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Have you ever wondered how you can increase your productivity? It doesn’t require a special set of skills. All it takes is managing your time well. With these 10 time management strategies you’ll definitely increase your productivity instantly.
1. Write down your priorities first
Before you start creating your ideal schedule or routine, make sure you have a clear vision of what is important to you. Are you in a season where you want to focus on getting healthier? Are you focussing on building a side hustle? Or maybe you want to focus on spending time with your family more after a busy season?
Whatever it is, make sure you set your priorities first. You cannot create a good schedule without it!
2. Learn to say no
After tip number one, this is a logical next step. Because when you know where your priorities lie, you can learn to say no to the things that are not a priority.
Are you currently focussed on getting healthier? Then going on a girls night out with friends might not be a priority right now. Does that mean going out with friends is bad? No, of course it doesn’t. But for YOU it is not worth the late night, missing the gym and having a hangover. And that is A-okay!
3. Create a weekly to do list
I am a HUGE fan of weekly to do lists. You can read more about why I love them so much in this post. But to sum it up; a weekly to do list is a huge list of all the things you need to do that week. Every day you pick a few tasks from that list to work on.
For example, when I write down on a Monday that I want to do a little content photoshoot for Instagram and the weather is crazy or my kids are sick, I won’t be able to do it. So to me that will feel like the entire day is ruined. I did not finish my to do list and now I have no clue when to do it.
But, if I wrote it down on a weekly list, I can just choose to do the shoot on the day that makes most sense.
4. Write down how long a task will take
When you have finished your to do list, write down how long a task will take. This makes it a lot easier to pull tasks from that list during the week.
Do you have 10 minutes before you need to pick up the kids? Pick a task that you know will take up to 10 minutes. Have an hour extra because your friend cancelled the coffee date this morning? Pick a task that will take about an hour or pick 3 tasks that last 20 minutes.
You get what I mean. Knowing how long a task might take will help you to pick a task quicker. Plus it will help you realise you can do a lot in those 10 minutes!
5. Create a block schedule system
A block schedule is such an amazing and flexible way to create a schedule that work for everyone. You can read all the details and what it is about in this post. But let me give a summary:
When you create a block schedule, you divide your day into different blocks. These are between 2-3 hours long. In those blocks you do similar tasks. For example a ‘household block’ where you do your laundry, clean the home and prepare dinner. Or an ‘outing block’ which is for grocery shopping, going to the park or visiting a friend.
What makes a block schedule so flexible, is the fact that you can move things around in the block. You are not doing something at a specific time, but in a time block. One day you may start your ‘household block’ with laundry, while the other day you end with it. It doesn’t matter, as long as you stay within your set blocks.
But again, if you need more information on block scheduling, definitely read my block schedule 101 post!
6. Only multitask when it’s two mindless things
A lot of productivity websites will tell you to never multitask. And I agree with that for 99%. But sometimes you can multitask two ‘mindless tasks’. For example: Listen to a podcast while cooking dinner, change the towels in the bathroom while you brush your teeth or pray while you fold laundry.
It doesn’t mean you don’t use your mind for either of these tasks. Clearly you need to use your mind when you pray. What I am trying to say is, they won’t interfere with each other and you can both do them well.
7. Give yourself breaks
One of the most forgotten time management strategies in my opinion, is taking breaks. How often do we tell ourselves, ‘I’ll take a break later, I just want to finish x y and z.’
But taking a break is so important when you want to increase productivity! It gives your mind the possibility to rest. In this resting stage, your brain can store every bit of information where it belongs. You will have a clearer head and therefor a clearer vision when going back to work. This will result in more focus, i.e. be more productive.
8. Remove any distraction
It’s amazing what you can get done when you have one hour of uninterrupted time. Turn off notifications, don’t respond to an email or go into a coffee shop to work alone.
In high performance habits, Brendon Burchard talks about how important it is to take time to transition from one task to another. Because our brain needs to process the change. It needs helps to focus on the new task. He suggests doing one task for 50 minutes, taking a 10 minutes break and then moving on to the next task. So reading emails, catching up on social media, doing some work and looking for a new couch in a time span of 10 minutes is so hard on our brain.
9. Set timers
Another great strategie is to set timers. This helps in various ways:
- It helps you stay focussed. Because you only gave yourself 10 minutes for the task. So no time to do anything else.
- You stay within your scheduled blocks.
- Having a time limit will help you realise how much you can actually do in those minutes.
10. Batch certain tasks together
And last but definitely not least, batch tasks. Seriously, this makes life so much easier. Instead of going from one task to another (remember what Brendon Burchard said!) you focus on similar tasks. For instance, have 20 minutes each morning to respond to all your emails and text messages instead of doing one every hour in-between cleaning or work.
Pick 3 of these time management strategies to focus on.
These are a lot of time management strategies you can implement. But try not to overdo it. Focus on 3 strategies and master those. Once that works, try adding in another one or two. Building up to being a time management queen (or king)!