22 Smart Time Management Tips

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They saying is, "work smarter not harder" but ideally you should work both smart and hard. However, we made this list because you will NEVER get rich or achieve success by onlyworking hard. 

Here are tips to work smarter so you can make more money or just improve your life: 

1. Delete Unimportant Tasks

If you keep rescheduling a task, perhaps it is not as important and thus should not be on your to-do list. 

2. Go For Satisfaction Tasks

What’s that one thing that you can accomplish today that will make you feel like you have spent your day productively? Complete that first.

3. Use Do Not Disturb on your Phone

A survey by OfficeTeam found that the average office employee gets distracted by their phone for 56 minutes per day. Your desk telephone or your mobile are major distractions that keep you less productive. A study shows it can take up to 25 minutes to refocus on a task after being interrupted. Don't let your phone distract you any longer.

4. Start with Uninteresting but Important Tasks

If you hate to work out, work out in the morning. You will be taking care of your body while at the same time eliminating your delay tactics. If you do not like cold calling, then start with the unpleasant task first.

5. Create Tasks With Deadlines

This will help you attend to the due tasks before their deadlines approach. You will be more consistent with work if you actually stick to your deadlines. 

6. The Rule of 3

Decide what three things you want to accomplish by the end of the day and the end of the week. Pick three things in the morning or the night before you start working. The rule of 3 helps you work with more focus and intent.

7. Pomodoro Technique

Work on one task for 25 minutes then take a 5 minute break. Do this 4 times then take a longer break of 15 minutes (or more). Use a timer. The pomodoro technique is good when you don't have motivation or want to keep things fresh.

8. Avoid Time Wasters

Do less things that are not making you productive. Examples:

  • Waiting for inspiration

  • Non-educational TV

  • Not automating certain tasks

  • Over-planning instead of doing

  • Perfectionism

  • Not knowing your priorities

  • Not having a good strategy

  • Repeating mistakes

  • Worrying about opinions

  • Being busy not productive

9. Have a Good System

There's always a million things we need to get done. Therefore, if you don't have a good system to manage your tasks you are wasting productivity. Make a list of everything you need to get done so you can physically see it. Then keep it updated so it's easy to prioritize and you always know what has to be done. Trello.com is an easy place to do this.

10. Make a Procrastination List

No matter who you are, everyone procrastinates in some way. Make a list of important tasks you can work on the next time you are procrastinating on something. Save this list on your phone. Next time you procrastinate, open this list, and now you can still work on something important. Sometimes having choice lets you work on something instead of nothing at all.

11. Don't Multitask

You get tasks done faster when you give them all of your attention and energy. If you divide your focus onto multiple things you are actually less productive. 

12. Make a Maintenance Day

Do all of your low-outcome tasks together. Low-outcome tasks are things like laundry, groceries, cleaning your inbox, updating your computer, and so on. Make a list on your phone and pick a day of the week to do them all at once. This way, they won't interrupt you one by one throughout the week and you'll have bigger blocks of time for high-outcome tasks. Additionally, you can listen to audiobooks, let your mind rest, or do it with a friend to make the time more meaningful.

13. Shrink Your Time 

Parkinson's Law states that your work expands to fit the amount of time you have available for it. This is especially true for low-outcome tasks. Tasks that can usually be done faster are email, meetings, research, scheduling, and managing social media. 

14. Make a "Waiting For" List

Sometimes we have to wait before we can take action. Maybe you're waiting for a response to an important email or need your freelancer to send you a folder. By creating a "Waiting For" list you can take action on these tasks eventually without forgetting about them.

15. Disable Notifications for Some Apps

Go to your settings and disable any notifications that aren’t necessary. Make sure whatever is left on is worth potentially getting distracted for. This takes a couple minutes but could save countless distractions in the future.

16. Be Efficient and Effective

Being efficient is being great at a task even if it is not very important. Being effective is being great at a task that is very important. Just because a task is taking a lot of time does not mean that the task is very important. 

17. Audit Your Time

For some of you it may be helpful to audit your time and see where it’s being wasted. RescueTime is a time management app that tracks exactly what you were doing during the day. It runs in the background as you use your computer and tracks time spent on each website, app, browser etc. At any time you can open your stats and check how many hours you spent watching videos, doing email, using excel and so on. This let's you figure out how productive you are and where to improve. 

18. P.A.Y (Prioritize According to Yield)

P.A.Y is very powerful and very logical: What is the thing that will require very little input but give a significant amount of output? In other words, what is that activity that will have the least cost (in terms of time, effort and money) but bear extraordinary benefits? If you have a big to-do list, then do them in order of P.A.Y.

19. Start Establishing Networks

Sharing resources and ideas with others will establish invaluable friends in your selected industry. Having a good network of people could pay off tomorrow or years down the road as well.

20. Invest In Yourself and Be Smarter

As cliche as it sounds, if you want to be a successful entrepreneur you really have to become a lifelong learner and Invest in the team and yourself. Hire business coaches. Take your team to seminars. Read books. Soak in as much knowledge in your field as you can. Because being smart multiples your quality of decisions which multiples the impact of your tasks and helps you accomplish more.

21. Eliminate the Unimportant 80%

Concentrate on the 20% of work that brings 80% of your results. This technique (pareto principle) can be put towards friends, customers, personal chores, income streams and much more. Goal - Find your inefficiencies and eliminate them, find your strengths and multiply them. 

22. Separate Must-Happen vs. Should-Happen

The must-happen tasks are your main priorities for the day. Don’t forget the ‘should happen’ tasks but they are secondary. When making your to-do list you can also break it down into important vs. urgent tasks. Either way, define what must get done versus everything else and handle those priorities first.

23. Make Wasted Time Productive Time

One of the best ways to change your life is to listen to podcasts, audiobooks or anything educational during times that are normally wasted.

There are many wasted times during the day but the biggest example is commuting.

The average person spends 52 minutes commuting every day. If you listen to non-fiction books, you'll have 200 hours of new knowledge and skills after 1 year! You can easily use that to make more money or just improve your life.

Audiobooks can turn your commute into the most valuable part of your day. The best place to get audiobooks is with audible. Sign up on Audible and pick 2 free books. 

If you don't commute a lot, look at any area you frequently waste time and make it a time to learn. Other examples can be laundry, cooking and waiting in lines.