5 Essential Time Management Techniques
⏱ Reading Time: 8 minutes
Your customers time is precious, so don’t waste it. Words to live by when it comes to making the most out of the relationship with your users. Connecting on a personal level requires timing, which in turn entails careful planning!
Looking to boost your workflow efficiency and show customers you care?
The solution is quite simple – start by managing your time more efficiently. Using various techniques and tools can help you organize your workday and optimize daily tasks. In this article, we’ll be exploring the 5 essential techniques to time-oriented management, as represented through different sources.
Planning and thinking ahead will often only get you as far as a plan, but does nothing for the work you’ll need to get done.
This is where adaptive thinking comes in, bringing thoughts to actionable measures! Crucial to understanding how our brain segments and organizes data, it is one of the most important time management practices.
What does it entail, exactly?
For starters, it defines the way you prioritize tasks during your workday. Priorities can change, and sometimes your approach to the workday needs to change accordingly. Staying alert to the changes in workflow dynamic can allow you to stay ahead of the curve, should the need for such a thing arise.
Be sure to set your main task of the day, while connecting various singular and similar tasks into a priority pyramid. This method allows you to see the connections between seemingly unrelated small tasks, making sure you adapt quickly. Consequently, this allows you to get more out of a single day’s work schedule.
Picture 1. What’s on the top of your priority pyramid?
Plan Your Day
It is said that Well planned is half done. And when you think about it – there is so much truth in it. Organizing your workload at the beginning of the day helps you get an overview of all of your tasks. It also makes it easier for you to see which tasks are more important and which can be done later on.
Planning your day in the right way makes you utilize every second of your time productively.
And if you’re having troubles with doing it yourself, there are a lot of ways you can do it:
- To-do lists
- Post its
- Apps and tools like Evernote, Todoist, etc.
- Calendars and personal organizers
It’s not what you do, it’s more how you do it. Having this in mind, it’s quite important to delegate tasks in order to achieve maximum workflow efficiency and manage time accordingly.
One of the most important things to have in mind here is segmentation.
Described as divide and conquer, this model is based on identifying key pieces of data and using them to easily appropriate tasks. In turn, it allows you to be more sensible of the work environment!
Delegation works best if the segmented data is divided among several people, forming a team. Each one takes a certain fragment of related data, thereby delegating and optimizing the amount of time it takes for a certain task to be finished. Relying heavily on the ability to connect parts of an assignment together, this method isn’t without its faults.
While it is said that successful people delegate almost everything, the emphasis here lies on teamwork! Having a dedicated team to support you can make all the difference. Remember, delegate responsibly and be careful when picking out your team. This is crucial to effective time management.
Picture 2. Is your data segmented, are you ready to delegate?
Learn How to Say No
There are just so many things you are able to do within your working day. And it is important to know this limit – and not cross the line. Accepting all additional tasks that people want to assign to you might lead to burnout and work anxiety.
There is nothing wrong with saying no to a task if you don’t have time for it in your schedule. Just as there’s nothing bad in delegating a task to someone who can do it better than you.
Knowing where the vast majority of your time goes enables you to manage it more efficiently. In order to do that, you need to identify the points where the workflow disruptions are the highest. This requires in-depth knowledge of work habits, in order to form a clear picture of the bigger narrative.
Sometimes you need to take a step back and reevaluate how you’re spending your time.
Making up for lost time can be a tiresome quest, even more so if you’re working against a deadline. In order to prevent this from happening, be sure you take a moment and evaluate and rethink your priorities accordingly! Knowing your goals will also help you refine them even further. This opens up new and exciting ways to optimize your workflow and manage responsibilities with a better sense of purpose.
Picture 3. Have you analyzed all the possible disruptions in your workflow?
Determine Your Work Zones
After you’ve figured out how you spend your time, it might be useful to focus on the period of the day when you’re most creative.
Some people are morning types and they do most of the hard work right after their forst morning coffee. Others need a while to get their brain wiring working. When you figure out which time zone suits you best, make sure to leave your toughest tasks of the day for that period.
Periods of lower efficienty can work just fine with less demanding tasks.
The human brain isn’t wired to function through an entire workday without losing focus.
There’s any number of reasons to why a person’s attention starts shifting, often linked to external factors such as a lack of sleep or stress. Both of these cause slight or major gaps in effective time usage and are the most common time management issues! This is where relaxation comes in, as a solution to the pressing challenges of the modern workplace.
Taking a break is not only encouraged but mandatory in any modern surrounding.
Considering the significant impact of mobile phones and social media, the vast majority of employees engage in procrastinative activities during a workday. In order to minimize these self-inflicted distractions, making time for relaxation and socialization is key.
Offering a viable alternative to a workday filled with distractions is the foundation on which any modern time management system is based on. Scheduling a time for unwinding and social activities during work can have a lot of other outstanding benefits.
These include increased productivity and overall mood. Be sure to explore them before committing to a long-term project of any kind. Especially one that can involve long hours and stressful deadlines.
Picture 4. Did you schedule a time to relax during your workday?
Take a Break
There are a couple of techniques you can use to decide when is the best time to have a break. You can divide your workload into units and simply take a break in between. Or just take a break when you feel like you’re having problems with focusing on your work.
And how to use your break? Well, doing anything that makes you happy. You can take a short walk. Read a couple of pages of a book. Listen to your favorite song. Or just sit in silence. This will make your brain relax and you’ll feel fresh for your further work.
Doing quality work doesn’t necessarily involve doing it all yourself, using only the most basic tools available. Often times the need for outsourcing arises. This allows to manage time available more efficiently and with a certain goal set in mind! It also involves both people and tools, making a daily workload much less stressful. As a result, you’ll have more time to focus on major tasks and what’s really important during a single workday.
Hiring outside associates to manage minor tasks can be a lifesaver.
In a similar manner, using the proper tools for the job can cut the overall time it takes you to complete a task in half. That’s where outsourcing plays such a vital role, saving you countless hours of manual and tiresome labor! Using the right tools is also great for workflow as it can automate certain processes, especially when it comes to things like customer experience.
In cases like these, platforms like Paldesk are the perfect example of how outsourcing can help you make the most of your day. Allowing you to manage all your messages and requests in one place, they’re praised as the ultimate time management tool! Before outsourcing, be sure to explore which people and tools best suit your business needs.
Picture 5. Are you outsourcing intelligently and with deadlines in mind?
Check out the best Time Management Apps of 2020.
Managing time efficiently is no easy challenge, requiring both focus and adaptability. Prioritizing your current workload often incites the need for analysis, leading us to delegate certain tasks in order to make deadlines.
Requiring in-depth knowledge of your workspace and surroundings, sometimes there’s quite a bit of stress involved when dealing with tasks. That’s where the need for relaxation comes in, praised as the most important practice in a modern day environment.
Finally, we’re left with the possibility of outsourcing, which relates to both people and tools alike. Getting outside help can be a lifesaver while using the proper tools for the job you’re doing is one of the best investment you could possibly make. Remember, time management is often all about making compromises!
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