Good time management is about managing your time, energy and focus to produce a bigger result in less time. There are a number of essential time management techniques you can use to become more productive and better manage your time.
Effective time management depends on your ability to manage distractions, know where your time is going and prioritise your most important work.
When you can effectively manage your time it’s easier to be more productive and produce bigger results.
The best time management techniques help you be intentional about your time, prioritise your time and track your time so you can be focused and productive.
Managing your time productively helps you plan and manage your biggest priorities each day.
Effective time management techniques help you get more done in less time. Bad time management creates an endless cycle of busyness, distractions and overwhelm.
In this article I’m going to share 6 essential time management techniques of productive people. These time management tips will will help you boost productivity and manage your time more effectively. Read more about the benefits of time management.
6 essential time management techniques
Here are 6 essential time management techniques.
1. Plan your day in advance
Planning is the best time management technique you can use to manage time effectively. The first hour of the day is often the most important. It sets the tone for how productive your day will be.
To improve your time management and be more productive plan your day in advance the night before. When you plan your time in advance you can identify your most important activities that you want to tackle first.
This simple time management technique can save you hours of time. It will ensure you start the day focused and knowing exactly where to invest your time. Read more about this in my article about creating an evening routine.
2. Prioritise your time
Be intentional with your time by creating a to-do list to prioritise your time. Good time management is often about energy management. We all have the same 24 hours in a day.
Prioritising your time, by using an effective to-do list, is the key to effective time management. The best technique to prioritise your time is to use your to-do list to get clear on your most important tasks. Then identify your biggest priority, and start working on it.
Making a long to-do list won’t make you productive or enable you to manage time effectively. Focus on results by prioritising time to focus on the three most important things you want to achieve each day. Then start working on your most important activity first. Read more about prioritising your time.
3. Focus your energy
You can’t manage time effectively if you have no energy and you feel exhausted or feel tired all the time. The key to better time management is to work smarter, not harder. It’s important to manage your day by maximising and harnessing your energy.
There are two keys to energy management: 1. Get clear on the things that lower your energy; 2. Get clear on the times of the day and activities where you have high energy levels.
You only have a certain amount of energy available to you each day. Therefore, it’s essential to harness your energy to do your most important and productive work first.
Identify the things that lower energy levels. These may include: lack of sleep, lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, working long hours, increased workload, multi-tasking and activities that bore you.
Once you’ve identified those activities develop strategies to create improvements. This may include getting more sleep, getting more exercise and improving your diet. Anything to improve physical recovery and performance.
You can also manage your energy by identifying activities and time of the day when you’re operating at peak performance. Highly productive people have high energy levels in the morning.
To improve performance you can also focus on the activities that excite and motivate you first thing in the morning.
4. Track your time
The simplest time management technique to get started with is to track your time.
If you want to improve your time management it’s important to understand how you are spending your time right now.
You can’t change how you manage your time until you have clarity on how you invest your time. Tracking your time helps you focus on results, rather than time spent on task.
Tracking your time gives you a big picture view of where your time goes. Taking a time audit helps you understand good time management skills and areas that you could improve.
The technique of time tracking helps you understand if your are using your time productively or not.
If you want to be more effective at tracking your time, sign up to get access to my Time Transformer Challenge.
5. Focus your time in chunks
Time blocking is the time management technique of focused work on a specific project or task for a fixed period of time. Time blocking helps you prioritise, organise and schedule your time for maximum effectiveness.
Productive people use time blocking to focus on achieving specific results. Others use time blocking to get an important project done without being interrupted.
I personally prefer the time blocking technique of working in 45 minute blocks of time with 15 minute breaks in between to stay focused and on task.
Working in chunks of time through time blocking gives you additional accountability to do the thing you’ve scheduled to do. In addition, you get a better understanding of how long things take to complete.
The author of Deep Work, Cal Newport is a big advocate of time blocking and has spent time analysing how it helps people become more productive.
6. Manage distractions
You can’t manage time effectively and get your most important work done if you can’t manage distractions. Rather than ignoring the distractions, identify the distractions up front and come up with a strategy for overcoming them when they happen.
The key to effective time management is to manage, reduce and eliminate distractions. With so many distractions competing for your attention, it’s essential to manage your attention and focus on your most important work.
Time management techniques to overcome distraction include:
- Turn off distractions
- Work in a quiet space
- Clear physical clutter
- Do a brain dump
- Simplify your to-do list
- Take more breaks
- Stop multi-tasking
- Get better sleep
These 6 time management techniques of highly productive people will help you improve your time management skills and help you manage your time more effectively.
By being more intentional about your time and understanding the times of the day you are most productive you can achieve bigger results in less time. Use the time management techniques of time tracking, planning your day in advance and creating an effective to-do list to improve your time management and productivity.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
Which time management technique works best for you?
What’s your number one tips for managing your time?
Let me know in the comments.
About the Author
Mark Pettit is a time management coach based in Colchester, Essex, UK. Mark is the Founder of time management coaching company, Lucemi Consulting. He provides time management coaching programs to entrepreneurs and business owners in Colchester, Essex, Suffolk and across the UK.
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