Everyone has the same opportunity every day and the same 24 hours to work with. However, some people use their time better than others. Are you using your time well? Do you catch yourself procrastinating and spending time inefficiently?
If so, we have a few tips and tricks to squeeze more juice out of your day, as well as some proven time management systems and tactics that work for some of the most successful people in the world.
Plan and organize
Do it in the evening before you go to bed when you are most conscious and clear-headed. You should have a list of things you want to accomplish the next day. You can have that list in your head, but it’s even better to write it down. That way when you wake up tomorrow, you won’t wander around and lose time thinking about what you need to do. Keep your to-do list short and cite only the most important tasks.
Wake up before the birds
Some of the most successful people like Tim Cook or Arnold Schwarzenegger wake up before 6 a.m. This habit gives you time to think, organize, workout or do some critical work.
If you wake up at 5.a.m and tackle your day with purpose, you’d be surprised how much you can do by lunchtime. Everything is else is just a bonus from that time on.
Don’t hit the snooze button ever again: Even presidents and CEOs wake up groggy!
Waking up early is hard, and it takes a certain time to adjust. When the alarm goes off at 5 or 6 that snooze button becomes more appealing than a cold drink on a hot day. If you are struggling with waking up, set up your alarm clock as far away from the bed possible. You will have to wake up and physically get out of bed.
Once you are up, stay up! Go to the washroom. In 10 minutes you will not have the urge to sleep anymore. Bravo, you have won. Do the same thing tomorrow, and you will soon have this powerful habit.
For more info, you can check the book Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. It is very inspiring and informational on how to wake up energized and engaged.
Not all time is created equal
1 hour from 8 a.m to 9 a.m is the same as 1 hour from 8 p.m to 9 p.m. Right? Wrong! It is the same time unit, but doing meaningful work is not the same and will be harder to do in the evening. You are tired, people may call you, family duties may come up.
The work that would take 1 hour in the morning may take 3 hours later in the day. That’s why most essential tasks must be done first before the world drowns you with obligations. Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy is a short but excellent book that describes this tactic.
Although multitasking is not recommended you can do it in some instances. Outsource administration time, listen to a podcast*/audiobook while commuting or in the gym. Having meetings with your team and clients during lunch is another example.
*If you want to find some of the best marketing podcasts, we have listed out our favourites for you!
You can also do an audio/video/checklist of what needs to be done outside of work and then serve it to your staff the next day, so you don’t need to tell them in person and lose time. Developing other leaders and relegating more work is one of essential team leader skills, so that you can focus on career growth and the most important tasks.
Some more tips
- Eat healthy foods and manage energy levels – don’t eat carbs in the morning to avoid energy crashes! Fueling your body with proper nutrients and drinking plenty of water will help you alleviate tiredness and allow your brain to work at an optimum level
- Email twice a day – Answering email as soon as it hits your inbox may deconcentrate you and prolong the task you are doing. Tim Ferris advises answering email in two-time slots during the day to save time
- Be conscious of cellphone/social media time – social networks can be very engaging and time-consuming. Download an app that tracks your use of social media
- Track your time and progress – keep a time journal to see where you might be losing time and figure out what activities you can reduce and improve on
Time Management Tips at the office!
Additionally, below are a few tips from Bayt.com to help you along the way to mastering time management at the workplace:
- Create a to-do list every night before you leave the office: “Everything becomes urgent if you wait long enough”, states professional keynote speaker and author in leadership and motivation, Danny Cox. You can never manage your time if you don’t know what you should be doing the next morning. Stick to your daily lists!
- Prioritize your tasks: Creating a “to-do” list is one thing but managing it effectively is another. Arrange your tasks in order of importance and urgency.
- Know when you work best: Monitor your productivity levels over a certain period of time and then work your schedule so that you allocate the most productive part of the day to your most important task of the day.
- Limit multitasking when possible: Try to focus on finishing your tasks one after the other within a reasonable time frame, following your daily to-do lists and bearing in mind your key priorities.
Before you go, download our Ebook on some real marketing metrics your marketing team should care about and are very important for your organisation.