Time Management Hacks to Make You Hyper-Productive Instantly
Between social media, sifting through emails, getting coffee, and staring into space dreaming about cuddling your pit bull on the couch, there’s barely enough time to get any work done. But trust us, there are enough hours in the day…. you just need to know how to manage your time. These time management tips (more like hacks) will help make you hyper-productive at work and WAY MORE RELAXED at home.
Ever get done with a hard day’s work and think to yourself “I could have done so much more?” It’s more common than you think.
It’s natural for us to feel like we could have been more productive, and studies show that it spills over into our home lives too. If you’re wondering how to actually be more productive at work and go home with a clear head so you can watch Game of Thrones reruns (or spin-offs coming soon!) in peace, we’ve got 5 time management tips that will help you do just that.
1. Identify Your 3 Biggest Time Wasters
This one takes a bit of brutal honesty. Be real with yourself. Tomorrow at work, keep track of your 5 biggest time wasters and write them down. 30 minutes of sifting through fake news on Facebook, 15 minutes staring out the window fantasizing about a glass of Pinot Grigio in the Italian village of Civita Di Bagnoregio (This winter. You’re going.), an hour talking to colleagues around the coffee machine—it all adds up. Write them down and think of alternatives. Instead, you could:
- Answer your emails
- Cut social media use in half and focus on your project
- Bring coffee with you to work so you can avoid talkative time wasters
- Actually go to Italy and stop fantasizing about it (not so easy)
2. Learn to Say No
This is a bit of a cliché, but it’s true. The problem is that nobody knows how to do it right. If you give them an inch, they will take a mile. You’ve got to stand up for yourself in the beginning or else you will be the office doormat. If people keep coming to you and piling things on your plate, you’ve got to tell them you simply don’t have time for it and that they need to find someone else. Here’s a tip: next time someone tries to lump something on you, tell them you are overloaded and ask them if it’s a priority. If it isn’t, tell them to find someone else. If it is, tell them you’ll do it but then something else won’t get done.
Trust us, it will do wonders for your stress levels. You’ll also notice fewer menial tasks coming your way (who’s the big bad boss now?).
3. Prioritize by Limiting Yourself to 5 Tasks
Everyone says prioritize, but nobody knows how to actually prioritize.
Most people just say “I’m going to do this, then I’m going to do that.” That’s not gonna cut it. Start with a maximum of 5 tasks and order them according to importance. For example:
- Coffee (let’s get our priorities straight here)
- Answer all emails
- 11:00 meeting
- Finish last quarter’s report
- Comb through 10 candidates for the new management position
No matter what your job is, order your tasks in terms of importance. Spend most of your time on the most important tasks and DO NOT GET HUNG UP ON LITTLE DETAILS. When you find yourself drifting into nonsensical anxious thoughts, ask yourself, “does this minute detail actually matter?” Guess what? It doesn’t.
4. Set Aside Time for Fun
All work and no play makes Jack…. you know the rest. Set aside time for your favorite time-wasting activities. If it falls within that window, then you aren’t actually wasting any time! Try this for starters: every 90 minutes, give yourself 15 minutes for all of that fun stuff you were doing before. You could:
- Spend 10 minutes checking fake news and being outraged on Facebook
- Switch to red wine in Civita Di Bagnoregio because the white was too dry (you’re going. Seriously.)
- Chat with coworkers
- Meditate or take a nap
By plugging in these rewards, you’ll be more motivated to finish the task at hand.
5. Declutter Your Life
This goes for work and home. First things first, clean up your apartment (this isn’t one of the time management tips, you’re just an adult). At the office, it all starts with a clean desk. From there, organize your files both digitally and physically (Soda PDF works wonders for organization, just saying).
Keep work documents in an easy-to-find location digitally and declutter your inbox by deleting old emails. Clean up your desk and organize files in marked folders for easy access, and never leave something on your desk longer than it has to be there. All workplace studies have found that decreasing clutter increases productivity and decreases stress.
Being productive at work and less stressed at home is way easier than you think it is. You just need to learn the best time management tips. Knowing how to manage your time is all about these 5 time management tips. Start small and build from there. Before you know it, you’ll get that raise and be off to Italy for your 5-day vacation (CEOs don’t get much time off, sorry).
If you want the ultimate productivity hack, check out Soda PDF! It’s the easiest and most intuitive way to store, organize, and share files from one location.