Do you feel like you’re not doing enough during the day? If so, you may need to adjust the way you work, and not necessarily the number of tasks you have to complete.
What do we mean by this? Well, there are plenty of calendar hacks and activity methods that you can use to become more productive.
Best of all, these methods don’t really require any special skills or tools to start using. All you have to do is change the way you approach a work stack and go through the basic steps.
Sounds like something that could help you? Here are some time management tips for better productivity.
1. Use schedule blocking
One of the easiest ways to take advantage of better time management is to use schedule blocking. In short, this calendar hack is all about grouping similar tasks together to do them more efficiently.
For example, if you know you’ll have to run to the grocery store on Tuesday night, plan to go to the nearest pharmacy or pick up a few items at your local home improvement store at the same time.
At work, you can use Wednesdays only for making cold calls. Or you might only respond to emails the first and last hour of the workday.
Blocking schedules is effective because it means that you are combining multiple tasks at once while you are already in the zone or just in the same state of mind at the time.
2. Consider the Pomodoro technique
Another popular productivity hack is the Pomodoro technique. This method of saving time involves setting a timer for twenty-five minutes and working for that entire period. After the bells, you will take a five-minute break. This repeats several laps, ultimately ending with a longer break.
A lot of people really like the Pomodoro Method for times when focus is important. The key to making this work, however, is to make sure you don’t have any interruptions during the process.
If you need to take a call or change gears during your shift, be sure to pause the stopwatch and retrieve it as soon as possible.
3. Define tasks with the Eisenhower matrix
The Eisenhower Matrix is a time management technique inspired by the former President of the United States. It is said that during his tenure he insisted that his staff and even military leaders follow this directive for better efficiency.
This time-based hack involves listing all the tasks you need to complete in a given day and breaking them down into four different categories: do, decide, delegate, and ignore.
Tasks are those that are urgent and require your immediate attention while deciding that the tasks are important but not necessarily urgent. Delegation tasks are somewhat important, but can always be put aside or delegated to someone else. And skipping tasks are the ones you’d love to do, but they’re neither urgent nor urgent.
By dividing your tasks into these quadrants, you can better manage what you prioritize first in your day.
4. The technique of eating the frog
You may find it difficult to engage in these really urgent or difficult tasks. In that case, the Eat the Frog technique might be the best option for you.
What does it mean? Eating the frog refers to the most important or unpleasant task and finishing it first. Then when you’re done, you can move on to the easier ones or the funnier ones.
For many people, the biggest hurdle in time management is overcoming dissatisfaction with the task itself. And this is where this time consuming hack can really help.
5. Eliminate distractions when possible
The process of eliminating distractions isn’t necessarily a calendar hack, but it can help you become more productive throughout the day.
For example, if you spend too much time on social media when you should be working, you can still use technical controls to limit access. There are a ton of different apps that do this, ranging from things you download to browser extensions and even smartphone settings.
When you can eliminate distractions, you have a better opportunity to pay attention to the really important things on your schedule.
6. Project Manage your stages
Finally, you can improve your ability to do more on a daily basis by simply managing your steps by project. What does it mean?
Essentially, the process is to take larger tasks and break them down into much smaller, bite-sized steps. It makes you feel a lot more accomplished when you work on each one and keeps you from wondering where to go next when planning your day.
To really put this into action, set aside between half an hour and an hour in the morning. Write down all the big things you have to do, then break each down into smaller pieces.
If needed, you can even download or use a project management app that lets you track all of your individual steps. Some even offer integration with your favorite calendar app, which is useful for planning your day.
Conclusion: Tips for better time management
Looking to increase your productivity to reduce stress and accomplish more throughout the day? With the tips we have mentioned here, you can easily achieve these goals just by making a few changes in the way you try to handle day-to-day tasks.
Image Credit: Bich Tran; Pexels; Thank you!
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