Time management isn’t just a thing for CEOs and top-level executives—it’s something that anyone can benefit from, no matter what their profession or where they fall on the totem pole. In fact, if you want to be more successful in your career, there are some great time management hacks you can use to ensure that every hour of your day counts towards making progress towards your goals and dreams. Here are five strategies you can use today!
1) Start With the Bigger Picture
An effective time management hack is a lot like a workout routine. You need to understand why you’re doing it, how it works, and where it leads in order for you to be successful. In order to really use your time well, start by asking yourself these questions: Why do I need better time management? What problems am I trying to solve? How will life be different once I’ve achieved my goal?
2) Decide How Much Time You Need
There’s a good chance you feel like you don’t have enough time to do everything on your plate—even though that may not be true. According to famed executive coach and author Dave Crenshaw, many people overcommit because they don’t consider how long an activity takes. Overestimate by a half hour or more how long something will take you and then you’ll know if it can fit into your schedule.
3) Get Your Goals on Paper
A big reason why people have a hard time prioritizing and managing their time is because they don’t know where they’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, any path will get you there. Think about it—if your only goal is get through today, what stops you from checking out of work early? If your only goal is to pay off debt, how do you stop yourself from taking on more credit card debt? The answer: You need goals that are bigger than just getting by. You need something worth working for. This can be as simple as writing down three things you want to accomplish in a year or five things you want to accomplish in five years.
4) Schedule Everything in 15-Minute Blocks
If you want to increase your productivity and improve your time management skills, consider using a timer for every activity. This way, you’ll have an easily-accessible record of all of your activities and tasks, which can help you become more efficient with your time in general. By scheduling everything in 15-minute blocks, you’ll have no choice but to focus on completing a task before moving on to another one—there’s just no room for procrastination!
5) Use an App to Track Progress
Smartphones have made it easier than ever to track your time and productivity levels. If you need some help staying on task and getting things done, download a free time-tracking app like RescueTime or Toggl. By simply tracking how much of your day is spent in different activities, you can hone in on where you’re wasting time (and what kinds of tasks make that happen) and use that information as a catalyst for improving your efficiency.
The Bottom Line
Not having enough time to get everything done can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if you’re feeling constantly behind on your work and other commitments. These five time management hacks will help you to get the most out of your day while doing less stress-inducing work overall. By prioritizing important tasks, scheduling in downtime, and planning ahead, you’ll quickly find yourself with more free time than you know what to do with!