A study by the Harvard Business Review found that employees who track their time report a 20% increase in productivity.
Here are five expert tips on better managing your time and enhancing your productivity.
Prioritize Like a Boss
Avoid the one-size-fits-all approach and embrace the power of prioritization. Identify the tasks that move the needle (that big presentation, not organizing your sock drawer) and schedule them accordingly. Think of your to-do list as a high-wire act – focus on the high-impact stuff first, and delegate or ditch the rest.
For example, Alphan, a professional content writer, is used to battling deadlines and often fails to complete tasks on time. Now, he uses a simple system: red for urgent client projects, blue for less pressing like website updates, and green for personal errands.
This visual prioritization helps him to focus on what matters most, leaving him juggling fewer tasks. This work process also helps to increase productivity and achieve a healthy work-life balance.
Group Similar Tasks Together
Multitasking is a productivity myth. Instead, embrace the power of batching – group similar tasks together to create focused sprints of activity. Answer emails in one block, schedule calls for another, and then unleash your creative beast on design projects without context switching.
For example, John, a marketing manager, used to bounce between tasks like a pinball. Now, he schedules “email blitzes” on Mondays and Fridays, leaving the rest of the week for deep work on content creation and project planning.
This focused effort not only boosts his productivity but also reduces the mental fatigue from constantly switching tasks.
Embrace Digital Tools
Don’t be a productivity caveman – embrace the digital tools. Time management apps can help you schedule tasks, track progress, and set reminders.
Project management platforms keep your team in sync and streamline workflows. While there, create a free digital business card and use its analytics feature to track and measure the performance of your networking efforts.
For example, a busy realtor, Sarah relies on a scheduling app to juggle client meetings and open houses. She uses a project management platform to collaborate with her team on listings and marketing campaigns.
Plus, she analyzes her digital business card data to see which networking events give her the most bang for her time, prioritizing interactions with potential clients and collaborators.
Power of the Pause
Taking breaks isn’t slacking – it’s refuelling your productivity engine. Short breaks every hour can boost focus and prevent burnout. Go for a walk, stretch, meditate, or simply stare at a tree – anything to give your brain a mini-vacation. Remember, a rested mind is a productive mind.
For example: David, a financial analyst, used to power through his workday, fueled by coffee and stress. Now, he sets a timer for 50-minute work intervals followed by 10-minute breaks.
These short work intervals allow him to return to his work refreshed and focused, ultimately finishing tasks faster and with fewer errors.
Learn to Say No
You are not a one-person circus act. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. Saying no to low-value tasks or requests that don’t align with your goals is not selfishness; it’s self-preservation. Delegate, politely decline some tasks when you feel overwhelmed to find enough time for other important tasks.
For example: Emily, a social media manager, used to accept every project that came her way, burning out in the process. Now, she confidently evaluates each request, saying no to projects outside her niche or expertise.
This change allows her to focus on work she enjoys and excels at, boosting her productivity and job satisfaction.
Mastering the art of time management is a continuous process, not a one-time act. Experiment, refine your approach, and don’t be afraid to adjust your strategies. Use the results to identify areas of your work ethic that need to be tweaked.
More importantly, encourage your team to use digital business cards to network and share their work portfolio and details more effectively.