Time Management Strategies to Increase Productivity

At some point in our lives, we all struggle with productivity. For some, getting back to their productive selves takes a while, but many people struggle to get their spark back.

Time management is one of the best ways to get back on the path to productivity. We don’t want you wasting time, sitting at your home or office workstations, staring out the window or immersing yourself in the endless scroll of your social media accounts. Taking control of the clock with these time management strategies might just be your efficiency’s jumpstart.

Look after yourself first

You cannot be productive if you aren’t healthy, so it’s essential that you take a deep dive into your current lifestyle.

  1. Are you eating healthily or are you wasting your money on junk food?
  2. Are you getting enough sleep? You need at least 8 hours of sleep every day
  3. Are you making time to exercise a few times a week?

Focusing on your health and making sure that everything is in order, your body will respond and find the necessary energy to make sure that you can be productive.

Get back into a routine

Setting a daily routine is one of the best time management strategies to follow. You need to prepare your body and mind so that they’re ready for recurring activities.

Set alarms, use your calendar – whichever one works for you  – and block out time for any recurring tasks that you need to do on a daily basis. It will take a while for it to set in, but if you stick to your chosen routine, you’ll start to see real progress.

It doesn’t have to be perfect

If you’re a perfectionist, stop. We’re not saying that you should provide sloppy work or that you should drop your standards, but if you want every little thing to be perfect, you’re going to waste so much time during the day that could have been used to complete other tasks.

How do you stop? Set realistic goals for yourself and stick to them. Get someone else to hold you accountable as well – make it their job to tell you that you’re going a bit overboard whenever they need to.

Try to complete everything

It doesn’t matter what the task may be, whether it’s making sure that you’ve ordered the ergonomic office chairs for the boardroom or you need to fold up your clothing, make sure that you complete every activity in its entirety.

This will help you create a personal trait that will never let you fail at anything because you will complete everything and not waste time completing missed deadlines.

Avoid meetings if you can

I can’t even begin to count how many times a day I find myself in pointless meetings that could have been avoided. Time is a precious resource and nothing gobbles it up more than meetings or quick Google Meets calls that could have been dealt with over a simple slack message or email.

Unless it’s genuinely needed, avoid setting up meetings if possible. Ask yourself, can this be handled over an email, phone call or video chat?

If it can, handle it there.

Output over time

By focusing on output instead of time, you will be focusing on achieving more throughout the day than simply working for 8 hours.

If you’re working from home and you managed to complete your work fewer hours than you should, use the extra time for yourself – head out for a walk or grab a coffee.

However, set boundaries for yourself, you shouldn’t be working extended hours every single day, if you are, it mean’s that you either are not coping with your current workload and you need help, or there are too many distractions in your life that’s stopping you from finishing your work in your allotted working hours.

Stop multitasking

Multitasking may seem impressive, but it could also be a productivity killer, especially if you fail to complete the task or it’s not done to the standard that it’s supposed to be.

Rather take the time and focus on one project at a time. Quality trumps quantity and speed all the time and you’ll save a lot of time in fixing up errors that you made whilst multitasking.

We all have our ups and downs, that’s generally how life works, but by sticking to these strategies every single day, you’ll find that over time, you’ll be back to your peak productivity levels sooner rather than later.

About the Author

Jarred Manasse is a freelance writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. When he is not at the desk, you’ll find him hiking, camping, running or relaxing on the couch watching sports.

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