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We all experience the woes of time management. You start the day optimistic- not only will you complete your to-do list, but you will also hit the gym or spend some quality time with your loved ones. Then life happens and you get lost in work. The good news is that there are ways to reclaim those seemingly elusive lost hours of the day with time management!
What is Time Management and Why is It Important?
Time management is the coordination of tasks and activities to maximize the effectiveness of an individual’s efforts. If you get it right, you’ll end up working smarter even when the time is tight and pressures are high.
Moreover, if you never seem to have enough time, better time management will help you regain control of your days. "Good time management aims to achieve the lifestyle balance you want," says Emma Donaldson-Feilder, a chartered occupational psychologist, and she couldn’t be more right! Learning the art of time management will yield a positive impact, especially on your professional life. So let’s take a brief look at the benefits it offers:
- Better task management
- Higher productivity
- No stress levels
- Better work-life balance
Creating Time Is Not An Option But A Solution, A List of Things That Will Happen Without Time Management
If you are unable to manage your time effectively, you can experience undesirable consequences such as:
1. Missed deadlines
Missing a deadline will result in every work getting behind. It will not only affect you but your customers as well.
2. Poor work quality
By not managing your time effectively all your work will be left to the last minute. Rushing through to meet the deadlines will affect your work quality.
3. Higher stress levels and burnout
When you don’t know proper time management every work you do will feel stressful. High stress associated with your work will cause you to feel burnout faster.
4. Work imbalance
Not managing your time will cause you to work overtime often. That will disrupt your work-life balance. You may not find time to do things that bring you joy because of work.
Take action, feel the motivation and focus on your problems with these 10 tips
As an hourly worker, you decide when you will be working during the day. If you don’t focus and use time management, it is easy for half the day to slip away from you. We mean it when we say time management is a crucial aspect when it comes to getting things done. To help you out, we have prepared some tips and tricks for you. Let’s have a look at them!
1. Make Time by Figuring Out Where Your Time is Going
To optimize your time management, you should first figure out where your time is going. Try tracking your day-to-day activity for a whole week. As you conduct your time audit, you’ll gain a more accurate sense of how long certain types of tasks take you. Plus, you can see the time of the day when you are most productive. That way, you know when to work on the projects that require the most focus and creativity.
2. Create a Daily Schedule and Stick With It
This step is so crucial for learning to manage your time. Creating a to-do list and making the tasks visible allow you to get going as soon as you start working. They will help you get organized. When the tasks become visible, they seem more manageable. But don’t forget to keep it somewhere accessible so that you don’t miss any important tasks!
3. Prioritize Important Tasks, Stop Getting Lost in The Details
As you organize your to-do list, prioritization is a key to success. Identify the three or four most important tasks and do those first. This will help you conquer the essentials.
Tasks can be grouped into 4 categories:
- urgent and important
- not urgent but important
- urgent but not important
- neither urgent nor important
If you want to manage your time well, you should concentrate on “not urgent but important” activities before they become “urgent and important” activities. When you figure out prioritization, your time management skills will reach a whole new level. Don’t tell anyone but prioritization is the secret weapon of those who seem to have 48 hours in a day.
4. Making Time For More Through Time Tracking
One of the easiest ways to keep track of every minute being spent at work is by employing time management software. Time tracking software is designed to set time estimates and keep a record of every minute you spend while working on tasks.
As an hourly worker, you get paid for the hours you work. And since hourly employees don’t have a contract with their employer and the employer is the one who determines the hours for an hourly employee, you must use a time card system, timesheet, or a good time tracking software to document the numbers of hours you work. That’s when we come in handy! We provide all you want from time tracking software. After reading this blog, you can check BeforeSunset to learn more about what we can offer you!
5. Find Time to Have Breaks
Make breaks a part of your schedule. That’s it. Breaks are one of the most effective time management strategies. Smart time management isn’t about doing something or the other. It also means taking breaks so that you can take your productivity to another level.
6. Avoid the Urge to Multitask
This is one of the simplest time management tips for work yet it is at the same time one of the hardest to follow. If you try to do multiple projects at once, you may end up not getting anything done at all. Even researches show that multitasking actually decreases productivity -maybe you should give an ear to them. Make yourself a favor and don’t shoot yourself in the foot by trying to multitask. Don’t forget- quality over quantity!
7. Time to Focus on Eliminating Distractions
Social media, phone calls, emails, text messages, and notifications- the distractions at work are limitless. Shut your door to distractions. This is the key to having good time management. The distractions in the workplace will get you off-track and that is not something we want at all. It is found that employees waste 759 hours each year due to workplace distractions. That is a lot of time wasted in vain.
The solution is simple: put that phone on silent and away. You will end up saving a lot of time and taking your efficiency levels a notch higher.
8. Group Similar Tasks Together
Save yourself time and energy by trying to complete all of one type of to-do before moving on to the next. We all know different tasks demand different types of thinking and arrangement. Instead of hopping from one task to the other mindlessly, try to batch them together. For example, dedicate a specific time to answer some important emails or make phone calls. That way, you can structure your time and work. Also, when you’re working on related tasks, you allow your brain to focus better.
9. Focus on What Matters, Assign Time Limits to Tasks for Success
In an essay published in The Economist in 1955, Cyril Northcote Parkinson says that “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”. This is called Parkinson’s Law: If you give yourself one hour to get the job done, you will get the job done in one hour. But if you give yourself a day to complete the same job then it will take your whole day to complete. For better time management, try creating artificial deadlines for yourself.
To-do lists are great but you sometimes may feel like you never check anything off. If you’re looking to set a steady pace for your workflow, the Pomodoro Technique can help you check off your to-do list in 25-minute chunks, taking short breaks between each session and a longer break after completing four.
10. Learn to Say No
You can never truly manage your time if you don’t learn how to say no. Don’t hesitate to decline a request in order to focus on more important tasks because you are the only one who truly knows what you have time for. Don’t be afraid to let a project go that is obviously going nowhere. Rather than managing a lot of tasks that yield little or no value, complete only one task that creates more value. Remember the 80/20 rule: 80% of your output comes from 20% of your inputs.
But if it is something you can’t say no to, then delegate it. While delegating is a hard skill to learn, it works wonders for your personal time management.
Create Time to Reach Success, Make Time For Yourself
There you have it- ten tips for time management for hourly workers that will take your productivity to a whole new level. We at BeforeSunset know how hard it is to manage your time as an hourly worker. But people who like to keep track of their time and work tend to be more focused, productive, and organized. In addition to monitoring and tracking the hours they work, they are also mindful of the number of activities they perform, the tasks and projects they handle, and the clients they work with. So, why not join the gang?
Start your free trial today with BeforeSunset to see how our user-friendly software can do wonders for you!