32 Time Management Tips That Will Change Your Life Completely

Brian Tracy is one of the top authors and speakers on Time Management. He states that time management is life management.

If we’re capable of managing our time during the day, we’ll have a feeling of satisfaction. And consequently, a happy life.

Start Tracking Your Time Today

Think about it.

If you manage your time well and achieve your goals, you’ll feel good about yourself, and you’ll live a happy life.

On the other side, if you can’t manage your time, you’ll have a constant feeling of frustration and underachievement.

Time management is a science that I’ve been studying during the last ten years. I’ve read books by some of the best authors on Time Management including Laura Vanderkam, Stephen R. Covey, Brian Tracy, Peter Bregman, David Allen, Arnold Bennett, and Mark Foster.

As you can imagine, I’ve gathered an enormous amount of knowledge over the years. Applying that knowledge has helped me achieve my goals, and made my life happier.

In this article, I am going to share my top 32 tips on time management. They’re 100% guaranteed to work if you put them into an action.

#1 Plan Your Day the Night Before

 

“Every minute spent in planning saves 10 minutes in execution.” – Brian Tracy

Always give yourself a few minutes at the end of the day to plan for tomorrow. I prefer to use pen and paper for this activity. This ritual helps clear your mind and sets your agenda for first thing in the morning.

If anything mega urgent arrives overnight, you can deal with it first. But otherwise, you have your plan for the day.

#2 Take a Walk Early in the Morning

 

There’s nothing quite like an invigorating walk first thing in the morning.

Ditch the coffee. Breathe in the fresh air instead.

Try walking for 30 minutes to enjoy the release of serotonin and dopamine. 

#3 Don’t Open Your Email Until 1 pm

A few years ago I tried to answer each email by my clients ASAP.

Then I realized that I’m running a business. I don’t have to react to emails like a customer support operative. I can answer emails later.

My rule is to check emails twice a day. And never before 1 pm. 

#4 Use the A-B-C-D-E Method for Priorities

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by too many things to do and too little time to do them?

I know I do.

Here’s how to overcome it.

Start by writing everything down on a piece of paper. The act of writing with pen and paper helps clear your mind.

You won’t have time to do everything on your list. But you can identify the most important things with the A-B-C-D-E method.

Go through your list and categorize each item with one of these letters.

  • A – Very Important: something that you must do else there will be a negative impact.
  • B – Important: something you should do.
  • C – Nice To Do: something that can wait.
  • D – Delegate: something you can assign to someone else to complete.
  • E – Eliminate, Whenever Possible: something you can remove from your list altogether.

Now, you’ll have a clear picture of what order to tackle your tasks. 

#5 Complete Your ‘A’ Task First

Don’t give yourself fifty tasks to complete each day. You’ll fail miserably.

Use the A-B-C-D-E method to highlight your ‘A’ Tasks and pick two or three of them.

Get those completed first and you’ll feel good in yourself – you’ve achieved your goals for the day. Anything else is a bonus.

#6 Identify Your Biggest Time Wasters

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Do you know your biggest time wasters? Perhaps it’s time spent browsing Facebook, or watching TV, or playing on your Xbox?

Start tracking your time and you’ll soon discover how much time you’re spending on each activity. When you realize how much time you’ve wasted, you can drop those activities.

#7 Do Something During Waiting Time

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We’re not always at our desk. There are things in life that are a waste of time, like queuing at the checkout.

Find things to do during this time; for example:

  • Save articles to Pocket so you can read them offline when you’re waiting at the airport or the dentist.
  • Download a podcast so you can listen while you’re exercising at the gym or traveling on the train.

Maximize your time.

#8 Ask Yourself the Right Questions

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Do you find yourself procrastinating about the next task on your list?

Then ask yourself why…

  • Is it too difficult or too easy?
  • Are you bored or tired?
  • What’s stopping you from moving ahead?

Don’t waste your time and energy on the things you’re putting off. Ask yourself the right questions and tackle the issue.

#9 Perfectionists Are Losers

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Don’t fuss about unimportant details. You’ll never get everything done exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Just get things done and remember that there is more than one way to do something.

#10 Batch Similar Tasks Together

You’ll complete more of your tasks by batching related items together; for example:

  1. Researching upcoming assignments
  2. Writing new articles
  3. Marketing: updating your website and social media channels
  4. Business development: pitching new clients
  5. Admin Tasks: emails and invoicing

When you put similar tasks together you gain momentum.

#11 Budget Your Time Like Your Money

Create a budget for your time, like you would for your money.

Use a simple t-bar with credits and debits.

On one side you have Time for moneymaking activities. And on the other, you have Time for non-moneymaking activities.

Make sure you budget more time on the moneymaking activities.

#12 Create Artificial Urgency

A common mistake that we all fall into is not allowing ourselves enough time to complete a project.

When you plan a project set realistic deadlines that allow plenty of contingency.

This way you’ll prevent those last-minute rush jobs where you deliver poor quality. And you’ll feel good for completing a project under time.

#13 If Someone Else Can Do It: Delegate

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t outsource or delegate some tasks to another person; e.g. a virtual assistant.

When you do the math, it can often work out more cost effective than you first thought.

For example, let’s say your hourly rate is $100 per hour. If it takes you two hours to go through your emails each day, that’s $200 you can’t bill to a client. Consider outsourcing your email management to a VA who could get it done in one hour.

#14 Make a Time Diary

Try this exercise.

For one week, record what you do every day.

Be honest. If you watch 10 hours of TV each week, write it down.

You have to include everything:  

  • gym time
  • eating
  • driving
  • weekly meetings

You’ll be surprised to see how much time you spend on all these different activities.

It’s a painful awakening for most people. But it’s difficult to make intelligent decisions about using your time more efficiently if you don’t know what you’re doing each day.

#15 Don’t Be Afraid To Say No

Too often we feel pressured to say ‘Yes’ when it’s OK to say ‘No.’

You don’t have to agree to do everything.

  • Don’t be afraid to say, “No,” if it’s not convenient right now.

If your friend asks you to go to a movie one night but you have other plans then say no. Suggest an alternative time that works for both of you.

  • Don’t be afraid to say, “No,” if you’re uncomfortable with a request.

If a prospective client asks you to work on a project that’s outside of your niche, then politely say no.

#16 Set Time Management Goals

Remember, the focus of time management is to change your behaviors, not change time.

A good place to start is to remove your personal time-wasters. For example, for one week you could set a goal that you’re not going to check Facebook or respond to Tweets while you’re working.

#17 Read Books about Time Management

There are plenty of useful books on Time Management. Keep reading them to remind you to practice the right things

#18 Don’t Do It If It’s Not Important

Before starting a new task, ask yourself the question: “Why should I do it?”

If there is no strong reason to do it, then you probably don’t need to do it.

I like a quote on this topic by Peter Drucker that I’ll share with you:

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

#19 Set a Reward

Here’s a tip to motivate yourself before starting with an important task. Set a reward that you’re going to get when it’s finished.

If you’re a writer, for example, reward yourself a sip of coffee every time you write a new paragraph of your article.

#20 Procrastination Can Be Controlled

Have you read the book ‘Eat That Frog’ by Brian Tracy? It’s a must-read!

Inside, Brian explains how to get the worst thing done first. Then you have the rest of your day for more enjoyable activities.

Often you have one task that causes you more stress. And you keep putting it off.

To break the deadlock give yourself fifteen minutes at the start of the day to eat the frog. A short, sharp burst will often help you complete the troublesome task.

#21 Take a Break

Working non-stop is not the best use of your time. Our bodies work better when we take regular breaks.

If you force yourself to keep working:

  • You’ll become less productive
  • Your creativity levels will drop
  • You’ll make more mistakes

Everyone needs regular breaks throughout the day. Find the best time interval for you. Try the 52/17 rule or the 90/20 method.

On top of that, you need regular sleep. Some people manage on less sleep than others. Again, find what works best for you and stick to it.

Angela Muir, head of leadership and people practice at Ashridge Business School, says.

“There’s something about stepping away from the dance floor and going up to the balcony to look down on things for a while – stepping back and recharging your batteries is a good idea.”

#22 Identify Your Prime Time

Your “prime time” is your most productive time. For many people, that time tends to be first thing in the morning while others come to life later in the day.

The truth is we’re all different, and we should find our own natural best time.

Schedule your most important tasks for the times you’re at your best. You’ll complete faster and more efficiently.

#23 Why Am I Doing What I’m Doing Right Now?

Always ask yourself “Why am I doing what I’m doing right now?”

If you’re not doing something for a particular reason, then you’re not as productive as you could be.

You should always be working on your most important task of the day. Once you’ve completed your first task, your second one becomes the most important.

Stay focused.

#24 Track the Time and Your Progress

One of the best ways to improve your time management is through tracking your time.

Software programs, like TimeMyLife, make it easy to track your time no matter where you are. You can check if you’re spending too much time on the web, at lunch, or in meetings each day.

The information that you get from the time tracking software will help you get a better understanding of how and where you can make changes in your life.

#25 Chunk Down Your Tasks

One of the most effective ways to manage your time is to group similar tasks into chunks of time. For example, you could set aside one hour to make all your telephone calls, one hour to answer all your emails, etc.

Putting your tasks in chunks helps your brain focus on the skills needed to complete those tasks rather than jumping from one task to another and back again. Try it and see how your productivity rises.

#26 Set Time Limits On Your Tasks

Parkinson’s Law states:

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

This is why you need to set time limits on your tasks.

When you allocate a specific time to a specific task, then you’ll become more productive.

For example, give yourself 30 minutes to research a topic for your next article.

Top Tip: Use a countdown timer to create more urgency as you work towards completing your task in the allotted time. When the time is up, move onto your next task.

If you don’t set a time limit, you’ll end up wasting time.

Don’t allow perfection to sabotage your success.

#27 Stick to the 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule states that 80 percent of your efforts will bring about 20 percent of your results. And on the flip-side, 20 percent of your efforts will bring about 80 percent of your results.

You can apply this principle to time management. Decide which of your tasks are the most important. Ask yourself which tasks will yield the most significant results at the end of the day.

Focus on accomplishing your 20 percent tasks first. And then move on to the remaining 80 percent.

#28 Organize Your Environment

How much time do you waste each day searching for misplaced items?

Frustrating, isn’t it?

If only you’d followed your mother’s wise words, “Put it back where you got it from.”

What you thought was a boring statement was a classic time management tip.

You can apply this tip to physical and virtual things; for example:

  • If you receive an invoice through the post, then file it in your ‘Invoices Folder’ in the filing cabinet.
  • If you receive a payment from PayPal via email, then file it in your PayPal folder on your computer.

Putting things in the correct place will save you loads of time when you need it. Everything you need access to should be a few clicks away.

#29 Hire a Coach or Mentor to Keep You Accountable

Hiring a coach or mentor may not seem like an obvious time management tip.

But think about it.

Without a coach or mentor, you’ll waste time chasing rabbits down rabbit holes; i.e. you’ll lose your focus.

But a good coach or mentor will keep you accountable; they’ll keep you on track, so you achieve your goals. They’ll provide a support mechanism and a sounding board to test new ideas.

As Ariana Ayu writes:

“We all need help, and none of us can see ourselves 100% objectively. Hire someone you trust who will hold your hand AND kick your behind when you need it. Both are necessary.”

#30 Using a “To Do” List or a Task List

Having a list of things to do is a valuable aid to managing your time. But often, people get hung up on their To Do Lists.

They spend more time writing a list, then rearranging it in some order, then crossing off items, to the point it becomes an obsession.

A better approach is to have a task list.

Now, instead of wasting time rearranging items on the list, ask yourself: “What is the most important thing I need to do right now?”

There’s only one answer. When you challenge yourself and drill down the list, you’ll find that there’s one thing to do. It’ll be the absolute most pressing thing that will have the most impact.

Managing a task list is more productive than maintaining a To Do list. Focus on one thing at a time, and you’ll achieve extraordinary results.

#31 Avoid the Habit of Just Staying Busy

It’s an easy trap to fall into. And it can spiral into a bad habit.

But keeping busy is a form of procrastination.

If you immerse yourself in an endless stream of things to do, you can soon lose sight of your goals and objectives.

That’s why it’s so important to step back and evaluate your task list. Decide on the most important tasks and activities, and focus on those.

Remember the 80/20 Rule.

#32 Apply What You Know

This final tip is the most important rule of all.

You can neglect any of the other points, but not number 32.

Remember, if you don’t apply it, you don’t know it. And you won’t see the benefits of it.

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”  

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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86 Experts Reveal Their Best Time Management Tips

 

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Great time management skills begin with you.

I bet you came to this post thinking that I would talk about rewiring your brain or telling you to toss your to-do list.

Don’t mold your mind to someone else’s idea of how to get things done. You will be best served by learning every expert method so you can do what works for you.

Stop what you’re doing right now. Take responsibility for your actions and inactions.

We all want success when running a business. That is the end goal. It is hard because we blame distractions for diverting our attention from what’s important. What’s important, you ask?

SUCCESS!

That is most important when working in any business. You didn’t get where you are by doing nothing. No one does. At some point, you had some plan in place that worked. As time goes on, we learn bad habits that become harder and harder to break.

No one is perfect and I get that. No one can go through an eight-hour (or more) work day without someone asking questions. We usually get disrupted in some way. It happens to the best of us.

But, what matters is how we bounce back to get our tasks done every day. We talked to the experts so we could figure out what they are doing right.

What works for some may not work for you, so be sure to try different things. With methods from digital marketers to large business owners, these tips offer unique insight. What we take from that is a great deal of awesome ideas to make our time management better.

We are all different animals, so don’t dwell on things that don’t work. Your goal now should be to clear your head first. Then you can find a method that helps you be more productive every day.

Before you begin, write down the way you’re managing your time now. If you feel that you could get more done in a day, then we made this list just for you.

 

Start Tracking Your Time Today

 

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Adam Connell

 

Adam used to run a team of marketers. Now he shares what he’s learned about growing blogs and businesses here on Blogging Wizard. He’s a fan of Firefly and Chinese takeaways

What are your favorite time management tactics?

A few come to mind:

  1. Only checking emails occasionally throughout the day and not first thing – this ensures my day is focused around my agenda, nobody else’s.
  2. Planning my tasks the night before – whenever I do this, I’m far more focused and find it easier to complete tasks the following day.
  3. Taking regular breaks – I set timers regularly, so I don’t get too sucked into my work. Essential spend a lot of time on computers. Just a few minutes to take my eyes off the screen can do a lot of good in the long run.
  4. Starting each day off with exercise and meditation – no matter how busy I am, these are 2 things I have to make time for.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I juggle a bunch of different projects so, I tend to be pulled in different directions. Which can be devastating to my productivity since I’m a maker (more on makers/managers in a moment).

But, with the help of a few different tools (mostly Trello), and my daily task list that I write down on a notepad, I manage to still stay fairly productive.

Do you have any other tips?

There’s one in particular – know whether you’re a maker or manager, and schedule your time accordingly.

I’ve always found meetings tedious. And in a lot of situations, they’re a huge time drain (yes, sometimes necessary to get everyone on the same page).

What I didn’t realize was that my personality doesn’t fit well with meetings.

I’m most productive when I can spend large blocks of time (full days or half days) on specific tasks or a specific project. In this post by Paul Graham back in 2009, he shares two different schedules that most people fit. The maker’s and the manager’s.

Managers find it easier to dip in and out of different tasks. And so meetings are generally easier.

Whereas makers like myself, meetings cause us to switch work modes which means on occasions, a single meeting can impact most of a day.

If you haven’t read Paul’s post, I highly recommend it. It gives a lot of insight into why the topic of meetings causes so much friction when colleagues/business partners are out of sync.

John Rampton

John Rampton

 

John Rampton is the founder of invoicing service Due.com. He is an entrepreneur, online marketing guru, and startup addict. He was recently named No. 3 on the Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine, as well as a blogging expert by Forbes.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My favorite time management tactics include setting time aside for specific activities each day that addresses those tasks that suck the biggest time out of my day.

For example, I schedule 15-minute increments of time about six times a day to just check my email, review social media, and check-in with some of my staff. Even when traveling, I use a similar process but simply tweak the times.

I also set timers for specific activities that I’m doing that I know I have always ended up spending more time than I needed to, such as meetings and research not to mention breaks and meals.

Although it sounds like my day is fully regimented — and it is –, there is still flexibility that I’ve built into my schedule. As new things crop up in my business and personal life, I’ve had to make some adjustments but so far, so good.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I tend to be a pretty laid back kind of guy, so my greatest time is still losing track of those minutes.

I don’t want others to feel that I’m rushing them, especially if they are looking for advice or direction from me. This is where I struggle because I don’t want to be a clock watcher when others need my attention.

I tend to be a little bit freer with how I manage time in these situations and just find some way to make up the time elsewhere. Other tasks that don’t involve people are much easier to manage for me because I can focus and get them done without worrying that I’m cutting anyone short.

Do you have any other tips?

Time management is about balance so make sure that both life and work tasks receive equal measures of time so you can work in exercise, rest, and personal and family time.

Too often, we let those drop and opt to spend too much time on emails or social media. By planning time out on a scheduling app and using time tracker software, you quickly get a better perspective on where all that time goes.

It also shows you how you can get back some of that time and use it on creating that balance that reduces stress while increasing your productivity.

Dmitry Dragilev

Dmitry Dragilev

 

Dmitry is the founder of JustReachOut helping entrepreneurs pitch press on their own without any help from PR firms. He writes about growth strategies on his blog CriminallyProlific.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

  •  **Pomodoro Technique**: This technique follows the 25/5 principle—you work for 25 minutes, followed by a 5-minute break.
  • **GTD (Getting Things Done)**: This technique has you delegate and prioritize your tasks in lists.
  • **ABC & Pareto Principle**: This method is often used in business management. Tasks are divided into three categories—A (urgent and important), B (important but not urgent), and C (neither urgent nor important). After this, tasks that take the least amount of time from A are tackled first based on Pareto Principle (or the 80/20 rule).

The solution is to A/B test different time management techniques on yourself and see what fits your work style best.

With this approach, you’d try out technique A on Day 1, technique B on Day 2. Track your mood and productivity over a couple of weeks and you’ll get a fair idea of what techniques works for you.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Staying focused and not distracted.

Ryan Stewart

Ryan Stewart

 

Ryan is Owner of Founder at Webris  – #1 Miami Digital Marketing, SEO, and Content Agency.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

The first thing I do when I sit down in the morning is write down the buckets of work I need to get done, in order of importance. I then either delegate tasks to my staff or leave them on my own list.

I then set a timer for 30 minutes and for that time block, all I do is work on that 1 task. When the time is up, I get up, walk around, get water, etc. Then, I start again – I repeat this 6 times.

I generally get 90% of the day’s work done during this period and then I can focus on less important stuff like meetings, emails, etc.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I have a team of 6, clients, an eCommerce store (Laces Out) and a decent social media following – they are all constantly hammering me throughout the day.

I started waking up 2 hours earlier (around 6 am daily) to get 2 hours to myself to get the most important tasks done (i.e. not emailing or communication but setting project schedules, adding my input to client work, etc.news).

Everyone in my life knows that from the hours of 6 am – 9 am I am unreachable – don’t email me, text me, call me, Tweet me – don’t even think about me. This is my time to make sure shit gets done.

Do you have any other tips?

Figure out what works for you and commit to it.

Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith

 

World-renowned business educator and coach, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is the leading expert in his field. His singular ability to get results for top leaders has drawn over 150 CEOs and their management teams to address change in the workplace.

He is the bestselling author of “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”, MOJO & Triggers.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I use a process called the daily question process.  Variations of this process have been taught to me by Peter Drucker, Richard Leider, and Andrew Thorn.  Here is how it works.

Get out a spreadsheet – on one column list all of the questions that you should challenge yourself with every day – seven boxes across, one for every day of the week – every question must be answered with a ‘yes’ (recorded as 1) and ‘no’ (recorded as 0) or a number.

Fill out the answers to your test every day.  At the end of the week, you will get a report card.

I have been doing this for years.  I pay a woman to call me every day.  She listens to me read the questions I wrote and read the answers I wrote.

Why do I pay someone to do this?  This process is very easy in theory, but incredibly tough in practice.

I don’t have the courage or self-discipline to do this on my own.  I need help – and it’s OK!

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I tend to do what I love to do – be with people.  It is hard for me to spend the ‘alone time’ I need for writing and reflecting.

For every person I speak to, thousands of people read what I have written.  My books, articles, and blogs have been read by tens of millions of people.  I can personally speak to only a small percent of this number.

My need to be with or ‘help’ people has little to do with their needs.  It is mostly my problem.

For example, sometimes I go on an 8-hour flight.  The poor man next to me makes a terrible mistake.  He asks me, “What do you do for a living?”  For the next eight hours, he has to put up with my ‘helpful coaching’.  By the end of the flight, he is probably read to commit suicide!

Do you have any other tips?

Recognize how truly difficult it is to change behavior.  Realize that the person who is ‘planning’ is very different than the person who is ‘doing.’

Read my newest book, Triggers!!!

Amazon.com just listed the 100 Best Leadership & Success Books to Read in a Lifetime.  This list included classics from the past, newer books, management books and self-help books.

Both Triggers and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There were recognized in the Top 100 books ever written in this category.  I was honored to be only one of two authors to have two books on Amazon’s ‘all-time greatest’ list.  Thank you so much for your support!

John Doherty

John Doherty

 

John Doherty is a well-known entrepreneur and Growth Marketer. He is the founder of Credo, a marketplace to connect businesses with the right marketing professional to help them grow.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

After striking out on my own back in October 2015, I found myself looking for how I best function with different tasks at different points during the day.

After a lot of searching and self-reflection, I’ve found that batching my day into periods of time works really well for me. I only do phone calls in the morning so that afternoons are reserved for getting deep into work at a coffee shop or elsewhere.

This is because I have more patience for interacting with other human beings in the morning than the afternoon. This also allows me to go elsewhere from my apartment to work, as I know that being around people is important to me (even if they are random others at a coffee shop).

I have also found that I need to schedule time around appointments (even phone calls) to prepare and decompress.

I live and die by my calendar, so I schedule 30 minutes on either side of a big appointment (like a webinar) to mentally prep and then ease back into work. I have trouble shifting contexts quickly, so this extra planned time allows my brain to transition and refocus.

I’ve tried the Pomodoro technique, not checking emails first thing in the morning, and some of the other typical advice about being productive and managing your time, but none of them have worked as well for me as getting out of bed, making coffee, getting into work and phone calls, then adjourning to a coffee shop for the afternoon.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge is staying focused on one task until it is done. I am terrible at having multiple tabs (at least 10) open at any one time, and I find email incredibly distracting.

I have learned that when I need to get deep work done that requires a lot of focus, I need to close my email inboxes (because let’s be honest, what happens in that hour that can’t wait an hour?) and pull my work into a new Chrome window so that I am not distracted by others.

Do you have any other tips?

I am increasing realizing that time management, just like personal routines, is just that – personal.

I’ve read more than my fair share of blog posts about how so-and-so starts their day, their productivity hacks, etc., and I’ve come to see that they’re really an inspiration for your own life to try as experiments, then implement what works for you.

Also, it’s probably better to spend that time reading actually figuring out what you do to make yourself happy, as well as what you do when you are happy. They’re different things and can definitely shape your day.

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 Bill Fish

 

Bill Fish is the President of ReputationManagement.com. Bill has been involved in Online Marketing since 2001 when he co-founded Positioned1 with Patrick Gavin, which eventually turned into Text-Link-Ads.com in 2003.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I have a few time management tactics that I employ.  The first is that that I like to be at my desk working by 7:30 am.  

Most of our team gets in between 8:30 and 9:00 which is fine, but I like to get started early on emails and reports before distractions arise.  That said, I also leave by 5 each day as I am involved coaching my kids in sports.

My second tactic is to stay off any chat/instant message applications until the last ten minutes of every hour.  I find them to be somewhat necessary, but a horrible distraction.

I liken it to someone standing behind you tapping you on the shoulder every five minutes, but you don’t know when the next tap is going to be.

You can be deep into an email that requires significant thought, and a message pops up; you handle it and completely lose your thought and have to start over.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My biggest challenge is still being responsive but also being selfish enough to take care of the task I have at hand.

Do you have any other tips?

If you are in a managerial position, you need to make yourself available to your staff.  That said, if you are in the middle of something that truly needs your full attention, don’t be afraid to shut the door to your office.  

An open door policy is important, but at the same time, being able to devote all of your tasks to something without being interrupted for a bit is essential and something you have earned.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie

 

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He’s recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on  Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I eliminate distractions by working in 45-minute sprints using the Pomodoro technique and wearing headphones. Instead of playing music, I use Noisli, which I find lets me focus a bit better.

At my computer, I want to be as efficient as possible. So I reduce mouse usage and keystrokes wherever I can.

To do that, I use an app launcher (right now, AlfredApp is my favorite) and a text snippet tool (TextExpander). I also use a keyboard-driven navigation tool (ShortCat). That saves me about 14-16 hours/month.

I use todo lists a fair amount. I know they’re no longer trendy, but I’ve found they’re a great way to keep my priorities straight.

And, I try to maintain inbox zero. At a minimum, I empty my inbox at the beginning of my week, then use Boomerang and reminders to make sure I don’t have any massive open loops.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I’m a CEO, a dad, and a husband. So the reality is a real problem. 🙂

Seriously, I have a lot of competing priorities, and they change all the time. I have a nasty habit of carving time out of things I want to do and using it to get things done that I feel I must do.

Knowing when and how to do that, and when not to, is a constant problem.

Do you have any other tips?

Create a system and stick with it. You have to trust the system to make it work, and the only way that happens is if you consistently use it.

Otherwise, appointments and priorities slip through the cracks; you stop trusting the system, and you go back to sticky notes and random interruptions.

Tim Soulo

Tim Soulo

 

Tim Soulo is the head of marketing at Ahrefs, and you can get more great marketing tips from him on his personal blog – BloggerJet.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

There’s only a single productivity mantra that I believe in: “IF IT DOESN’T GET SCHEDULED – IT DOESN’T GET DONE.”

If I plan my day ahead of time and fill my calendar with what I need to do and when – I’m hyper productive. But as soon as I stop blocking out time for items in my todo list – I’m a mess.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The challenge is to stay motivated and keep my energy levels high. I need to care about sleep, fun and procrastination as much as I care about work.

Seriously – if you don’t rest and recharge, no time management hacks will make you productive. And keeping everything in balance is super challenging for me.

Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki

 

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online, graphics-design service, and an executive fellow at the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I work very long and very hard. I have found no shortcuts to managing time.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Answering email that may not be important.

Do you have any other tips?

Every time a close friend or relative dies, throw away your inbox in their honor and spend time with your family. You’ll be amazed that not answering most email has no negative effect.

16

Laura MacLeod

 

Laura runs From The Inside Out Project®. She combines two decades as a union employee with her social work and graduate level teaching skills to weave a remarkably effective technique of improving staff communication.

She understands that—though management guides the thrust of a business—hourly employees are the dynamic link in the chain of any marketing strategy.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Priorities and expectations need to be crystal clear. This means that I know what must be finished (top priority)- and by what time (expectation).

What can be put on the back burner and finished later (need specifics here- tomorrow or next week?). This method works well for groups too.

When I teach and lead trainings and workshops I always need to know what topics and information is crucial to cover and in what time frame. This helps me and the group interact productively and integrate their questions and needs.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

There simply is never enough time! When I teach or lead trainings and workshops, it is challenging to address group member/student questions and concerns and keep to my plan.

To be effective as a leader of any kind, you can’t just plough through your agenda- meeting the needs of your group is central to getting investment and buy-in.

So I need to be flexible and invite participation. Not always easy to figure out how to prioritize and effectively inform and communicate.

Do you have any other tips?

Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. We all want to achieve, and I think often expect to accomplish much more than is realistic.

Take into account that everyone is busy (may be tough to get an answer today and wrap up that project) and that obstacles and roadblocks may occur. Try to be flexible and not so hard on yourself.

2

Lauren Edvalson

 

Lauren is CEO at Edvalson Marketing. She has almost ten years of digital marketing and advertising experience. In her most recent role, Lauren was managing PPC, reputation marketing, web development, print media, brand strategy, social media and media buying among other things.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My favorite time management tactic is to remove my cell phone from the equation. If it’s next to me while I’m working, I tend to get distracted with text messages, incoming emails, social media, etc.

When I put my phone on silent and out of sight, I am much more focused and productive.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

One of the greatest challenges for me is letting emails or calls wait if I am in the middle of a project. I am constantly making an effort not to respond the moment a client reaches out.

It’s OK to stay focused on the work in front of you and get back to the client within a reasonable timeframe.

Do you have any other tips?

Playing music helps me focus. I tend to work best with Pandora on in the background. Also, every now and then I will change my office environment and spend a few hours working at a coffee shop which for me, is a contagiously productive place.

3

Liz Sumner

 

Liz is a productivity coach for the differently motivated. She can help you to start (or complete) your passion project. You can fin more information on her website.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

When you find yourself avoiding a task, it’s usually because you’re unclear about what needs to happen next. It’s usually one of 3 things– Find Out, Decide, or Do.

Do you need more information, make a choice, or take an action. Look at your resistance through the Find Out, Decide, or Do lens and it’ll move you forward.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge is that I love to have vast, spacious, uninterrupted time blocks to do creative work, and I don’t use my 5 to 20-minute slots as effectively as I could.

The best thing for me to do is the next action that occurs to me rather than cogitate and give myself time to think of all the reasons why I can’t do that now.

Do you have any other tips?

Not everyone is wired the same way. Many productivity systems are designed for people who are highly motivated by achievement or rewards or power.

Those of us who don’t fit those types struggle with a rigid structure and find it difficult to achieve results thereby decreasing our motivation. An accountability partner can be a great asset for people like us.

4

Yaro Starak

 

Yaro is the founder and writer of Entrepreneurs-Journey.com. His mission is to help you to create a blog and turn it into a platform to sell your products and services, so you too can live the laptop lifestyle.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Batch processing is a huge productivity technique for me. I always do jobs in batches, like replying to all my coaching clients in our community in one session once or twice a week, replying to emails in a batch session every week or two or working with my team in a two-hour batch session together.

I struggle with multi-tasking, which is why knowing I have just one thing to think about during a block of time makes it cleaner for me.

I’m also a huge believer in flowing with your body’s natural energy flow. Don’t force work when you should be resting. Recovery is the foundation of output, so if you don’t recharge you are actually slowing down your progress (think about that – you have to rest if you want to get more done quicker!).

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The hardest part of time management is not actually using the time, it’s choosing the tasks. Task selection and prioritization are actually way more important than time management.

We all have the same number of hours in the day; it’s what we choose to use those hours to do that dictates our results.

In my life, I haven’t always made the best choices in how I use my time. For example instead of using my time to focus on generating cash flow to hire someone to help me build my website, I wasted months trying to build a website myself.

If you’re not making much progress, then you are choosing the wrong tasks to focus on.

Do you have any other tips?

Simplify. Don’t try and do everything or be everywhere. Jus try and do one thing really well and build your entire business around that.

6

Mark Shead

 

Mark runs Productivity501, which is a site dedicated to bringing you regular tips and tricks to help increase your personal productivity.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Stop doing stuff that doesn’t add value. It is easy to spend a tremendous amount of time every day doing stuff that really wouldn’t be missed if we just didn’t do it.

Obviously thinks like watching TV and wasting time on the Internet fall into this category, but there are many activities that masquerade as work that have no real value. Long rambling meetings and creating reports that no one reads are examples.

Invest a small amount every day in valuable activities. Most people have a list of things they would like to do but can’t because they don’t think they have enough time.

For example, I have hundreds of hours of lectures on various topics that I’d like to listen to. From that perspective, it looks overwhelming, but by dedicating 30 or even 15 minutes per day to this activity, I start to make real progress that I’d never see if I waited for a bug chunk of time to free up.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My biggest challenge is trying to replicate what I do through other people. I only have a finite amount of time available, and once you get to a certain level of efficiency in your own work, there are only marginal improvements to be had focusing on your own productivity.

At some point, you have to find a way to get work done through other people. I’ve been doing this by transitioning to more of a coaching role with many of my clients and by hiring and training people to do some of the things I used to do on my own

Do you have any other tips?

Don’t waste your time on $15 per hour work at the expense of $200 per hour work. Everything you do has some type of value. You don’t want to spend 2 hours a week mowing your yard if the alternative is to do something for a client that pays you $200 per hour.

I typically have more client demands on my time than I have time available, so I’ve come to value services like American Express Concierge that lets me text them to make dinner arrangements, etc. For more complicated help, I use a service called RedButler.

They help me with everything from proofreading to waiting on hold to get through to a company in another country, to stocking the pond at my family’s farm, to sorting out receipts for an expense report, and everything in between.

These services help me dedicate most of my time to the activities that have the highest value without letting the less valuable (but still important) things slip through the cracks.

7

Sarah Arrow

 

Sarah Arrow’s an award-winning blogger; Forbes listed for top websites and a champion of “lighting the way to show others” Learn more about Sarah on her website Sarkemedia.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I batch my time and do things in specific allotments of time. If no time is attached to a task, it will take as long as it takes for you to get fed up with doing it! If you tell yourself, it will take 20 minutes to write a Facebook post and choose an image, that’s how long it takes.

If you tell yourself, something will take hours… it takes hours.

You are in charge of your time and how you allocate it, and coming from a position of scarcity doesn’t serve you or your business. Time is merely a measurement, and you are the boss of it.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Outside interference. I triage email and social media so that I use my time on worthwhile things. If I didn’t, I’d be doing things to other people’s agendas.

I focus on my clients and am present fully with them, and that means shutting down interruptions and unscheduled conversations.

Do you have any other tips?

Email triage and great tracking will make you more productive and tools that track your time are an asset. When you see how much time you really have, and how you fritter it away… well… you’ll never go back to the old way of doing things 🙂

Stuart Walker

Stuart Walker

 

Stuart is the founder of Nichehacks – a popular blog about digital marketing.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I’m not great at it I’ll admit, but I have improved a lot since going through Eat That Frog at the start of the year.

I have all my day to day tasks scheduled ahead of time on Google calendar, so I know what I’m doing each day.

Try to break each task down into smaller tasks and have a plan so I know exactly what I’m doing.

I get the big tasks out the way first, mostly, as advised in Eat That Frog.

I use StayFocused to block distracting websites.

And Rescue Time to record where my time is going.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I get overwhelmed easily if I schedule too much and often procrastinate a lot. My brain doesn’t seem to be able to handle thinking about too much at once.

Do you have any other tips?

  • Record your time so you know where it goes.
  • Block distractions using an app.
  • Do your biggest and most complex tasks first. Don’t spend the first 2hrs of your day checking email or messing with social media, analytics, or other unimportant tasks.

Have a day to day plan scheduled out in advance.

Make sure your goals are clearly written down with deadlines and tasks to achieve them and you’re referencing them regularly to make sure you’re working towards them.

 

9

Erica Duran

 

Erica is a business coach for modern online entrepreneurs & freedom based luxury lifestyle designer. You can learn more about her at Ericaduran.co

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I guess my favorite time management tactic is only to work on things that I actually want to do. If there is ever a “should” or “supposed to” I delete it off my list or delegate it.

Taking each task and seriously discerning if it should even be done in the first place is a great way to nip things in the bud and not get overwhelmed. Just because something is a good idea, it should not go on your to-do list.

Keep a separate list of ideas that are simmering and evaluate that list once a week to see if any are ready to graduate to your actual to-do list.

Another tactic that has literally saved me years of time and tons of money is investing in coaching. No matter what topic I needed support in or what I desired to learn – I would seek out a coach or someone that was doing what I wanted to do and asked for their mentorship.

I avoided many costly and expensive mistakes by seeking coaching.

On a practical level, I use Asana to manage my projects, tasks, and team. I was using a paper day planner from the time I was 15 years old till just a few months ago.

My business recently exploded, and I had to finally shift to a more modern and robust system that could also handle my team.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge when managing my time are my natural energy levels. Sometimes I have to work against my natural rhythms to “fit in” to normal business hours.

For example, I love running in the evening during the sunset. But, it makes a lot more practical sense to run first thing in the morning, so I am not watching the clock all day.

Another challenge for me is underestimating and/or overestimating the time something will take to complete. For example, we tend to overestimate the time it will take to do something that isn’t really all that inspiring like unloading the dishwasher.

It actually takes me less than five minutes to do, but my mind tells me that it takes longer, and I should put it off. On the other hand, if it is something that you enjoy or get lost in, like writing a blog post, that type of task I tend to underestimate all the time that elapses while writing.

I estimate that I can “squeeze” in a blog post before my next phone call, and it ends up taking three hours.

Do you have any other tips?

I’ve tried hundreds of time management and productivity tactics over the past 25 years or so. The one thing that is always consistent with my time management is the fact that it always changes.

Different projects sometimes require different systems. For example, when I launched my podcast, last year I used the SCRUM method to keep track of everything that had to be done.

But that method doesn’t really seem to work for me personally for other projects. Your time management strategies must be custom to you, and it is OK to change them when one method stops working for you.

10

Marissa Brassfield

 

Marissa Brassfield is a productivity expert, branding consultant and communication efficiency specialist who helps entrepreneurs and high-performance teams become ridiculously efficient. Her coaching programs and workshops help entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial teams scale their impact. She runs Ridiculouslyefficient.com.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

From a personal productivity standpoint, I wake up early and spend the first 2.5 hours of the day on my mind, body and family. I meditate, exercise, make Bulletproof coffee for my husband and me, and then we discuss each other’s goals for the day. And then I get to work!

Work-wise, I love blocking out 2-3 hour blocks of time in my calendar each week for creative work, brainstorming, and big-picture thinking.

The truest luxury in our 24/7 culture is the time and space to just think. I have whiteboard walls in my office, and in these sessions, I pick a big idea, problem or opportunity, and take the time to develop it.

I also aggressively track my energy throughout the day, and after gathering this data, I gradually adjusted my schedule so that my most important, focused work happens in the mornings, and team and client work happens in the afternoons.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Adapting to others’ schedules and preferred work styles. When it’s just me, or our small team, I can essentially dictate exactly how and when I want to work, and that’s historically how I’ve gotten my best results.

But when working with clients or external teams, I’ve got to identify their unique work rhythm, honor that, and remain just as effective as I am when I’m on my home turf.

For example, I have a client who almost exclusively works with me via face-to-face meetings. It’s just easier for him to talk his ideas out and think through projects when we’re together.

Because I’ve worked remotely (and primarily from home) since 2007, diving into the morning L.A. commute for these meetings is a tremendous departure from my regular routine and, as a result, can disrupt my all-day focus. But it’s all part of the fun!

Do you have any other tips?

Invest the time to discover your superhero skills, the unique ways you bring value to the world, and then spend as much time as you can refining, improving and expanding those skills.

Most people can improve their productivity 5x-100x simply by eliminating or delegating tasks they have no business doing, and spending more time on “highest use, best use” activities. But most people don’t invest that time upfront, and so they invest in coaches later on. 🙂

Sleep, exercise and eat well. It’s trite advice, but the first thing I take my entrepreneur clients through is a detox, in which they work towards a full week of adequate sleep, physical activity, and healthy eating.

You’d be amazed at the degree of which these three factors play into your cognitive abilities, your resilience and even your creativity.

12

Neen James

 

Neen James is a high energy, Aussie with a lot of sass. She is an attention expert, keynote speaker and lover of fabulous shoes, who delivers engaging programs that educate, and entertain audiences with real-world strategies that apply at work and home. The author of Folding Time™ and her latest book Attention™, she believes leaders profit by paying attention.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My fave technique is to use time in 15-minute increments. I break down strategies, tasks, and appointments in just 15-minute increments to ensure I am not wasting time and making the most of each minute.

Each day I set a 15-minute appointment with myself to identify my top 3 non-negotiable items that must be achieved today – it helps to focus and prioritize my day.

I use an app called Freedom which is a site blocking app and set it for periods of time I don’t’ want to be distracted by social media and other time zapping sites.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I don’t believe in time management. I think time management is out the window. Now more than ever before we need to Fold Time – that means to achieve twice as much in half the time.

The greatest challenge for me is distraction, and I have to manage my attention. I believe attention is the new currency and the new conversation.

Paying attention increases profitability, productivity, and accountability so I am more diligent in where I am focusing my attention to get the highest return on my time, attention and energy daily.

Do you have any other tips?

If your readers really want to get more done and create more significant moments that matter, they need to start focusing their attention.

Focus on the strategies that will give them the highest return and say No to the things that don’t matter. No is a complete sentence. More people need to embrace ‘no’ so they can say ‘YES’ to what really matters.

13

Maura Thomas

 

Maura Thomas is an award-winning international speaker and trainer helping busy people discover attention management as the new path to productivity. She is a TEDx Speaker, founder of RegainYourTime.com, and author of Personal Productivity Secrets and the upcoming Work Without Walls: An Executive’s Guide to Attention Management, Productivity, and the Future of Work.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I believe that time management is an outdated idea, and attention management is the new path to productivity. Controlling your attention means effectively managing internal and external distractions and single-tasking for higher quality work done faster.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The greatest challenge of managing time is that time cannot be managed. But the greatest challenge I see my clients facing is their decreasing attention span and the battle against constant distractions, both internal and external.

Do you have any other tips?

Master external distractions by regaining control over:

  1. Your environment (close your door if you have one, wear headphones and/or put a Do Not Disturb sign on your desk),
  2. Your technology (work in offline mode, put your phone on silent not vibrate, shut off alerts and app notifications, check messages in-between other tasks, not during)
  3. Your own behavior (practice mindfulness, work your “focus muscle” by setting a timer for increasing stretches of uninterrupted work, reverse the erosion of your attention span by setting aside technology-free times whenever possible.)
  4. Master internal distractions by learning a workflow management process to regain control over the details of life and work and to relieve the burden on your brain of having to “remember” everything. This will quiet the internal chatter that keeps your brain “spinning” and prevents downtime and restful sleep.

14

Jamie Todd Rubin

 

Jamie a prolific science fiction writer, blogger, software developer, and dad of two young kids. You can learn more about him on Jamierubin.net

What are you favorite time management tactics?

I try to automate as much as possible. If I find myself doing something more than once, I look for ways to automate it so that I don’t have to worry about it.

This can be as simple as using a text expansion tool like TextExpander or Keyboard Maestro, to writing code that automatically tracks how much I write each day.

By automating the routine stuff, I find that I have more time to focus on the stuff that requires thinking.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Learning to expect the unexpected and be adaptable was and is my biggest time management challenge. With my writing, I used to think that I needed a set time every day when it quiet to get it done.

Over the course of more than 2-1/2 years, where I wrote every single day, I learned that if I had 10 minutes to spare, I could write. I learned that I could write with the TV on in the background, and the kids running around playing.

I was surprised by this but pleased as well. It taught me that being flexible with my time was a big help to managing it.

Do you have any other tips?

Going paperless has helped free up time that I would otherwise spend searching through filing cabinets or stacks of paper. A quick search in Evernote turns up what I am looking for in a few seconds. Multiple that by several times a day and the time savings really starts to add up.

15

Ryan Biddulph

 

Ryan is the engine behind Blogging from Paradise. He is an author of 125 eBooks. Featured on Virgin and Forbes. He can help you to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I take a 5-10 minute break each hour to detach a bit from my work, to chill out, and to stay on track. Short, frequent breaks reveal to me when I am wasting time and when I’m using time effectively.

Meditating is another fab time management tactic; I become more and more aware of how I choose to spend my time by sitting in quiet for 20 minutes each morning. Truth serum, these meditation sessions are.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Factoring in my travel/tourist activities. I am a full time, pro blogging, globe-trotting traveler. I enjoy my lifestyle immensely but am challenged at times to build my day around my offline or travel activities.

I’ve learned that doing things in reverse to most travel bloggers – building my day and budgeting my time around the offline stuff – helps me manage my online time well.

Do you have any other tips?

Follow your fun. Since I genuinely enjoy writing eBooks, promoting eBooks, blogging and tweeting, I manage my time effectively because I stay on point more easily versus the days where I didn’t love what I did online.

Do what makes your heart sing, and you’ll manage your time more intelligently.

Carthage Buckley

Carthage Buckley

 

Carthage Buckley is an experienced and enthusiastic learning and development professional with extensive coaching, mentoring and motivational skills and a proven ability to empower others enabling them to achieve their full potential. Learn more at his website.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I have found over the past few years that the most important time management tactic is to be crystal clear about what it is that you are trying to get done. When you are clear on what you are trying to achieve, it is much easier to identify the tasks which require your focus and attention.

Even more importantly, when you are clear about what you want to do, it is much easier to identify the tasks that you should not be spending time on. You can then say ‘No,’ delegate them, outsource them or defer them.

From my experience, too many people are trying to organize task lists and to-do lists which are full of tasks which they shouldn’t be doing at all.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge with regard to time management has always been saying ‘No.’ I’m a nice guy, or at least I think I am. I like to be helpful, and I am from a culture which encourages you to help out if you possibly can.

I have found that on many occasions I have gotten caught up in helping others so much that I have failed to give enough time to my priorities.

For example, there was one year where I gave over 400 hours of my time to a local club. I gave this time over a period of 5 months. At the same time, I was trying to get my business going.

It simply wasn’t viable for me to give that much time away but I didn’t even notice what I was doing until I took some time out to examine where my time was going.

Do you have any other tips?

Some additional tips would include:

  1. Protect your time. If somebody else wants to take your time for their task, make them justify it. You will often find that they are just looking for an easy way out of doing it themselves and, when you challenge them, they will soon find somebody else to dump their work on.
  2. Know where your time is going.
  3. Learn to understand how your energy levels work.
  4. Perform a weekly review of your tasks and projects so that you know how you are progressing. If you are falling behind with anything or something has slipped through the cracks, you can quickly take corrective action before you fall too far behind.

Audrey Thomas

Audrey Thomas

 

Audrey is an author, speaker, and productivity expert. Her speaking engagements have been described as authentic, relevant and practical for groups ranging from small corporate training sessions to 1,000+ audience keynote presentations.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

When I need laser focus, especially when a deadline is looming, I use a timer and an incentive. I set the timer for 45-60 minutes and then reward myself afterwards with something fun…a quick walk outside, 10 minutes on Facebook or some dark chocolate!

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Thinking I can get more accomplished than is humanly possible.

Do you have any other tips?

I office out of my home, so potential distractions are many. I learned years ago to ignore the doorbell, leave the laundry for the weekend, and to treat my office hours as if I worked in an office building.

Gabriella Sannino

Gabriella Sannino

 

Gabriella is an international marketing consultant & SEO Strategist. She is the founder of Level343 – a digital marketing agency.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Using Google Calendar, Hootsuite to share our content (including clients). I always take time during my day to write down my TDL (to do list) I work closely with my partners in order to make sure we are all on the same page.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Interruptions, but I’ve learned they are going to happen, so I do allot time during the day for fires that need to be put out.

Do you have any other tips?

  1. I try to complete most important tasks first
  2. Have a healthy outlook on life
  3. Make sure you schedule your important work into habits
  4. Don’t get overwhelmed with  your to-do list sometimes you can’t finish everything in one day

helene segura

Helene Segura

 

Helene is certified, professional organizer. She can help you find the root causes of your organizational challenges and create the easiest solutions for your brain type, personality, and work style.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

At the end of each day, I map out which tasks need to get done the next day and how long each one will take. Then I schedule those tasks onto my calendar in between the appointments that are already on there.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I’ve been studying neuroscience and behavior management for years in order to be a better consultant and coach for my productivity clients, so time management isn’t a challenge for me.

Do you have any other tips?

Time management is all about mind management. Once you realize that you’re in control of your clock and can tell your time what to do, your work life and personal life will become less stressed.

If it helps your readers, my new book addresses every time challenge that busy professionals face and gives them the strategies and tactics to solve every single roadblock:

The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer (New World Library)

Details are at http://www.TheInefficiencyAssassin.com

John Boyens

John Boyens

 

John is sales productivity expert and business strategist. Learn more about him on his website.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Never confuse activity with productivity

  • Learn the difference between urgent and important
  • Ask yourself throughout the day:

“Is this what I want or need to be doing right now?”

  • If yes, then keep doing it.
  •  If not, stop or delegate the activity.
  •  At the end of each day create a “to-do” list for the following day. Mark items as “A” and “B” in priority.

– Set aside two hours right away each morning to do the important “A list” items and then do the “B-list” items in the afternoon.

– Let your voice mail take your calls during your “A list” time.

  • Learn good meeting management skills.

-Ensure that all meetings have a purpose, time limit and include only essential people.

  •  Concentrate on doing only one task at a time.
  • Maintain accurate calendars…abide by them.
  •  Know when to stop a task, policy or activity

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The realization that you cannot possibly do everything that there is to do in any given day. You have to consciously decide what you are going to do with the amount of time that you have at your disposal.

Do you have any other tips?

My 6 keys to time management include:

  1. Know how you spend your time
  2. Set clear goals
  3. Prioritize your activities
  4. Minimize interruptions
  5. Learn to delegate
  6. Set aside uninterrupted time

 

Louisa Jewell

Louisa Jewell

 

Louisa is a positive psychology expert and founder and president of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I get laser-focused on what needs to get done and then I use the Pomodoro technique.

If I give myself too much time to get something done, I usually use all the time allotted. Instead, the Pomodoro technique allows me to get focused and spend the appropriate amount of time on things.  

Also, every meeting I used to book was for one hour by default. Now I try to book meetings only for the time required such as 15 or 30 minutes. This has had a huge impact.

Another thing I do is I don’t multi-task. I focus on one thing at a time. For example, I turn off email for hours while I get work done. This makes me hugely productive.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Email! I take weekends off from email. I find this completely energizes me, and I can get way more done in the week with that positive mental energy. Plus I actually enjoy my family, friends and my city which also fuels greater goal attainment.

The problem is, when I get back into the office I will have hundreds of emails on Monday morning that I need to respond to!

Do you have any other tips?

I don’t manage my time. I manage my energy.  The more I can do to fuel positive mental energy, the more productive I will be with the time I have.

Elizabeth Bradley

Elizabeth Bradley

 

Elizabeth is a passion-fueled writer, digital strategist, and Blog Mentor for Life & Health Coaches. She’s also the co-founder of Thriving Healer, where she ghostwrites for holistic brands.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I choose two to 3 main tasks I need to get done for the day and only focus on those. This helps me stay productive and limit the time I spend elsewhere.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge is that I do two things in my service-based business: freelance writing and consulting/coaching.

Both require different actions ( i.e., for the coaching I do Discovery Calls) so each day can vary in what hours I work and for what client.

I just had a writing project due for a tourism board, and it was something that came up recently and had a tight timetable of when it was due. I had to stay up late researching it, which meant I slept in the next day.

But I’m glad I have two different services I offer as it gives me great satisfaction to be following on both complimentary passions.

Do you have any other tips?

My tip is only to do what is essential for your business at all times. Don’t spend hours on social media. And I’m a social media strategist telling you this!

People waste a heck of a lot of time on SM networks instead of being strategic. One needs to be strategic with everything they do, from client acquisition to promotion and marketing.

David Hartshorne

David Hartshorne

 

David Hartshorne is a freelance web content writer helping solopreneurs and small businesses build their online presence through friendly, long-form, shareable blog posts. When he’s not checking out the latest digital marketing tools, you’ll find him chilling out in Spain.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

The best strategy that works for me is to focus on One Thing At A Time. In fact, I wrote a blog post, How To Focus and Achieve Mind-Blowing Results as a Solopreneur where I share all the details.

But in a nutshell, my method is to decide what is the most important thing right now and focus my time completing that task.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The greatest challenge is (a) deciding on which task to focus on and (b) not getting distracted while working on that task. I break my day into chunks so that I get the proper breaks to refocus my energy and complete my one thing.

Do you have any other tips?

Find a method that works for you. Everyone is different. What works for me won’t necessarily work for you, so experiment and find the most productive way for you.

Ciara Conlon

Ciara Conlon

 

Ciara is a productivity consultant at Lead with Productivity where she helps people recognize the barriers to high performance assist them in creating the habits that foster success.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

The single thing that has transformed my productivity and my life is using my calendar to schedule my work.

Every task that takes longer than a half hour will get a block in my calendar. I start with a “mind download” getting everything out of my head and then I prioritize my work by deciding when I am going to do it.

Things don’t always go exactly to plan, but at least I have captured the work to be done and can reschedule when necessary. Procrastination gets knocked on the head when you schedule your work (except for taxes 😉

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Staying focused; I get distracted easily, by noise, thoughts or a bit of dust. I have tackled this challenge by using headphones when I work; I use Focus at will digitally remastered music that encourages your alpha waves and helps you to focus.

I often use a website called Groove Otter which is based on the Pomodoro technique. This technique pushes you to work in short periods of time and to take regular breaks.

Do you have any other tips?

Meditation and exercise are the biggest contributors to my productivity. Exercise gives me the energy to keep going, it helps me feel more positive and optimistic about life and gives me the confidence to go for the things I want.

Meditation calms and centers me. It’s the off switch for the incessant ideas and plans. It has helped me to pull my brain back on target when it wanders.

Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie

 

Ian is the author of the #1 Amazon bestseller Email Persuasion and has been named as one of the Top 50 Global Thought Leaders in Marketing and Sales and one of the “resources of the decade” for professional services marketing.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My best tactic is simple: I take time away from the office on a Monday morning to plan out my week in detail. Then I try to stick to that plan.

I usually go to a local coffee shop and using pen and paper, I not down all my priorities for the week, mainly based on the next steps in big projects I’m working on and then topped up by any important activities from my general to-do list.

I then put time in my calendar to work on those activities – basically, I schedule a “meeting with myself” and make sure that time is then sacrosanct, and I don’t overbook it with anything else.

Then during the week I print out my schedule for the day and pin in near where I’m working, so I always know what my priorities for the day are and what to do next.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My biggest challenge is that I’m easily distracted – that’s why I do the planning and keep my schedule visible.

My natural tendency is to jump in to responding to emails or doing something I find the most interesting rather than what’s important. So keeping the plan visible in front of me works well rather than having it buried in my computer.

Do you have any other tips?

Never fill up your schedule completely. I always aim to fill about 50% of my schedule with activities with planned tasks at most. In the kind of business, I’m in, there will always be lots of ad hoc requests and things coming in, and of course the planned activities never quite go according to plan.

So be realistic and leave plenty of gaps so that you don’t get badly behind schedule.

Nate Shivar

Nate Shivar

 

Nate runs ShivarWeb, which is a website about helping DIYers, freelancers & small businesses build better websites & do more effective marketing.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

  • Decide what is truly a priority
  • Work on each priority in turn
  • Batch non-priority tasks to a single block of time (e.g., do all email once per day at Noon)
  • Establish a defined, deadline so that I’m forced by constraints to only work on what’s a priority

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Getting started and getting in flow on my priority task

Do you have any other tips?

  • Use something to measure your active work time. It’s easy to assume that you are working “a ton” on your most important activity – but you probably aren’t. Track your time – the data won’t lie.
  •  Make sure your environment is telling you that “it’s work time.”
  •  Establish that hard deadline to stop working – otherwise, you’ll drag on forever rapidly decreasing your output per hour.

Mike Asbury

Mike Asbury

 

Mike helps individuals and groups to achieve a better focus on their strengths and achieve tangible results in their lives.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I love scheduling time for most tasks.  Let me first point out that I am a huge believer in Evernote!  Evernote gives me ALL of my resources at my fingertips at all times.

By keeping every resource at my fingertips at all times, it saves me a LOT of time searching around for “where I might have put that file.”

That said, I subscribe to David Allen’s theory that I should do the task right now if it can be done in two minutes or less.  If it is going to take longer than that, I put it on the calendar.  That gives it a place to live (not in my brain) and makes sure I budget time to give it my full attention.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge, like that of most folks, is INTERRUPTIONS.  I used to be a slave to email and text messages.

There was something palpable about having a message buzz me.  To quote Peter Griffin, of Family Guy fame, when he shared his dislike of “The Godfather,” a buzzing message alert “insists upon itself.”

It really does, so I changed alerts on my phone, and I close email when I’m attending to something I have put on my calendar.  It will all be there when I’m done, and I don’t need the distraction when I’m focused.

Do you have any other tips?

In a nutshell, focus.  Eliminate as many distractions are you can.  Do quick things quickly to get them off your list.  Make time for fun.  Make time for family.  Make time to help another person.

Make time to invest in yourself.  These are all important elements in having a productive and well-rounded life.  Best of luck!

Lori Vande Krol

Lori Vande Krol

 

Lori Vande Krol founded Life Made Simple LLC, based in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2005.  As a national speaker and productivity expert. Lori helps individuals and businesses better manage their time, space and information.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I find that when I don’t spend time each week planning my week and my days, then I start to feel overwhelmed, and my stress increases.

While I use Outlook for calendar and task lists, I use a paper planner for planning and task management. I am also a big fan of “eat that frog” meaning I try to accomplish the task that I least want to do, early in the day.

Then, my mind is opened up for increased productivity throughout the rest of the day.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I love to do short, administrative or technical tasks. I really have to block time and push myself to do more focused tasks such as writing.

I find that moving to a different location for these focused tasks, and choosing a certain length of time before taking a break, works the best for me. Check out the Pomodoro Technique for a defined way to do this.

Do you have any other tips?

There are many different theories, techniques, tools and apps relating to time management. It is easy to get overwhelmed. First, learn what your largest challenge is and then search for a solution(s) to address that challenge.

Finding the right mix of techniques and tools takes time, but you will be rewarded with increased productivity and reduced stress.

Krista Rae

Krista Rae

 

Krista is WordPress Developer and blog strategist. She helps creatives elevate their biz, increase conversions, and boost engagement by crafting strategic blogs

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I manage my time by planning my days in advance and by sticking to a similar schedule each day. For example, my day starts with scheduling social media posts and answering email.

I then move to working on items related to my own business such as finishing up blog posts, updating my website, and creating new paid content. After lunch is when I focus on client work. I generally choose one client project to focus on for 3-4 hours each afternoon.

Doing things this way allows me to give my full attention to a single project with a clear mind, rather than getting distracted and jumping to a new task.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I definitely struggle the most when I don’t start the day with a plan. This is when I easily find myself jumping around to different tasks without making any real progress or scrolling through social media.

Sometimes I can pull myself out of it by making a modified version of my schedule, but a lot of the time I fallback to using the Pomodoro technique with timed periods to work on different tasks. That extra bit of structure definitely helps when my mind is all over the place!

Dom Wells

Dom Wells

 

Dom Wells is the owner of Human Proof Designs. This site exists to make starting a niche website that much easier.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I have to keep experimenting until I find what works best for me. You’ll hear people talking about meditation or doing XYZ, but really, we’re all different and have to manage our time differently.

You’re not going to fail if you don’t do what someone else says. Keep figuring out what works, and learn some discipline.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Discipline! When I’m doing something that I enjoy, I can focus better than most people, but if it’s something monotonous, a 30-minute job can take me hours because I get distracted, or put it off.

I get better at this the more I learn to outsource things that I really don’t enjoy, or don’t need to do myself.

Do you have any other tips?

Time isn’t free, so if something is taking up your time and you’re not adding value to it, outsource it. I saw a quote recently about how a million dollar business isn’t created by having the owner do five dollar tasks. That really hit home.

Unless the task is something you specifically need to do yourself, get someone else to do it. If you can’t afford someone else to do it, try to increase your prices, or get another income source.

Arman Assadi

Arman Assadi

 

Arman is a former Googler with a lifelong mission to help more people live adventurous and fulfilling lives. Or at least above average ones.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

By far my favorite is my weekly review and planning process. What we need to understand is that what gets scheduled gets done.

But scheduling isn’t enough; we need to be conscious and proactive about how we spend our time, if we’re not, all we do is react all day long and become a slave to other people’s wants/needs.

My weekly review process has been downloaded and implemented by thousands of people, and many say it’s been life-changing. When I don’t do this, my week is only 25-50% as effective. When I do it, I feel on top of the world. You can access it here.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Missing my rituals that allow me to be proactive rather than reactive. The key ones are the weekly review/planning and my morning rituals process.

Do you have any other tips?

Whatever you do, create a system. Trying to “flow” throughout the day doesn’t work, and it’s a misinterpretation of the word flow anyway. Effective leaders manage their time wisely, and they do this my creating chunks of time.

Also, read about maker vs. manager time and if you’re naturally a manager, consider adding a block of maker time to your schedule in the mornings. You’ll love it and begin to cultivate your creative side.

Anthony Metivier

Anthony Metivier

 

Dr. Anthony Metivier is an experienced author, professor, story and memory course creator. He has taught thousands of students in  different countries and worked as a memory coach and adviser to top ESL instructors and language school administrators around the world

What are your favorite time management tactics?

As I talk about in Mandarin Chinese Mnemonics And Morning Memory Secrets, my best time management tactic is to get the important things done before the computer goes on in the morning.

By winning the morning, the noise of life online has no means of disturbing the most precious tasks that make a difference to my progress as an author and “video professor.”

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Online interruptions. Skype is great, but one text message can lead to hour long discussions that take steam away from important projects. It’s important to have it on only when I can afford to be taken away from whatever I’m working on.

Do you have any other tips?

It’s important to have focused goals and plans for completing them. I don’t believe you have to limit yourself to “one thing at a time,” but you do need a structured outline in order to manage everything.

I also recommend taking care of diet, exercise, work posture and sleep. Without these critical elements in place, you’re not really managing your time. Make sure that everything you do curves toward longevity, not delaying decline.

Dave Schneider

Dave Schneider

 

Dave is a Co-Founder of blogger outreach software Ninja Outreach

What are your favorite time management tactics?

For me, it’s important to have a clear to-do list with a lot of options so that I can get things done depending on my mood or ability. If I don’t have a full to-do list, I flounder.

Also, I try to do the least pleasant things in the morning when I have the most motivation.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My biggest challenge is not getting distracted by email or chats. It’s hard to find a solid block of time of 4 hours, which is what I feel like I need for certain activities.

I don’t do well splitting large tasks into small tasks of say 30-60 minutes each.

Do you have any other tips?

Track where your time is going so you can analyze where you can make improvements. I use RescueTime for that.

Chris Dreyer

Chris Dreyer

 

Chris is SEO specialist and founder of Attorney Rankings – a full-service law firm marketing agency.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My favorite time management tactic is to do the most important tasks first. These are priorities for your business, and you’ll get the most bang for your buck by knocking them out immediately.

When focusing on a task be sure to limit distractions so that your entire focus is on the task at hand. That way you’re working in the most efficient manner possible.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Learning to say “no” more often.  My core personality is to help others when people ask for attention.

This leads to a scope of work creep where you start doing things that aren’t necessarily profitable or the best use of your time.  Learning to say no more frequently is something I’m working on personally.

Do you have any other tips?

  1.  If you’re a Gmail user, don’t waste time with folders.  Often the folders themselves can create problems, and you’ll typically use the search filter.  So instead activate “send + archive”.  It’s a huge time saver.
  2. Utilize project management. I prefer Basecamp.
  3. Checklists are excellent for efficiency and consistency.
  4. Record training with video to utilize for other hires.  I prefer Camtasia Studio 8 for recording screen shares.
  5. Create an operations manual
  6. Utilize VAs for tasks that aren’t the best use of your time.
  7. Create Agenda’s for meetings and stick to them.

Phil Rozek

Phil Rozek

 

Phil is local SEO specialist and can help you get visible to more local customers in Google’s local search results and beyond.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Don’t have a set bedtime or wake-up time. Sometimes you’re on a roll and want to (or should) keep tearing through work until you slow down again.

Ride the wave. But most people still need time to unwind before bed, so don’t skip your wind-down routine. Now, this means you’ll go to bed late.

So be it. If you’re like me and set your own schedule, then you should just go ahead and sleep late to take care of that hardworking brain, so it can deliver its best again.

If you have to report to work for someone else the next day, sure, you’ll be tired all day, but at least you’ll be ahead on work because you rode the wave.

Have a couple of multi-hour chunks when you don’t check email. I’m not saying you only check it once or twice a day. But checking it constantly is a nervous twitch, and you need to stop it if you want to get anything else done.

Email people at off-hours, whenever possible. This is the best way to slow down the pace of the back-and-forth, so it’s not email volleyball.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Keeping emails brief.  The trouble with one-liners is they don’t usually don’t END the conversation, so you end up playing email volleyball.

Keeping phone calls with clients brief.  I love talking with them, so it can be tough.

Do you have any other tips?

Experiment.  No two people are the same.  Don’t let anyone tell you there’s a “right” way to manage your time.  Finding what works for you is a never-ending quest.

Also, walk a couple of times a day and do some more intensive exercise 5-6 days a week. You can’t do your best work at an efficient clip day after day if you’ve got a chair growing out of your butt.

Susan Payton

Susan Payton

 

Susan is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications.  She helps small businesses look better through words & social.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I schedule all my tasks on Google Calendar. I block off time to work on each task, so I never feel time-crunched or miss a deadline.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I’d say putting effort into my own admin. I put all my energy into my clients, and don’t tend to budget time for my own needs!

Do you have any other tips?

Automate. Whether it’s email marketing or social media updates, if there’s a tool that will do something for you, leverage it!

Nicholas Scalice

Nicholas Scalice

 

Nicholas is an inbound marketing consultant. He helps people and companies from all over the world build powerful inbound marketing engines using tools, tactics, and strategies that actually work

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I am a big fan of the Pomodoro Technique. Basically, I try to work in short 25-minute bursts and then take a 5-minute break. This allows me to get deep work done, but not get burned out. It is also helpful to turn off any distractions during these sprints.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Even though I try to manage distractions, they are still my #1 challenge. From email to phone calls, to Skype messages, there always seems to be something trying to beep or buzz and get my attention.

I am taking steps to address this. The best thing I did in this realm recently is to remove audible notifications of new emails from my phone. I can still see when new emails come in, but I am no longer distracted by the sound. It makes a big difference.

Do you have any other tips?

One of my favorite time management tips is to multitask when possible. My favorite place to multitask is at the gym. I’ll either listen to podcasts while working out, or go through email while on the stationary bike. It’s a great way to get more done in less time.

Daniela Uslan

Daniela Uslan

 

Daniela helps bloggers to find their superpowers, define their voices, and grow their audiences. Learn how at her website.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

When it comes to using time well, I do 2 things:

  1. Cut out distractions. I find that when I am working while Facebook, Twitter, and my email are open, it’s much more difficult to get anything done. I do my best work by closing down my website browser and using Scrivener to keep me focused.
  2.  Working with my purpose in mind.

I’m not great at blocking out certain periods of time and being very scheduled with my time. I am good at deciding what my most important goal/purpose is for the week and making sure that I get everything done in order to achieve that goal.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I struggle with putting too many things on my to do list and then stressing myself out trying to get them all done. I find that I’m more successful when I have 1 or 2 things to accomplish for the day than if I start with a boatload of goals that I can’t achieve.

I also struggle with getting sucked into the black hole of Facebook. I run a large Facebook group, and it’s easy to go in there and not come out for hours. So I try to set a timer and limit the amount of time I spend in there.

Do you have any other tips?

It’s easy to feel that if you’re really busy and working really hard, you’re being very productive. Often, the opposite is true. Before spending time on something, think about why you’re doing it. Make sure it’s actually going to move the needle for you.

Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz

 

Barry Schwartz is the CEO and owner of RustyBrick, a New York Web service firm specializing in customized online technology that helps companies decrease costs and increase sales. He is also an editor of Search Engine Roundtable and news editor at Search Engine Land.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Having a routine and scheduling everything else around it.  So you block out time for things throughout your day, to do specific tasks and leave holes in there to have meetings, client calls, etc.  I think a structured day is a key to making sure you get things done.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Traveling makes managing time hard for me.  It takes me off my routine.  So if I go to the west coast, I still want to wake up at 5 am ET, which is 2 am PT.  Not healthy but you work with it.

Do you have any other tips?

Use a calendar, set reminders and make sure you have a task management process.

Nathan

Nathan Gotch

 

Nathan is the Founder & CEO at Gotch SEO – a digital marketing agency in St. Louis, MO.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

  1. Do the hardest task first thing in the morning: this is effective for me because I have my highest energy levels in the morning. I use this time for activities that require lots of cognitive exertion such as writing blog posts or developing products.
  2. Use the Pomodoro: the Pomodoro technique is easily the most transformative time management method I have ever used. I use it all-day, every day.
  3. Schedule time blocks: multitasking destroys my productivity and diminishes my willpower. That’s why I schedule 2-3 hour blocks for focusing on a single task.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My incessant need to invite distractions via email, Yahoo.com, or social media. I have to battle this need to be distracted on a minute, hourly, and daily basis.

Do you have any other tips?

Avoid your email inbox as much as possible and use application blockers if you are really having issues not staying focused.

Lastly, don’t over-complicate your day. I’m guilty of scheduling my day as if I have unlimited willpower. Don’t do this. Know your limits and try to focus on the tasks that matter the most.

Ebong Eka

Ebong Eka

 

Ebong was named by Business News Daily as “One of the Top 15 People to Follow about Entrepreneurship”. In addition to being a keynote and TEDx speaker, Ebong is also a small business brand ambassador and TV, Radio, and Social Media personality.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Favorite tactics are including accountability partners and using pain, i.e., if I don’t complete a certain task by a certain time, I have to make a donation to an organization I dislike.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The greatest challenge is distractions – via online, people calling my phone and other people’s emails.

Do you have any other tips?

Make a list of tasks that have intention & results. For example, don’t say “I have to finish my website.” instead say “I have to finish my website so I can sell my products or services.” Focus on what you’re good at and outsource the rest!

Peter Banerjea

Peter Banerjea

 

Peter is Co-Founder of SuccessIsWhat.com, a blog on productivity for professional success. He has coached several entrepreneurs and leaders from Fortune 500 companies to become more productive and achieve their goals faster. He is a contributor to top blogs like Huffington Post, Fast Company, Addicted2Success and more.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My current favorite time management tactic is to make the right decision – the decision about what’s most important to my life at this point of time.

The reason why most of us feel rushed, stressed, fatigued, or unhappy is because we are not living life in accordance with our innermost values. In fact, most of us are not really aware of what those values are. It doesn’t mean that they don’t exist, we are just not aware of them.

We need to actively ask ourselves about what’s important and act on those realizations.

For instance, you might realize that you need to dedicate much more time to family, or that you need to finally spend lots of time on making a career shift. The moment you know what’s important to you, lots of things fall in place.

You can dedicate your energies with an incredible amount of zeal and accomplish far more with your limited time.  We all need to make choices about what we want to focus on.

You simply can’t do everything. The key to high productivity is knowing what’s most important to you and dedicating yourself to it with passion.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge in managing time is to maintain high levels of concentration. I have taken a number of steps to manage distractions, but one of my favorite ones is to make sure my communication channels (email, phone, etc.) don’t distract me.

I minimize notifications, go offline and sometimes even switch my phone off.

Sharlyn Lauby

Sharlyn Lauby

 

Sharlyn Lauby is an author, writer, speaker, and consultant. She is president of ITM Group Inc., a consulting firm which focuses on developing training solutions that engage and retain talent in the workplace. The company has been named one of the Top Small Businesses in South Florida.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I’m an organized person. That’s a priority for me. So when I need to get something done, it gets scheduled on my Outlook calendar. That way I can manage my time. It’s great for projects.

I recently started color coding activities so I could see (just from a color perspective) how I was spending my time.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I will admit that I occasionally over schedule myself – which stresses me out. But to compensate for that I have started declaring “me” time on my calendar. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to have time for myself and even more important not to feel guilty about it.

Do you have any other tips?

I would tell anyone trying to find their time management groove, do what works for you. It does take some trial and error. Test drive different systems. Find the system that helps you deliver your best results.

Luke Jordan

Luke Jordan

 

Luke works as SEO specialist in Boom Online, which is digital marketing agency. He also runs an online marketing blog.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My favorite tactic is to have everything planned in advance. There are many ‘to-do list’ tools out there that are great for this, but having a to-do list is definitely my most efficient way of getting things done – and getting the right things done at the right time, too.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I think like a lot of people, procrastination and getting distracted is a big issue for me. My mind tends to wander from idea to idea, or from idea to Reddit if I’m not too careful.

Being focused on one idea at a time – the to-do list is again helpful here – helps to combat this.

Do you have any other tips?

Don’t just read tips online, put them into action. A lot of people have knowledge, much fewer know how and when to put them into practice.

Paula Rizzo

Paula Rizzo

 

Paula Rizzo is the founder of ListProducer.com and the author of Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I use a version of the Pomodoro technique daily. It’s the method where you focus on one task for 25 minutes and then take a short break.

You set a timer or watch the clock and power through one thing.  If you get distracted, you stop the clock.  25 minutes is a bit too long for me, so I do 10 or 15-minute chunks.

I also never answer my phone unless the person on the other line has an appointment to talk to me at that time.

If I answer when they don’t, then I get distracted and start working on whatever thing they are looking for instead of finishing what I was in the middle of.  I have boundaries and rules that I set to stay more efficient.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I’m a TV producer by day, so I’m hyper aware of time.  I know exactly how long something will take me to do most of the time so I can allot enough time to finish it.  

But my big problem is  I like to procrastinate just like anyone else. It’s one of my dirty little secrets.  So I really need to push myself to get started on a project and build momentum. Sometimes I’ll pick a few easy tasks to get myself going.

Do you have any other tips?

Saying NO has been one of my greatest boundaries. I used to say yes to everything but now I really manage what I say yes to and if it best serves me.  It takes some practice to flex that no muscle but once you do it’s really freeing.

Timo Kiander

Timo Kiander

 

Timo is the Founder of Smart Productive Work. He can help you to become more effective and focused.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Here are three of my favorites that I follow everyday:

  1. Go to bed early

In order to get the maximum of two hours of distraction-free time for myself, I go to bed early.

I used to stay awake till midnight, but then I made a mutual decision with my wife that we’d like to get to bed earlier.

When you go to bed earlier, you’ll also get up earlier. However, the motivation has to be there; why is it important for you to get up earlier? Is it because you want to exercise? Want to work on your projects? Want a hassle-free morning before going to work?

For us, the benefits of morning time overruled the reasons for staying awake (watching TV), so at some point, we decided to make the switch.

Normally, I get up around 6 a.m. without an alarm clock, and I’m ready to start my day right then.

  1. Time block important tasks

For certain activities, time blocking works great. I like to use it on two occasions.

First, I time block my meditation and reading time. This helps me to set clear limits on how much time I spend on those things on a daily basis.

Then, I also time block my most important activity for the day, writing. In my case, I try to write for at least an hour (equals 1000+ words) from Monday till Friday.

For me, time blocking is just picking the important tasks, and then setting the timer on for a pre-defined time.

  1. Define a plan

In order to keep on track on what I should be doing every day, I plan my days on two levels.

First, I have tasks listed out in my task list.

To make that schedule even clearer, I also jot down a rough schedule (based on the tasks on my list) on a piece of paper. This gives me an overview of things I should do.

I try to keep the schedule flexible. At the same time, I tend to put all the important activities before noon. This way, they get done while I’m most energized.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Doing too much work on my own.

There are various aspects of work that I could outsource, and I’m looking forward to implementing different ways to delegate (or eliminate) to get certain work off my chest this year.

Do you have any other tips?

Plenty – just that there is not enough time or space to go through each one of them here 🙂

Seriously, you should definitely look at the list of the commitments you have and try to find ways to eliminate them. This way, your life gets simpler, and you can truly focus on the things that matter the most to you.

Also, in order to learn more about time management, it’s your duty to not just study it, but also implement what you have learned. That’s the only way you can improve your effectiveness and see what strategies work for you.

For instance, if getting up at 5 a.m. is out of the question for you, but 07.3o a.m. is more suitable (considering that you now get up at 8 a.m)., then stick with that plan.

Only you know your environment and situation the best, so apply the lessons that suit your situation.

PL

Pooja Lohana

 

Pooja is a freelance copywriter and can help you to simplify your content marketing. She is featured in MarketingProfs, Problogger, Hongkiat, JeffBullas.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I am a fan of simplicity, so my best time management tip is the good old notepad and a list of to-do items (no more than 6).

As a writer in the online marketing niche, I receive invitations to trial out several online products, which I love and am thankful for.

Although I believe digital apps serve value to so many people in so many ways; personally for me the traditional notepad works best.

It is distraction-free and it gives you the joy of physically “ticking things off”. I also like to create my to-do list the evening before so I’m all set the next morning when I get to my home-office desk. This may sound simple, but it has saved me hours.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

According to Tony Robbins, there are 6 core needs that humans want to fulfill. One of them is the need for Variety, which happens to be my favourite.

I love working on new projects, new challenges, new deadlines. It brews creativity and is hugely satisfying. Yet, it can bring chaos, which leads to “busyness” and is easy to confuse with productivity.

I’ve found a neat way to manage this is by taking an inventory at the end of the day of the number of your “done” tasks, rather than looking at the to-do’s.

Do you have any other tips?

Sure! I’m passionate about the topic of productivity and have written extensively in my Kindle books. They might help 🙂

Jordan Kasteler

Jordan Kasteler

 

Jordan Kasteler is a seasoned professional and an Internet Marketing consultant specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Focusing on one task at a time (vs multitasking) 2) while it sounds contradicting to #1, using multiple monitors (I have 5) 3) take breaks vs burning out working non-stop

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Practicing what I preach on #1 and #3 above 🙂

Do you have any other tips?

Saying “no”. It’s hard for me, but I try to practice it when requests aren’t the best interest of my time. Usually, that means keeping things to emails instead of phone calls and meetings where “small talk” is expected.

Tamar Weinberg

Tamar Weinberg

 

Tamar Weinberg is a professional hustler: a passionate customer champion advocate, inbound sales leader, digital marketing strategist, and freelance writer. She is Mashable’s 6th hire in 2007 and has helped grow the company tremendously through her sales efforts that have spanned six full years.

She had a baby 2 days before she sent me her tips!

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My favorite time management tactics are to learn to be effective at multitasking and getting things done as they come in. I don’t ever like pushing things until later.

If someone needs my attention now, I give it to them. This is also why I maintain inbox zero; delaying a response to an email correspondence just adds more to your plate.

Similarly, it’s about not saying yes to too many things and knowing where your limits are.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge is usually the stuff that comes up that’s not planned for. I can tell you that I expect to do X hours of work, but then all of the sudden, my computer crashes and I have another X hours of work to add on top of that.

Naturally, it causes me to be less efficient, but in terms of time management, it’s about preparing for the unknowns and working in the time to take care of everything.

Do you have any other tips?

My main tip is to use a system that keeps you fully accountable for everything you do. For me, that’s Remember the Milk baked into Gmail.

I have a to-do list that I maintain religiously, both for todo items and for meetings that happen throughout the day. If something is overdue, I work very hard to make sure it’s the first thing I do the next day.

Jennifer Horowitz

Jennifer Horowitz

 

Jennifer is a copywriter and SEO specialist. She also specializes in conversion rate analysis. Learn more about her at her website.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Color blocking my calendar works well for me – it’s a great way to see visually what categories I need to focus on.

From there I use Todoist to manage my tasks and prioritize them. I always do the tasks I don’t like first, so they are out of the way. I also try to do tasks that other people are waiting on.

Lastly, I have to stay out of my email and social media while I am working on my creative tasks.

It drains my energy if there are problems, and it’s a time suck.  I have learned to be proactive and not reactive. It allows for greater control of my time and higher quality work product.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Prioritizing is hard because there are so many different ways you can prioritize something.  Usually, I try to prioritize by revenue producing activities and revenue impacting activities (like dealing with problems before they negatively impact revenue), and then everything else.

Do you have any other tips?

It really comes down to discipline and organization. If you spend the time once and create a good system and then follow it, you should do great.

It helps to remember why you are doing various tasks and prioritize based on that – if they are steps towards a goal or due date they are a priority over everything else.

Ted Rubin

Ted Rubin

 

Ted is a leading Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist and Acting CMO of Brand Innovators. You can learn more about his at his website.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I do my best to address as much as I can as it comes… same day in, same day out when possible. When not (which is often), the best way for me to keep track is my email, so I push everyone to follow-up with me there if the interaction or request for a deliverable started somewhere else.

The emails that have not yet been addressed to my satisfaction remain closed, so I know they are still active. I also aggressively use my calendar because it keeps me on track for things that need to be done by certain dates.

If you want something from me, I request and expect you to add it to my calendar. If it’s me looking to you for something, then I will add. I rarely drive, because if someone else is driving, I can be using my time more effectively, and when I will be driving, I arrange using my phone for calls during that time.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Too much to do, too little time. This is a 24/7 social world, and once you build a brand, especially one built upon responsiveness, it is difficult to control the incoming.

Do you have any other tips?

Be self-aware about your ability to multi-task… some are better at it that others. Also, make sure to be aware of those around you and how your behavior is affecting them.

Are you paying attention to where you are walking and talking… AND driving? Are you getting in the way of others or annoying them with your engagement? Are you missing things with your kids, a time you will never get back, by trying to be too efficient with your time?

Pay attention, evaluate as you go, and take the time to actually “think” about things.

Harris Schachter

Harris Schachter

 

Harris Schachter is a digital marketer at a Fortune 200 company – Capital One and hybrid marketing consultant in Richmond, VA. He also runs Optimizepri.me.

Thanks for reaching out. I’d be happy to answer these questions; I think time management is probably one of the least talked about, yet most important, topics in the marketing world. Here we go:

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My favorite tactics are as soon as something comes up, deciding whether or not to do it right now, and where it falls in priority of all the other things I need to do.

Some people immediately stop what they’re doing in favor of the most recent, but just because it is recent doesn’t mean it is more important. This helps me spend my time wisely and helps me focus.

Another thing I like to do is say no. If I get a meeting invite that isn’t crucial for me to be in attendance, I just decline. Saying no is another skill I suggest everyone to learn.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The greatest challenge is estimating how much time a body of work will take. In agile methodology, sprint planning is used to define the work and acceptance criteria for the next couple weeks.

The problem is you can never really know how long something will take due to unforeseen events, requests from leadership, or otherwise. Even after a number of sprints, you can never really know exactly how much time or effort something will take (especially in marketing, not software development).

Do you have any other tips?

My only other tip is that if something takes less than 5 minutes, just do it now. Otherwise, you’ll put all these small tasks aside and create a huge list of work which could otherwise been taken care of in bite size pieces.

Dan Petrovic

Dan Petrovic

 

Dan Petrovic is the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimization. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Self-imposed deadlines. I enter when something is to be accomplished by a certain date and I work towards meeting that deadline. It’s really that simple.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Distractions. This could be your usual communication at the office, emails or me burning time on Reddit or social channels. When I really need things done, I work at night or close my door and put a DND sign on it.

Do you have any other tips?

When facing a gigantic task, it’s often difficult to make a move on it and start. But this is key. Just start. Make your first attempt, no matter how bad it may seem. This gives you something to work with and improve.

I often simply lay out the basic skeleton or structure of what I’m about to do, and that makes it easier as I start filling in the “meaty” parts. Sometimes when I work on my next talk, what inspires me is a good cover image.

I sometimes spend hours getting the cover right because once I have that done to perfection, I’m very motivated to continue this excellence throughout the content that follows.

Andy Crestodina

Andy Crestodina

 

Andy is Co-founder of Orbit Media. He is a top-rated content marketing speaker and keynote presenter at national conferences.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

“Time blocking” is a great way to manage time. It involves setting aside time for specific activities. For example, if you’re a writer, schedule one hour with yourself every morning to write. Don’t check email.

Don’t look at social media. That time is for writing. Sit down and write!

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Distractions. Email. People walking into my office. I also have a bad habit of scheduling too many back-to-back meetings. If one meeting runs long, the others all get pushed back, and I’m late for everything.

But the biggest problem is email. I’m using a combination of tools within Gmail to help, but it’s still a constant struggle…

Do you have any other tips?

Delegate! Great things are not all accomplished by one person. If you want to tackle bigger projects, you have to leverage your team.

Even if you’re a blogger or content marketer, this can be very effective. Here’s an example of what a senior marketer might do to delegate and automate tasks: 5 Marketing Tactics for Senior Marketers.

Jake Bohall

Jake Bohall

 

Jake Bohall is the Vice President of Angular. Jake is recognized as an online columnist, entrepreneur, and serves as a board member of an educational non-profit.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I used a suggestion made by Chris Winfield, to spend some time early in the morning establishing what my accomplishment goals for the day will be, and deciding how much time I want to spend working towards each.

Then, I set a timer for 20 minutes and get to work. When the timer goes off, I make a mental note of progress and decide to spend another 20 minutes on that same goal, or spend my next 20 minutes on another goal. By following this, I find myself much more productive, and I stay on task knowing I’m only asking a “20-minute sprint” of myself.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Interruptions! Working in a fast paced tech marketing company, Angular, I am constantly having to break from the task at hand to address a customer concern, a developer request for information, etc.

Do you have any other tips?

I use a combination of tools to help me with managing priorities, workflow, and stave interruptions.

For example, I use Wunderlist to help outline outstanding work and easily prioritize what I want to get done. The fantastic “ding” of checking the box is a nice reinforcement of accomplishment.

I use Trello for organizing on a project level, so I don’t spend more time organizing than I have to.

And I use Kore for it’s communication platform with my teams and the bot integration so I can combine communicating with task tracking, and get set aside time to go and “knock out” the internal questions without having to jump into my inbox where other distractions inevitably wait.

Tadeusz Szewczyk

Tadeusz Szewczyk (Tad Chef)

 

Tad has more than 15 years of experience in online publishing. You can check his blog which rarely get updated. This is the downside of success and having lots of clients.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My favorite time management techniques? Wow, that’s difficult. By now I use so many of them that it’s really a tough choice. I think splitting tasks into half an hour/hour slots is among them.

Not reading emails until the actual work is done allows me to have time to manage in the first place.

Without ignoring the mailbox, I would only play ping pong sending mails back and forth and run errands in-between messages.

I also use a simple but effective to-do list tool called TeuxDeux. It allows me to drag and drop tasks back and forth.

A rigid plan, like a to-do list written on paper, would not allow me to deal with energy slumps or urgent drop in tasks. I plan the week in advance on Monday, so I need to be able to move tasks from slot to slot down the week.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The greatest challenge when managing time is that time is a finite resource and managing it is not a solution for the lack of it. Thus you need to prioritize before actually managing time.

  1. What’s more important?
  2. When to do what?
  3. Which tasks to drop altogether?

While I’m pretty good at juggling multiple clients/projects, social media activity and mail checking I often end up dropping my own projects from the todo list. You can see it on my blog or homepage which rarely get updated. This is in a way the downside of success and having lots of clients.

Do you have any other tips?

Time management does not suffice to ensure a high level of productivity. You need to

  1. sleep enough
  2. eat well
  3. exercise
  4. meditate
  5. move a lot

to name just a few key ingredients of success. Also, productivity in itself isn’t enough either. Being always busy or working long hours is not a sign of success.

Productivity is about accomplishing a lot in a short time frame.

You need to minimize distractions. Thus I schedule both social media and mail/messaging times.

I only use Skype for client consultations for example. I even switch off the phone to be able to work on the actual task at hand. Single tasking is perhaps the most important thing to remember.

Matthew Alago

Matt Alago

 

Matt is a Project Manager at Ipullrank.  He is an experienced digital project manager with strong background in production and seven years of experience in digital project management. He worked for CBS Interactive, CBS Corporation.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

– Take 15 minutes at the beginning of every day to schedule out your day.

– Putting DNDs on your schedule for the times you need to put your nose to the grindstone and just get something done.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

– Not always accounting for getting pulled away from something

– Not accepting that you may not get everything completed that day

Do you have any other tips?

Try to take into account the time you will be pulled away from tasks as well as the time you spend on your phone or Facebook this will help you more accurately manage your time.

Brent Jones

Brent Jones

 

Brent is freelancer and blogger. At his blog, he helps new and aspiring freelancers build their own online, service-based businesses.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Simply put, I plan everything. I’m a big believer in writing down everything that has to get done each day, and my day isn’t finished until each of those tasks have been accomplished.

I generally plan the week ahead every Friday, and when the new week starts, I simply work my plan. I avoid adding things to my plan once the new week has started… instead, I work on what’s right in front of me and schedule new tasks that arise for the following week.

The best time managers I know stay focused on executing their plan rather than waiting to be reactive to new challenges each day.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I won’t lie… I can sometimes get distracted rather easily. I have to make a point to check my email only at certain points each day, and the same goes for social media notifications.

When it’s time to focus on a bigger project, my phone gets turned on silent.

I used to try to answer everything in real time, but I’ve come to realize just how much time I lose as a result.

Emails don’t expire. Social media notifications don’t disappear. And my voicemail works perfectly. They can all be reviewed later in the day.

Sometimes managing time is as simple as having systems in place to prevent distractions from happening in the first place.

Do you have any other tips?

My best tip for achieving maximum productivity is to stay motivated. Have clear goals and understand why you are working as hard as you are. It’s easier to be disciplined and diligent when we can clearly visualize our end goals.

In other words, set goals, give purpose to your work, and find a reason to be passionate about achieving maximum productivity.

Jason Quey

Jason Quey

 

Jason is a co-founder of Decibite, hosting optimized for traffic, security, and sales. He also helps entrepreneurs connect with influencers, experts, and linchpins to rapidly grow their business together on The Storyteller Marketer.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Prioritize what I want to do and knock them out, piece-by-piece, starting at the top. As simple as this sounds, this is exactly the strategy business magnate Charlie Munger used.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Keeping focused and not chasing after shiny marketing objects.

Camilla Hallstrom

Camilla Hallstrom

 

Camilla is freelance content writer/marketer and Huffingtonpost.com contributor. She runs 99smartideas.com where you can find information how to stop procrastinating and get things done.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I’m a huge fan of the Pomodoro Technique, writing to-do lists and taking pauses throughout the day to stretch, do yoga, take a walk or jog. Changing my work environment is something that helps me manage my time.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I’ve always had a pretty bad tendency to procrastinate. Fortunately, I have learned quite a lot about getting rid of this habit, but I’ll still find myself procrastinating from time to time.

The important thing is to recognize why it’s happening and then do something about it (e.g. eat a healthy snack because your blood sugar is low).

Do you have any other tips?

Read about different time management tips, then test those that resonate with you. Not all of them will work for you, and that’s fine. Use those that work and skip the rest.

Steve Wiideman

Steve Wiideman

 

Steve is SEO expert and consultant. He is a President & CEO of Wiideman Consulting Group

What are your favorite time management tactics?

5 years ago, I spent 40% of my time in email and found myself working late into the evenings. Now, I only schedule meetings before noon and push clients to use support desk or CRM so other team members can shield me from nearly 50% of the emails I would respond to.

Tools I use to manage my time include Inbox by Google (better ‘skip the inbox’ features and snoozing), better organization of tasks within our project management system, and removing all notifications from work and social media that do not specifically require my attention.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Delegation is still something I struggle with. As the senior SME in our group, I set a high bar and tend to bogart sensitive tasks that could be done by others on the team.

Do you have any other tips?  

My advice for those struggling with time management are to schedule time to work on tasks and to learn how to write like a CEO (here is one of my favorite articles on the topic).

Today I scheduled a task to watch a webinar recording and update a process doc; each one hour of blocked out time.

My time spent in email has given me back 20% of my day, which feels incredibly liberating.

Thanks to the tools I use and a focus on notifications only, I reach “Zero Inbox” by the end of each day (sure, some are snoozed, but everything important is replied to or delegated).

Lauren R. Tharp

Lauren R. Tharp

 

Lauren helps entrepreneurs with a vision give that vision a voice. And since she works primarily as a ghostwriter, you can rest-assured that the voice will be yours. She can also help you to get started as a freelance writer.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I like to set alarms to help me manage my time more efficiently.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge is knowing when to stop. I have trouble knowing when to take a break. Once I get started, I tend to just keep going and going until I burn out.

This is another reason why setting alarms works so well for me. Not only do they help me finish tasks within a set time limit, they help me know when it’s time to stop and get some rest.

Do you have any other tips?

Schedule breaks as well as tasks. You’ll get more done! Because, believe it or not, your body and mind need to rest to work effectively.

Erlend Bakke

Erlend Bakke

 

Erlend is an entrepreneur, author, and speaker. He is author of the #1 international bestseller “Never Work Again: Work Less, Earn More and Live Your Freedom”

www.mroutsource.com, Please let regina@mroutsource.com know so we can share it http://erlendbakke.com/ http://mroutsource.com/ https://twitter.com/erlendbakke

What are your favorite time management tactics?

90 minute of thinking deep focused work first thing in the morning.

Turn everything off and just focus on one task. After that, I can busy myself with email and phone calls, but the 90 minutes is what really makes the big difference long term.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The trick to manage time is to have a dream team that does most of the things in your business for you. I also schedule everything from gym to food to travel, so I know what I´m doing when. I also allocate days to certain businesses and tasks.

Do you have any other tips?

The Daily Update.

Get your key employees the task of emailing you a daily update where they.

Have a: Tittle: Date + hours worked

then answer these three questions

1) What I did today

2) Challenges I encountered

3) Questions I have for you

This has saved me hours and hours!

Nathan Zeldes

Nathan Zeldes

 

Nathan is work productivity expert, thought leader and public speaker.  Formerly he worked at Intel Corporation, where he focused on the improvement of knowledge worker productivity related to email, internet apps, messaging, remote working, and more. Learn more about Nathan on his website.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

  •      The most important info overload handling tip: batch email reading in fixed, preset time slots daily. In my case, I am most creative in the morning, so I do most email after lunch, and during travel on public transportation (intercity buses). Admittedly some urgent emails get replies outside these slots, but I try to keep them few. To enable all this, you must turn off all “You’ve got mail” alerts on both desktop and handheld.
  •      Conversely, I assign most morning hours to working alone on the kind of larger tasks that require creative thought and concentration, as opposed to meetings and miscellaneous small stuff. Your timing may vary depending on your biological daily cycle, but the principle applies to most everyone.
  •      I plan my day in advance the evening before, so I can start into the morning tasks right away and “hit the ground running.”

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Sticking to priorities, so important-but-not-urgent tasks don’t get pushed out by the opposite kind that keeps popping up. One trick I use here is sorting my Inbox, so oldest messages are at the top and starting every email processing time slot from these.

Since important messages will not be deleted, they accumulate at that end and this way I force myself to handle at least a few of the oldest every time. Mind you, I do keep my inbox under one screenful most if the time, so this is not a lost cause.

Do you have any other tips?

Well, there’s the tip I invented myself long ago and shared with many folks: the “Five Weeks” folder trick. Here’s how it works:

  •      Set up a folder called “Five Weeks” that deletes its content automatically after five weeks.
  •      Use it as a repository for messages you’re unsure about, such as that email you want to delete, but you’re not sure if the sender might call you tomorrow and ask about it. If, when screening your Inbox, you hesitate for more than 2 seconds about deleting a message, put it into “Five Weeks” and forget it!

This simple method speeds up inbox processing considerably because it does away with the procrastination and doubt that slow down outright deletion: anything thrown into the folder can, after all, be retrieved for five full weeks.

The five-week interval was picked so that any monthly recurrent items would not disappear before the next one came in…

Larry Kim

Larry Kim

 

Larry is Founder and CTO of WordStream – the leading provider of AdWords, Facebook and keyword tools used by over a million marketers worldwide. The company employs nearly 200 people and manages a half Billion dollars of ad spend on behalf of customers.

He is also a columnist for Inc. Magazine, Search Engine Land, Social Media Examiner.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I have to be pretty firm with myself about putting my phone out of sight and only checking it periodically. It goes off constantly, and I mean every few seconds.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge is fitting in exercise. Surprisingly, working out energizes us (rather than exhausts), and lowers stress. So it’s crucial to get some form of exercise every day. I aim for super early in the morning. Hence the struggle!

Do you have any other tips?

Use the time that would otherwise be lost. I find it’s worthwhile to take an Uber occasionally, so I can check and send emails instead of driving.

And since I fly a lot, I’m often stuck at boarding gates—but that’s salvageable time. Even 15 minutes can check a small task off the list, and most importantly, make you feel productive and motivated.

William Harris

William Harris

 

William is a Growth Marketer and at Elumynt. He contributes to FastCompany.com, Entrepreneur.com, TheNextWeb.com.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Batching. I love figuring out ways to batch my time so I can be the most effective at the task I’m currently focused on.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge is limiting distractions.  Slack, Hipchat, email, text messages – it can all be overwhelming to turn off, but it’s absolutely necessary to eliminate the things that are getting in the way of productivity and focus.

Do you have any other tips?

Check out the article I wrote about on FastCompany – How to Work 100 Hours a Week – and Not Die.

Andy Core

Andy Core

 

Andy is a credentialed, award-winning thought leader on increasing employee engagement, productivity, and wellness motivation. Learn more about him on his website.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I practice (and preach) Big Box Time Management.  It is a concept that helps you feel accomplished at the end of the day so that you can leave work at work, enjoy your personal time more and fall asleep easier at night.

It is simply identifying what you must do in a day to feel accomplished.  That is sometimes a more productive way to refocus than asking yourself, “How can I do more?”

Here is a link to a LightBoard Video where I explain the concept:  http://andycore.com/big-box-time-management-increase-productivity-quality-life

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The biggest challenges for me are two subcategories of time management.

  • Ping management – How good am I at designing my day so that technology does not interrupt my workflow?
  • Opportunity management – How good am I at choosing the right opportunities to focus on?

Do you have any other tips?

One of the key concepts in my new book, Change Your Day, Not Your Life is that “Motivation is just momentum in disguise.”  Arrange your day and your thinking so that you can get on productivity runs throughout your day.  

For instance, the first thing you do when you arrive at work or return from lunch creates the momentum for the next few hours. Choose your first actions wisely.

Chris Makara

Chris Makara

 

Cris has over 13 years of digital marketing experience. He provides interactive & digital marketing services at his website – Chrismakara.com

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My favorite time management tactic is automation. Basically, I find that I can find additional time by automating tasks that don’t necessarily need me to do them manually.

Since they either run on their own or streamline a process, I am able to free up time that I can allocate towards other tasks that can’t be automated.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I’d say my biggest challenge is staying focused. I’m the type of person that likes to multitask more than I should. When this happens, I will notice one of the things I was working on gets forgotten or missed.

So I do my best to tackle one thing at a time when possible.

Do you have any other tips?

A tip I would give that works well for me is to follow the “eat a frog for breakfast” mentality.

The “frog” is your biggest/worst task. By eating your frog first thing, the worst part of your day is over and can’t get any worse.

Whereas if you procrastinate, that task will hang over your head the rest of the day until it is completed hindering your productivity.

I find that this approach helps me focus on getting my high priority tasks done ASAP.

Tom Pick

Tom Pick

 

Tom Pick is B2B marketing consultant focused on web presence optimization: SEO, SEM, social media, online PR. Blogger. Tom runs a great blog where you can learn about digital marketing.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I use many tactics, from making “to do” lists to scheduling tasks based on my own productivity patterns; personally, I prefer to write in the morning and do more analytical work in the afternoons, when possible – but we are each unique.

Many people will say prioritizing tasks is the key to time management and productivity. It’s essential, but really needs to be taken one step further: the single most important factor in time management may be knowing when to say “no.”

No matter how expertly prioritizing your task lists are, you’ll never get caught up if your to-do list is endless. In other words, it’s not enough to simply judge some tasks as more important than others. It’s also vital to recognize which tasks really aren’t worth your time at all.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Discipline! Saying “no” (as prescribed above), though essential, is hard. The temptation is to try to help everyone, to never ignore or turn down a request. But sometimes that is necessary in order to devote enough attention to the tasks that really matter.

It also takes discipline to ignore distractions. It’s easy to get pulled away from the task at hand to check for text messages, new emails, what those unread Facebook notifications are all about, etc..

But effective time management requires focusing on the task at hand, and setting aside specific times for catching up on communications.

Do you have any other tips?

Avoid multitasking – it’s productivity and work quality killer. Instead, work in “bursts,” focusing on one task at a time. The Pomodoro technique recommends bursts of 25 minutes, but again, we’re all different.

I prefer bursts of about 75 minutes; that seems to work best for me. But again, we’re all different. Do some experimentation, some trial and error, to determine what “burst” length works best for you — then stick to it!

Micah Riddell

Micah Riddell

 

Micah is Director of Operations at Louder.online. He has extensive experience advising on corporate strategy and actively supporting the growth of multinational companies.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Despite it not being very cool I rely on email and calendars, my basic rules for the day are:

  • Wait 2 hours at the start of the day before checking mail; this allows important issues to turn into phone calls or messages
  • Reply immediately if:
    • It will take less then 5 minutes
    • Could lead to new business
  • Flag everything else that needs attention and assign time to it
  • Finish the day with a clear inbox

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Want to do versus need to do, I am constantly finding new ways to do business, attract new customers and create efficiencies,  this can lead to too much time being spent on the future state.

Do you have any other tips?

You won’t make up time lost by being available 24/7, do what you can with the time that you have and be sure to balance productivity and wellbeing.

Gael Breton

Gael Breton

 

Gael is inbound marketing nerd. He runs Authorityhacker with his good friend Mark where you can learn how to create authority website and build targeted traffic.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Despite being self-employed, I like limiting my working time the same way it would be if I had a job. Except I only work 6h / day these days then make plans to make sure I stop on time.

Then I use something like Rescuetime to track my productive hours and aim at 80% productivity.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The greatest challenge to me is other people’s emergencies. I do a pretty good job at prioritizing my own emergencies but when other people need something “urgently” it totally disrupts your flow, and you have no way to know how important it actually is.

Do you have any other tips?

My bonus tip is to compartmentalize your life. If you have too much time dedicated to any task, you will spend way more time that you should on it (Parkinson law).

So I use my calendar app to split my days in 1-2h blocks with different activities. This allows me to get a lot more done in a single day (http://www.authorityhacker.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Sunrise_Calendar.png)

Ellen Bard

Ellen Bard

 

Ellen Bard helps you to balance productivity and self-kindness, and you can get her free PDF ‘101 Ideas to Boost Your Creativity, Have Fun, and Play’ here: http://ellenbard.com/101-ideas-creativity-fun-play/

What are your favorite time management tactics?

  • I stay organized. It saves me a huge amount of time that I know where things are on my computer and in my place, and can find things quickly when I need them.
  • I use a modified version of David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology to structure my projects (including trying to stay as close to Inbox Zero as possible  http://ellenbard.com/how-to-create-a-zero-inbox/ ) to keep things streamlined and structured and to keep track of the many balls I have in the air.
  • I keep all my to-do lists in a one Scrivener file, where I can have individual documents and lists but still see an overview of them all at once.
  • I make a list for every day which pulls from these different master lists.
  • I split out decision-making time as to what I need to do, and the ‘doing’ time to make sure I have concrete actions rather than vague plans on my to-do list so I’m not wasting decision-making time when I’m ready to do things, but I know exactly what I need to do next.
  • I know the next action that needs to be done on each bigger project, and also have the resources I need available to complete that project (e.g. have the research offline if I’m writing a blog post) so I can switch tasks if my circumstances change (e.g. I am on a plane and have no internet, or my laptop runs out of battery, etc.).  
  • I try not to confuse being ‘busy’ (social media, emails, tweaking my websites, etc.) with being productive (producing content for my books or websites, working with clients, getting my work out in the world). I monitor the time I spend on websites using RescueTime on my Mac and Moment on my phone (Moment, in particular, is pretty horrifying when you realise how much frequently you do a ‘quick check’ on your phone – I recommend you do this and get a clearer picture of how much you use it).
  • I read books and blogs on the topic and refine my approach. I highly recommend Deep Work by Cal Newport for example.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Getting distracted. In order to stay focused, I use Pomodoros; an internet blocker (‘Freedom’); and a music program to enable focus (Focus@Will). I try not to multi-task, and work on one thing at a time. I don’t always succeed!

Do you have any other tips?

One other challenge I face is I often have unrealistic expectations of what I can actually achieve in a day – I would like to have a slimmer to-do list every day.

Too many things and you don’t get them done, which can feel demotivating. I try to have a realistic number of actions that I can do within the time frame, and then have some ‘bonus’ items which I can get to if I have time.

I also think it’s important to balance your work life with social activities, exercise, play, creative time and alone time. All these things help to nurture us to be in a space where we are ready to be as productive as possible – if we burn out, we’re definitely not in that space.

Shane Barker

Shane Barker

 

Shane Barker is an accomplished digital marketing consultant. From working with celebrities on digital reputation management to obtaining a #1 national ranking with PROskore as a social media consultant, Shane has built an impressive list of accomplishments in digital marketing. As a regular contributor to publications like Salesforce, Yahoo Small Business, Marketing Profs, and others, he continues to grow and share his knowledge.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

1. Setting priorities – If there are projects more urgent or take more mental bandwidth than others, I do them first thing in the morning as that is when I am the sharpest.

I don’t start doing any client calls until after 10 am. That way I can get my workout at 5 am and then start work on my high priority tasks from 6am-10am. It is best to start the day off right by knocking out my big ticket items.

2. Taking short breaks – I schedule (it is actually on my daily calendar) a 15-minute break every 3 hours as it helps me reboot and refresh the mind. During my breaks, I will check Facebook (to make sure the world is not ending soon), walk my dogs, watch some funny YouTube videos, stretch, kiss my wife, etc.!
3. Setting deadlines – For all my client work and personal brand development I always set deadlines. There are no many moving parts to all my projects, my team, and I always do a weekly review of the requirements for each project and setup deadlines.

If you don’t have a deadline how will you know when you hit certain milestones?

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Unexpected or last-minute tasks which were not included (or invited) into my daily schedule! It is hard to prepare for the unexpected, but it is guaranteed to happen so why not add a buffer to your daily schedule.

Preparation is key! I usually schedule a 10-minute buffer before and after all meetings to be ready for the unexpected tasks/calls.

Do you have any other tips?

Set goals for your team and if they hit the goals reward them accordingly. Time management is always a challenge especially when there are multiple team members on a project.

So your team finishes a project on time show them your appreciation for staying on target and crushing the project by rewarding them. I have given my team cash bonuses, gift cards, time off (with pay) and team outings.

Kalo Yankulov

Kalo Yankulov

 

Kalo is the Co-founder of HeadReach. He is an avid content marketer, web designer, and front-end developer

What are your favorite time management tactics?

First:

Do less

Recently I noticed the fewer things I have in my life the better I perform. Do only the most crucial tasks; track only the 1 most important KPI or metric; send shorter emails; avoid unnecessary meetings – talk and go out only with the people that contribute the most to your company or personal development. Less is more.

And second:

Use only actionable tasks

Here’s a non-actionable task:

“Hire an intern.”

Here’s an actionable task:

“Interview 5 potential marketing interns before 25th this month.” It easily answers to “what” – interview; “who” – marketing interns; “when” – 25th this month.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Staying motivated through the lows. Running a startup or a new company you go through a rollercoaster of feelings. In the morning you might feel like you’re going to be the next Richard Branson and buy islands, a few hours later you feel borderline depressed – this impacts your performance.

Those are the moments when you feel like you’re wasting the most of your time as you don’t feel like doing anything at all.

Aleyda-Solís

Aleyda Solis

 

Aleyda is an international SEO consultant & keynote speaker. She is the founder of Orainti. According to Forbes she is one of the top online marketing experts to watch in 2016.

 

What are your favorite time management tactics?

In order to manage my time well and maximize productivity:

  • I follow the “Eisenhower Box” to prioritize my tasks.
  • I use the Pomodoro technique to be able to focus on what really matters during reasonable periods of times. I’m a big fan and use with browser extensions such as Strict Workflow to keep focused.
  • I use Trello to manage my to-do’s and keep track of things I need to prioritize along the day.
  • I block periods of times in my calendar to make sure I allocate time for things like writing my book or a blog post.
  • Every task that should be done at a certain time are set in my Calendar with alarms to remind me 10 minute before.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Distractions & tendency to procrastinate, leaving things to do until the last minute. I highly recommend reading “How to beat procrastination” from Wait but Why, with great tips to be aware, control and minimize this behavior.

Do you have any other tips?

Yes! Having a reliable, highly accessible and centralized communication system and project management system also helps a lot, I use Slack to communicate with people I collaborate with and very simple but effective Basecamp. I really like simplicity and focusing on getting things done.

Alexandra

Alexandra Tachalova

 

Alexandra is a digital marketing consultant & founder of DigitalOlympus. She is a frequent speaker, and you can find her at all the major search industry events such as BrightonSEO, Ungagged, SEOzone, SMX, SEMdays, and many more.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I’ve grown fond of Agile and everything related to this methodology. To tell the truth, I personally think that the classical management structure – where managers are responsible for everything – doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

I strongly believe that any team member should have freedom to decide how to deliver a particular task and be fully responsible for the outcome.

If you want to have a team that we’ll be able to solve the problems on their own and be focused on the results, then you shouldn’t rely too much on the classical management, but instead you need to encourage employees to organize processes they are responsible for themselves.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The hardest part is to prioritize and to try to find a balance between routine and interesting tasks. Quite often exciting projects appear from nowhere and you can’t say “no” to these opportunities, but later on you regret it, when you’re head over ears in work.

So, I try not to give promises that I can’t keep due to the lack of time. Also, I’m quite a big fan of automation: I use a good number of tools that can spare me from any manual and repetitive tasks.

Do you have any other tips?

My final tip is pretty simple: don’t forget to find some time to seat down and analyze what you’ve done in the last 3-4 months. This simple step allows you to adjust your current activities consequently and to prioritize appropriately in order to become more effective.

As a rule, I like to turn every plane journey into an opportunity to catch up with my work: for example, when I go somewhere to deliver a speech, I have this “no distraction” time on a plane, so that I can seat down and think over my business concerns or go through my personal processes.

SteveScott

Steve Scott

 

Steve is a bestselling nonfiction writer.  He teaches others about publishing and blogs about: habit change, self help and productivity. His newest book The Miracle Morning for Writers is a huge hit.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

There are many effective time management techniques I have tired throughout the years. The ones that have worked for me the longest are:

  1. The Pomodoro Technique. This is a process where you work for a 25 minutes, followed by a 5 minute break. The short “work” period means that you can give absolute focus to the task at hand and actually get more done.
  2. The 80/20 Rule. The idea of this rule is that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort. When you track the things you do, you can discover those 20% activities that really move the dial on accomplishment. Trying to do more of those activities and making your daily efforts that much more efficient..
  3. Walking during breaks. The mind-body connection is a strong one. Staying fit helps you stay efficient. The Pomodoro technique has a lot of “mini” breaks built into it. As much as possible, I like to fill these 5 minute breaks with short walks. These short walks fill me with energy. The “mindlessness of walking also helps me to get ready to fully focus on my next 25 minutes of activity.
  4. Focus on creative tasks first. Circadian Rhythms show that most people are the most focused and creative early in the morning. I never waste this time on emails or phone conversations. Those can wait until the afternoon. The morning is the time for my creative work. (The 20% or my 80/20)
  5. Never over schedule your day. Typically I set only 2-3 tasks to be completed in a single day. This manageable number means that I will be able to handle things that “pop up” and still give the tasks I want to complete my full focus.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Emails that are low or medium priority: I receive 100-150 emails a day. The important stuff gets dealt with. The rest of it can be a challenge.

Do you have any other tips?

Stick to your “Core Genius”.

We all have things we excel at, and things we are just able to “do”. Effective time management means that you should always be looking for ways to scale the things you are good at, while outsourcing or delegating the things you only do passably well.

Finding your core genius starts with being brutally honest about your strengths and weaknesses. What skills make you unique? What tasks fully engage your brain? What tasks never seem like, “work”?

Once you have an idea of what you do really well, you need to create systems to give you more time to focus on your strengths and less time to handle the mundane stuff.

Few of us will ever spend 100% of our time focusing on “core genius” tasks. There are always little things that must be handled personally, but you should strive to get 75-80% of your time spent on these tasks.

Maria

Maria Johnsen

 

Maria Johnsen is CEO and founder of multilingual digital marketing company Golden Way Media. She has been ranked the 6th top digital marketing influencer in the world. She is a hyperpolyglot entrepreneur, public speaker, author and search engine programmer.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I work systematically. I run many SEO, PPC and Social Media Marketing projects in different languages. Some of these tasks require more attention and some others are easy. I usually do the easy tasks first and then work on the difficult ones. I take 15 minutes pause in every 60 minutes. When I am done at the end of working hours, I take care of phone calls and emails.

After work I go to the gym and do work out for two hours. This helps me to think clearly and when I get back home, I continue working at my office until dinner time for two hours, then I close all the devices and use my time for other activities such as being with friends and going out.

I usually follow a system in my time management. I take benefit of every minute I have, when I don’t work on projects, I listen to languages in order to not forget them. People in here speak only one language, so I have to keep my languages on advanced level.

I am able to manage my time efficiently this is how I have been since childhood. And this is how I was able to manage both a full time job with a lot of responsibilities at the government and full time education as a student.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The greatest challenge is not to lose my focus. I usually do more on projects in order to not miss the deadline in case if anything happens. I always submit my projects before due time. This way my clients are happy. Sometimes in life things happen out of blue for example you get sick, or some of your tools dysfunction, this is why I do more every day so I wouldn’t miss the deadline.

Do you have any other tips?

Do not postpone a project when you can do it today, because something could come up later which you have no control over. Don’t leave a task for tomorrow when you can do it today. This way you’re never late in submitting client’s project. Being on time is very important.

Conclusion

There is no cookie cutter solution to managing your time the best way. To find out what works, you just have to learn from the best and try everything. Some people have what it takes to take on task after task without any problems. Others seem to get lost in a field of tasks with no end in sight. What may come easy to someone else, may not work for you.

Review what you’re doing now to manage your time and then go through the list of expert techniques. The listed methods are all different in one way or another. Despite that, the experts all have one thing in common. They are all successful because they have learned what works for them.

These professionals know how to tune out obstacles and handle disruptions. This allows them to focus on their end goals. With the tips they have provided, you can list out what might work for your situation.

When you learn time management skills, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed with your business. This will also help you feel more in control of your scheduled tasks. Pause and put the focus on important tasks so that your day becomes more productive.

You are already working hard enough. Working smarter will cut down on distractions like social media. This will help you meet your short and long-term goals. Running a business is hard work and a break is good every now and again.

If you are new to the world of time management, tell us in the comments how you plan to change your bad habits. We want to know what you are going to do to work on improving your work flow.

If you are already an expert in effective time management, we also want to hear from you. Tell us your achievements and how you manage your time.

Maybe your method of time management isn’t listed? Share it with the group so we can all enjoy learning something new!

 

Start Tracking Your Time Today

The Best 25 Time Management Skills and Strategies

If you take the time to learn this set of time management skills – I promise you: You’ll be more productive, you’ll achieve more, and you’ll have far more time to spend doing what you love with your family and friends!

1. Begin With Yourself

Let’s start with a hard truth: you can’t manage time; you can only manage yourself.

We all have the same amount of time in a day; it’s how we manage ourselves in that time that produces the best results.

Time management requires:

  • self-discipline
  • self-control
  • self-mastery

When you master these skills, you’ll be able to prioritize and complete the most important tasks in your personal life and work. Your workload will be manageable, and you’ll feel better in yourself.

2. Use Advance Planning To Achieve Your Goals

Planning in advance is an essential time management skill.

  • Plan every week in advance – spend some quiet time over the weekend to map out your week ahead. Plan your work around known deadlines leaving some ‘slack’ time for emergencies.
  • Plan every day in advance – each evening before you pack up for the day take a few minutes to reflect on your achievements and prioritize your tasks for tomorrow.

When you plan in advance, you get a clear picture in your head, as well as a task list. Keeping that vision helps you focus on achieving your tasks. And you’ll also find that your subconscious mind works on those upcoming tasks in the background providing ideas and insights when you tackle them.

And you’ll also find that your subconscious mind works on those upcoming tasks in the background providing ideas and insights when you tackle them.

3. Schedule Tasks

It’s important for you to find your natural rhythm. You’ll know when you’re most productive. For some people, it’s the morning. For others, it’s the afternoon or even late at night.

Once you know your best time of day, then schedule your tasks accordingly. If you’re a morning person, schedule your most important tasks first thing. Likewise, if you’re least productive in the afternoon, then schedule less important tasks like checking email.

Remember you don’t find time for important things; you make time for important things best by scheduling.

4. Focus on One Task at a Time

 

Learn to focus on one thing at a time.

It’s so easy to think you’re doing more when you’re jumping from one task to another. But, in fact, it’s the opposite.

According to a study published by the American Psychological Association, switching tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time

It’s not just time you’re wasting when you multitask. The quality of your work drops, too.

Gary Keller explains why it’s so important to focus on one thing at a time and shares some examples of what happens when you get interrupted.

5. Track Your Time

Have you ever used a time-tracking tool?

Most of us think we know how much time we spend on particular tasks. But in reality, we fool ourselves.

Try tracking your time to build up an accurate report of what you actually spend your time on – you’ll be surprised.

It’s important to spend the right proportion of your time on the most important tasks.

For example, if you’re an accountant and your report shows that you’re spending 3 hours a day on emails, then something is wrong. (In fact, unless you’re a PA, anyone spending 3 hours a day on emails is wasting time.)

6. Set Realistic Time-Frames for Different Tasks

When you know how you’re spending your time, you can evaluate your results and plan changes.

To use our example, an accountant should be devoting his time to accounts – checking ledgers and balance sheets, preparing reports, paying invoices, etc.

Of course, there will be some admin time required for emails, but probably one hour maximum, not 3 hours.

If you don’t make regular checks on your time, it’s easy to slip into bad habits. Set yourself realistic goals of how much time you’ll allocate to specific tasks each day.

7. Start Your Day Early

 

If you want to increase your productivity, try starting your day early.

That doesn’t mean you necessarily have to start work first thing in the morning. Instead, develop the habit of getting up early, so you have some quiet time to think and plan, instead of rushing around like a lunatic.

Some people use the extra hours to reduce their emails and achieve zero inbox before the day starts. Others prefer to meditate or exercise.

Filipe Matos set himself a goal to wake up at 4:30 AM every day for 21 days. Writing about his challenge he said:

“I’ve known for a long time that I am a morning person, and so the goal was to increase my morning time to see if it would increase my productivity.”

8. Complete Your Most Important Task First

Like Filipe, there are plenty of stories of successful people and the benefits of waking up early.

Glen Allsopp had a clear goal when he started his 30-day challenge to get up at 5:00 AM – to complete his most important task of the day first.

“I want to wake up earlier as I get more done in the early hours of each day. It’s imperative that I spend these hours focusing on the most important task I should be doing to achieve my goals.”

Even when you wake early, it’s easy to put off getting your important task completed. But that would be a waste of time. Nail your important task and feel energized for the rest of the day.

9. Organizational Skills

Some of us are more organized than others. That’s just the way we are as individuals.

But there are a few basic things you can do to stop wasting time. For instance, you can develop a good filing system for your computer.

Any successful secretary or PA has a good filing system, for both electronic files and paper files.

They know exactly where each file is stored because they’ve created a logical system, usually in a hierarchy of folders and files.

Dumping files on your desktop or scattering them in a mix-mash of bizarrely-named folders won’t work. Create a system that is both easy to save to and retrieve from.

Did you know: The average office employee spends 1.5 hours a day (6 weeks per year) looking for things.

Get organized – save time looking for misplaced items.

10. Travel Productivity

An important area where organizational skills are essential is travel. When you travel by air or sea or rail, you have time on your hands that you can use for offline work tasks.

As Brian Tracy recollects:

Some years ago, Hughes AirWest, a regional airline that once served the western U.S., hired a consulting firm to compare the efficiency of flying first-class with working in a traditional office.

They discovered that one hour of uninterrupted work time in an airplane yielded the equivalent of three hours of work in a typical work environment.

The keyword is ‘‘uninterrupted.’’ This relates to an earlier point. You can achieve more when you don’t get interrupted.

So, next time you’re going to be traveling, plan ahead and organize your work. You’ll increase your productivity by accomplishing those uninterrupted tasks.

11. Set Some Boundaries

When you’ve prioritized your tasks, and you’re focusing on the most important thing right now, you feel good.

And then it happens.

  • A colleague pops round to your desk to ask you a question.
  • The phone bleeps.
  • Your doorbell chimes.

There’s nothing worse than an interruption.

The best way to combat unwanted distractions is to set some boundaries. Try these:

  • If your office cubicle or workstation is too noisy, then book a meeting room for a few hours.
    • You can make time in your calendar for collaboration and discussion later.
  • If your phone is constantly ringing, then switch it off.
    • You can answer voicemails later when you are working on less productive tasks.
  • If you’re working from home, try putting a ‘Do Not Disturb’ notice on your door.
    • You can talk to family when you have a break

12. Boost your productivity with physical activity

Previously we talked about the benefits of getting up earlier and completing your most important task first.

The most important thing varies for individuals.

Richard Branson prefers to exercise first when he gets up early.

When asked what makes him “come most alive,” Branson remarked:

“Being fit and healthy. There’s nothing like the endorphins from being fit, and the incredible endorphin rush that goes with that.”

Research confirms this. When we exercise, our brains produce chemicals that make us feel good. And when we feel good our energy levels rise, too, leading to improved concentration and productivity.

Try starting your mornings off with some form of exercise. It doesn’t have to be overly aggressive. While Branson may prefer kitesurfing or playing tennis, you may prefer yoga or walking.

You could also try partnering with a ‘Workout Buddy.’ Exercising with a friend helps you stay motivated and accountable.

Whatever physical activity you choose, you’ll find that exercising clears your mind and helps you focus on your work.

13. Eat and Drink Healthily

Nutrition and hydration play an important part in maintaining your energy levels.

Eating the correct types of food and the right quantities of food are equally important.

If you eat too much food, then your body has to work harder to digest it, and as a consequence, your energy levels drop. And then you become less productive.

Certain foods are proven to boost your energy levels (without expanding your waistline).
You might be tempted to grab a quick fix of chocolate, but it will only give you a quick boost in energy.

It’s better to eat foods like turkey, spinach, and banana. These can help with the production of serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter most linked to happiness.

And remember to keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Not coffee. Water.

Scientific research shows that even mild dehydration can have a major effect on energy levels and brain function. Aim to drink about 2 liters of water a day.

14. Delegate When Possible

Man passing on two pieces of paper in opposite direction

Sometimes it’s not possible to do every task yourself. Perhaps because you’re not the right skilled person to complete the task or you don’t have enough time in your schedule.

If this is the case, then consider delegating work to your team or colleagues. Or if you’re a freelancer then consider hiring a virtual assistant.

Remember what David Allen says:

“Only do what only you can do.”

15. Allow for Intentional Breaks

When you plan your schedule for the week or the day, always allow for some breaks and unforeseen distractions.

You just have to accept that you will get interrupted from time to time, or unexpected events or meetings will crop up.

Nobody should work hours on end without a break anyway. It’s unproductive. So add in your breaks for drinks and lunch and exercise.

Taking a walk at lunchtime is excellent for clearing your mind ready for your afternoon tasks.

You can also use your breaks to try some stress management techniques, like mindfulness breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga.

16. Slow down and breathe

Sometimes in our haste to accomplish as much as possible we forget to slow down and breathe deeply.

Managing your time involves pacing yourself correctly. There’s no point rushing from one task to another. It’s better to take your time and focus on one thing at a time.

Try practicing mindfulness to help you focus on your breathing.

17. Practice Self-Control

Social media is one of the biggest distractions that can interfere with your daily routine.

You know the scenario:

I’ll just check Facebook to see if there are any updates from the weekend.

I’ll just check Twitter for any mentions.

And before long, your 2-minute check turns into a 20-minute session. Time wasted on trivial stuff.

You need to master self-control so that you can restrain yourself from becoming engrossed in social media and other time-wasting activities.

18. Know Your Limits

Should you really be working 12 hours a day?

Most people would struggle to do this for a prolonged period. You might be able to do it occasionally when a deadline is looming. But on the whole, you should be aiming for less.

What’s important is to know your limits. Different people will have different concentration spans.

Take a look at these various work rest recommendations:

  1. work for 25 minutes and then rest for 5 minutes
  2. work for 50 minutes and then rest for 10 minutes
  3. work for 52 minutes and then rest for 17 minutes
  4. work for 80 minutes and then rest for 6 minutes
  5. work for 90 minutes and then rest for 20 minutes

References:

1,2,3 – https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245740

4 – http://www.careerconceptsinc.com/2016/09/15/take-real-break/

5 – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tony-schwartz/work-life-balance-the-90_b_578671.html

Working non-stop is not good for your health or your productivity. Find the best work/rest ratio for you.

19. Work more when you’re in the zone. Relax when you’re not.

It’s a fact. No matter how good our intentions are, some days our bodies just say no.

One day you can be in the zone, completing task after task. The next you’re as flat as a pancake.

I’ve tried to push myself on those bad days, and the results are not good. The next day I end up having to redo some of the work again because I made such a mess.

If your job allows it, then learn to go with the flow. Take an extended break on the bad days. And come back firing on all cylinders the next day.

It’s far more productive.

20. Set time limits

When you plan your schedule, try setting shorter deadlines for tasks. It’s all too easy to drift for hours deliberating over a powerpoint slide.

As Parkinson’s Law states:

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

When you set yourself a limited time to complete a task, you’ll find that you’re more focused and productive.

Try running a countdown timer to create more urgency.

Work smarter, not longer.

5 Things To Avoid


21. Avoid Procrastination

Procrastination is one of the most devastating things that can affect your productivity. It’s almost like a silent killer, creeping up before overwhelming you.

When procrastination strikes, it saps your time and energy.

Learn to recognize when you’re procrastinating and put some escape mechanism in place to get back on track. For example, you could try the “Eat That Frog” method by Brian Tracy.

Tackle your most troublesome task first to relieve the pressure and enjoy the rest of the day.

22. Avoid Stress

Stress often occurs when we accept more work than we can handle, either through a lack of ability or time.

When we feel overwhelmed with all the tasks in front of us, our body has a physical reaction that leaves us feeling tired, and consequently our productivity drops.

When facing a mountain of tasks, you have start delegating either to team members or virtual assistants.

Take the time to plan your schedule first so you know exactly what tasks you can handle for the day or week.

Remember to start with the most important tasks. Anything else should be delegated leaving you time for relaxation.

23. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking doesn’t work. It’s a myth.

In fact, multitasking decreases productivity rather than increasing it.

Scientific studies have proved that our brain works best when it focuses on one thing at a time.

When you try to do more than one thing at a time, your brain gets confused as it tries to split its processing power.

So avoid multitasking.

24. Avoid Perfectionism

Perfectionism is not unlike procrastination.

Sometimes we strive to achieve perfection instead of just getting a first iteration produced.

Entrepreneur Shane Melaugh recommends creating a Minimum Viable Product rather than a Perfect Product.

He claims that it’s much better to get a MVP to the market rather than trying to develop your product.

Because in reality, it will never be perfect – there will always be something that needs tweaking.

You can apply the MVP principle to other areas of your work; e.g. producing powerpoint presentations, providing business reports, creating websites, etc.

Avoid striving for perfection.

25. Avoid Time Thieves

Always be on your guard against time-thieves.

A time-thief is something that distracts you and consumes your time.

We live in a world of technological advancement surrounded by the latest gadgets and gizmos. They look appealing, but are they really going to help you? Or are they more likely to distract you?

You need to be careful not to be tempted by the wrong technology. Learn to evaluate what resources will help rather than hinder your productivity.

Conclusion

As you become more successful as an entrepreneur the demands on your time will increase.

You need to remember our first lesson and manage yourself so that you remain in control.

Don’t be tempted to deviate from the proven skills and strategies that you’ve learned and put into practice.

1

The Importance of Time Management

Time management is an essential skill if you want to maximize your efficiency and take your success to new heights. Unfortunately, studies have shown that many people are struggling with time management.

In fact, in a recent study, 62% of employed respondents said they feel like they don’t have enough time available to do what they want in their daily lives.

Start Tracking Your Time Today

So what can we do about this? In our modern world are we destined to miss deadlines and feel unfocused, hurried, and rushed because we are pressed for time?

Luckily, the answer to that question is NO.

All we have to do is implement a little bit of strategy and smart planning into our time management techniques.

In the words of Benjamin Franklin “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

Today I’m going to reveal my best time management tactics, but first I want to go over exactly why time management is so essential to your success, your overall life satisfaction, and the health of your relationships with your significant other, family, and friends.

Why Time Management is Important.

We all have a general idea of the importance of time management. But let’s get into some specifics. I’m a firm believer that when you improve your time management skills, your entire life will change.

And it all boils down to this…

Time is your greatest resource.

No matter your level of wealth, your gender, or nationality we all get 365 days a year, 7 days a week, 24 hours, or better yet, 1440 minutes a day. You have to make them all count.

When you do maximize how effective you are with the limited amount of time you have you will experience many benefits including:

You will be more efficient and productive.

Efficiency leads to productivity, which will allow you to accomplish more of your goals.

You will have more energy.

So much energy is wasted trying to “catch up” with our daily task and projects. Once you become skilled at managing your time that is no longer an issue. Which will do wonders for your energy levels throughout the day.

Your stress levels will reduce.

Almost nothing is more stressful than having to rush to meet a deadline or get to an appointment on time. Not to mention all the sacrifices we make to our health and our close relationships due to our lack of time.

By learning effective time management techniques, you can almost instantly cut your stress levels in half.

You will have more control over your life.

We all strive to have control of our lives. That’s nearly impossible when you have a frantic schedule.

You will be able to spend more quality time with your family and friends.

We all want to spend quality time with our loved ones. Sadly, when we aren’t effective at time management, this is usually the first thing that we sacrifice.

You will be able to pursue your passions.

We all have causes and hobbies that we are passionate about. Whether it’s charity work or outdoor sports the better your time management skills, the more time you will have to pursue those passions.

You will become more successful.

By being more productive, you will experience greater success. Why? Because you will reach goals and milestones faster.

Now that we’ve gone over WHY time management is so important let’s get to the meat of this article.

If you’re tired of feeling rushed, missing deadlines, and feeling like a lack of time is stopping you from reaching your full potential pay close attention to the next section.

Actionable Tips for Effective Time Management.

effective

At one point I was like everyone else, rushed, stressed, pressed for time. It put a strain on my relationships; it wreaked havoc on my professional career, and it threatened my health.

I found myself staying up late and chugging enormous amounts of caffeine to keep up. Once I begin to experience anxiety, I knew something had to change; that’s when I began researching time management techniques starting with the question “what is time management?”

Because I obviously wasn’t doing it right.

That lead me on a journey that changed my life. Today I’m going to reveal to you some of my greatest findings.

Let’s start with one of my favorite tools for tracking how I spend my time and where I need to make improvements.

1. The TimeMyLife app.

The first step in effective time management is identifying where you are wasting the most time. That’s why TimeMyLife is one of my favorite time management tools.

Once you install TimeMyLife on your desktop and mobile devices, it will begin to track how you spend your time on those devices. Then it compiles the data in a report.

Spending too much time texting? Chatting on social media? Working on a project? The report will reveal it.

2. Classify and hone in.

Everyone knows the importance of time management. However, many people don’t realize the significance of dividing their task by levels of priority and urgency.

To do this effectively try this technique that is often used in business management.

Divide your task into three categories A, B, and C. A will be (urgent and important task), B (important but not urgent task), and C (neither urgent nor important).

Once you have your task classified hone in on the ones from category ‘A’ that take the least amount of time to complete. This is based on the Pareto Principle, better known as the 80/20 rule.

Now that you have your to-do list divided by levels of urgency let’s go over a method to get all your work done efficiently.

3. Implement the Pomodoro Technique.

Tracking your time is a necessary step in building your time management skills. And classifying task in order of urgency is just as important.

However, knowing is only half the battle. That’s where the Pomodoro Technique comes in.

The technique was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980’s and has since gone on to become the secret weapon of successful CEO’s and entrepreneurs all around the world.

Why do people love this technique so much? Because it works!

The technique follows the 25/5 principal, which means that you work for 25 minutes followed by a 5-minute break.

This technique will keep you focused on the task at hand and eliminate multitasking…

Which brings me to my next time management strategy….

4. Stop multitasking!

I would make the bet that nothing is degrading your efficiency and cutting into your time as much as multitasking. Numerous studies have shown the ill effects of this habit.

It degrades your focus, causes memory impairment, increases stress, and actually increases the time it takes for you to complete a project.

When you multitask what you’re actually doing is jumping from one task to the next. This severely reduces your efficiency by never allowing you to get in the zone on a single project.

It also opens the door for mistakes that you’ll have to go back and fix…wasting more time in the process…

5. Block distractions.

When you’re working on a task, the goal should be to get in the zone and get it completed. You can’t do that with constant distractions from email alerts, social media notifications, and text messages.

My suggestion is that you set your phone to do not disturb for an allotted amount of time before you start working. Also, close your door and set a do not disturb sign there also!

Research has shown that every time we get distracted it takes on average 15 minutes to regain focus. With that in mind, it’s 100% necessary that you block distractions.

6. Protect your time.

If you don’t manage your time, someone else will manage it for you. Two skills you must learn if you want to boost your time management skills is the ability to say “no” and to delegate.

Every small problem doesn’t need your attention, no matter how urgent the other person thinks it is. And you absolutely must learn to delegate the task that don’t necessarily require your labor for completion.

7. Try the Batching Technique.

Never heard of the batching technique before? Well, it’s when you dedicate blocks of time to similar task in order to stop them from distracting you throughout the day.

Let’s use email for example. When using the batching technique, you would turn off your email alerts and schedule a 15-20 minute block in your day where you read and respond to emails.

One of the goals of time management is to maximize concentration and minimize distraction. This method will effectively help you do that.

You can also try batching phone calls, reading, cleaning, shopping, and a host of other not so urgent task.

8. Test, Test, Test!

No two people are the same, so what works for me might not necessarily be the most effective tactic for you. So it’s crucial that you A/B test different time management techniques to gauge what works best for you and your work style.

With this approach, I suggest that you try one of the methods above on day 1, then try another on day 2. Monitor your mood and productivity in a spreadsheet or notebook then make adjustments depending on your findings.

Conclusion

Overstating the importance of time management is impossible. If you want to maximize your potential and your life satisfaction time management is an absolute must.

Begin testing these techniques and making adjustments. The sooner you find the right mix of time management strategies that suit your needs the better.

Don’t procrastinate, don’t hesitate, start the journey now.

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1

23 Time Management Habits to Increase Your Daily Productivity

 

Start Tracking Your Time Today

 
We live in a busy world with a lot of modern advancements. You can update social media in an instant. With news updates everywhere, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. With productivity at risk, you need to work on the way you handle your time. This makes it easier for you to get back on track to running your business in the best possible manner.

1. Define Your Purpose

Maintain a clear focus on what you want to achieve. A goal gives you something to work toward and because of this, you can set mini goals to grow your business. Targets help you break free from distractions and avoid headaches. Leave behind any tasks that are not essential to your business. You don’t want to spend the majority of your time on things that can zap your time and energy.

When you have a goal in mind, you are able to create smaller goals for the short and long-term. To get this done, create to-do lists to help you reach your targets. Ask yourself what drives you and what you are passionate about. With an end goal, large or small, you are able to create a roadmap to your success.

2. Take Action

When you take any action in your business, you are taking control. This lets you free yourself of excuses that may be holding you back. It is easy to get started with your current task and go from there. Get started working on your tasks now and stop waiting. Create a plan of action for completing your tasks and reward yourself for a job well done. This helps you work toward your larger goals so that you can get more important things done in a shorter time.

3. Overcome Procrastination

It might be easier said than done, but you can stop procrastinating with some effort. For you to overcome this obstacle, find out the true cause of your procrastination. When you find out what the trouble is, you can find a solution to the problem. This affects a lot of people every day, but it doesn’t have to affect you. Leave small tasks for breaks. Use the Pomodoro Technique if you want to work in bursts and limit social media to shorter time frames.

Many people put off things that aren’t fun or exciting. Tasks like reports and meetings aren’t always going to be a lot of fun, but they are necessary. Review your priorities and figure out what will help you to achieve your goals.

Putting things off may leave you feeling overwhelmed by your tasks. It also keeps you from moving forward in your business. This can lead to a business that is not successful. When you feel the urge to procrastinate, turn your attention toward the bigger picture. This lets you keep your eyes on the prize.

Tackle the hardest tasks on your to-do list first so that you can focus on running your business. Many people put things off for different reasons. If you want to avoid this time sucker, you can concentrate on your larger goals. Block out procrastination before it robs you of your time.

4. Avoid Interruptions

No one likes to start work and have to stop in the middle. This is a problem that affects a lot of business people. It derails our minds from our goals and works against us. Interruptions cause us to break our focus on the tasks at hand. If you want to focus on your own success, limit interruptions as much as you can.
There are plenty of ways to try to avoid interruptions, but there is no foolproof way to do this in general. Work in a quiet place where people can’t bother you. Disconnect yourself from social media and turn your cell phone off. Staying focused helps increase your productivity, which helps your business grow.

5. Stop Multitasking

Studies show that people who do more than one task at a time are worse off than those who don’t. When you take on more than one project, you let your mind leap from one thing to another. Maintaining focus on larger tasks is the key to getting things done.
Jumping around distracts your mind and keeps you from important aspects of your business.

You can stop multitasking by following a system of delegation and deletion. To do this, you have to figure out what projects other people can handle. Handle projects based on importance and urgency. Also, don’t jump from project to project and you will train your mind to get more done.

6. Set Deadlines

Give yourself a deadline for small and larger projects. Use a calendar and make goals for yourself. Deadlines give you an end date to complete projects. Experts believe that you should set end dates even where there are none.

7. Stop Checking Your Email (So Often)

You can be distracted by your email if you check it often. Many people do this all throughout the day.
If you are like a lot of people, you check your email a lot every day. This can kill your productivity and keep you from doing more important things. You have goals to get done, so leave your inbox alone and work on your success.

Don’t waste time with email unless you can set a time to do so. Many people waste hours checking emails and getting distracted by this. There are apps that can block email access so you can get focused on what matters.

8. Empty Your Inbox

At your set email times, check your inbox and get rid of what doesn’t help you. You should look at emails one time and decide what to do from there. Take action, delete the email or delegate the task. This helps you avoid feeling overloaded. Create folders that describe the emails inside.

It can be hard to get your inbox down to zero, but it is worth it.

9. Focus on Priorities

Think about the items on your to-do list. Which ones will have the biggest impact on your business? Focus on these items first and leave the smaller tasks for later.

When putting your to-do list together, think about which projects are important or urgent. Take care of urgent items first, followed by important items. Items that are not important or urgent are best left for others.

10. Don’t Confuse Urgent with Important

Urgent projects don’t always mean that they are important. Handle important tasks first. Urgency does not equal tasks that you should do now. Use the Eisenhower Box to figure out what items are urgent and/or important. This is a matrix that helps you figure out your priorities.

11. Write Things Down

Take notes when thinking about your business. You may never know what is important to the bigger picture. Keep track of your ideas and focus on what’s important. You may think that you can remember items, but we often forget. Keep track so you can avoid missing out on important information. We all have busy lives, so don’t sweep details under the rug.

12. Use a Weekly Planner

Having a weekly planner allows you to plan out how you are going to achieve your goals in advance. Using a planner helps you get familiar with important projects and due dates. This trains your brain to focus on getting things done on a weekly basis. You can also use this to meet larger goals.

13. Organize Your Stuff

Knowing where things are can help you feel more in control of your work life. Organization helps you increase productivity and doesn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Clear out any clutter you have in your workspace. You want to create an environment that doesn’t distract you. Get rid of things that don’t work and label desk drawers and folders. This gives you a space for incoming and outgoing work.

14. Make the Most out of Meetings

It is common knowledge that meetings waste time. It seems like participants don’t get things done. To make the most out of this situation, figure out the core feature of the meeting. This will stop wasting time so that people can get back to work.
Also, when creating a meeting, have an agenda. Look for a reason behind the meeting and make sure that it works for the business. Keep everyone on track and allow them to get involved.

15. Reconsider Your Social Media Activity

Social media can drain your brain of important information and replace it with distractions that don’t do anything for you. Many stimulants are easy to find on the internet. In social media, there are many ways to feel distracted. Only get on your social media accounts when taking breaks.

You can get more done by limiting this activity in general.

16. Stop Reading News

Don’t waste your time reading the news when we are working on important tasks. To stay focused on work, steer clear of news items that you can’t change. Focus your energy on more important matters that work for your larger goals. News doesn’t teach you anything and will not help you get your tasks done.

Many news headlines are created just to grab your attention. If you must read news, do it on breaks to avoid interrupting your workflow.

17. Take Breaks

Your brain needs time to get rested and recharged and taking breaks does just that. When you work without stopping, your mind becomes numb to the constant level of stimulation. Taking time away gives us renewed energy so that we can take on our tasks at full force.
After a block of 25 minutes of work, take a time to do menial, brain-dead tasks.

18. Eat Healthy

Eating junk food drains your energy. Eat only food which helps you to raise your energy levels. Science shows that people that have poor diets are more likely to be less productive.

19. Exercise More

Doing physical exercise affects us all by giving us the energy we need to get through the day. Exercise increases the blood flow to the brain. This leads you to be more productive in general. It’s also good for your health.

20. Get Enough Sleep

For the average person, insomnia zaps them out of 11.3 days of productivity every year. For those of us who don’t get adequate amounts of sleep, our levels of productivity suffer. To handle that, make sure that you are resting often and well.

21. Become an Early Riser

Staying up later in the night leads to a lack of sleep. This, in turn, leads to insomnia which drains our energy and productivity levels. Studies have shown that successful people get out of bed early. These people get important tasks done before others have started their days.

22. Rebuild Your Habits

Develop good habits so you can perform at peak performance throughout the day. Inc.com has a list of 7 things you can start doing now. This list will give you the tools you need to increase your productivity.

23. Act in a Responsible Manner

Time management is essential to increased productivity levels. It is your time and you should be responsible for how you use it every day. Effective time management skills allow you to create a plan for your day and stick to it.

Track your time with a plan that lets you remain responsible. You can use this for planning out your day.

It is easy to get distracted and lose focus, but that doesn’t mean that you have to fall into this pattern. With the guidelines listed above, you can create a plan that helps your business. In a nutshell, you should clean your area of clutter, work hard and stay focused on important business tasks.

Success doesn’t always happen overnight, but it does happen. Follow the habits of successful people and you will also see the benefits. Block out unwanted distractions and plan out your weekly projects. In the end, both you and your business will see growth. Train your mind to work around interruptions and figure out what works for you.

 

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The Power of The 25th Hour or How It Can Change Your Life

 

Start Tracking Your Time Today

 

Time is static.

How many times have you heard someone say: “We all have 24 hours in a day.”

And it’s true.

But it’s how we use those 24 hours that counts.

I came across an article on the Huffington Post by Steve Eakin called: The 25th Hour.

I know I said there were only 24 hours in a day but stay with me…

The 25th Hour is all about using that one hour of free time that we all have each day.

“This is the hour where you can build your app. This 25th hour is where you can launch and scale your startup. This is where you go from side-hustler to CEO.”

Think about it…

  • It might be first thing in the morning.
  • It might be on your daily commute to work on the train.
  • It might be in the evening when you’ve put the kids to bed.

One hour isn’t much

Don’t be fooled into thinking that one hour won’t get you anywhere.

When you add up all the ‘one hours’ you’ll soon have plenty of time.

Look…

If you devote one hour a day, six days a week to your goal then you soon have:

  • 6 hours a week
  • 24 hours a month
  • 312 hours a year

That’s a lot of time.

And if you put it to good use then it can be incredibly powerful.

Don’t believe me?

How about a few stories and strategies to illustrate how people have managed their time and energy to achieve success.

Three Success Stories

#1 John Grisham

The story of John Grisham is an inspiration to us all.

Grisham was consumed with an idea, and he was disciplined in his efforts to write his first book. It took him 3 years to complete his novel – “A Time To Kill.”

In an interview with USA Today he said:

When I started writing in the fall of ’84, I had no idea what I was doing, but I was motivated for all of the right reasons.

Grisham trained as a lawyer, but he didn’t like the job.

He wanted to be a writer. He didn’t have any training or qualifications to be a writer. He just knew that he wanted to be a writer.

So he set himself a goal:

To write a page every day.

In an interview with the San Francisco Journal, he said:

I had these little rituals that were silly and brutal but very important.

For Grisham, that meant getting up at 5 am every day and reaching his office by 5:30 am. He had to be there at that time of day before the regular job started ready to start writing his first word.

He used the power of the 25th hour.

Even though he is now an international bestselling author, he still maintains his writing habits.

He told in an interview:

The books are written from August to November, from 6 a.m. to noon, five days a week. Old habits die hard…

Of course, it’s not just, John Grisham who has formed good habits to become successful.

#2 Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld, one of the most successful comedians of all-time, used a powerful productivity method he called Don’t Break The Chain.

There’s a story on Lifehacker recounted by Brad Isaac, once an aspiring comic, but now a software developer.

Isaac shares what happened when he encountered Jerry Seinfeld backstage at a comedy club and asked for some tips and advice.

He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day.

He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.

After a few days, you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.

Don’t break the chain,” he said again for emphasis.

When you break it down, it’s a simple strategy.

But it’s also very powerful.

Why?

Because it is visual.

Looking at a wall calendar and seeing those big red X’s building a chain is sure to drive you forward.

Putting in the small steps each day builds success.

If you set unrealistic goals, then you will fail.

Choose a task that is simple enough to be sustainable. But is also meaningful.

As James Clear explains:

Researching good jokes each day is simple, but you’re never going to write a joke by merely researching. That’s why the process of writing is a better choice. Writing can actually produce a meaningful result, even when it’s done in small doses.

#3 My Story

I’ll end with my own story.

I was working in a respectable job, earning decent money.

But I wasn’t satisfied.

Over time I became more resentful of pouring my heart and soul into my job, only for others to benefit.

Often my time and energy would go unrecognised. And in the end that becomes soul-destroying.

In my head, I knew that I needed to get out of the corporate workplace.

  • I wanted to enjoy the freedom of freelancing.
  • I wanted to work online so that I could enjoy location independence.

But I couldn’t simply quit my day job.

So, instead, I dedicated a couple of hours each evening to writing.

Researching and writing were new to me, but I knew I needed to practice if I was going to be successful online.

I had to use the 25th hour

Sure I could have slumped in front of the TV.

And many evenings I felt like doing that.

But I was motivated to persevere with my writing.

The trash on TV didn’t matter. The freedom of freelancing did.

Don’t wait, the time will never be just right.” ~ Napoleon Hill

Eventually, I took the plunge and left my corporate day job. The freedom is unbelievable.

There isn’t a day when I wish to be back.

Four Success Factors

#1 Remain Consistent and Persistent

In the stories we’ve looked at, one thing is clear:

You need to be both consistent and persistent.

Patience and persistence are the providers of progress.” ~ Tim Fargo

#2 Healthy Habits

Successful people all have healthy habits.

They work hard to achieve success and keep chipping away at their end goal.

Here are four more healthy habits to consider:

  • Eat foods that will make you happy.
  • Exercise daily – it makes us happier.
  • Mix with people who lift you up. (And avoid the ones who bring you down).
  • Kill negative thoughts instantly. Replace them immediately with something positive

#3 Stay Motivated

Developing some healthy habits won’t be enough.

You need to be motivated to reach your end goal.

What motivates you?

  • Perhaps it’s money?
  • Perhaps you want a better work/life balance?

Do what you love and the money will follow. ~ Marsha Sinetar

For me, it was to escape to the constraints of my corporate job.

For John Grisham, it was to be a successful author.

#4 Focus on One Thing

When you’re motivated to achieve your dreams it can be very easy to get distracted.

This is bad for you.

Remember to focus on The One Thing.

You only have one or two hours free time each day.

You need to maximize your 25th hour.

Grisham used his 25th hour to write.

He didn’t read. He didn’t play with the kids. He didn’t watch TV. He wrote.

To do two things at once is to do neither.” ~ Publilius Syrus

When you focus on one thing at a time you’ll achieve your goal.

Conclusion

How are you going to make the most of your life?

Are you going to be constrained by the mantra that there are only 24 hours in a day?

Or are you going to embrace the power of the 25th hour and change your life?

If you dedicate a little of your time to achieving your goal every single day, then you will be successful.

Start Tracking Your Time Today

30 Time Management Tricks I Wish I’d Known At 20

Do you ever feel like you might not have the time needed to get everything done? If so, you are not alone. There are only 24 hours in the day, but you might feel overwhelmed with tasks, chores, and activities.

When you’re young, it’s easier to create good time management habits so that you’ll be able to succeed in the future. If you need help in this area, read the below tricks and tools of the trade and put them to work for you.

1. Prioritize Your Day

It may seem hard to prioritize tasks when everything seems important, but you should identify what it urgent versus what is important. Move urgent items to the top of your list and take care of those first. Secondly, work on tasks that are important, leaving those that are neither urgent nor important at the bottom of the list.

Prioritizing your day isn’t just limited to your work day, but your entire day – including home and personal tasks. Take into account everything that you need to do every day and put the important items at the top of the list.

2. Plan For 4 Hours of Real Work Per Day

In a traditional office environment, employees work eight-hour days, but only half of that is spent being productive. Managers assume that their employees will be productive for less than eight hours in the day.

If you plan for 4 hours of real work in a day, you will make the most out of that time, leaving the rest of the day for tasks like checking email and responding to calls. Another tip is to schedule your most urgent and important tasks to be completed in the morning.

3. Work When You’re In The Zone

Create a space where you can really get things done. Getting in the zone requires your environment to be free of distractions and interruptions.

It is equally important to find the right time of day when you’re able to produce quality work. It helps when your task isn’t too boring or too challenging – and right in the middle.

4. Respect Your Time

If you respect your time, others will follow suit. Let others know that your time is valuable and then stick to it. If you put a low price tag on your time, others will do the same.

Don’t let others expect you to drop everything and run out at the last minute. Expect respect from others and let them know when you feel your time is disrespected.

In doing so, you allow for a correction in the behavior for the future. If others continue to devalue your time, walk away from the relationship entirely.

5. Steer Clear of Multitasking

Juggling work may seem like an effective way of getting things done, but staying away from switching gears could prove to be more useful in the long run.

Studies show that multitasking affects your performance on all tasks negatively. In multitasking, you use your brain less effectively and increase the likelihood of errors in your work.

6. Enforce a Work Routine

Setup a way of doing things every day and stick to it. This will allow your mind and body to adapt to the way things get accomplished while working.

This may feel like more trouble than it’s worth in the beginning, but you will quickly become accustomed to how things are done in the long run.

7. Limited Time Forces Focus and Productivity

Some people can only focus on tasks when they are facing a strict deadline. If you are one of these people, you know that things can get done when you’re under the gun.

Deadlines force you to work under pressure, which can lead to an increased zone of productive behavior.

8. Start With Small Tasks and Work From There

If you feel daunted by those larger tasks, work on the smaller ones first in order to get them out of the way. That feeling of accomplishment will help fuel your brain to complete the larger tasks when needed.

Only do this if the larger tasks aren’t extremely urgent, so you don’t throw your priorities out of whack.

9. Leave Behind Expectations

Doing something toward achieving your work goals is better than doing absolutely nothing. Work hard and leave behind expectations that you’re going to accomplish great things in a short amount of time.

Create realistic expectations so that you feel accomplished when your goals are met.

10. More Time Doesn’t Equate To Productivity

Just because you have eight hours on your hands doesn’t mean that it is all going to be spent doing quality and productive tasks.

Unfortunately, we are wired to move toward distractions and end up spending time on social media instead of working. Limit your time and increase your productivity levels before taking breaks to check Facebook or Twitter.

11. Separate Brain Dead and Strategic Tasks

Companies pay for you to complete strategic tasks, but brain dead tasks probably also factor into your job description.

These tasks include checking emails, filing paperwork and installing security updates on your computer. Do strategic tasks such as coming up with new ideas first and leave the brain dead tasks to accomplish at the end of the day when you’re feeling tired.

12. Organize Meetings First Thing

Your brain is most active in the early mornings when working, so schedule meetings for the first available slot in your schedule. Most time spent leading up to meetings is often wasted, but getting them out of the way first leads to increased productivity for the rest of the day.

13. Break Down Meetings Into Groups

Breaking down long meetings into two separate groups leaves more time spent being productive. Creating blocks of uninterrupted work is the key to getting things done in your workspace.

14. Concentrate On A Single Project or Task

Focus your efforts on a single task throughout the day and this will allow you to put forth your best effort to get the task done. Switching between tasks is akin to multitasking and should be avoided at all costs.

15. Use The Pomodoro Technique To Deal With Procrastination

The Pomodoro Technique requires you to work in short twenty-five minutes sprints while leaving 5 minutes of break time for non-productive activities.

Breaking down your time allows you to be your most productive in shorter bursts and gives your mind time to rest in between those bursts. By limiting your non-productive activities to your break times, you work more efficiently.

16. Break Bigger Tasks Down Into Smaller Ones

If a larger task seems daunting, consider breaking it down into smaller tasks that are easier to accomplish. Think about the smaller components of tasks and work on those to achieve the goal of completing the larger task at hand.

You may only see the bigger picture with regard to larger tasks, but make a list of the smaller tasks that comprise the end goal and tackle them one at a time.

17. Prioritize To-Do Lists

Create a to-do list and then prioritize it based on when projects are due and their level of importance. Move items around to where your list consists of urgent items, important items and lastly, items that are neither urgent nor important.

Practicing the ABC Method helps you put all of your tasks into proper perspective so that you can accomplish them based on their levels of urgency and importance. Secondary tasks are pushed to the side in favor of primary tasks that can be more demanding. Working on harder tasks first may prove to lessen your stress throughout the day.

18. Focus On Tasks That Have A Bigger Impact

There is always that one task that needs to be accomplished during the day that will have a greater impact overall. See the bigger picture and focus on tasks that will have the greatest meaning.

19. Break Down Tasks Into Hour Increments

Longer tasks work against you by making it seem like they may take forever to accomplish. Working on tasks in hour-long increments helps you feel less intimidated by overall goals that need to be taken care of.

20. Delegate Tasks To Others

Don’t be afraid to delegate lesser tasks to others in your workspace. If it can’t be done in less than five minutes, consider if it is best to be taken care of by someone else. If you think it can be done more efficiently by another worker, assign it to them and free yourself up to take care of larger, more important tasks.

To delegate tasks properly, choose the right person to accomplish the job. Explain every detail of the job and set strict deadlines. Lastly, ask the assigned person keep you informed on the job’s progress.

21. Review The Past As A Learning Experience

Don’t dwell on the past, but occasionally take stock of your past accomplishments to use as a learning experience for the future. Think about the past only when you need to learn from it, otherwise, you may tend to focus on the negative.

In reviewing the past, you can see where tasks or jobs have gone wrong and improve the situation for the future. Using improvements can limit future mistakes and help you become more productive.

22. Focus On The Present and Future

What matters now is the present and the future, so don’t dwell on the past. Leave your mistakes and failures there and only think of the past as something to use for a better learning experience for the future.

23. Set Deadlines

Tasks should never be let go running indefinitely. Setting deadlines increases the urgency in which they should be accomplished.

If you don’t set adequate deadlines, then your mind may lose focus in completing the task at hand. Use a calendar or calendar app to keep track of your deadlines so that you don’t lose sight of the end goal.

24. Set End Dates

In addition to setting deadlines, set end dates for projects so that you know when they are ultimately completed. This helps you move on to other tasks and compose new to-do lists for prioritization. Everything has to end at some point and setting a date sets expectations for those who have given you various tasks.

25. Use Apps And Always Take Notes

Use mobile apps to keep reminders and notes so that you’re not losing important information when you need it the most. Apps such as Evernote work to keep your notes organized so you can present them to others when needed.

DropBox allows you to store files, videos and images online in a secure, encrypted location.

Google Keep allows you the ability to create a collection of notes and reminders for later when they are needed. In addition to that functionality, Google Keep lets you record voice reminders for transcription by the application. It is a handy tool for those on the go and in need of something that keeps track of sticky notes.

26. Keep Track Of Distractions

Logging all of your distractions gives you a basis to go on when you wish to limit distractions in the future.

Keep track of distractions in a spreadsheet and use a productivity technique such as Pomodoro to get things accomplished in shorter bursts. This way, you can learn to use breaks for taking care of distractions.

27. Schedule Breaks

Studies show that taking breaks throughout the day can increase productivity and reduce fatigue. Workers who take “micro breaks” offer increased mental acuity on average of 13 percent.

Staring at a computer screen for hours on end causes you to feel fatigued, but regular breaks can actually cut that figure in half.

28. Admit Mistakes

If you can admit your mistakes, this frees up your mind to move forward and work on other tasks and goals. If you’ve messed up, admit your mistake immediately to your manager or supervisor.

This may prove to lessen the impact of the mistake and get everyone on track to working toward a common goal of remedying the error. Not only that, but you can also use your mistakes as a learning experience for the future.

29. Learn To Say No

Saying yes to everything that comes your way not only causes unnecessary distractions, but it also limits your ability to accomplish your goals. It may feel good to say yes when tapped for knowledge, but it doesn’t help you in the long run.

Learning to say no is important so that you learn to prioritize tasks that are important to your business.
Don’t steer clear from helping people if you can, but consider the needs of your business or job before others.

30. Get Adequate Sleep

Limiting the amount of sleep you get on a nightly basis limits your ability to focus as a whole. Your body needs anywhere between seven and nine hours of sleep every night.

If you fail to get the required amount of sleep, then you may get tired throughout the day and lose focus on the tasks at hand. Getting quality sleep leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to take on everything that comes your way.

I wish I would’ve known this list of tricks to manage my time in the past, but it’s not too late to use this knowledge to your benefit. Working hard requires focus and we all want to achieve our goals within our specified guidelines.

The key takeaway of the above list is to create a plan of attack and stick to it. In the end, you are responsible for your level of productivity and should create attainable goals for your working situation.

Limiting distractions and focusing on what makes you get things done is the best tool for efficiently handling your time every day. Before beginning any time management technique, take stock of your time management efforts in order to utilize the tips and tricks that will prove to be most valuable to your situation.

 

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