How To Manage Time (With 23 Time Management Tips and Advice)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 September 2021

Effective time management may boost productivity and ensure that you appropriately prioritise your objectives. You may utilise a variety of techniques to properly manage your time. Learning how to develop good time management skills can help you perform well at work and reach your professional goals. In this article, we discuss what time management is, describe the benefits of having this soft skill and outline tips on how to manage time effectively.

Related: Common Examples of Skills and Steps To Identify Them

What is time management?

Time management involves maximising productivity by defining goals, arranging your workplace and planning how to split your time into meaningful blocks that result in less stress and more production. There are several advantages to effective time management, and it's a highly regarded talent in the business. This is because those who manage their time well maximise the amount of work they do, resulting in higher quality work and higher productivity.

The four Ds of time management are do, defer, delegate and delete. Placing a job or project under one of these categories allows you to manage your limited time better and stay focused on what is most important to you. People with solid time management skills know how to prioritise activities, prevent procrastination and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Listed below are five elements making up good time management:

  • Setting goals

  • Defining priorities

  • Removing non-priorities

  • Developing the correct habits

  • Having a favourable environment

Related: SMART Goals: Definition, Template and Examples

23 tips on how to manage time effectively

It takes effort to learn how to manage time efficiently. Here are some pointers to help you hone this crucial soft skill:

  1. Assess your time: Tracking your tasks and keeping track of how much time you spend on each project allows you to effectively organise your time. When you know how much time it takes to accomplish specific items on your to-do list, filling up a calendar or timetable becomes a less arduous process.

  2. Set time limits for each of your tasks: Setting a time limit for completing a job helps you stay focused. It's a good idea to plan for each activity to take more time than you expect, which can allow you to follow your schedule in the event that challenges arise.

  3. List out smaller tasks: When working on a project or job, you may discover that in order to accomplish the task, you need first to do numerous smaller ones. You may be able to tell when you've finished each of these and are making progress if you break down the larger jobs into smaller, more manageable activities.

  4. Consider your weekly plan ahead of time: Making a plan at the start of the workweek helps to offer focus and clarity for what is to follow. Keep in mind that your available time and energy vary from day to day, and you may achieve more if you include these elements into your strategy.

  5. Make advanced plans: Planning allows you to account for any unanticipated circumstances. Make arrangements for the following day, either the night before or first thing in the morning.

  6. Prioritise the most critical tasks: Try to do your most challenging tasks first. This way, you can reduce procrastination and start your day with a feeling of accomplishment that may help you be more productive.

  7. Delegate as much as feasible: Depending on your position, it may be a better use of your time to delegate some tasks to another person. If you can outsource lesser or simpler tasks, you can have more time to focus on your more important duties.

  8. Remove any distractions: You can be considerably more effective if you minimise distractions in your workspace. You may need to modify your working environment in order to prevent situations that divert your focus away from your task.

  9. Deviate from your usual routine: You may discover that changing your daily plan allows you to work more productively. For example, you may wake up 30 minutes earlier but gain 90 minutes because of reduced commute time or because fewer people in the office allow you to work with fewer distractions.

  10. Include a time buffer in your timetable: When you design your schedule, make sure to provide extra time around each activity to ensure a buffer when the work takes longer than expected. This can allow you to take breaks throughout the workday, which can promote greater productivity.

  11. Make your workstation more organised: When you can find the items you need to work, you can maximise your time and ensure focus on the most important tasks. Organising your office and taking the time at the end of each workday to declutter and arrange your workspace is a good use of your time.

  12. Make use of an electronic calendar: You can keep a classic paper diary, but an electronic or online calendar may be much easier to manage. It's simple to plan meetings and appointments and set alarms to remind you of tasks to do or meetings to attend.

  13. Group duties that are comparable: Grouping similar activities together can help you work more efficiently. You can try to read all of your emails in one sitting or make phone calls at a set time.

  14. Settle for less than perfection: It's possible to squander a substantial amount of time attempting to perfect a task. It's critical to execute your task to the best of your abilities, but recognise that you may not achieve perfection in the allocated time and move onto your next task.

  15. Form excellent habits: To live a healthy and productive lifestyle, you can include positive habits into your daily routine, such as exercising, meditating and eating nutritious food. When you're healthy and have excellent habits, you can focus and manage your time in both your personal and professional life.

  16. Make the most of your downtime: You may undoubtedly have to wait throughout your day, be it waiting for a meeting or appointment or while driving to work. You can boost productivity during these times by listening to a podcast, reading a book or making a list of project ideas if you've accomplished everything on your to-do list.

  17. Work remotely: Travelling to work or meetings might take a significant portion of your week. If your workplace allows, consider completing part or all of your job from home to promote productivity.

  18. Focus on quality rather than quantity: Ensure that every job you do counts by focusing on quality. Producing high-quality work can help you maximise your time by reducing the likelihood of needing to repeat tasks.

  19. Concentrate on the result: Before a meeting, spend some time thinking about what the ideal conclusion would be. This can allow you to have more productive meetings, allowing you to save time and return to work.

  20. Maintain a completed job list: Keep a record of all the activities and projects you've accomplished, along with comments on how long they took to complete. Your achievements can keep your mind in a positive frame of mind, and the timings can assist you in planning for future jobs.

  21. Avoid multitasking: Try to concentrate on one activity at a time and avoid multitasking while you work. This can help you promote focus and limit distractions while you work.

  22. Consider the larger picture: When you're focused on tiny blocks of work, it's easy to lose sight of the final product. It's important to return to the project's overall goal on a regular basis to maintain focus.

  23. Sort through your email inbox: A structured email system allows you to efficiently handle your incoming mails. Utilise all of the capabilities provided by your email provider to filter and classify emails, such as moving non-urgent incoming emails to separate folders, so you can read them when you have time and utilise templates to make answers when applicable.

Related: Guide on How To Write an Email

Ways to manage time at home

You can consider the following tips to manage time while working from home:

  • Sett goals wisely

  • Prioritise your tasks

  • Set a time to complete a task

  • Organise your workspace

  • Eliminate non-essential activities

  • Set aside time to relax

Related: Soft Skills: Definition, Examples and Tips

Benefits of time management

There are several benefits to excellent time management. It can help you in the following ways:

  • Grants you more time to work on other things

  • Relieves stress

  • Increases your ability to attain goals

  • Allows you more opportunities for advancement

  • Decreases procrastination

  • Enhances your productivity and output

  • Improves your quality of life with more leisure time