9 Time Management Tips to Skyrocket Your Productivity through the Roof
Time management tips – they’re everywhere today. It seems like every magazine, blog, or thought leader is sharing information on the topic. Why is that? Actually, it’s pretty simple.
Quick quiz for my long-time readers. What is the only thing you actually own in this life? What is your single most valuable asset? I’ve touched on it many, many times in posts ranging from 15 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Own Success to 16 Habits Rich People Develop That Poor People Don’t. If you said “time”, then congratulations. Go to the head of the class.
Time is the one thing you actually own in this life. Everyone gets the same amount – we all have 24 hours in a day – but some are simply better at using their time than others are. They have good time management skills. If you’re struggling to manage your time, there is good news. You can change.
Good time management isn’t something you’re born with. It’s something you learn. Chances are that friend you know who’s super productive? They probably learned their time management from a parent, teacher, or mentor. You can do the same. In this post, I’m going to touch on some of the most effective time management tips that will help you skyrocket your productivity through the roof.
Refocus on Now
If you haven’t heard about the practice of mindfulness, then you’ve been living under that proverbial rock. It has a lot to offer entrepreneurs, but the ability to focus on the here and now is perhaps the most important. The key to being mindful and present, able to take advantage of every second in your 24-hour day, is to just breathe.
Breathe in slowly. Breathe out slowly. Focus on how your breath feels as it enters your body, flowing in past your nostrils, into your nose, down your throat, and then into your lungs. Focus on how it feels to exhale. Take 30 seconds or a minute and just breathe. Refocus on now and you’ll find you're more easily able to handle anything that life might throw your way.
We’ve been conditioned by life and society that we need to say yes. We say yes to opportunity. We say it to the chance to give back. We say it day in and day out. Saying yes is a great thing, don’t get me wrong. However, when it means sacrificing your time on projects or tasks that don’t offer a good return, you need to learn to say no.
How do you tell if you should say yes or no to something? Ask yourself a few basic questions:
Does it push me toward where I want to go?
Does it offer a decent reward for the time spent?
Is it worthwhile for my business, or for me personally?
If you answer yes, then it is worth doing. If you answer no, then your answer should be no. Note that saying no doesn’t really mean avoiding the task completely in all cases.
For instance, your personal time is probably not best spent doing business accounting, but it must be done. It would be wiser to delegate that responsibility to someone else so you could use your time in areas where it would yield better results. This enables you to say no while still ensuring that important but mundane tasks are handled.
Get Up Earlier
This is another tip I’ve touched on time and time again. If you really want to manage your time effectively, then you need to make the most use possible out of all 24 hours in the day. Yes, getting a good night’s sleep is vital. However, it is just as important that you start your day early. If you’re lying in bed, you’re doing nothing productive.
The best advice is something you’ve probably heard all your life – early to bed and early to rise. Don’t try to burn the candle at both ends. Go to bed at a decent hour and then get up early. Design your schedule so that you get the optimum amount of sleep for mental health and acuity, as well as for physical health, but don’t waste your time lying in bed when you could be up and doing things that grow your success.
Work Out in the Morning
If you’re looking to manage your time better, the right mental state is important. Believe it or not, you can hit that state through exercise. How does that work?
In a nutshell, physical activity improves your energy levels. It also boosts productivity and helps you sleep better. All of that leads to you feeling more energetic and better able to take on the day. By making time for exercise in the morning, you help ensure optimum levels of dopamine in the brain for the rest of the day, elevating your mood and enabling better decision making.
You will also find that a morning workout routine gives you the opportunity for reflection and can even be used as a time of meditation (no, you don’t have to sit on the floor with your legs crossed to meditate).
Don’t Do Double Work
If you’ve ever been involved in carpentry, remodeling, or just known someone who was, you have heard the old adage, “measure twice, cut once”. That’s important advice for anyone. What it means is this – be careful so you don’t end up doing double work.
Whatever you’re doing, give it your full attention (this comes back to mindfulness, so breathe!). Make sure you’re doing it right. When you’re done, double check it. A few minutes spent here can save you hours of time down the road if you discover something was just not quite right.
Double work is no one’s friend. It’s a complete waste of time. Do it right the first time. Recheck your work.
Eliminate Needless Commitments
We all have commitments that we would rather not deal with. In some instances, there is no way out. That parent-teacher conference is important. Getting your oil changed is also important. However, there are plenty of commitments that can be eliminated if they waste your time and energy.
Take a long, hard look at your schedule. Are there commitments that waste your time? Are there things you’re scheduled to do that leave you feeling drained and without energy? How many commitments waste your attention? How many of these could be cut out of your life?
Cleaning is something that most of us have to do on a regular basis. You might have dreamed about hiring a maid service to handle household cleanup chores when you were young, but when you’re older and realize that you can save a ton of money by doing it yourself, you change your mind. The problem here is that your mindset change probably doesn’t involve cleaning in a smart way.
Schedule your cleaning so that you save time overall. Don’t put things off so you have to spend a full day cleaning. For instance, rather than spending 30 minutes scrubbing your bathroom clean each week, wipe things down when you’re done with them. Smart cleaning can free up a lot of time each week, allowing you to repurpose it toward things that would make you more productive where it really counts.
Batch Your Work
We all have interrelated tasks that need to be performed each week. We’ve got meetings to attend. We have emails to write and phone calls to make. Try to batch similar tasks together so that you can save time. You actually waste a lot of time when you jump from one task to another – changing gears makes you less productive.
To get around that issue, consider having all your phone conversations in one day. Have your in-person meetings another day. Take care of all email correspondence in batches throughout the day. You get the idea. Batching related tasks together helps streamline your day and improve your productivity.
Most of my time management tips relate to doing more, doing it better, smarter, or faster. However, this one revolves around doing nothing at all. Every now and then, you need to unplug. Turn off the cell phone. Power down the PC. Shut off your tablet.
Take time every now and then to get away from it all. As an entrepreneur, you’re always on. The problem with that is it leads to burnout and drains your energy. Unplugging every now and then can help you recharge your mental batteries, allowing you to come back stronger and be more productive.
We might all have the same 24 hours in a day, but we certainly don’t use those hours the same way. These time management tips will help ensure that you are able to handle whatever might come your way while avoiding that burned-out feeling that we all know.
On top of everything that has been covered, I would also like to invite you to sign up for my Six Figure Sunday course. I teach everything you need to know in order to bring in six figures while only putting in one day of work each week. You can watch your first FREE lesson by clicking here.