This post was most recently updated on May 26th, 2021
Many people in the workplace have a hard time staying focused on their tasks. They may be distracted by social media, other co-workers or even office gossip! When you cannot focus on your work, it’s easy to start feeling stressed out and overwhelmed with your workload.
You might feel like you don’t have enough time for everything that needs to be completed. A key learning point is to learn how to develop an effective time management routine to manage your time better to spend less energy worrying about getting things done and more energy actually doing them!
Luckily learning how to manage your time doesn’t require an MBA or years of experience in the workforce—it just takes a few minor tweaks here and there to help keep distractions at bay while increasing productivity. Let’s look at some simple ways you can improve your productivity skills today!
The Importance of Time Management Skills
Some people feel like they have no control over their time. They waste a lot of it and are always busy but don’t get anything significantly done. We all know that we need to manage our precious time better, but many people find it hard to figure out how to develop essential time management skills and the achievement of goals. It’s easy if you know how! Time management is an art that requires practice and discipline soft skills like all life skill, which can be used in any industry and profession and the good news are there are some valuable tips and tricks that can help you master this skill in less than a week!
How to achieve your goals whilst staying on top of your work
You have a lot to do, but you can’t seem to keep track of it all. Every day, some new projects and deadlines need your attention. Your calendar is a mess, your inbox is overflowing with emails from co-workers and clients, and your tasks are scattered everywhere. It’s hard to find what you’re looking for and without proper planning skills, you will remain in this situation of being a time waster.
Time management software makes it easy for you to stay on top of things, so nothing falls through the cracks. With this tool, you’ll be able to create task lists that help prioritise what needs to be done first or last based on the due date or priority level. All of your appointments will automatically get added to the schedule, so there won’t be any double bookings anymore! The best part about time management software is that it keeps everyone informed, so people know exactly where they stand with their tasks and projects. Best of all? This powerful app works across multiple devices such as smartphones, iPad and laptops.
Tips for managing distractions and interruptions
I used to be an organised and productive worker, but now that I’m my boss, I tend to get distracted by lots of little things. My problem is that when someone interrupts me in the middle of something important, it can take me an hour or more before I get back into my groove. It’s also hard for me to focus on one thing at a time instead of jumping from task to task all day long. One actionable example technique you can use as part of your time management strategies is to have a rule of no interruptions during a a one hour period of each day. It can be difficult to enforce but one real life example is my old Marketing Director enforced it effectively; however, he ignored his marketing managers notice and just walked into their offices.
The solution is shorter bursts of work times with breaks built between them, so you don’t lose your train of thought. Your energy level will be higher and better maintained, allowing you to do things that require more energy; you’re not working through lunch and trying to power through until quitting time. Instead, you’ll work smarter by taking small breaks every 60 minutes or so while still getting everything done on your daily list. This way, you won’t feel like you’ve wasted an entire day if somebody interrupts you during just one part of it!
You’re working on a project and are interrupted by urgent requests from your boss or colleagues. Before you know it, the day is over, and you haven’t got anything was done that matters to you. As a small business owner, I’ve had to make time management my number one priority. If I don’t manage my time well enough, I won’t pay my bills!
Time Management skills using the Pomodoro Technique
I managed this by using the Pomodoro Technique, setting timers for 25 minutes of work followed by 5-minute breaks. This helped me focus on what’s important without getting distracted as much during the day.
Francesco Cirillo developed the Pomodoro technique in the 1980s. It’s a time management technique made up of 25-minute intervals separated by short breaks and long ones (called Pomodoros), the Italian name for a tomato.
The idea is to work steadily for 25 minutes of “chunks of time” then take a break for five minutes before taking on another task. After each four “pomodoros” or hours, you’ll have a more extended break – usually 15-30 minutes.
It takes about ten days until this becomes automatic, but it will already feel like second nature after your first week. I was sceptical at first, too, so give it some time!
Managing Your Projects
We all have many more things we’d like to do than time available to do them. Most of us don’t make the most of our opportunities by choosing activities intelligently, but do not have a project plan and waste time on low-yield projects that stop us moving forward.
Priority Matrix is a simple tool for making better decisions about what you should be doing right now. You can use it to prioritize your daily tasks, or as a project planning and tracking system in which you list out everything that needs doing and then pick the top few items from this list every day.
Priority Matrix is a useful way to prioritize and organize tasks based on the effort they require as well as their potential impact.
1) List major activities that you want or need to complete.
2) Assign scores of 0-10 for each task in terms of its relevance (importance), difficulty, the time commitment required, etc., depending on what best fits your situation;
3) Plot the prioritized action items onto an appropriately labelled matrix according to how much energy/effort each requires– from low at one end up through high at other side
4). Prioritize accordingly and delegate/eliminate any lower priority actions if needed. If you have spare time I would use it on the most important tasks.
Managing your energy levels throughout the day
Is the first thing you do is check your email first thing in the morning? Is a terrible idea, but you do it anyway because you feel like if you don’t respond to an email right away, people will think you’re not working. I recommend only checking your email once per day and then responding to emails when they are convenient for YOU. If someone needs something from you, they’ll send another message or call. This way, there’s no anxiety about what might be waiting for you in your inbox!
Try batching your emails out over one day instead of letting them pile up all week long (or worse yet—all month). It is much more efficient and helps keep things under control so that important tasks get done. You can even schedule time at specific times each day to check messages on whatever device works best for you!
Managing Social Media
Social media can become addictive and time-consuming; I have a few suggestions that may help you manage your time. Social media can be very distracting, but here are some ideas on avoiding distractions and getting things done.
The first suggestion is the most obvious one – turn off all notifications from your phone or computer. This will stop you from being distracted by every little notification coming in and allow you to concentrate on what’s important at that moment.
Another way of managing your time on social media is by scheduling posts when you know most people are more likely to engage with them (for example, during lunchtime). If you produce posts regularly, use a scheduler such as socialchamp to create and post the most confident time. You should also try not using social media as a reward after completing tasks – use it only as an occasional break throughout the day instead!
Time Management Tips when you’re feeling uninspired or unmotivated
When you’re trying to achieve something big, it can be hard to stay motivated and focused. Physical activity is good for your health every day, but sometimes you don’t have the energy or willpower. I get distracted by my phone and end up talking to one of my friends. While this is fun, it takes me away from studying for my exam.
Your goals are important to you, therefore keep on track with your goals is by setting a schedule or routine for yourself. A daily walk in the morning will boost energy and help revitalise your energy levels to focus on crucial matters most during the day. Eating healthy meals throughout the day will keep your body running smoothly and prevent hunger pangs from distracting you at work later in the afternoon. Working on smaller projects before tackling bigger ones will also help make sure that nothing slips through cracks because of procrastination or forgetfulness.”
Resources on how to improve the way you manage your schedule and work-life balance
You’re busy, but you feel like you could be doing better. If your calendar is out of control and doesn’t help you manage your time effectively, then it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on.
I’ve been using a great online tool called Todoist, which is an effective activity tracking app and there is a free version available for you to evaluate; for years to schedule my day in advance and keep track of all my projects. It has saved me so much time that I can now take an extra hour or so every week to work on personal projects and spend more leisure time with friends and family.
This productivity software has helped thousands of people become more efficient, productive professionals by assisting them in getting organised, planning out their day’s tasks in advance, and prioritising accordingly. Avoiding mistakes due to a lack of organisation is possible with this app.
The key to the success of any project is how well each member can manage their time. When you’re working on a team, it’s imperative that everyone knows what needs to be done and when they should do them in order for everything else to go smoothly- so schedule some one-on-one meetings with your co-workers ” Time Management Interview” to develop the best use of time management tools and a strong time management team.
If you’ve never considered how time management can make your life easier, it may be worth looking at the techniques in more detail. People with good time management skills can stay on task in other areas of their lives because they know that when the work will be completed, so is the stress. Use these tactics and apps to help manage your schedule more efficiently and reduce some of that personal stress in your day-to-day life. Have any tried using a time management app or technique? What has been most beneficial for you? Let us know by commenting below!