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24 time management strategies to be more efficient

February 18, 2020

With these tips you will improve your productivity and the way you manage your time.

13 min read

The opinions expressed by employees are personal.

24 time management strategies to be more efficient24 time management strategies to be more efficient

Unless you are Jim Halpert and enjoy spending all your time bothering Dwight, most of us want to be more efficient at work. Not only does this benefit your career, it helps maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life.

But how to be better at work? Well, here are 24 time management strategies that you should implement.

1. Don't let the earring lists ruin your life

The earring lists are not only useful, they are fundamental to our success since the brain can only focus on three or four things at a time. So we need lists for the work activities we have to do.

But creating too many lists can make us more stressed. The lists do not consider the amount of time it will take us to complete a task, and they do not help us separate the important things from the urgent ones.

Don't throw your list, you better think of a new approach for her. A direct approach would be to use labels, or, or the “3 + 2” strategy, or the 6 rules. There is also the Warren Buffet technique in which you score 25 slopes, circulate the 5 most important ones, and then ignore the other 20.

2. Stop doing several things at once

At some point, we have all been guilty of multitasking. Sometimes it is harmless, like listening to a podcast while washing the dishes. But when it comes to work, it can be dangerous.

Because the human brain cannot do more than one thing at a time.

When you do several things at once, you divide your attention. As a result, the quality of your work decreases and you end up wasting time. The reason is that you spend more time going from one task to another than what you spend focusing on one thing at a time.

Stop trying to do more than one thing at a time. Better put all your energy into what you are working on at the moment and then move on to the next activity.

3. Reduce your responsibilities

Check your list of earrings. Apart from your primary responsibilities, what could you delegate or automate? Are they things that you could get completely out of your agenda? If yes, erase them forever from your list. It is a simple way to keep your list clean and up to date.

4. Cultivate deep work

In the book, Cal Newport describes deep work as demanding tasks at the cognitive level. As they are so important and at the same time difficult, these types of tasks require 100% of your attention.

Schedule the deepest work for the same time, every day. Newport also suggests identifying your work habits and blocking distractions.

He also recommends feeling comfortable doing nothing. It may sound counterproductive, but you can use it to your benefit. For example, when you're in a row, don't take out your phone. Let your mind wander for a few minutes.

5. Set delivery times for all your tasks

Parkinson's Law stipulates that “the work expands to fill the time available to finish it.” This implies that if you do not have a specific delivery time for a task, you will use as much time as you want. However, if there is a time constraint, you will feel more motivated to beat the clock.

In addition, setting time limits will motivate you to enter a state of mind in which things flow.

6. Sort and clear

It may not seem like much, but when my work space is messy, it distracts me. And what is worse, you waste a lot of time looking for lost items.

Leave spaces of time to constantly clean and organize your workspace, you can do it every day before going to rest. You should also assign a specific space to each thing, a place where you always put that object, and be sure to return it when you finish using it.

7. Split the projects

It is easier than procastines when you feel overwhelmed. Do not be overwhelmed by that, it happens to all of us. To avoid this, when you have a huge project in front of you, divide it into smaller tasks that can be achieved little by little.

8. Keep a list of distractions

Unconsciously, we all know that distractions and good time management don't go together. But we are not always aware of what distracts us. That is why we should keep a list of all the distractors, this will help you identify them and, eventually, avoid them.

Your list can be in a Google document or on paper. Keep it close so that every time you get distracted you can write down the cause. These lists are also useful for recording your thoughts, so you can write them so you don't forget them but you can keep working.

9. Emphasize the results, not the hours

They found that “focusing on the hours and physical presence over the action and results leads to a culture of inefficiency (and anxiety).” And what is worse, “sitting at your desk until a certain time generates a factory-like culture that ignores certain basic laws of the creation of ideas and human nature:

  • When the brain is tired, it does not work well.
  • The generation of ideas happens on their own terms.
  • When you feel forced to do something that is beyond your ability, you start to hate it.

Better think about how much you have achieved. One way to do this is to create a list of what you already finished on the day, so you will stay motivated to be productive and not just to be busy.

10. Stop having useless boards

The boards can drain your energy, especially when they are a waste of time. Even if they are necessary, they still take time to do something more important. For this reason, many people are skipping meetings and looking for new alternatives such as mail, Slack or project management tools.

11. Complete block tasks

Instead of going from one thing to another, group similar tasks. It is an effective way to reduce the cost of changing your mind, and can minimize distractions. For example, block three times of the day to check your email and social profiles so you don't miss anything important when you turn off your phone. Another option is to group the tasks by days, like putting all the meetings on Tuesdays.

12. Adopt the 1 minute rule

The author and has her own rule to make your life easier. It is a simple concept called the one-minute rule, in which if something takes less than 60 seconds, then do it.

“Since the tasks are so fast, I don't have difficulty following the rule, but it has great results,” Rubin explains. “Keeping all those little and annoying tasks under control makes me feel calmer, less overwhelmed.”

13. It always ends what you started

Leaving something in the middle is always stressful and distracting, especially since it stays in your head until you're done. The worst part is that you will have to schedule time to return to do so. It is much more practical to start something once and then move on to the following.

14. Think positive

How can a positive attitude help you manage your time well? When you are in a good mood, people want to help you. It also prevents you from allowing activities that waste your time, such as complaining. It also increases your confidence and motivates you to solve problems instead of making them worse.

At work you can appreciate your colleagues or clients. You can also organize your desk, listen to music, take a walk and take the time to meet others in the office. It has been shown that having friends at work makes it more enjoyable.

15. Improve your decision making

It has been said that adults, so it is easy to observe that, if you have to make many unimportant decisions, you are wasting your time and draining your energy. To counter this, automate as many decisions as possible. For example, if you were considering buying a book, go buy it instead of thinking too much.

You can also try to prepare your meals and outfits for the week, and improve your decision-making skills by practicing cost-benefit analysis to be more decisive and be able to set time limits.

16. Work with ultradian rhythms

Ultradian rhythms are 120-minute intervals through which our body passes throughout the day. During the first 90, we are much more productive. Then, our mental energy decays for 30 minutes.

Knowing the rhythm of your body allows you to accommodate your day to be more effective. Instead of working in your low energy periods, you should do it when you feel more productive. When your energy goes down, focus on less important tasks.

I suggest using the Pomodoro technique to work during these initial 90 minutes, dedicating 25 uninterrupted minutes to work and then taking a 5-minute break.

17. Prepare your week with the 2 hour solution

Developed by Roger Seip, author of, is a solution in which you spend 2 hours planning the following week.

But opposed to regular scheduling, this method motivates you to focus on your goals and analyze what worked for you and what didn't. The 2-hour solution focuses on your goals by dividing your time into:

  • Green time. The job that gives you money.
  • Red time. The time that supports your green time.
  • Flexible time Unlocked time to deal with the unexpected.
  • Recreational time Hobbies, relaxation, exercise, etc.

18. Recognize the fallacy of planning

First proposed by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky in 1979, the fallacy of planning is how we underestimate the time it will take us to complete a task. Therefore, this cognitive bias can throw away our agendas and even make us unable to deliver.

After recognizing this, you can do something to avoid it. For example, you can take the time it takes to finish something to really estimate how many days you will need to finish it. From there, plan.

19. Listen to white noise

He notes that ambient noise at a moderate volume is ideal for improving creative performance. If you don't want to bother your teammates, invest in a pair of headphones.

In addition, white noise can because it is constant. As a result, it will promote your attention and motivate you to work faster.

20. Take time to improve

Learning new information, improving your skills and growing as a person is essential in life. After all, if you are committed to improving, you are better able to adapt to changes and be more efficient in everything you do.

If you think you don't have time for this, think twice. We all have spaces in our agenda that we can use to learn and grow. For example, in the morning transfer you can read or listen to a podcast. You can take a class on weekends. And accommodate a meal with your mentor.

21. Stand while you work

This does not mean that you have to stand all the time while you work, but to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. This is beneficial for both your mental and physical health, and improves your mood, raising your energy levels, which can make you more productive.

If you have to have a meeting, consider standing. It has been shown that this can reduce the time of a meeting by up to 25 percent.

22. Shut up your inner perfectionist

Perfection is one of the greatest enemies of time management. Not only is it unrealistic, it also prevents you from getting better and discovering new opportunities and ways to end things.

To fight perfectionism, set realistic goals and receive feedback from others. You could also stop comparing yourself to others.

23. Fall in love with constant routines

“We are creatures of habits, and so are our brains,” certified coach, lecturer and author. “When we establish routines, we do things faster because we don't have to think about them, or prepare, and work automatically.”

If you still do not, establish a morning ritual and an ideal time to work. After doing this, block the fair times in your calendar. It is a sure way to protect your routine from distractions.

24. Take care of your well-being

When you are exhausted, stressed, and not feeling well, you will not be able to be effective or productive at work. There is no way to turn it around, and for this, you should make your well-being a priority. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat well and allow time to exercise, meditate and do things that make you happy.

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