4 Proven Time Management Techniques and Tools
May 11, 2022
Table of Contents
Life can sometimes feel like a race against time. Work, family, and hobbies, are all things that have to be carefully balanced. It can sometimes become overwhelming.
Effective time management is one way to relieve some of the stresses of daily life. Time management techniques and tools can help you get some order at least in your work life.
To help you with this, we have written this article to give you tips and tricks on how to get organised in 2022.
What is time management?
Time management refers to the practice of planning and consciously controlling how much time is spent on a specific task. Most often, the aim will be to increase productivity or efficiency.
It entails juggling different tasks related to life, work, hobbies, interests and/or family in order to make the best use of time.
Making the best use of time will enable a person to choose how they manage their various activities and how much time they wish to spend on each one.
There are different things one can do or use in order to effectively manage time and reach goals or accomplish important projects and tasks that have a specific due date.
At the start, time management was only really used in a work or business environment. However, the term has now evolved to encompass life and its activities more generally.
A time management system is the combination of all the different tools, methods and techniques used to manage time effectively.
Most often, good time management is crucial to project management, as its effectiveness will determine whether the project is finished properly and on time. However, one should bear in mind that there can be structural and technical variations in time management influenced by different cultural concepts of time.
More generally, effective time management can help you work smarter without necessarily working harder. You will be able to do more using less time. Even if you already don’t have much time and you’re working under high pressure.
Bad time management could lead to increased stress and lower effectiveness.
The importance of time management
Whether you give a monetary value to time or not, time is invaluable to most of us. There are plenty of ways in which to approach time management.
You could organise your time using apps, change your sleep time, and write to-do lists.
First of all, you need to take a step back and look at the wider picture. Understand why managing your time is important and what you could gain from it. Here are a few reasons why time management is so vital.
Time is not limitless
No matter how you decide to allocate your time, there will only ever be 24 hours within one day. This applies to everyone.
It applies to your colleagues who seem to accomplish twice as much as you do as well as to your other colleagues who only seem to be managing half of what you’re doing.
Recognising the importance of effective time management will make it easier for you to accomplish your tasks and rise through the ranks.
You can do more with less effort
When you are able to control how you spend your time, you also increase your ability to focus.
Of course, with greater focus also generally comes greater efficiency, because you aren’t losing momentum. You will quickly start accomplishing your tasks faster and your workday will seem to fly by.
Better ability to make decisions
Whether your tactic relies on dividing your day into chunks or you prefer writing to-do lists, you will soon discover that one positive consequence of managing your time effectively is that you will be able to make better decisions.
When you feel like you don’t have enough time and have to make decisions, you will be more likely to make rash decisions and jump to conclusions. And you usually do that without thinking about the different possible options. This context is bound to lead to bad decision-making.
By managing your time effectively, you will be able to get rid of some of the pressures associated with the feeling of not having enough time. You will feel more in control and calmer.
When you do have to make decisions and look at the different options you have, you will be able to do so carefully and with consideration. If you can do that, then you will be less likely to make the wrong decision.
Make your career more successful
Effective time management is the key to a successful career. Rather than just going with the flow, you will be able to actually be in control of your life. When you start accomplishing more every day, making better decisions and feeling calmer, people will notice.
This means others, including senior members of staff, will trust you to get things done. This increased visibility will also make opportunities for career advancement more forthcoming.
Opportunities to learn are everywhere
It goes without saying that the more you learn, the more your value will go up in the eyes of your employer. Learning opportunities are everywhere if you actually stop and make use of them. When managing your time effectively, you also have more time to do this.
For example, you could support another team on a project they have been working on or volunteer for a company event. You can learn a lot even by just spending a bit of time with people outside of your own department.
The more you learn about your own industry and the company you work for, the more likely you are to make a positive impression on people higher up the ladder.
When you aren’t in control of your time, you can easily start feeling overwhelmed and rushed. Once this feeling is there, it becomes difficult to figure out how much time different tasks will take to complete.
On top of this being better for your health, you will have a clearer perspective on how much time you need for various things. You will be more capable of estimating the time necessary for different tasks and you will feel more confident about meeting deadlines.
Free time is vital
Everybody needs some time to relax.
Life, family, work, there is always something that comes in the way and it can be extremely difficult to even find 10 minutes of spare time. Managing your time effectively can help you with this.
When you keep busy, you also achieve more things in less time. All the time you save throughout the day by thinking through how you allocate your time adds up. You can then spend this time relaxing and unwinding at the end of a productive day.
Self-discipline is important
Effective time management leaves no space for procrastination. And the more effective you become at managing your time, the easier it will get to discipline yourself and avoid procrastinating.
This will have an impact in other areas of your life where you have been unable to achieve your goals due to lack of discipline.
The positive cycle of effective time management
Time management has a far-reaching impact. Doing it effectively will allow you to do more with less time. You will have more free time to learn, relax, and focus, leading to greater success. Both in the workspace and in life generally.
Good time management has a domino effect. All you need to do is actually start the cycle.
4 types of time management techniques
There are plenty of different time management techniques. Some famous techniques that you might know are the deep work and the time blocking. Here we made a list of those which we think are fundamental to know. You can plan your day according to their rules.
The Pomodoro technique owes its name to the famous pomodoro timer.
Indeed, the idea behind is to divide your job into four time shifts of 25 minutes each. Once the shift is finished, you take a break of 5 minutes At the end of the four shifts, you take a longer break.
The Eisenhower matrix
The Eisenhower matrix is one of the most famous techniques. It works well to prioritize tasks.
It refers to the 34th President of the United States’ daily schedule. he arranged the tasks in four quadrants:
- urgent and important: do first
- not urgent and important: schedule
- urgent and not important: delegate
- not important and not urgent: eliminate
Urgent tasks are those you feel you have to react to immediately. Examples can be phone calls and meetings.
Important tasks are those you set as your long term goal.
It is thus important to spend most of your working time in the quadrant urgent + important.
The 80/20 rule (Pareto analysis)
This method says that 20% of your actions are responsible for 80% of the outcome. It is helpful to know what to prioritize then.
You have different steps to follow:
- List the problem(s)
- Identify the root of the problem (for instance, distraction caused by spending too much time on social media)
- Give a score to each issue
- Group the problems according to their cause
- Sum the score of each group
- Take action
Eat the frog
“Eat a live frog the first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
This method comes from this quote from Mark Twain. The idea is that you have to prioritize what is more demanding for you. What you leave afterwards will be easier.
Top time management tools
There are plenty of tools out there that can help you with managing your time more effective. Here we made a list of those which we think are fundamental to know.
ProofHub brings together a range of different tools to help you manage tasks, time, projects, files and more. With ProofHub, it is possible to track time either manually or with timers.
This allows you to find answers to questions such as how your team is spending its time, the billable hours of a project or has the time taken for a specific task has been tracked.
Here are some of the things you can do using ProofHub:
- Set time estimates to determine how much time a specific task should take
- Record how much time it took to complete tasks or projects
- Create custom time reports of projects, teams or people
- Create multiple timesheets to gather time data
- Export timesheets and use them for client invoicing, payroll, estimation, and even time management
Zapier is an online automation tool. It has been designed so that you can connect different apps to automate repetitive tasks. You can manage your time in a few clicks.
Using Zapier, you can look for your favourite apps and select from a range of Zaps (integrations), or create your own workflow.
For example, Zapier allows you to:
- synchronise with Google Calendar
- share apps publicly
- set up actions
- triggers and automate repetitive tasks
TimeCamp enables you to organise your schedule in different ways. The manual timesheet is most commonly used. With it, you can either enter the length of time of a specific task or use a timer.
TimeCamp uses time tracking for billing clients, paying employees every month or measuring project profitability.
With it, you can automate non-billable and billable time tracking, budget in money or time value, report dates, use it on mobile and desktop, and use it as an integrated payment gateway.
Monday.com is a cloud-based work operating system. It is a fantastic time management platform for businesses, whether they be large or small. It allows users to add code-free automation to their boards in order to reduce human error and dedicate more time to the tasks and projects that are most important.
Monday.com also enables users to collaborate and communicate within a single communal workspace. It also integrates other tools you already make use of in order to streamline workflow and not waste time.
The platform has a fully customisable board, meaning you can adapt it however you want to fit your workflow. It also automates repetitive processes and offers different pricing plans depending on your needs.
Top tips to develop your time management skills
According to Emma Donaldson-Feilder, a chartered occupational psychologist, ‘The aim of good time management is to achieve the lifestyle balance you want.’
Here are some top time management tips to help you relieve stress and gain a feeling of control:
Figure out your goals
Think about what your priorities are and what you want to achieve. Once you have figured this out, it will become what guides you and it will instruct how you manage your time.
Once you have a clear perspective on what you want to achieve, you will be better able to determine some short- and medium-term targets. This will help you plan ahead and better focus on the things that will lead you to achieve your long-term goals.
Write a list
Keeping a single list can help you organise all your tasks and prioritise without losing track of everything you have to do.
Focus on results
Managing your time effectively in the work environment means producing high-quality work rather than high quantity. It is better to focus on results rather than everything you have to do.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time on a task to have the best result. Staying late after work or working through your lunch break won’t necessarily get out the results you need. You might use your time in a better way.
Build a priority matrix
Build a priority matrix so that you can figure out which tasks you need to complete first and which ones you can leave for later. Make sure that you keep an eye on the important but not urgent tasks so that these don’t become urgent and important.
Having to deal with too many urgent and important tasks can be stressful so try to ensure you don’t have too many of them building up.
Learn to say no
Whether it be in life or with work, it is important to set boundaries in order to achieve a balance.
However, this is not very practical. If you are confident that you have set aside the right amount of time for your various tasks, then you should be able to tell others that you do not have the time.
Your colleagues are there to help. Asking them for help with some tasks will also lift some of the load off you.
If you start off early and far enough in advance of deadlines, you will be able to organise your time well enough that you do not need to stress about all your other tasks.
For example, starting early in the morning means you can make the most of a quiet period before the rest of your colleagues start to focus on your tasks and get a head start on assignments.
New, urgent and unexpected tasks can appear at any time. So, if you have started your day early, you will be better able to meet these and adapt without missing your deadlines.
Many put unnecessary amounts of pressure on themselves when it comes to meeting deadlines.
The most influential people in time management are those who understand that inconveniences can crop up at any time and that things can often take more time than expected.
In order to maintain focus on the task at hand, it is important to take regular breaks and switch off from responsibilities once in a while. Use your spare time to talk to your colleagues about challenges you are encountering and to go back to work with a clear and focused mind.
How CONNECTS can help you
It can be hard to manage your time if you have to surf the internet back and forth to find everything you need. If you are a business owner using a single platform such as CONNECTS for all of this can save you a lot of time.
On CONNECTS you can find:
- business communities
- online leads
- business opportunities
As it is one single platform, it will save you a lot of time and effort and can really boost your online business efforts.
CONNECTS is a SaaS platform that allows you to find trustworthy business opportunities online.
It allows you to make or join a community in which you can talk about the importance of having a business partner. There you might also meet your business partner.
Building an important network can save you a lot of time.
Using online platforms is a great way to discover business partners that you might not have come across otherwise. Whether that be because of your location, the industry you operate in or whatever reason.
Join CONNECTS and discover a world of new opportunities you can trust. The platform is a Business and Chamber Directory.
You can try our free trial for new members.
Are you a member of a participating Chamber? Join our Business Development Platform for free.