The most productive people manage time differently so they can achieve their most important goals in business and life much quicker. If you want to get more of your most important work quicker and achieve bigger results than the average, it’s essential to learn how to manage time and work smarter, not harder.
Time management is about how you manage your time effectively to achieve productive results. Good time management leads to improved effectiveness, creativity and productivity whilst eliminating stress, overwhelm and frustration.
Being able to manage time effectively will help you have more time for the things that are most important to you, be more productive take control of your time.
We all have exactly 24 hours in a day to work with, and how you manage your time during that period either sets you up for success, or it can leave you feeling trapped and frustrated. In this article I’ll share 8 ways productive people manage time effectively so you can become more productive and make smarter decisions with how you invest your time, energy and focus.
What is time management and why is it important?
Time management is important for busy people so they can prioritise their work to help them be more productive and achieve their goals faster. When you better manage your time, you’ll be become more focused to take on new opportunities and achieve bigger results.
Good time management allows you to organise your time effectively so you have more time freedom to shoot for bigger goals and to have more time with the people that matter most.
Managing your time effectively
How do you manage your time effectively? Being able to manage time effectively starts with getting crystal clear on your goal setting and then identifying the activities that you’re really, really good at, and delivers the biggest results.
The most productive people are focused on freeing up their time, energy and focus to do more of the work that matters and less of the work that doesn’t.
This involves delegating certain activities and creating time leverage to pursue their biggest priorities that can help them deliver bigger outcomes in the simplest way possible. Time management becomes about energy management and focus management to be able to manage your time effectively.
8 tips for effectively managing your time
What’s the best way to manage time effectively? Use these 8 habits of productive people to help you manage time effectively, be more productive and achieve your goals quicker.
1. Analyse where they’re spending time
Productive people manage time effectively because they value their time and know exactly where they’re investing their time. It’s hard to manage your time better if you don’t know where you’re spending it.
You can’t manage time effectively until you have clarity on how much time you’re spending during the week on which activities, and which activities support your goals and which ones don’t.
Taking a time audit will help you track activities and time and will give you a big picture view on how much time you are investing in activities that you love to do, and that create growth, and those that don’t.
By understanding your time investment, you can expand your time on activities that create the biggest impact and eliminate, delegate or outsource those activities that don’t support your goals.
This will help you manage your time differently and be more productive in the process.
2. They set long-term and short-term goals
The most productive people have both long-term goals to guide their vision and short-term goals to help them manage time and be more productive. Effective goal setting is essential to any time management strategy.
Productive people take the time to write down specific, measurable goals to create boundaries around their time and it filter out any activity that doesn’t support their goal achievement.
Having short-term ninety day goals will help you manage time effectively and make you more productive, because your focus will only be on a smaller number of activities and tasks.
This clarity can also reduce overwhelm and procrastination and stop you wasting time on activities and people that simply don’t support your goals.
Being more productive in this way will help you become clear and confident about being able to manage your time, reducing mind clutter, overwhelm and procrastination.
3. They focus on priorities first
Productive people have very specific goals which helps them get clarity on their most important priorities in business and life. This clarity helps them filter out activities which aren’t important, so they can better manage time and be more creative and productive.
It’s easy to get caught in the tap of trying to do everything. Productive people understand what they’re really good at and the things they do that create the biggest results.
To manage time effectively they focus on quality, not quantity.
This allows them to simplify their time and focus on a small number of most important tasks (MITs) each day.
Start managing your time effectively by getting clear on your priorities every morning and then work on the three things that matter most as soon as you can in the morning.
4. They have the right support structure
Productive people understand that managing time is easier when you’re not the only person doing everything. They understand that you can’t achieve bigger results if they handle everything themselves.
Being able to manage time and achieve bigger results starts with identifying the small number of things you do incredibly well and produce big results.
Productive people know this and spend more time on those activities and less time on everything else.
To help them achieve bigger results, they work with people within their team or external experts to help free up their time.
If you want to manage your time effectively and be more productive, create time leverage by collaborating, outsourcing and delegating certain activities that will free up more of your of time.
It will reduce the busyness and overwhelm. Plus your work will end up being a lot better.
5. They stay focused and avoid distractions
It’s one thing to identify your most important activities but it takes commitment to stay focused on them when distractions and obstacles can rob you of your time.
Productive people are emotionally and intellectually committed to their goals.
They know the difference it will make when they achieve them. This mindset helps them stay focused on their biggest priorities and allows them to manage time effectively.
There are many distractions to cope with every day – emails, meetings, long to-do lists, interruptions and new opportunities. It takes commitment to keep your focus on the productive activities that matter most and not be distracted by issues or shiny objects.
If you are clear on your priorities but find it difficult to stay focused there are some productive habits you can introduce.
To manage time better you can:
- Cut down your to-list to manage your time better. Start with identifying just three important activities each day
- Stop multi-tasking and try time blocking instead. Choose your most important project and assign 50 minutes to work on it. Then take a ten-minute break. Continue with that project for a further 50 minutes and take a further ten-minute break. Then take a 30-minute break.
- Switch up your environment. Find a better place to work where you’ll be distraction free for a fixed period of time.
6. They leverage time by simplifying
Productive people know that to manage time effectively they need to do less, not more. They work smarter, not harder by simplifying their activities to a small number of tasks that will produce bigger results.
To manage your time better, simplify your to-do list. Ten or fifteen things on your to-do list each day is not productive. A long to-do list can mean getting to the end of the day with items not finished. This can sap your energy and confidence.
Having a maximum of five tasks on your to-list each day is a great place to start if you want to manage time effectively and achieve bigger results.
Having a smaller number of projects each day, and successfully completing them, also gives you a self-confidence boost.
7. They invest time to plan for the future
Managing time effectively allows you the time to plan for the future. If you have no time to think and plan, you get stuck in the day to day, and never have the time to think bigger and set better goals.
Productive people take the time to think about different ways of doing things. They understand that by investing time in future planning, they can get more time back. Productive people are always clarifying what works and what could work better.
This helps them continually stay productive and be in control of their time.
If you are always doing with no time for thinking or planning, carve out dedicated time every week to look at what’s working and what’s not. To analyse your progress.
Friday and Sunday are great times for carving out this space to review and plan for the upcoming week.
Every quarter, set dedicated time aside to review your quarter and plan effectively for the next quarter.
8. They protect time for the people that matter
Productive people know that plenty of time for rest and recuperation is the key to being more productive. They block time out of their calendar for themselves and to spend with the people who matter most.
Managing time is often about energy management. If you’re exhausted or feeling tired all the time, you won’t be creative or productive. You will be more productive and produce bigger results if you work less.
When you work less, you’ll have more energy and be able to focus longer. Your mind will be clearer and your decision making will be much better.
Productive people manage time effectively because they’re clear on the results they want to achieve and are happy to achieve the result in the simplest and easiest way possible.
With the time management tips I’ve just shared, you can maximise the time you have to create bigger results in your business, and have more time freedom to spend with the people that matter most.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
What one tip to help you manage time effectively are you going to take action on?
What time management skills that work for you have I missed?
Either way, let me know in the comments.
About the Author
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