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Productivity in business

Business and insurance blog.

8 tips to help business people manage their time

Mark Maric Mark Maric , 3/21/2019
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We all want to make the most out of the 24 hours per day and 168 hours per week we’ve got - and yet, it often feels like we could use a few extra hours to get everything we’ve planned done.

Time management seems to be the biggest issue - procrastination, lack of focus and organization, as well as losing track of where we’ve spent our time, are some of the biggest time culprits.

But, if you change up your routine and embrace certain hacks, all is not lost - here are 8 useful time management tips that will help you manage your time better:

Work while queuing and commuting

Commutes and queues are often tedious business - they seem like a waste of time, but there are ways to put them to good use.

Every time when you’re waiting at the dentist, or stuck in traffic, use your mobile phone or tablet to perform some work. For example, you can go over a business proposal, or answer some emails. You can even read some interesting content related to your business, and learn something new.

Track your time

The most important thing you need to do to figure out how to improve your time management? Track how you spend time now - making a timesheet with all your time logs will help you stay on track with what you’ve accomplished thus far, and how long it took you.

Once you log all your time, and analyze your results, you may find that you usually spend 1-2 extra hours on tasks you could eliminate altogether. Then, you can work on allocating these 1-2 hours to more important tasks in the future.

Practice “Deep work”

According to Cal Newport, it is possible to “focus without distractions on a cognitively demanding task” - through practicing “deep work”.

For your most important tasks, designate 1-4 hours in your scheduler. Get rid of distractions - leave your phone far away from you, block Social Media websites, and put on headphones, to drown out background noise.

Work as long as you’re able to concentrate (at first, it’ll probably be 1 hour, but, as time goes by, you’ll sharpen your concentration skills, and likely work your way up to 3-4 hours). However, while working, you shouldn’t forget about breaks.  

Take frequent breaks

Breaks may sound counterproductive in your efforts to do more in less time - but they actually give you the energy to power through a task.

According to one research, you’ll be able to get more done by taking breaks every 90 minutes - we’re able to focus for this long, but, afterwards, it’s advised that we charge batteries before another round of uninterrupted focus. And that’s what breaks are for.

Block Social Media

Social Media takes away from your dedicated work time - and it’s so easy to often check your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds, considering you spend most of your working hours in front of the computer anyway.

The solution here is to use a website blocker, and blacklist Social Media websites - you’ll be banned from entering your feeds, or significantly minimize the time you spend browsing them. As a result, you’ll be able to focus on work better.

Stick to a schedule

If you schedule all your tasks, as well as mark them in your daily planner, it’ll be easy to track your progress with them - you’ll know what awaits you and when, at any time.

So, make sure to always compile daily to-do lists, as well as block time for tasks and define their deadlines. Also, always reserve 2-3 hours for unexpected tasks that may arise during the day.

In the end, organize tasks based on how important and urgent they are - and then make sure to tackle them in this order.

Don’t be a perfectionist

Perfectionism is an easy trap to fall into - after all, who doesn’t want their work to be perfect? But, focusing too much time on one activity will only take away from the time you could be spending on other pressing matters.

Instead of prolonging work on an assignment, and tweaking every detail, force yourself to stop when you feel you’ve done what you can, and move on to the next task. If any minor mistakes arise from your work, think of them as lessons that will make you better in the future, and not as failures.

Don’t rush the task in the end

Rushing a task in the end to get it over with is the other side of the “Perfectionism” medal - instead of tweaking every detail, you lose patience and rush the task, in order to move on to the next one. And, as a result you’re more likely to waste time than save it, in the long run.

Rushing something means you’re almost definitely going to make cardinal mistakes on it - which increases the likelihood that the assignment gets sent back to you for time-consuming revisions.