“It takes time,” is one of the most used expressions in our previous blog posts. Creating, launching, and maintaining a WordPress site isn’t rocket science, but it does take time to make a visually pleasing and functional site. Tools and resources simplify the process, but it takes time to learn the ins and outs of these helpers. For instance, we did our best to develop Rife as intuitively as possible, but you need time to learn all the theme details.
We appreciate each and every customer, and we genuinely care about their time. Here is a simple and actionable guide to get more done in less time. We are living stressful times, and a large part of us have started working from home. Simply put, a beginner’s guide to time management is golden these days!
Time Management Tips
The ultimate goal of time management is simple: get more done in less time. No matter how effective you are, the following tips will help you considerably. You are probably familiar with a few of them. Most people know how to best administer the time, but they fall behind at the execution part. It’s hard to fight against habits and procrastination, but you have to do it! It is the only way to succeed, and you are the only responsible for it.
Here is what you must do to manage your time better.
Audit Your Activities
You need a complete report of your activities to find the time-sucking items and determine what is holding you back from achieving more. Paradoxically, it takes time to improve your time management! Start by auditing your activities. Track your activities from the last one or two weeks, or work how you have been working and track everything you do for the next two weeks. You will notice that a few activities take much more time than you expected, and you will be amazed by how much time you waste on Facebook and Twitter. Sadly, you will be amazed by how little time you dedicate to effective work, too.
Use a Time-Tracking App
You need data to get the most from your time, and a time-tracking app is perfect for gathering this information. There are tons of apps available, and many of them are free of charge. I am fully satisfied with Clockify and Toggl (no affiliate links here, just a humble and honest opinion). Of course, it all depends on your personal preferences. Anyway, what really matters is using an app and consciously tracking your activity.
Set SMART Goals
Goals that are too ambitious are a source of great frustration. This is true for not only time management but also many other activities. New entrepreneurs often set high expectations and want to make billions in just a few months; others want to lose 10 kilograms in 10 days. Setting SMART goals is a universal problem, and effective people know how to use these goals in their favor.
What is SMART? It’s not only a synonym for “intelligent” but also an acronym: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It says everything about how your goals should look.
- Specific: ambiguous goals don’t let you focus on your work
- Measurable: you can’t track your progress without simple and clear indicators
- Achievable: using Facebook for only 30 minutes a day is more achievable than deleting all social media profiles
- Relevant: your goal should be about time management if you want to become more effective
- Time-bound: yeah, you need a deadline
Your brain doesn’t work at its full potential when you are under pressure. Deadlines are one of the most common sources of stress. Consequently, do everything you can to avoid the pressure of tight deadlines. Clearly prioritizing tasks is the solution, and the Eisenhower matrix is the foundation of it. Divide all your tasks into four quadrants:
- Urgent and important: accomplish these tasks first
- Less urgent but important: schedule the projects for later
- Urgent but less important: delegate these tasks because you have to focus on the important ones
- Neither urgent nor important: don’t do these tasks
This matrix is a good solution, but you can work out your own system. The essence is to efficiently prioritize tasks.
MITs Make or Break a Day
Once you prioritize your tasks, one, two, or even three will be the most important tasks (MITs). These tasks require a considerable volume of work and concentration. If you are tempted to put them off, don’t do it! Finish them first thing when you start working. You won’t think about them all day long, and you’ll get a feeling of accomplishment, which is much needed to improve your performance.
You Are Not Multitasking
We all like to think that we are special and gifted with multitasking capabilities. The harsh reality is that everyone can perform two or more tasks simultaneously, but their productiveness is extremely low. Accept that you are not multitasking, and it’s not shameful. In this way, you’ll focus 100% on one task at a time. The faster you accept this fact, the faster you’ll see results in your work.
From your experience or by performing an audit, you’ll learn which tasks are repetitive and which ones can be delegated. I am a control freak, and I know how hard it can be to delegate tasks. However, delegating tasks is a mandatory step in obtaining more from your time. A rule of thumb is that if someone can do a job 80% as good as you have done it in the past, delegation is the best option. Accept that the delegated person needs time to do that job as good as you did.
Politely Say No
Saying no doesn’t mean that you are impolite. Adding too many projects to your plate creates a fiasco. Willing or not, every one of us has productivity barriers and limited time. Rejecting clients isn’t simple, and you may regret it. However, missing deadlines and providing low-quality work is way worse for both you and your clients.
Sleep and Exercise
Your health directly impacts your work, so pay attention to your body and mind. How many hours of sleep you need and how much time you need to exercise depend on you. Everyone is different, and no one has a universal solution. It’s not simple to allocate time for yourself when you have so many things to do. Still, don’t ignore your health.
I hardly believe that there is a piece of advice on this list that is totally new to you. However, I believe that posts like this should be written more frequently. We spend too much time on work and too little time on improving our workflows. Do you have other tips for better time management? Share your thoughts with us!