If you compare yourself to some of the world’s successful professionals, entrepreneurs, or celebrities, it can be easy to fall into a downward spiral. The media would often have us believe that the everyday person just doesn’t ‘have what it takes,’ but that’s nonsense. The secret to success is learning how to be productive by mastering your time management skills.
There are a lot of different time management strategies that you can employ if you want to be successful. This article will explore some of the best and proven time management techniques for anybody who wants to take their business, art, education, or personal development to the next level.
Time Management Definition – What Is Time Management?
Before you go ahead with mastering your time management techniques, you should understand what time management actually is.
Basically, time management is the process of organizing your time. By planning and dividing your time into scheduled blocks distributed among different activities you’re able to manage your time so that you can make the most out of it.
Proper time management allows you to work more efficiently and effectively without necessarily having to work harder. You’ll be able to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time, thereby freeing up more time for either personal recreation or further accomplishment.
Best Time Management Techniques
Here are a few of the best time management techniques for anybody who wants to boost productivity.
1. The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Analysis, is named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. It remains one of the most fundamental time management tools in the business world today. The basic premise of the rule is that 20% of your actions are responsible for 80% of your outcomes.
Understanding this allows you to prioritize your most important actions, knowing that they will produce the most important fruits of your labor. You’ll be better able to solve problems and accomplish goals when you prioritize things that will produce the best outcomes.
One of the best ways to approach the 80/20 rule is to write out a list of your problems or obstacles that you’re facing. Identify the underlying cause of each problem, assign a value or score according to the importance of each issue, and then group together issues that have a similar cause or function.
After tallying together the score of each group of problems, you’ll see which ones are the most important. Now you can take action to solve the most prominent issues.
2. Keep a To-Do List
Keeping a to-do list is simple. So simple, in fact, that many people write off its importance. A to-do list is a great way to keep yourself organized and remain focused on your goals and tasks
You should divide your to-do list into different sections. One section can keep track of the quick tasks that you can finish in a matter of minutes, other sections can be dedicated to longer tasks or ongoing goals.
By continually updating your list and checking it several times a day you’ll remain focused on your goals.
3. The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique was designed by Francesco Cirillo, a successful entrepreneur and author. The premise of the technique is that you’ll be more successful by breaking your work into smaller intervals, called Pomodoros.
It’s quite simple. First, choose a goal or task that you want to accomplish. (Check your handy to-do list to find one, if you can’t think of anything!)
Then, set a timer for a relatively short period of time – say, twenty minutes. Focus on your current task until the timer goes off, then add a checkmark or a gold star onto a piece of paper tracking your progress.
Take a quick break for a few minutes, then reset the timer and return to work.
Breaking your work into smaller segments can help you feel less overwhelmed and can make it easier to slowly chip away at large, seemingly daunting tasks
4. Manage Your Distractions
Even if you’re determined to get your work done on time, it’s still easy to get distracted. The best thing you can do is plan ahead and manage your distractions before they get the best of you.
First, you’ll have to identify all of the things that might actually cause you to get distracted. Social media and smartphone notifications are obvious culprits, and just as easy to manage: simply turn off the notifications or put your phone away somewhere that you won’t be tempted to check it.
However, other things can also create distractions. Social or business calls, meetings, appointments, children, and pets can all pull you away from your work. Try to create a program that allows you to plan for and manage all of these distractions before they get a hold of you.
5. Time Blocking
Time blocking is one of the most important tasks for the famous inventor and rocket scientist Elon Musk. He accredits time blocking as being one of the most important tools for allowing him to put in more than 80 hours of work per week.
The technique is quite simple. Shortly after awakening, assign each block of time in your day to a specific activity. This means all tasks, not just important business assignments or meetings. Things like eating meals and walking to or from an appointment should be included.
This can be done easily by drawing a line down a piece of paper. On the left-hand side, write down the hours of the day and segment them into blocks of, say, half an hour or an hour. Estimate the time required to finish your daily tasks and drop them in on the right side of the sheet. Add a few minutes of buffer time in between each activity and you’ll have a rough estimate of how much you’ll be able to accomplish throughout the day.
Microdosing & Business: Psychedelics for Time Management
Microdosing and business are becoming an increasingly popular combination. And, while it might seem rather edgy — and while it’s not really a time management technique in itself — it would be foolish of us not to mention microdosing on this page.
Microdosing allows people to ramp up creativity and productivity, so anybody wondering how to boost business performance should certainly consider microdosing.
Microdosing involves consuming a sub-threshold dose of a substance, usually a psychedelic like LSD or magic mushrooms. While this might sound absurd, research has proven time and again that sub-threshold (as in, a dose so low that you won’t really feel its effects) dosages of these compounds can provide numerous benefits for anybody interested in how to boost productivity.
Here are a few of the impressive benefits attributed to microdosing.
- Increased focus. Low doses of psychedelics can enhance focus for significant periods of time, making it easier to avoid distractions or to re-focus after getting distracted.
- Improved cognition. Microdosing can enhance memory, increase logical thinking skills, improve problem solving abilities and enhance verbal fluidity.
- Improved management of mental health. Microdosing can help people manage emotional or mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and stress. These issues can interfere with productivity, so managing them is very important for anybody who wants to maximize their performance.
- Enhanced energy. Microdosing can provide you with increased vitality. This is a bit different than the stimulation provided by drugs like caffeine. This vitality is not as pronounced, but it’s more sustained and comes with less of a crash.
Combined with time management strategies, microdosing can be a great way to really turn up your production and performance.
Final Thoughts on Time Management Tips
There are plenty of different time management tips out there.
Applying these to your daily routine can improve your overall ability to accomplish tasks and goals.
If you include microdosing alongside your time management techniques you’ll be able to ramp up your creativity and productivity even further.