Have you ever noticed how some people manage to get everything done and still have plenty of time to spare? They simply know how to organize their time at work.
But time management can be a constant struggle for many business owners, employees, and freelancers alike. Time management is even more of a struggle if you work remotely and have to deal with distractions of your home life on top of work.
Luckily, there are some tips that can help you manage your time better and in this tutorial, we’ve gathered 12+ time management tips for work. We’ll also share a few benefits of good time management and how it can help you become more productive.
Benefits of Good Time Management
Good time management has several benefits. It’s not all about completing your work faster. It’s also about becoming more efficient and reducing your stress levels. Here are the top five benefits of good time management:
1. Less Stress
If you’re currently struggling to complete the tasks on your to do list and keep pushing them off, you’re probably feeling stressed. As you become better at time management, you’ll get better at completing your tasks in a timely fashion.
As a result, you’ll be able to see tangible progress. According to the Stress Management Society, good time management leads to feeling less stressed about falling behind.
2. More Time
When you manage your time well, you’re able to finish your tasks on time. As a result, you get more time to spend on activities and hobbies you enjoy doing.
3. Better Work-Life Balance
Along with more time to spend on your hobbies and other leisurely activities, you’ll also benefit from a better work-life balance. This can help you reduce feeling overwhelmed and burned out.
To read more about how to improve work-life balance, read this article:
4. Start Achieving Your Goals
When you start managing your time better, you’ll be able to get more done. This is directly tied to being able to achieve your goals in a much shorter period of time.
5. Avoid Procrastination
Lastly, individuals who are good at managing their time work with greater focus and clarity towards their goals. This helps avoid procrastination because you feel in control of your workload, and you know what needs to get done.
Learn how to organize your time at work and stop procrastinating with this tutorial:
12+ Time Management Tips to Improve Your Productivity At Work
Do you work from home as a freelancer, temporarily work remotely due to the current pandemic or want to manage your time better as a business owner? We’ve got time management tips for you. Read on for more than 12 tips to help you manage your time better and become more productive:
1. Audit How You Spend Time
First things first: if you want to get better at managing your time, you need to know how you’re spending it. You might think it'll only take you half an hour to clean out your inbox but in reality, it might take you two hours.
Similarly, you might think you’re being productive doing research only to find yourself being distracted by social media notifications.
Using a time tracking app can help you uncover where your time goes. Commit to using a time tracking app for a week and then look at the reports to see how long a task actually takes you.
2. Set Goals and Prioritize Tasks
Whether you’re a freelancer or an employee, you've got to know what you’re working towards. Whether that’s financial freedom, a raise or a promotion, we all have goals. Once you’re clear on those goals, you’ll also gain clarity on how to get there.
This helps you focus on tasks that need to get done and ensure you’re working on them first. Everything else can be taken care of once your most pressing tasks have been checked off the list.
3. Create a Daily Plan
Consider making a daily plan of things that absolutely need to get done. You can do this first thing in the morning or as the last thing at night before you close down your computer for the night.
Knowing what you’re supposed to be working on can do wonders for your productivity and help you focus on what matters.
4. Set Time Limits
According to Parkinson's Law,
The amount of work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
In other words, if you allot five hours to complete a task, it'll take you five hours to finish it. That's because the task will increase in complexity to accommodate for the extra time.
So instead of guesstimating how long a task takes, set a time limit and see how much you can get done.
5. Try Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique is a time management method that uses a timer to break work into intervals. Each work interval (called pomodoro) is typically 25 minutes long followed by a 5 minute break. After a certain number of completed pomodoros, you can take a longer break.
It’s a good approach when you want to completely focus on your task. It adds a dose of gamification as you try to complete the task before the timer goes off.
6. Use Time Management Apps
Time management apps like RescueTime can do wonders for your productivity. They can show you where you’re spending your time so you can avoid distractions in the future.
Similarly, time tracking apps like Toggl can show you how much time you really spend on any given task.
7. Block Distractions
Aside from time management apps, there are some apps that can help you reduce distractions. Let’s face it: the Internet is full of distractions that are begging for your attention.
Don’t fall into the trap by making use of apps such as Freedom.to or Self Control to block websites for a certain period of time. This allows you to focus on the task at hand. You can also use your phone’s Do Not Disturb mode to block out notifications from social media and other apps.
8. Delegate and Outsource
I’ve mentioned earlier that you need to check your to do list and prioritize your tasks ruthlessly. While you’re doing that, think about whether all those tasks need to be done by you. Are there any tasks on your lists that could be delegated to someone else? Perhaps you can outsource some of the tasks?
9. Organize Your Environment
When your environment is messy, it’s hard to find the things you need. Take some time to organize not only your work desk but also the files on your computer. If you've got a filing system in place but you still feel like you’re wasting time looking for files, consider redoing it.
Develop a naming convention for your files and folders and apply them everywhere. For example, you could organize your computer folders the same way you organize your Dropbox or Google Drive folders. You can even adopt the same naming and organization convention in your project management tool.
Here are some tips on how to organize your time at work by organizing computer files:
10. Embrace Shortcuts
You’re probably familiar with commonplace shortcuts like CTRL+C and CTRL+V to copy and paste text. But there’s more to shortcuts than these two. Almost every program you use on a daily basis has a whole list of shortcuts you can use instead of relying on contextual menus.
It might take some time upfront to get used to them and memorize them but once you know them, you’ll be able to work faster. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time memorizing all of them at once, print out a list of those shortcuts and keep it close to your computer. Then refer to it daily and pretty soon, you’ll be able to use them even without the cheatsheet.
If you use a Mac computer, you can even get a keyboard cover with shortcuts for some of the most used programs.
11. Plan Ahead
Walking into your workweek without knowing what needs to get done is a recipe for a disaster. Instead of winging it all the time, consider setting some time aside on a Sunday to plan and prepare for the week ahead.
Look at your list of goals and break those monthly goals into smaller weekly goals. Then break the weekly goals into smaller tasks.
Doing so puts you in the right frame of mind. You’ll walk into your office on Monday morning knowing exactly what projects need attention and which tasks need to be tackled first.
12. Move Up Your Deadlines
This may sound counter-intuitive but try setting a deadline for a project or a task a day earlier than it’s actually due. Many people think that they work best under pressure and put off working on something until the day it’s due.
Even if they're able to get the task done, this approach adds a lot of unnecessary stress. Not to mention, a lot can go wrong. You might even miss the deadline altogether.
13. Avoid Multitasking
Multitasking seems great. But in reality, it can have a negative impact on your productivity according to the mental health site, Verywell Mind.
You can't truly multi-task anyway. According to Cerebrum, people who multitask aren't really doing many things at once but rather switching from task to task quickly. Cerebrum is the blog of the Dana foundation, which is dedicated to advancing understanding of the brain.
A study from the American Psychological Association shows that task switching can cost as much as 40 percent of someone's productive time. That's a lot of time if you think about it.
14. Prepare the Night Before
Get ready for your day the night before. Try laying out the clothes you’ll wear so you don’t have to waste time in the morning deciding what to wear. Prepare your lunch before you go to bed. Set up your coffee pot or better yet program it to turn on a few minutes before your alarm goes off.
Not only will this save time in the morning, but it'll also help you feel less stressed and like you’re rushing from the moment you get out of the bed until the moment you lay down at night.
Save Time With Premade Templates and Envato Elements
The time management tips for work above definitely helps you save time and manage it better. But part of saving time is finding ways to work smarter. One way to do that is use premade templates. If you’re looking for creative templates and other assets to save time in your business, Envato Elements is the best place to start.
Envato Elements is a subscription-based marketplace with a unique offer. For a low monthly fee, you get access to unlimited creative assets that you can use in an unlimited number of projects.
That’s right. Your subscription includes access to thousands of:
- presentation templates
- stock photos
- and other creative assets
And with unlimited downloads, you've got the freedom to experiment with different templates as you work on your projects.
Free creative templates that you find online are tempting. But they don’t have as many customization options as premium templates from Envato Elements. Not to mention, you’ll have to visit dozens of different websites to find what you need. Envato Elements offers every template you could need in one convenient place.
Start Getting More Done Today
Good time management skills are crucial if you want to feel more in control of your time and improve your productivity at work.
In this article, we’ve shared some time management tips that'll help you start managing your time better. And if you’re looking to save time with premade templates, don’t forget to check out Envato Elements and GraphicRiver.