Time Management Tips to Increase Productivity

Written by: Lea Serrato 

Are you one of those people who think there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done? Are the minutes ticking by too fast for you? Maybe the problem isn’t in how many hours there are in a day, but in how you manage your time.

A Microsoft Survey found out that most people actually use only 60% or less of their available work time – meaning, workers are only productive three days of their five-day work week! Too much time is wasted because of time mismanagement. Think of how much more you can do if you can manage your time wisely!

Here are some time management tips that you could bear in mind:

  • Set Priorities - focus on the important things first

Being unable to efficiently organize your priorities can make the difference between success and failure in a business. Start by identifying and listing down important tasks that benefit your business the most and facilitate maximum productivity. Prioritize these tasks – complete them before doing anything else.

  • Know Your Limitations - nobody’s perfect

There’s nothing wrong in doing your best, but you have to accept the fact that nobody is perfect. Finish your tasks to the best of your ability, but don’t waste time in doing all of them perfectly.

  • Avoid Multitasking 

The study in the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review showed that only 2.5% of their participants were able to effectively multi-task.  While researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London suggests that our IQ falls 10 points when we are multitasking such as fielding emails, text messages, and calls.

Focus on one thing to double productivity, performance, and work output. Set a certain amount of time for each task to help manage your time and remain focused on that one task until its complete.

  • You are not alone – delegate tasks

A successful business cannot function with only one person behind the wheel. You’ve hired competent and reliable people for your business – it’s time to delegate different tasks to the right staff members.

Once you’ve delegated some tasks, schedule meetings to easily manage your employees. Work on streamlining your business processes so you and your team would have a settled process for staying in touch with old clients and following up on new ones. Make sure that each team member knows his or her designated task to avoid wasting time.

  • Outsourcing – tasks requiring special skills are best done by outsourcing them

If it’s something that doesn’t need to be done all the time, and requires special skills that no one in your current team can do, then it would be better to outsource them instead to maximize your time and productivity. Hire reliable agencies and freelancers to deal with screening applicants that will suit your needs.

  • Take a breather – rest your mind and body to be more productive

People need to take a break every now and then to recharge themselves. It’s hard to function or concentrate when you’re tired, and hungry. Rest to make the rest of your time more productive.

Staples Advantage, business division of office supply company Staples Inc., did a recent study which shows that more than 70% of office workers and managers believe employees are more productive today than five years ago – citing break times as one of the reasons for increased productivity.

In a press release about the study, Staples cited, “Stepping away from work in nearby break rooms helps foster productivity by allowing healthy mental breaks.”

  • Allot some time for your mail – avoid checking on it all the time

If you get snail mail, make sure someone in your company handles it. Include processing your emails in your schedule. Limiting it to twice a day, once in the morning and once after lunch, reduces the time you spend online checking up on it. You could also keep your emails short, yet effective to help maximize your time and productivity.