Often we hear the term time management and productivity and assume they are one-in-the-same. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s more of a cause-and-effect relationship. Time management affects your productivity. Let’s dive further into these ideas.
One life skill that will help you succeed, both in your personal and professional life, is time management. Skills You Need describes time management as:
“the art of having time to do everything that you need, without feeling stressed about it.”
In an If, … then situation, your if is time management. If you don’t have a handle on your time management, then you will be stressed and your productivity will suffer.
Not sure how much time things take? Track it. Take a week or two and track your activities every 15 minutes. At the end of the week, evaluate the amount of time you spent doing different projects. Now you have a good idea of how much time to allot in your schedule for different things. This also shows you the times of day when you’re most productive.
Schedules, plans, priorities, and to-do lists can be part of our daily routine, especially when it comes to work, so it’s important to know how long specific tasks take. You’re able to plan your day and time appropriately which will help eliminate stress because you won’t have to rush or worry about not having enough time to do your best work.
Productivity is defined by James Clear as:
“a measure of efficiency of a person completing a task… getting important things done consistently.”
In an If, … then situation, your productivity is the then. If you have good time management skills and allow the appropriate amount of time for a task, then your productivity will increase and you will consistently provide quality work. You won’t be stressed or speeding through your to-do list in order to check things off.
There are numerous benefits of alloting the correct amount of time needed to meet your responsibilities. Although the benefits will be determined by your goal, Lucemi Consulting lists some of the values of good time management.
- Less stress
- Better work-life balance
- Greater focus
- Increased productivity
- Less procrastination and distraction
- More time to think and strategize
These benefits are not limited to the workplace. As more and more people continue working from home, these are beneficial to create and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Because these philosophies go hand-in-hand, if you don’t have a strong time management strategy in place, there will be negative effects on your productivity. Mind Tools lists some unfavorable outcomes:
- Missed deadlines
- Poor quality of work
- High stress
When you’re feeling rushed, you aren’t able to create the high caliber work that you’re capable of. Knowing how long an activity takes will allow you to plan for it so you can produce work that meets your standards.
The same tips and strategies don’t work for everyone, but here are some ideas you may find helpful when trying to improve your time management and increase productivity.
- Keep a planner or to-do list so you know what is expected of you at all times.
- The night before, get things ready for the next morning so you can sit down and get started right away.
- Determine your task priorities and focus on the one with the highest precedence.
- Keep your workspace organized and free of clutter, especially if you are working from home.
- Limit distractions by closing the door, silencing your cell phone, closing your email, and keeping your distance from others who may distract you.
- Plan to work on more difficult tasks during the time you are most focused and productive during the day.
- Allow for breaks in your day, especially during the times you are less productive.
- Utilize tools like time management apps that will help you stay productive. There are apps for tracking time, keeping track of lists and projects, prioritizing tasks, staying focused, storing your notes and ideas, collaborating and sharing with teammates, and sharing schedules with family members.
Find which tips will benefit you the most with improving your time management and productivity skills.
Do you find yourself running late? Rushing to get things done? Stressing out your family while you yell orders to get out of the house on time? Frustrated that you keep missing deadlines? Are you ready to put a stop to the madness and get a handle on these things?
Put my training to use. Let me help you or your family create time management systems that serve your busy lifestyle. Set up a free consultation today and we’ll discuss your current situation, your goals, and how to reach them. Click here to book your free time management consultation!
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