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3 Time Management Hacks to Make You Better at Your Job

It used to be common to hear people say, "There just aren't enough hours in the day." Now, there's no point in wishing for an extra 60 minutes here or there; we know that our work would just expand, like a gas, to fit the shape of the container. The real secret to productivity isn't more time. It's using the time we have more efficiently.

time flies 

(Photo Credit: aussiegall/Flickr)

1. Work when you work best.

You probably already know if you're a morning person or a night person. But do you know what time is best for each type of work you face in a given day?

"Do your hardest work when you're most alert," advises Satinder Haer at Popforms. "This means: do your analytic work during the morning if you're an early riser, and in the evening if you're a night owl. Pretty intuitive, but may of us fight our natural rhythms in order to be on a schedule we think is 'right.' However, if you do your hardest strategic work when your mind is most alert, you'll do it faster and more effectively. This means you'll have more time in your day (since you won't be dragging through the big stuff) and you'll do your best work on the stuff that really matters."

Creative work, Haer says, is best done when we're tired, and less bound by rules and perceived limitations.

2. Make appointments to check your email.

Email is a time suck. It forces you to be reactive instead of proactive, structuring your day according to the needs of others, and it can become a method of procrastination, because you're less likely to feel guilty if you're doing something work-related than if you're noodling on the internet or playing Angry Birds. Circumvent both problems by only checking email a few times a day, and at set times.

3. A day without meetings.

If you're the boss, or have any influence on the decision-makers, propose one day a week without meetings. Dustin Moskovitz, the co-founder and CEO of Asana and co-founder of Facebook, blocks off every Wednesday as a no-meeting zone. The result? At least one day a week without the special hell that is attending a meeting when project deadlines are looming.

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4 Comments

  1. 4 Richard Merry 18 Dec
    Using time we have more efficiently is definitely the key. I find the best way to get things done is to write a to do list then put a time next to each task to complete. When I carry out each task I put myself under a little bit of pressure in order to complete the task in the allocated time, if not then I would take ages to complete each task. By using this method I find it gets so much done in a day, which is great especially when I work from home. A great piece of software that really helps organise and puts the pressure on to complete is http://www.theactiongenerator.co.uk, which I use on a daily basis.
  2. 3 Raymond James 21 Sep
    Nice tips for sure. For better time tracking and management, I like Replicon time management software as compared to all similar apps such as Harvest & Freshbooks etc. It has nice calendar view interface and can be quickly implemented too. There had been lot of flexibility and ease of usage from Replicon and can be implemented in any office environment.
  3. 2 Stijn 12 Aug
    or have something like sheldonize.com schedule your tasks for you; that helps a lot in seeing where your time is going to go in the upcoming week..(disclaimer: I'm a co-founder). Thanks for the write-up!
  4. 1 Glanna 11 Aug
    Thanks for the great tips, Jen! Also, there are also tools to help you with time management and time tracking, such as Worksnaps (http://www.worksnaps.net/www/). Know what you’re doing and when, and be able to hold yourself accountable.

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