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23 Time Management Techniques of Insanely Busy People

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23 Time Management Techniques of Insanely Busy People
Good time management techniques simplify how you work and help you get things done better and faster. Here are my 23 favorite time management techniques. They are a set of principles, rules, and skills that allow you to put your focus on the things that matter and help you be more productive.

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Brian Tracy

Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life depends.” 

Brian Tracy

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Work Around Your Energy Levels

Productivity is directly related to your energy level.

Find your most productive hours — the time of your peak energy — and schedule Deep Work for those periods. Do low-value and low-e...

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Plan Your Day the Night Before

Before going to bed, spend 5 minutes writing your to-do list for the next day. These tasks should help you move towards your professional and personal goals.

You’ll be better prepared ...

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Start the Day with Critical Work

A golden time management technique: Find your most important task (MIT) for the day and tackle it first. 

Your MIT should be the one thing that creates the most impact on y...

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Prioritize Tasks

  1. Write down all your tasks.
  2. Identify what’s urgent and what’s important. After each task, mark them with “U” for Urgent and “I” for Important. 
  3. Assess valu...

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Delegate or Outsource Tasks

  • Find to the right person: he should have all the necessary skills and is capable of doing the job
  • Provide clear instructions: write down the tasks in a step-by-step manua...

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Automate Repetitive Tasks

Automate Repetitive Tasks

Putting some of your daily tasks on autopilot is key to working smarter.

  • Create canned responses for emails you keep writing over and over again
  • Set reminders ...

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Set Time Constraints

Set deadlines even when you don’t need to. Schedule less time to complete tasks and force your brain to focus.

Parkinson’s law states: “work expands so as to fill the time available...

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Eliminate Distractions

  • Turn off all notifications on your phone, computer, and tablet
  • Leave your phone in odd places that prevent you from immediately finding it
  • Work with headphones...

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Make Quick Decisions on Things That Don’t Matter

Invest your focus on big decisions and make quick calls on medium and small decisions.

Small decisions impact you for a day, such as what to wear or where to eat. Medium impact your li...

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Track Your Time

Track your time to have real data on your work and uncover insights on how you can improve your productivity.

After a couple of weeks, you’ll start noticing patterns and knowing where and how...

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The 2-Minute Rule

  1. If it can be done in two minutes, just do it. Don’t add it to your to-do list, put it aside for later, or delegate to someone else. Just do it.
  2. If it takes more than two minu...

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Say No More Often Than Yes

Say “no” by default to anything that doesn’t contribute to your top 5 career goals.

Your time is a limited resource and you can’t let people set your agenda in life.

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Use “Gap Time” Effectively:

  • Learn a new skill, either for your professional or personal life
  • Read books or articles you saved to for later
  • Organize your computer, folders, calendar or wor...

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80/20 Your Time

The 80 20 rule states that “80% of the output or results will come from 20% of the input or action”. In other words, the little things are the ones that account for the majority of the re...

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Automate Decisions

Automate Decisions
  • Transfer money to your savings account every time you receive a paycheck
  • Choose all your outfits for your week on Sunday and hang them in the closet in order
  • S...

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Single Task

Switching between tasks can have damaging costs to our work and productivity.

Develop the habit of single-tasking by forcing your brain to concentrate on one task and one task only. Pu...

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Break Down Big Tasks

Break down big tasks into smaller ones to avoid procrastinating and help you stay on track to achieve your final goal.

Never put a huge project down as just one to-do on your list. Ins...

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Work From the Calendar

Schedule tasks, working from your calendar instead of the to-do list. When an event is consistently scheduled on your calendar, it’s much more likely to transform into an unconscious...

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Take Fewer Meetings

  • Do not schedule more time than needed. Most of the times 20 minutes is the sweet spot.
  • Keep the number of participants small.
  • Send everyone an agenda and m...

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Let Go Of Perfectionism

Aiming for perfection is a surefire way to delay or never complete a project. Choose to chase “good enough” instead.

It’s easy to be caught up in an endless cycle of trying to do every...

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Have a To-Don’t List

Create a To-Don’t list with all the habits you want to remove from your life. For example:

  • Do not email first thing in the morning or last thing at night
  • No morning m...

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Batch Similar Tasks

The main idea behind this time management technique is to collect up a group of similar activities and do them all in one swoop. 

You can work efficiently on multiple tasks withou...

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Take Time Off to Recharge

Schedule breaks throughout your day to help you recharge and take regular vacations throughout the year. Rest is the best medicine for sustainable long-term productivity.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Defer

To defer means saying, "Not right now" rather than, "Not ever." This could be a new project you want to com mence in a week or two or it could be van idea you want to reflect on before takin...

Delegate

You might find it disconcerting when the results are somewhat different than when you complete the work yourself.

To delegate effectively, create a playbook breaking down a project or task step-by-step and detailing what the outcome looks like.

Do

Simply put, act on your tasks. The 2-minute rule can help with that:  If you can complete a task in two minutes or less, do it now.

It's amazing what you can accomplish in just 120 seconds: write an email, make a quick phone call, pull a report and so on.

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Write A Stop-Doing List

Remind yourself of items that don’t bring you joy, and contribute very little to your long-term goals.

This way, you’re unlikely to spend a lot of time doing time-sucking, non-rewardin...

Schedule Procrastination Breaks

During this allotted break, give yourself permission to do time-wasting activities (social media scrolling included) until you got bored and want to move on to your next task. 

Divide Your Day Into Themes

And if your job isn’t ideal for focusing on one thing per day, you can dedicate your morning to one focus area, your early afternoon to another, and late afternoon to another.

This way, instead of being overly restrictive about finishing a task in that time period, you have the flexibility to do any work that moves you forward in that particular focus area.

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Time Management And Personality

In order for any time-management method to be successful, you have to take into account people’s individual behaviors at work. There is no one-size-fits-all method for time management.

The Action Hero

Give them a seemingly impossible list of tasks and they will have them done and dusted faster than a speeding bullet. But in their haste, they can miss things and prioritize nonurgent tasks.

Strategy: For this type, ranking tasks according to urgency is a good call. 

The Diva

Very sociable and upbeat but with a tendency to procrastinate, they often boast about their nonexistent achievements giving the impression they are more productive than they really are.

Strategy: breaking tasks into tiny steps, scheduling their resolution and setting reminders works well. Email management according to urgency is also crucial considering how much time it usually consumes. 

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