Time management often revolves around the ability to use time productively and efficiently, especially for work, business, and studies. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, but some people seem to be much more productive with that time than others. Time management is really about managing yourself because what you really need to manage is your attention, and your focus.

Since it is not possible to save time, borrow it or save it for later use. You can only decide how to allocate it by spending it on higher-value activities instead of low. Time management is a game of choices: projects to be executed, tasks to be performed, routines to follow.

Adopting good time management techniques in your life doesn’t mean squeezing as many tasks as you can into your day. It’s about simplifying how you work, getting things done faster, and doing them better. By doing this, you will have more time to do the things you love.

Below you will find a list of some time management techniques. They are a set of principles, rules, and skills that allow you to focus on the things that matter most, get more done and help you be more productive.

What is time management?

First, it is important to understand what a company’s time management is all about. In a business, there is a need to search for strategies that contribute to bringing better results and reducing costs without affecting the experience of customers and professionals.

In this sense, time management refers to the process of organizing tasks. For this, the leaders help their teams to have good planning, in addition to monitoring the execution of demands for better use of time.

This can be done through different methodologies or tools. From the use of OKRs, for example, there is the possibility of understanding where you are and where you want to go, as well as drawing up action plans to succeed in this regard.

What are the benefits of time management?

We also selected some of the main advantages of having effective time management.

less rework

One of the factors that most impact the productivity and motivation of a team is reworking. If this occurs, there are risks of impacting the customer relationship, leaving the team overwhelmed and stressed, and delaying deadlines.

When there is effective time management, planning is also more accurate. Consequently, a demand will hardly be executed with the running time, which provides a conclusion of works with more quality and with more analysis by the team.

In addition to having good time management, it is also indicated:

  • carry out continuous training with the team;
  • align communication with the entire team;
  • planning and setting goals, among others.

Improved relationship between management and professionals

The relationship between leaders and subordinates becomes important so that there is more engagement of people with the work routine. Consequently, there will be lower turnover and absenteeism rates, which positively impacts both the company’s image and business numbers.

We must always take into account that shutting down and hiring people generates expenses for the business. If this happens frequently, the projects will not have the required progress, as well as there will be damage to the organizational climate (people’s perception of policies, practices, and business processes).

Better manage goals

Finally, time management makes it possible to better manage business goals. If you don’t have a good plan, the work will be dedicated to solving problems. As a result, it loses the strategic focus of the different functions, preventing the company’s healthy growth.

What are the top time management techniques to improve your productivity?

Below, we’ve selected some of the top time management techniques that significantly contribute to improving productivity.

80/20 rule

The “80/20 Rule”, also known as the Pareto Principle, says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions. It’s a way to visualize your time usage, and prioritize your chosen tasks against your most important goals. Are you focusing on the 20% of activities that produce 80% of the desired results?

“4D” System

Analyze the activities as follows:

  • Delete: What are the consequences of not performing the task? Consider the 80/20 rule; maybe a certain task doesn’t need to be done in the first place;
  • Delegate: If the task is important, ask yourself if it really is something you are responsible for doing. 
  • Do it now: Putting off an important task that needs to be done only creates feelings of anxiety and stress. Do this as early as possible;
  • Defer: From English, to postpone. If the task cannot be completed quickly and is not a high-priority item, simply postpone it.
  • Glass jar technique: stones, gravel, sand, and water.

Categorize your tasks between rocks, gravel, sand, and water. The idea is to start with the stones as if filling a glass jar, they are strategic for the entry of the gravel and later the sand and water. If you don’t start with the strategically important items, the rocks, then your pot will fill up quickly with no room for the rest.

Set SMART goals

SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Realistic, and time-bound. Assessing time management is also part of management. So create specific goals that you can measure and that are realistic, that is, that you know it will be possible to achieve them, for example: finish 3 reports by Wednesday. This way you understand your rhythm more and evaluate your development.

In addition to these techniques, there are ways to organize tasks in a way where you can see exactly what needs to be done during the day. With the help of task management tools, it is possible to create lists.

They are stress reducers because when you organize what needs to be done, you automatically start thinking about how to do them relieving tension. Lists also provide a record of your efforts. And, when a task is completed, you get the reward of checking items as completed.

Understand the difference between efficiency and effectiveness

Efficiency is doing things right and effectiveness is doing things right. In case you’re wondering whether it’s better to be efficient or effective, the answer is: that both virtues are great for any professional. As far as possible, you must be efficient and effective in equal measure.

learn to say no

When other people make requests of you, these tasks may be important to them, but they conflict with their most important goals. While it’s great to be a team member, it’s also important to know when and how to be assertive and let the person know that you can’t handle the request right now. If you agree to take on the task, negotiate a deadline that will help them achieve their goals without sacrificing your own.

Work can and should be light and pleasurable. There has to be motivation, passion, creativity, and productivity. If you absolutely don’t like any of your tasks, no time management technique in the world can help you.

Apply these time management techniques as a way to maximize your happiness at work, not the amount of time you spend working. And use your newfound time on activities you value, like spending time with your family, working on side projects, pursuing a hobby, or developing your skills.