“Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life depends.” — Brian Tracy
The quote above illustrates the importance of time management skill and how it can influence not only your personal life but also your professional life. We all have 24 hours in a day, yet some people are more productive than others.
Do you know how do they do this?
Because they manage their time more efficiently and it means that how you manage your time will directly influence what you achieve.
The biggest problem with time is that unlike money, you cannot borrow it, store it or save it for later. Once spent, you cannot reclaim it.
Most successful people know this, which is why you won’t find them wasting their time. If you want to manage your time as most busy people do, then you are in the right place. In this article, you will learn about 25 time management techniques that insanely busy people use to get more done.
Time Management Techniques Busy People Use
Here are 25 time management techniques that most busy people use to manage their time efficiently.
1. Plan Your Day Before It Starts
Plan and schedule everything before going to bed, so you know what you have to do the next morning when you wake up.
2. Conduct Time Audit
Take control of your time by knowing how you are spending it. Performing a time audit gives you a clear picture of how much time you’re spending on value-adding tasks and tasks that don’t add any value. By the end of the audit, you’ll gain some insights which will help you achieve amazing results.
3. Wake Up Early
Leave your bed before everyone else does and use that time for getting ready for the day ahead. Go for a morning walk, hit the gym and take breakfast. Most successful entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bezos wakes up way before most of the people on the planet.
4. Create a To-Do List
Organize your tasks and thoughts by creating a To-Do list. Cross off completed tasks from the list, as it gives you a sense of achievement and keeps your motivation level high.
5. Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
Identify urgent and important tasks and complete them first and schedule the less important and tasks which are not urgent for later. You can use task management software to prioritize tasks.
6. Complete The Most Important Task First
Instead of starting your day with smaller, easier tasks, you should tackle the most important and complex task first.
7. Automate Mundane and Repetitive Tasks
Harness the power of technology and automate repetitive tasks so you can focus on more value-driven tasks. This allows you to save precious time, which you can use for other tasks.
8. Break Down Complex Projects
Divide large, complex projects into smaller, more manageable tasks and set project milestones, which you can achieve along the way.
9. Batch Similar Tasks
Batch together similar tasks and complete them in one go. Use batching to minimize the start-up and slow downtime, improve focus and reduce clutter.
10. Delegate and Outsource
You don’t need to do everything yourself. Delegate tasks to other team members or outsource some tasks. Find the right person, provide clear instructions and define the success for them so they can achieve the task objectives easily.
11. Avoid Distractions
Distractions are the biggest productivity killer at work. Whether it is meetings, emails, social media or a noisy co-worker; all can negatively impact your productivity by wasting your time.
12.Track Your Time
Keep track of your time to know which tasks are taking the most time. If you are wasting time on useless activities, cut down the time you spend on them and reclaim time for value-adding activities.
13. Use Calendar
Schedule tasks in a calendar, so you know exactly which tasks need to be completed when. Never fill your calendar with tasks and leave some room for unforeseen tasks that might require your immediate attention.
14. Defeat Procrastination
Use the two-minute rule to beat procrastination and get things done. The two-minute rule says, “If a task can be completed in two minutes or less, you should do it now.”
15. Learn To Say No
“It is by only saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.”—Steve Jobs
Knowing which tasks to say no to is very important, so you don’t end up saying no to an important task. Warren Buffet’s two-step rule which helps you draw the line:
- Write down your top 25 career goals and circle the five most important ones
- Cancel out the remaining 20 goals
You can apply this formula to your daily tasks as well.
16. Identify Your Peak Hours
If you closely analyze your day, you will find peak hours and downtime. Schedule critical tasks in peak hours and fewer, less important ones in your downtime.
17. Use The 80/20 Rule
According to the 80/20 rule, you can achieve 80% of output with 20% effort. Identify tasks that bring the most revenue and focus on them.
18. Take Breaks
Schedule breaks throughout your workday to stay rejuvenated and fresh. Working long hours without breaks can lead to burnout and reduce your productivity. Additionally, it will hurt your mental and physical health.
19. Create a Don’t Do List
Just like it is important to create a To-Do list, it is equally important, if not more, to create a Don’t-Do list. Create a Don’t-Do list by including all the bad habits that hamper your productivity. This will allow you to stay focused and away from these bad habits.
20. Stop Multitasking
When you switch between tasks, your focus dwindles and it takes longer to return. Due to this, a lot of time gets wasted and you end up achieving less despite doing more.
21. De-clutter and Organize
A messy desk can make it tough for you to find particular items you need to complete tasks. This results in time wastage. Declutter your work desk and keep everything organized so you can easily find items without wasting much time.
22. Learn Shortcuts
Master keyboard shortcuts and get more done in less time. You can execute an action with a shortcut that you can do with five clicks. Small things like this make a huge difference.
23. Avoid Useless Meetings
Stay away from useless meetings as it is a big time-waster. Conduct productive meetings by keeping it short and to the point. Make sure that all the participants are aware of the meeting agenda and key points before the meeting.
24. Take Advantage of Gap Time
Use your free time to add value to your personality. Put your gap time to good use by learning a new skill, reading a book, learning a new language or listening to a podcast. You can also use this time to reflect on your day or take a walk with your friends or have some coffee to boost your creativity.
25. Set Deadlines for Everything
Set deadlines for every task to stay on track and maintain focus. This also allows you to keep procrastination at bay.
Over to You
There you have it. We’ve shared 25 simple yet pragmatic time management techniques that will help you streamline your routine and make you achieve the maximum no matter how busy you are. Give us a shout out if you’ve found these time management techniques useful. If you know about time management techniques and time management tools that we have not mentioned here, let us know in the comments section below.