When it comes to time management strategies, some things are simpler today than ever before. Thanks to time tracking, remote scheduling and robust reporting, it’s easy to determine how efficient your team is.
But what do you do when you want to do more than just measure efficiency? How can you help your team to actually be more productive?
You can begin by encouraging productive behaviors, starting with these 5 time management strategies.
1. Make a plan
It’s natural for a plan to change as a day evolves, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to make one.
Time management strategies are all about priorities, so take a few minutes to create a list of the things you have to get done before you start work for the day. Or, if your mornings are hectic, make a list for the next day in the afternoon so you’ll be ready to go as soon as you clock in.
2. Leave some openings
One big secret every master of time management strategies knows: flexibility is key. Be sure to leave some open time on your calendar for unplanned tasks or meetings.
Also, block out some time just for you to reset and regroup. Try to put at least one do-not-schedule block of time on your calendar each day so you can grab a snack, go for a walk or do some stretching. Taking little moments to refresh can go a long way toward making you more productive while you are working.
3. Start simple
When you’re organizing your to-do list, it’s a good time management strategy to put your highest priority or biggest project first. Some days that’s necessary; other days it may feel daunting to jump right in without a little mental warm up.
On days when you need to start out a little slower, try completing a simple, quick task first. Sometimes checking something off your to-do list, no matter how small, sends a message to your mind and body that you’ve accomplished something. That sets you up for success the rest of the day.
4. Don’t multitask
At this point, you’ve probably read a lot of articles that tell you the cardinal rule of time management strategies is not to multitask — but you may not know exactly why.
Here’s a quick refresher. Multitasking:
- Lowers your comprehension level by 11%
- Lowers your intelligence by 17%
- Makes you 40% less productive
When you try to complete more than one task at a time, neither task gets done as well as it should — or as it would if you just focused on one thing at a time. Working your way through your priority list one by one is the surest way to guarantee you’ll have a productive workday.
5. Take time to consider your time
One crucial part of finding the right time management strategies for your team is to ensure people are spending their time on the tasks, projects and clients that matter most. In order to know if something is profitable, you need to know whether your business is charging enough for the time your team is spending on it.
If you have a solution like Time Tracker, run project profitability reports to ensure projects don’t go over budget. If you’re a manager or admin, you can review your own hours to determine if you’re focused on the right things, but you can also share reporting results with your team. Taking the time to give employees concrete time management strategies based on their own workload goes a long way to boosting morale and productivity.
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