Time management is not about creating or finding more time in a day. Instead, it is all about prioritizing and accomplishing the tasks in the most time-effective manner. As a business professional, everyone wants to get more work done, better and faster. But inconsistency and procrastination come in the way as hurdles.
In today’s technologically driven era, software tools and digitization are the supplements to fuel productivity. Therefore, business professionals are adopting the best task management tools to determine:
- How much can be and to be accomplished in a day
- Identifying the loopholes in time management
- Prioritizing daily activities
Now, let’s analyze the best 8 time management strategies to streamline every minute towards productivity enhancement.
Planning as a task is a simple job of creating a to-do list with must-haves and want-to-haves. With multiple projects in hand, planning becomes essential enough to improve the identification of needs across different assignments. It also helps to establish the goals and requirements of the project.
Plans provide a structure to the project on which the practical functions are executed. Owing to the unpredictable contingencies, the plans should always be flexible. For example, the plan should easily accommodate surprise meetings or emergencies, without disturbing the entire schedule.
Scheduling is mandatory and you can get it done your way. Make use of the Japanese Kaizen technique, or a manual planner or a planning application to schedule the tasks. Scheduling is more detailed as compared to plans, which simply provide the basic structure. Scheduling of tasks ensures ease and success of accomplishment. Apart from this, it sets a small target, which, when easily achieved, motivates the individual to strive for more.
Breaking down bigger tasks into smaller bits also defines the prioritization of tasks. Distinguish the task based on urgency, importance, and effort needed to complete them. Take help from the Eisenhower Matrix as shown below. A matrix like this helps to spot the task that needs to be attended to first.
Did you know that doing multi-task without keeping track of time reduces employee productivity by 45%? This is because multitasking, when not planned properly, increases work stress and lowers the quality of work. As suggested earlier, break the gigantic task into smaller chunks and focus on each sub-task individually. Initially, it might seem more time-consuming, but in the long run, this focus results in executing tasks with good quality efficiency. Introduce brief breaks between the completion and initiation of two different tasks.
The Pomodoro Technique can help you with this. This tool, when implied, increases productivity and saves the individual from getting tired even for a longer duration of work.
Although it is a bit challenging task, every project manager needs to minimize their level of distraction. There are tasks like project documentation or report generation which require focussed concentration. Even a bit of interruption can adversely affect the efficiency of the work. For example, with the Pomodoro technique shown above, you need to remain distraction-free to remain focussed on work for exactly 25 minutes.
Distraction during work can be in the form of emails, messages, unnecessary calls, sudden meetings, etc. Therefore, avoid checking emails or messages every second minute. Instead, dedicate a fixed time and duration to do so. Communicate to others, ‘not to disturb’.
As per Parkinson law, individuals unnecessarily stretch the time to complete the work, when they are benefited with extra time to complete a specific job. But, it’s not good.
Therefore, it is advisable to subdivide the allotted task into shorter duration tasks with multiple short-term targets involved. This will help you complete the task at a standard pace with quality efforts involved and also with much time left for revising the task done.
You might be a perfectionist in your niche. But you might sometimes get stuck at work, because of lack of time or efficiency. For this reason, it is advised to delegate small sections of your work to those who can execute the same smoothly. Make use of resource allocation tools to identify the expertise of different employees within the organization.
Delegating the work to the employees and showing them that their contribution matters a lot. Empower others to decide and also limit excessive supervision to them. This not only lessens the burden on your shoulders but also allows your team members to grow professionally.
One should know how much work he can do and at what time. If the demand for work is more than your potential, it is better to say ‘no’. It helps to avoid any work-related stress and, eventually, avoid any over-commitment. Saying ‘no’ to seniors might become challenging at times. But there is always a way to do so in an assertive and polite tone. Try this;
- Give a reason
- Share your priorities
- Don’t give fake excuses
- If possible, negotiate with the deadline
Today, there are multiple online task management tools to help manage the everyday timetable. This helps you to manage your time with no manual interference. Such tools help in proper scheduling and integration with other sections of the project. They also provide help in foolproof time management if needed.
Today, there are not one but multiple task management tool options, depending on the profession you belong to. Namely:
- Time Doctor
The application of even a few of the above mentioned time management strategies can redefine your work schedule and help you with:
- Improved productivity
- Ease of decision making
- Reduction in work-related stress
- Free time for executing other important tasks
And as these strategies work for you or your team, you can spread its usage across the entire organizational culture. Take baby steps, identify the distractions and emphasize on eliminating them with the use of the above tactics like time tracking software tools.