As the one finite resource we all share, we could all be a bit more careful with our time. But for those of us really looking to get more out of time, we first need to master it. Here are 44 simple time management tips to help you towards a more productive, enjoyable and meaningful everyday.
Time saving tips
Broken processes, repetitive tasks, pointless meetings and distractions compete to steal time away from you every day. From automating low-value tasks to using your commute to catch up, these simple time saving tips give you more space for productive work:
- Don’t put things off: If you can do a task in under two minutes, do it now.
- Automate low-value tasks: AI-powered apps can now create timesheets and write minutes for you.
- Use dead travel time: Use time on your commute to reply to emails, make to-do lists or read.
- Set yourself time limits: We work better under pressure, so always have a time limit in mind.
- Write To-Do lists: Give every day a purpose and write up tomorrow’s list today.
- Only attend essential meetings: Get hosts to email a summary of key decisions and updates.
- Don’t be ashamed to delegate: If it’s not your responsibility and someone else is available, ask.
- Avoid social media: Log out, mute notifications or put your phone on airplane mode.
Prioritization is the easiest way to make the time you spend each day accountable, but it doesn’t just mean understanding your deadlines. From figuring out what’s most important to the activities that steal time away from you, these prioritization tips help you use time with purpose:
- Get your biggest task out the way: After that, everything will seem easier.
- Follow the Eisenhower Principle: Prioritize what’s actually “important”, not what’s “urgent”.
- Set caveats when taking on new tasks: “I will only take on this task IF so-and-so will assist.”
- Turn off your email alerts: Only check it once you’ve done a good few hours work.
- Know what’s stealing your time: Isolate time-draining issues and nip them in the bud.
- Put yourself first: Prioritize tasks which are important to your own success.
- Prioritize creative tasks over repetitive ones: The former requires more thought and energy.
- Factor in your happiness: If you know completing a certain task will make you happy, do it.
Work motivation tips
Motivation is insanely important to using time productively – but it’s not always so easy to maintain. Use these simple work motivation tips to fuel your creative juices and keep you working effectively every day:
- Plan for quality downtime: Stay healthy, happy, rested and well-rounded.
- Create a positive workspace: Lighting, clutter, space and noise all affect your readiness to work.
- Break big projects into small tasks: Never let the overwhelming size of a job stop you cold.
- Reward yourself: Recognize your successes and achievements – eat as much cake as you want.
- End work on a high: It’s easier to pick work back up the next day when you’ve set a good flow.
- Try daunting tasks for at least five minutes: You might hit a roll and find it easier to keep going.
- Remind yourself why you’re doing it: Always know your purpose, write it down and never forget it.
- Take regular breaks: Your brain needs breaks; they actually help keep your creativity burning.
- Manage negativity: Or it will cripple you – champion negative thoughts with positive ones.
Work focus tips
To produce high-quality work you need to be in the zone. From approaching work with a clear, quiet mind and managing distractions, these work focus tricks can help you achieve everything you set out to do today.
- Keep a clean workspace: Clutter is distracting; only have open what you’re working on.
- Work offline: Disconnect from the internet to limit online distractions.
- Change your scene: If you’re stuck, try a new approach or location to help you re-engage.
- Isolate yourself when you need to: Deep work requires no noise, movement or well-meaning colleagues.
- Drink coffee: Or go one better and drink water. Stimulate and feed your brain.
- Stop switching tasks: You’re just splintering your own attention and ability to focus.
- Try music: While some background noise can distract, the “right” kind can lock your focus.