Do you feel like you’re just not accomplishing enough during the day? If so, you might need to adjust how you’re working and not necessarily the number of tasks you have to do.
What do we mean by this? Well, there are quite a few calendar hacks and activity methods that you can use to become more productive.
Best of all, these methods don’t really require any special skills or tools to start using. All you have to do is switch up how you approach a pile of work and follow the basic steps.
Sound like something that would help you out? Here are a few time management tips for better productivity.
1. Use Schedule Blocking
One of the easiest ways to enjoy better time management is to use schedule blocking. In short, this calendar hack involves grouping together similar tasks to get them done more efficiently.
For example, if you know you’ll have to run to the grocery store on Tuesday evening, make plans at the same time to visit the nearby pharmacy or grab a few items from your local home improvement store.
At work, you might use Wednesdays just for making cold calls. Or you might only answer emails the first and last hour of the workday.
Schedule blocking is efficient because it means you’re combining multiple tasks at once while you’re already in the area or simply in the same frame of mind at that time.
2. Consider the Pomodoro Technique
Another popular productivity hack is the Pomodoro technique. This time-saving method involves setting a timer for twenty-five minutes and working for that full period. After the bell goes off, you’ll then take a five-minute break. This repeats several rounds, ultimately ending at a longer break.
A lot of people really like the Pomodoro method for times when the focus is important. The key to making it work, however, is making sure you don’t have any interruptions whatsoever during the process.
If you do have to take a call or switch gears during your work period, make sure to pause the timer and pick it up as soon as possible.
3. Define Tasks with the Eisenhower Matrix
The Eisenhower Matrix is a time management technique inspired by the former United States President. It is said during his time in office, he insisted that his staff and even military leaders follow this guideline for better efficiency.
This time hack involves listing out all the tasks you have to do within a given day and breaking them into four different categories: do, decide, delegate, and disregard.
Do tasks are those that are urgent and need your immediate attention while deciding tasks are important but not necessarily urgent. Delegate tasks are somewhat important, but still can be put aside or delegated to someone else. And disregard tasks are those that you would like to do, but they aren’t time-sensitive or urgent.
By breaking your tasks down into these quadrants, you can better manage what you prioritize first in your day.
4. The Eat the Frog Technique
Maybe you have a hard time talking yourself into those really urgent or difficult tasks. In that case, the Eat the Frog technique might be the best option for you.
What does this mean? Eat the Frog refers to taking the most important or unpleasant task and completing it first. Then, when done, you can move on to the easier or more fun ones.
For a lot of people, the biggest hurdle in time management is getting over the displeasure of the task itself. And that’s where this time hack can really help.
5. Eliminate Distractions When Possible
The process of eliminating distractions isn’t necessarily a calendar hack, but it can help you become more productive throughout your day.
For example, if you find yourself spending too much time on social media when you should be working, you can always use tech controls to limit access. There are a ton of different apps out there that do this—ranging from things you download to browser extensions and even smartphone settings.
When you can eliminate distractions, you have a better opportunity to pay attention to the really important stuff in your schedule.
6. Project Manage Your Steps
Finally, you can upgrade your ability to get more done on a daily basis by simply project managing your steps. What does this mean?
Essentially, the process includes taking bigger tasks and breaking them down into much smaller, bite-sized steps. This makes it far easier to feel accomplished as you work through each of them and keeps you from having to wonder where to go next when you’re organizing your day.
To really put this in action, set aside anywhere from a half-hour to an hour in your morning. Write down all the big stuff you have to do, then break each one down into smaller actionable items.
If necessary, you can even download or use a project management app that allows you to keep track of all of your individual steps. Some even offer integration with your favorite calendar app, which is helpful for planning your day.
Wrap Up: Tips for Better Time Management
Are you looking to ramp up your productivity to lower stress and accomplish more throughout your day? With the tips we have mentioned here, you can easily achieve these goals by simply making a few changes in how you attempt to handle tasks on a daily basis.
Image Credit: Bich Tran; Pexels; Thank you!