3 Time Management Tips to Maximize Productivity
Time is an organization’s most valuable resource. For many of us, our day starts with the goal of being as effective and productive as possible. However, after meetings, checking emails or even chatting with co-workers, our initial goals of what we plan to complete are pushed to the side. Time management has become an even greater issue for individuals being asked to cover the workload for positions that have been cut. How can an individual be more successful at managing their time? This article provides 3 effective time management tips that can assist with maximizing productivity.
List All Tasks
It’s impossible to work effectively if we don’t have a clear idea of everything that we need to complete. Take a few minutes to list all tasks that need to be completed into a task management system or on a to-do list. This ensures you can see all the activities that are on your plate. Ensure to include subtasks that are part of a larger project and smaller tasks that may take minimal time to complete.
Prioritize Tasks For Greater Focus
Now that we consolidated our tasks, we can work on prioritizing and organizing our to-do list. However, when everything on our lists feels like a top priority, this can be tricky. The well-known rock parable presents a simple principle that applies to this very idea: our day has big rocks and little rocks. We are working to fit all the rocks in the jar, with the size of the rocks representing the importance, or priority. If we fill our jar with all the little rocks first, they might all fit, but we don’t leave ourselves any room for the big rocks. When we put our big rocks in first, our little rocks will fall into the remaining space. How can we identify our big rocks, or high priority tasks? Start by comparing the importance of every task on your to-list to the importance of every other task on that list. We can then assign the number values of 1 to 4 to each of our tasks, where a lower number indicates a higher priority.
• Priority 1: High importance and high urgency.
• Priority 2: High importance and low urgency. These are tasks that can be completed later.
• Priority 3: Low importance and high urgency. These tasks might good candidates to delegate to another individual, when possible.
• Priority 4: Low importance and low urgency.
This simple but effective idea will help us identify our big rocks that are of the highest importance and urgency that we need to fit into our schedule first.
Incorporate Time Blocking
Time blocking is a powerful time management method where you to divide your day into blocks of time. Each block is dedicated to accomplishing a specific task, or batch of similar tasks. This method is most effective when we actually block out the time on our calendars, such as Google Calendar, in advance. This allows us to take the guesswork out of deciding what to work on, and stay focused on the tasks we have scheduled. While it may be tempting to start our day by completing our smallest tasks, this may actually hinder our progress on completing larger, more important projects. Since we have already identified tasks that are the highest priority, we recommended scheduling daily or weekly time blocks dedicated to these first. Once these are on our calendars, we can include time blocks for our smaller tasks.
The goal of working smarter, not harder can be a daily struggle. We often waste more time trying to decide what to complete, rather than completing our tasks. These simple, but effective time management tips can help anyone gain greater control over their schedule. By listing all tasks, prioritizing each task and utilizing time blocking, we can spend less time on busy work and remain focused on high-value tasks. Is your organization interested in improving operations and reducing risk and waste? Contact us to speak with a consultant today.
Victoria Ontiveros | Marketing Coordinator
Victoria focuses on creating quality educational content that provides value to current and potential clients. By collaborating with members of leadership and sales, she is able to develop informative articles that answer common questions and connect with current trends.
Victoria earned her Bachelor of Science in Sociology with an emphasis in communications from Texas A&M University.