Whether you are a manager or an employee, time management is a challenge for everyone. Beyond the usual tips that you already know, such as the classic to-do list (which is still very effective), here are some other tactics to make you more productive in managing your time and make it your best ally.
Set the expected results and times for each task
The day of any manager or employee is filled with different tasks. If you give them a clear and precise objective, your team will work focused on that and it’s more likely that their efficiency and productivity increases.
In order to reach your goals, it’s also important to set deadlines. That’s why you should be aware of Parkinson’s law “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. This means that if you set two hours for a meeting, for example, it will end up taking two hours, even if it wasn’t necessary to extend it. Make sure you have a set time limit for each task so you don’t waste your day away.
Finish the most urgent tasks first thing in the morning
Finishing the most urgent tasks in the morning is the best way to get rid of them for the rest of the day and to be free to perform other duties you’ve been planning. These accomplished tasks will give you a feeling of satisfaction that will motivate you for the rest of the day.
You must be aware of your priorities in order to better manage your time. Try to separate urgent tasks from the ones you can reschedule or delegate to other people and work on your priorities as soon as you arrive to work.
Add a list of completed tasks
If you make a checklist of the tasks for the day, make sure that your checked boxes are put in another column. As the list of completed tasks enlarges you’ll be more satisfied with your work and it will give you energy for the rest of your working day.
For that, we recommend you use Trello, a project management software. Besides organizing tasks in columns and adding checklists, with Trello you can create a “Done” column to place the tasks you’ve finished.
Group similar tasks
If you have many microtasks, you can gather them according to similar topics. This organization is not only more effective but also essential when you have a long list of things to do throughout the week.
If you don’t know where to start, we recommend categorizing tasks according to their importance (urgent or not) or their deadline (short or long term). This way you can establish their priority and decide which one to tackle first.
Make your wait times productive
Many people spend their time waiting and waiting… whether it’s for an answer from clients or providers. Filling this time with other productive activities is the best way to take advantage of every minute. Answering pending emails, attending a business webinar or studying the competition are some of the things you can do while waiting. Take advantage of these moments to learn, keep up with the sector and think of new ideas to increase your productivity.
Add some empty time to your schedule
When managing a business, it’s normal for emergencies or unforeseen events to arrive. For these cases, we suggest leaving empty spaces on your agenda. In addition, this can help you in case any of the tasks you’ve planned take longer than expected.
If you already have Gmail in your company, we also suggest that you start using Google Calendar. This way you can define your working hours, share your calendar with your team and manage your time in a more organized way.
You can use applications like Toggl to record the time of your tasks and measure how long you take completing each of them. With apps like this, you can also use multiple chronometers. This allows you to compare the expected duration and the actual duration of your tasks.
Switch to digital solutions
If you manage a store or restaurant, an option to save more time is to opt for a smart POS. In addition to taking orders and collecting payment, solutions such as Tiller allow you to analyze the performance of your restaurant remotely and automate recurring tasks such as accounting. This way you can spend more time satisfying your customers and focusing on your core business.
Have you ever used any of these tips to manage your time?