23 Time Management Techniques of Insanely Busy People
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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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. Put your phone away, close all the browser windows and apps that you don’t need. Immerse yourself in this task. Only move to the next one when you’re done.
“Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life depends.”
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-energy tasks (also known as shallow work), such as responding to emails or unimportant meetings, in between those hours.
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 mentally for the challenges ahead before waking up and there won’t be any room for procrastination in the morning. As a result, you’ll work faster and smoother than ever before.
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 your work. Getting it done will give you the momentum and sense of accomplishment early in the day. That’s how big life goals are achieved: small continuous efforts, day after day.
Putting some of your daily tasks on autopilot is key to working smarter.
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 for its completion”. So, if you reduce the time you have to complete a task, you force your brain to focus and complete it.
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 life for a year, such as deciding to go back to school or rent a different room. In the long term though, very few decisions matter. Those are the big decisions: they are worthy of serious pondering, discussion, investigation, investment, and decision making.
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 your time is leaking. By being aware of how exactly you are using your time, you can devise a plan to attack your leaks and how to get rid of them.
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 results.
Use the 80/20 rule in your life and work to prioritize the input that brings the majority of the output.
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. Instead, put bite-sized to-dos that you can do one at a time. Take it step by step.
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 habit
Using your calendar forces you to rethink your work from tasks to time units. That small change increases the likelihood of getting things done.
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 everything perfectly. But being a perfectionism can delay your work and make you miss important deadlines
Create a To-Don’t list with all the habits you want to remove from your life. For example:
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 without losing your flow if the activities require similar mindsets. Batching forces your brain to be focused on one type of task at a time.
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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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...
You don't have to do much of anything beyond making a simple decision to do or to delete.
If the deleted item is a simple activity that won't bring you results, remove it from your to-do list and move on with your day. The second most pleasing thing after completing a to-do list is removing an item from it.
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 taking action.
But be careful, there's a fine line between deferring and procrastinating indefinitely.
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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...
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.
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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Instead of relying on a tool with all the bells and whistles, find out where you’re struggling and what’s essential for you.
For example, if scheduling is taking you away from product development, then you could use a scheduling tool that uses machine learning to automate most of your scheduling needs. If you’re wasting too much time on email, then consider using a tool to help tame your inbox.
Time management is only useful when you’re aware of your limitations and don't let the system dictate your entire life.
In other words, when you don’t tread lightly (especially at first), time management can add more stress to your life.
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