50 Time Management Techniques – Get More Done With The Time You Have
Do you find yourself asking “Where did all the time go?” We know we’re busy but we still find ourselves falling behind in our tasks or just not planning properly in the first place. You’ve probably thought “If only I had some better time management techniques.” Well, now you do.
The most time you’ll save every day is created just by planning correctly in the first place. When we know what we want to achieve and we’ve written down all the things we need to do to achieve it we can plan our schedule. An effective schedule takes everything into account…our work, our family, our health and leisure.
You need to know how to track you schedule, keep it realistic. How much time do we spend on tasks and what time management technique works best for different tasks.
The most important thing you can do though is be flexible with your planning. It’s all about knowing what you want to achieve and planning to actually achieve it. You rule your time, your plan doesn’t rule you. Be flexible and the time management will fall into place.
Here are 50 time management techniques that will help you get more done each day
1. First things first. There’s only 24 hours in a day.
That’s the same for everyone so don’t ever think that someone has more time than you. We all have the same amount of time.
2. Where are you wasting time?
If you don’t know where you’re wasting or using time inefficiently then you will never really know where the problems are coming from.
Make a time audit of your day and keep a log of what you do and for how long you do it each day. Once you’ve done that for a few days or even weeks you’ll start to see where the patterns are and where most of your time is going to.
3. You need to know what you’re trying to achieve.
The best way to do this is to write down your goals for what you want to see happen once you have mastered your time management techniques.
If you write these out by hand then they’ll sink into your subconscious a lot better than if you do it on a computer.
4. Do you keep a budget for your spending?
Well, try a similar approach with a time management plan.
A plan is one of the most effective time management techniques to help guide you on just how much and where to spend your precious time each day.
5. Use time management tools.
There are thousands of time management tools
Think about using time management techniques and tools to better manage your time. Time management tools come in a range of different mediums (including the book The Amazing Me Project)
Time Management Apps
…there’s loads more Time Management Tools out there. Have a look on other blog posts for some more ideas.
There are time management courses online that you can search for. Many however don’t cover the full spectrum of what time management actually means. If you’re looking for a time management course online then try the link below.
6. You need to be able to prioritise
If you make lists of all of the things that you need to do then you need to be able to prioritise.
One of the most effective time management techniques is learning how to put a line through things on your list that just aren’t that important.
If it’s not worth your time or it doesn’t seem that important anymore…then just get rid of it.
7. You don’t have to do everything yourself.
Effective time management skills don’t always have to be about working alone. You can ask others to help you or you can even hire people to assist. That’s called delegating and it is easily one of the best time management techniques you can have in your arsenal.
8. Having the same day each and every day is boring.
Having a regular routine is a great technique for time management that will help you get more done each and every day.
9. Have you heard of Parkinson’s Law?
It says that time will fill whatever ‘vessel’ you give it.
This means that of you dedicate an hour for a task that should really only take 30 minutes, it’ll most likely take you an hour as that’s what you scheduled for it.
Keep your tasks to a time frame but don’t dedicate more time to a task than what’s needed.
Read More: 19 Ways The Pareto Law Can Enhance Your Life
10. Use a System
If you’re someone who uses a lot of systems, programs and apps then a great time management technique for you will be keeping things organised.
Consolidate your email inboxes, bookmark your regular web pages and you’ll see just how much time you can save when everything in your life is organised properly.
11. “No Extra Time”. That’s what Tony Robbins calls it.
If you’ve got 15 minutes spare when you’re waiting for someone or if you’re in a taxi then use that time wisely. Read a book, make a business call….make a personal call if needed. Just don’t waste those minutes.
Having downtime is important of course but please make sure that your downtime happens when you planned for it to happen and not at the expense of some bonus time that could be productive.
12. Keep a planner with you at all times.
This can be in book form, an app…even the back of a napkin if that works for you.
The most important thing is that you have your schedule with you and available to look at and update whenever you need it.
13. Understand what is important and what is not so important.
Time management techniques work best when you understand what the real priorities are. Just like in the earlier point, we can prioritise by look at what is urgent and what is vital.
If something is urgent, it’s important but it’s not something that will cause a huge issue if not done right away.
If something is vital however, this is super important. It is Vital that it gets done right away.
14. You’re in control
Even though I’m saying to make a schedule and prioritise your tasks don’t ever forget that you are in control.
Don’t let your schedule rule you. If it’s not working, change it. The best time management techniques are the ones that work for you when you need them. You’re the boss of you, not the time management technique.
15. Keep details of your time spent
One you’ve done your audit mentioned in an earlier point, try keeping a more detailed journal of your day.
This is best done over a few weeks, a month is better. You’ll begin to see clearer where your time gets taken up and you can also gauge your output during each day and highlight where the time bottle necks are and also the opportunities to make improvements and optimise your time.
16. Learn to Say No
This is one of my favourites.
Learn to say NO
You don’t have to do everything that you think you want to do. You definitely don’t have to do everything that everybody else wants you to do.
By saying no to the things that you prioritise as being less important is one of the most effective time management techniques out there.
You’ll be amazed at just how much time you’ll have when you start saying no to more things.
Don’t worry, you’re not being rude by saying no to people. You’re being smart. You’re prioritising.
17. What distracts you?
Keep a note of when, what and why you get distracted.
Distractions can lead to procrastination and we want to get rid of those distractions and keep you focused and to plan.
18. How much is your time worth?
If you figure out how many hours you work in a year and how much you earn you can easily figure out what your hours are worth to you in monetary value.
This is a great way to figure out if something is worth doing. If it’s not worth your hourly value then maybe it’s not worth doing at all.
19. Know what the path looks like.
This is going back to setting goals but the goal is just the first step.
You need to know what the journey will look like. This doesn’t have to be detailed but having a rough idea of how to get from A to B will save you a lot of time in the long run.
20. Don’t get bogged down in the minute details.
The bigger picture is the main thing.
Stay focused on what the big picture is and don’t sweat the small stuff as they say. Learning about the best time management techniques is worthless if you don’t keep focused on what the overall point is of better time management and productiveness.
21. Don’t put off something you can easily do now until later.
I’m talking about the small stuff here like responding to an email…things like that.
These minute tasks may seem unimportant now but they can snowball into a bigger thing if they’re not tackled when they should be tackled.
Checking email for example is something you can schedule into your day. You’re not ruled by your inbox but don’t let it hold something over you that you’ll regret later on down the line.
22. Anyone who says they’re a great multitasker is lying.
There, I said it.
You’ll get a lot more done by focussing on one thing at a time. This may sound like it’s not true but one of the most effective time management skills is tackling one thing at a time.
Doing two things at the same time is doing two things half as well. We want to do everything as well as we can.
As time management techniques go, this is a big one. Don’t forget, multitaskers are doing more things but they’re doing them less effectively.
23. Eat That Frog!
That’s what Brian Tracy says anyway.
Eat That Frog means, do the most important thing first. Get it out of the way. Once that huge daunting thing is done your time is left to spend on more enjoyable and less scary things.
24. Don’t forget the small things
As mentioned earlier when talking about not putting off the small things until later, scheduling your email time into your day is a great time management technique to get under your belt.
You don’t have to check every email when it comes in. Have time in your day when you check and respond to people.
You can even put your Out of Office on saying this so that people understand when they can expect to hear back from you.
Again, it’s not being rude, it’s being smart. We’re masters of time management techniques and that’s why we’re successful!
25. It’s easy to get confused
Don’t get confused with all of your web browsing and research. Keep it all bookmarked and organised and you’ll save loads of time re-looking for all of the things you’ve researched.
By keeping your various time management journals you should have started to see where and when you work best.
If you work better and more efficient in the morning, then an effective time management skill for you will be to schedule more things, or the more important things in the morning.
If you’re an afternoon or evening person, same deal, just schedule more of the important things there.
27. Use Technology
Software, apps, even keyboard shortcuts are an effective time management technique that you can utilise.
If you’re on your laptop or not, just think about how many extra seconds you spend doing repetitive tasks.
Think: Can you automate them? Eliminate them completely? Do them a different way?
It’s the output we want so if you can find a shortcut that gets the same output at the same quality then you should look for it and use it.
Whether it’s a keyboard shortcut, a piece of software or even an app, these wasted seconds add up over the year and that’s more time spent doing something more productive and useful.
28. Break it all down
The Amazing Me Project is all about managing your time and find useful time management techniques that help manage your life project more effectively.
As a project management tool, it’s all about breaking down your projects or tasks into smaller and more manageable chunks.
Breaking things down make them less daunting and seemingly more achievable.
Remember, it’s keeping our focus on the bigger picture and knowing how we’ll get there. Breaking that big picture down is one of the best time management techniques to start doing right now.
29. To Do Lists
Some people hate them, some people love them.
As I’ve already said, prioritise your list, but that doesn’t mean just once.
You should be looking at your to do list every day, hell, even twice, three times a day.
Things change, priorities change. You’re not guided by your to do list or your schedule so keep it relevant and up to date.
30. Keep on track but don’t rush.
Be mindful of the time you’ve spent on your tasks but don’t deliver something of a lesser quality just because you’re worried about the time.
You may have to go back and redo part or all of your task and now we’ve just wasted time instead of effectively managing our time.
31. Don’t let others distract you.
It’s great to stop and have a chat with people but one of the best time management techniques at work can be to keep your distractions to a minimum.
Sounds obvious right, but think about how much of your day may be wasted with just unnecessary conversations?
Now, don’t get me wrong, we don’t want to turn into a recluse or some ‘strange’ person who doesn’t talk to anyone but we’re all about the effective time management right!
32. Make sure you’re lists are accessible.
Even if it means keeping a To Do List by your bed, do it.
I have some of my best ideas when going to sleep and when I wake up so make sure you have something to write them down on.
33. Don’t work too hard. Reward yourself occasionally too.
Our mind works well with stimulus and it’ll see rewards as a great thing. When our mind is our friend it’ll help us work more effectively and efficiently so that it gets more rewards…win win.
34. Your work is your work and your home is your home.
Don’t get them mixed and merged. You’ll work a lot more effectively if you keep those boundaries clear.
Home is a place to rest and unwind. Work is a place to…well, work.
35. Remember to rest.
If you don’t get enough rest then you’re output will be massively reduced.
This is one of the most important time management techniques so pay attention.
You must: Sleep well and look after your mental and physical health.
Without doing these things everything else is pointless really.
As with the previous point, getting the right energy levels is another fantastic time management technique.
With the right energy levels we’ll get more done, more efficiently and at a better quality.
Eat well and exercise…the benefits are huge.
“Accountabilibudies” are a big part of The Amazing Me Project.
It’s someone to keep you on track, help you and advise you when you need them to.
It’s not a weakness to ask for help if you need it.
38. Not everything has to be perfect.
Ok, some things do…but that’s where prioritising and understanding the gravity of the task come into play.
Some things just need to be done. Some things need to be done well and some are needed to be done perfectly. It’s up to you to know which is which.
39. Just get started.
Getting started is the hardest things sometimes but one of the most effective time management techniques is kind of the most obvious. Just Start.
Once you’re off, you’re off…that’s when the momentum starts and that’s when things get interesting.
40. Visualise it
Visualise what it is you’re wanting to achieve. What does the big picture look like? How big? What will you achieve and when. How will that make you feel?
If you know what you want and what that looks like then figuring out how to get there will be all the more easier and that will save you so much time in planning and doing.
41. Refine your routine.
Again, I’ll repeat. Your routine doesn’t rule you. You rule it.
If it’s not working, change it. Refine it. Perfect it.
42. What’s your process for prioritising?
Do you colour code? Do you give tasks a ranking 1-10? Colour coding?
It doesn’t matter. What works for you is what’s important.
All I ask is that you make sure that it’s clear. The last thing you want is to look at a list later on and not understand it. That’s just wasting time.
43. Sometimes things go wrong.
Sorry, it’s true. Make sure though that you’re planning for these emergencies.
Backup your hard-drives, make copies. The last thing you want to do is have to redo all your work.
Some things you’re not in control of. Traffic, wireless internet, power outages…you can’t control everything but you can think of ways to limit the impact they have on you when they do happen.
44. When a task is done, it’s done.
Tick it off and celebrate the win.
Don’t dwell on things once they’re done. So long as you’ve done your best to the plan you made you can move on. Don’t spend unnecessary time rethinking everything.
Plan, plan and plan. If you’ve done that then your output should be fine.
45. Keep a tight schedule…but not too tight.
Trying to be too clever with your time management may cause you issues. If you don’t leave enough time between tasks then you may find you’re behind on your next task before it even starts.
Think about travel, time between meetings. These all take a bit of time themselves so make sure they’re factored in.
It may not sound like a time management technique but it really is…Exercise is so important to our wellbeing in terms of physical health but don’t underestimate the mental health benefits.
Having a clear mind means we plan better, we think better and we have better ideas. All of these improve our time management as we cut out waste making us more effective with our time management techniques.
47. Don’t forget to take a break.
Time management techniques are pointless if you burn yourself out. Nobody can work 24 hours a day let alone 8 hours straight.
5 minutes every hour or so, time for lunch…don’t look at it as wasted time…look at it as another effective time management techniques.
48. Prepare yourself.
Get what you need ready to do the tasks you need to do. Don’t waste time by being ill prepared.
49. Know yourself.
You know yourself better than anyone so be honest with yourself and know your limits.
When you’re tired, you’re tired. If you need a day off, you need a day off.
Working when you’re not really in the right frame of mind or physical condition isn’t smart. You may do more damage than you realise by not admitting when you’re nearing a burn out.
50. Don’t take on too much each day.
When you’ve figured out when you work best and how you work best you can spend more time refining your schedule and to do lists so that you optimise the amount of tasks you do each day.
If you think you can only get 5 things done on a given day, just plan for the 5. So long as you’re prioritising effectively then you’ve got nothing to worry about.
Author of The Amazing Me Project, a tendency to obsess and all round good bloke 🙂