware of the slow speed of internet but aren’t doing anything about it. In fact, this is the number one Internet time-saver!

If you must use dial-up, then you can use accelerators like Propel and SlipStream to double or even triple your speed.

48. Keep up the Speed of Your Computer

If you’re a Windows user, use Windows hibernation feature to avoid the slowdown of exiting and restarting Windows.

Or maybe, consider switching to Mac as there’re plenty of Advantages You Probably Don’t Know About Switching To Mac From PC.

49. Turn off the TV

The average American watches more than 4 hours of television every day. Over a 65-year life, that’s 9 years glued to the tube.

For better health and productivity, turn off the TV. Here’re 11 more reasons to tell you to stop watching TV so often.

Turn off the TV and you are sure to get more out of life.

50. Use a Tivo or DVR

This can help you cut an hour-long television show down to just 40 minutes. You can save time while not missing the fun.

So, here’s the ultimate list of techniques you should learn to boost productivity. Pick the techniques that work for you and make them your daily habits. As time goes, you’ll find yourself being a lot more productive.

More Time Management Tips

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

[1] Medical News Today: What is biphasic and polyphasic sleep?

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