Do you find yourself doomscrolling on Instagram? Binge-watching Netflix or navigating between different social media platforms and returning back with nothing? It happens with many and then you realise you just wasted a long time simply for nothing. That feeling is real.
Time management and productivity go hand in hand. As the whole world is going digital, spending time on the internet has become a part of our routine, zoom calls have become a new way of interaction, more and more people are working from home, children are taking their tutions and other activity classes online, and time management has become more challenging than ever.
With a lot of interaction, easy access and changing socializing norms, it has become hard for people to track time. Time is precious and we got a lot of other things to do, so if you are struggling with time management and your productivity is going down the drain, read ahead as in this blog, I am going to share a few ways we can effectively manage our time and enhance our productivity.
What is Time Management?
“Time management” is the way we decide how best to utilise our time in order to maximize our productivity. Time management is all about the relationship between freedom and time, especially when it comes to achieving long-term goals –Toggl
We all aim to make the most of the 24 hours we get each day- however, some people seem to achieve more happiness, productivity, and success in the same amount of time as everyone else. How can we improve our time management and productivity?
Time management is always a challenge but when you’re working from home, it’s more difficult than ever. Let’s have a look at some challenges and solutions to boost your productivity and manage your time – in-person and remotely:
11 Basic Time Management Tips to Boost your Productivity
There are lots of different ways to plan your time, I am sharing all the ways I have ever come across for you to find a method of planning that works well for you:
1.) To-do list/Calendar planning
Maintain a daily diary, and note down all the tasks you need to do, starting with the level of priority. It helps you to stay organised in your thoughts and feel less anxious about all the tasks at hand when you note down them in order. And, nothing feels better than checking off a to-do list!
This habit will give you an extra boost of motivation when it comes to getting things done.
2.) Make use of Google Assistant
Say, “Hey Google!” That’s what I do, when I have scheduled meetings or appointments, I ask Google Assistant to remind me about it before half an hour. Have a habit of putting phone reminders when you forget things, it is ok to
3.) Schedule tasks and put a time limit
Consider all the aspects of your life that you will need to make time for, including studies, work, independent study, part-time job, leisure activities and socialising with friends and family.
4.) Plan your week on Sunday
Take out some time and schedule tasks based on low priority to the level of energy required for those tasks. Do not keep everything to the last minute, finish work before the deadline, it will help to stay calm and focus on other tasks in a more productive manner.
5.) Learn to say ‘No’
Saying no or turning down requests can be difficult, but there are times when it must be done, especially when working from home. It may seem like when at home you have unlimited time to do ‘just one more thing but it’s important to set boundaries and encourage yourself to switch off when the time is right.
6.) Understand when you are the most productive
For some, the best time to complete the most important and demanding tasks is first thing early in the morning. However, that is not necessarily the only or best method, and many others might not be able to manage the most demanding tasks at that time. You know yourself best- try to understand what kind of schedule fits your working style.
Tracking your habits can also help you understand when you are the most productive. Try setting a timer when you begin an important task to see how long it takes before you get distracted. After doing this for a week, you will have a better idea of which times you tend to be more productive.
7). Block out distractions
This could mean spending an hour or so a day with your emails and instant messaging switched off or moving to a different room to better concentrate.
8.) Schedule breaks between tasks
Taking frequent breaks leads to higher productivity and less burnout. The Pomodoro Technique is a popular time management method that involves concentrated bursts of attention, followed by regular breaks.
9.) Organize your emails
Create actionable labels such as urgent, waiting, or needs action.
10.) Listen to yourself
Self-care and exploring ways to be productive is very much a personal journey.
11.) Develop a post-work ritual
In addition to setting established hours, you may want to create a ritual to signal that it’s time to end the day. This could be clearing out your email inbox or scheduling in your calendar when you’ll tackle your outstanding tasks.
List of Time Management Tools:
Here is a list of Mobile Apps to help you stay focused and manage your time
- StayFocusd: This browser extension allows you to block your choice of websites that you find distracting for a set period of time, allowing you to focus on the task at hand
- Freedom: Similar to StayFocusd, Freedom allows you to block apps and websites and can be synced across several devices
- Strict Workflow: This browser extension enforces cycles of 25 minutes of work followed by 5 minute break by temporarily blocking a selection of distracting sites
- RescueTime: This app helps you to understand what is distracting you by tracking your activity across different websites
- Headspace: “Less stressed. More resilient. Happier. It all starts with just a few minutes a day.” This app can help you de-stress by taking a few mindful minutes to relax, thus increasing your focus and decreasing overwhelm.
- Blinkist: This app “brings you knowledge from top nonfiction and podcasts, so you can learn anytime, anywhere.” Blinkist could be useful for learning new information on your lunch break or morning commute during a busy day.
- Apps like Trello, Toodledo, or Microsoft Planner