Good time management enables you to work smarter, not harder. When you manage your time effectively, you can get more done in less time. Managing time effectively helps you set better goals, organise your time, and prioritise effectively.
Learning how to manage your time means focusing on your highest value work rather than the volume of work. When you manage your time effectively, you become more efficient and productive.
Managing your time requires a daily focus of setting goals, prioritising, and setting a time limit to complete your tasks. To manage your time effectively it’s important to take breaks between tasks, organise your time, and plan ahead. When you can manage your time you’re more productive, relaxed, focused, and in control.
Failing to manage your time increases distraction, overwhelm, stress, and procrastination. With effective time management you can achieve bigger and better results in less time.
Managing time effectively ensures you stay focused and on track each day. As a result, you can make confident progress on your goals. In this article, I’ll share 10 ways to manage time effectively.
Read more about the benefits of time management.
10 tips for effective time management
Here are 10 tips to start managing time effectively.
1. Have a time check
Effective time management starts with understanding exactly how you spend your time. You can’t improve how you spend your time until you know where you’re spending it. Auditing your time will help you understand exactly where you spend your time each week.
Auditing your time helps you identify time thieves and the activities that maximise your time and productivity. When you track your time, you get clear on the activities that produce results. You also identify the activities that simply waste time.
Once you understand where your time is going, you can delegate or outsource low-value work and expand your time on activities that deliver the results you want. Read more about how to prioritise.
2. Set a time limit to complete a task
Effective time management starts with better scheduling. When you effectively schedule your time, you get clarity on your most important activities each day. This ensures they get scheduled into your diary.
Without a clear schedule, it’s easy to get reactive, distracted, and feel overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do. When you schedule tasks, you can manage time better and feel more accountable for doing the work.
If you schedule an activity, you can set a time limit to complete the task. When you finish the work, you feel more confident and motivated. You know you’re making progress towards your goals. A great time management tip is to take ten minutes at the end of every day to schedule your activities for the following day.
You can also take some time on Sunday evening to schedule your most important activities for the following week. Read more on weekly planning.
3. Focus on one task at a time
To manage your time better and increase your productivity, focus on one task at a time. When you have limited time to work each day or have a lot on, time blocking can be a lifesaver. To manage your time better, get clear on your most important activity you want to work on, and then block out time to do the work.
I always suggest a time blocking formula of working in 45-minute blocks and then taking a break before starting work again. You can use a timer to track time to ensure you stay focused and on task. Read more about how to stay focused.
4. Make a better list
With good time management, you can bring your to-do list under control. You can’t manage time effectively if you have 15-20 things on your to-do list each day.
Good time management starts with identifying your priorities and simplifying your time and focus. You do this by prioritising only three activities to focus on each day.
This time and energy focus ensures you spend your time producing bigger results. The smaller number of activities also creates a bigger opportunity to achieve something every day, instead of feeling busy but not productive.
Progress and achievement build motivation and momentum. Read more about the importance of time management.
5. Prioritise your time
Effective time management is about prioritising effectively. The best way to prioritise your time is to leverage time so you can focus on your most important work. When you leverage time, you can manage your time effectively.
When you have a small number of priorities to work towards, you can simplify your time. If you can leverage time to achieve bigger results, you can work less and increase productivity.
When you collaborate with others and look for time or result multipliers you can free up more time. The key to effective time management is to prioritise effectively by leveraging your time.
Prioritisation starts with looking at the activities you can deliver that achieve the results you want. It is then about working with others to handle smaller tasks so you can focus on your priorities. Get more tips on leveraging your time.
6. Focus on results
Effective time management is not about working harder. Managing your time is about working smarter. Managing time better starts with being clear on the result you want to achieve and looking at the simplest, easiest, and most productive way of achieving that result.
If you can achieve a specific result in half the time of other people, that’s highly valuable. If you can leverage time through technology, outsourced experts, or your team to produce a result quicker than you can, then you are maximising your productivity.
Remember, it’s not about time spent it’s about delivering a result. Spending extra time on something to make it perfect is not managing time effectively.
Read more about how to work smarter, not harder.
7. Work with a time management coach
Working with a time management coach gives you clarity on your goals and helps you organise your time. As a result, you know where to invest your time each day.
A time management coach will help you create a clear action plan for managing your time effectively. When you have clear goals and a clear action plan, you can stop overwhelm and procrastination. Working with a results coach will help you manage your time to achieve the outcomes you want.
A time management coach will help you stay focused and accountable. As a result, you can stay focused and motivated to achieve the results you want. Too many activities create overwhelm and frustration. Working with a time management coach will help you simplify your time, reduce stress, and stop distraction. Discover the benefits of working with a time management coach.
8. Plan ahead
Planning is an effective time management skill to develop if you want to manage time effectively. Friday evening or Sunday evening are great times to plan to ensure Monday morning is a productive time, rather than a getting started time.
When you know what your goals, it’s easier to manage your time, be more productive, and achieve your goals. Planning will help you stay organised, focused, and productive.
9. Remove non-productive work
Good time management starts with understanding you can’t do everything yourself. You may think other people can’t do things as well as you. Or, you’re worried about the time it will take to train someone up.
The thing is you can’t do everything by yourself. If you think you can, you’ll end up spending more and more time learning new skills and working on the activities that you’re simply not very good at.
These are both great time thieves. Start delegating and finding experts to do the important work you’re not great at.
This simple act will free up 100’s of hours every month for you to focus on your biggest skills and the activities that move your business forward. Read more about how to create more time freedom.
10. Stop perfectionism
Perfectionism is a big time waster. Rather than being happy with what they’ve created, people spend hours and sometimes days changing, updating and tweaking things until it is perfect.
There is no such thing as perfection. Create something you’re happy with and get it out there. Alternatively, use your unique skills on a project and then pass it to someone else to finish.
This ensures you don’t waste time, and results can happen in a shorter amount of time.
Read more about creating time leverage.
Effective time management starts with getting clear on the activities you do that achieve the biggest impact. When you manage time effectively, you achieve better results in the most productive way possible.
Good time management will help you leverage time through better collaboration, delegation, technology, and outsourcing to create an even bigger result in less time. Managing time effectively starts with looking at your time and focusing that time on delivering productive results.
It is then about better goal setting, prioritisation, scheduling, and working with others to achieve your goals.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
What’s your best tip for managing your time?
Which one area do you struggle with most with time management?
Let me know in the comments.
About the Author
Mark Pettit is a time management coach based in Colchester, Essex UK. He is the Founder of time management coaching company Lucemi Consulting.
Mark provides time management coaching programs and productivity coaching programs to entrepreneurs and business owners in Colchester, London, Essex, Suffolk and across the UK. He also provides online time management coaching to entrepreneurs and business owners in the US, Canada, and Australia.
Find out more about the benefits of time management coaching.
Get more articles, tips and tools to help you simplify your time to multiply your results on the blog.
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