“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you are the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler.
Get efficient, master your time management
We all have a set amount of time which cannot be increased - but its value can be. Not wasting time but using it wisely is the only way to create a positive balance for our time spent on this planet. Working harder to achieve better outcomes is an outdated model. Our distracted lifestyles, firm deadlines, personal commitments and other conflicting demands leave us feeling exhausted and less resilient to respond to new challenges. It is high time to take control of time in our lives.
The level of time management skills we possess has a direct impact on our productivity and our work-life balance. Poor time management spikes stress levels and can cause anxiety and irritability, affecting the way we make decisions and perform. We pay for time mismanagement with our health and underachieved profit.
In contrast, mastering our time will put our mind at rest and allow for a brighter outlook on life. No more restless mind nagging about unresolved issues, looming project deadlines and missed opportunities. We sleep better, have more enthusiasm, more fun, more success, more income... and the list goes on.
How do you master your time management?
First, we need to be prepared to change our habits and to apply new learned skills and methods. To yield benefits, we need to stay consistent. Remember that well-managed time at work will have a profound effect on your private life too.
As much as the internet can be a thief - stealing our time by distracting us from dealing with real issues - it also offers endless resources to teach us the skills we need to improve our time management. Admittedly, browsing through online resources or bookstores to find the right items can be overwhelming, but reading lists of recommended and genuinely rated resources can put us in the right direction. You can find some examples of such resources as you read on.
Online time management tools, courses, free master classes, and books by hugely successful entrepreneurs who share their methods and skills with a wide audience are all available for us to dive into and to benefit from.
The best time management books to read
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
- Getting Things Done by David Allen
- Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman
- Ten Natural laws of Successful Time and Life Management by Hyrum W. Smith
- First Thing First by R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill
- Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky
Looking for quick techniques to improve your time management? Covey’s time management matrix is a very effective method for prioritizing tasks according to their level of urgency and importance, while the Pomodoro Technique can help you split up daunting tasks into smaller, manageable tasks.
Top time management online courses
Investing in online courses is often worth the money as it might be the fastest and most up-to-date way of learning how to manage time. Experts in the field will teach you the skills you want to acquire. The courses are usually short, affordable, and suitable for all employees, including remote workers. Good course providers offer e-book downloads to retain knowledge.
The best time management blogs
You can find many blogs on time management on the web which can quickly provide you with tips and methods you can apply straight away. Examples of blogs below might satisfy your curiosity...
Tools for time management
Why use time management software tools?
The American productivity consultant David Allen came to the realization that our brains are badly designed to store to-do lists but are perfectly designed to do the tasks. Put simply, the stress we associate with work is often not the work itself but the stress of our brain trying to keep track of what needs to be done and when. You might even find out that the workload is less than you thought. With the right tools to store our to-do list, our mind can relax, resulting in significant stress reduction. It almost seems like David Allen found a panacea for solving all time management issues.
The best time tracking solutions
Implementing time tracking tools will put you at ease in terms of billing and compliance with clients’ requirements as well as provide valuable data for resource planning. There are a large number of products on the market, so you will need to define criteria such as team size, your budget, and must-have features such as manual and real time tracking, insightful reports, billing and exporting features, time tracking on projects and tasks, and technical support.
You can check out ActiTIME, Toggle, Harvest, ActiveCollab, and ProofHub, among others. The Vault-ERP tracking time solution is an all-in-one tool to track projects and time and offers integrations such as JIRA. Aside from having all these must-have features, time tracking is also visually differentiated for individual projects.
Do you work with billable hours? Find out how to optimize them here.
Read on: The best time tracking software for projects.
Calendars and Reminders
Make full use of calendars you already have such as Google or Outlook. The features are regularly updated and offer advanced bookings and sharing options. Google integrates seamlessly with other G-suite items, while Outlook allows you to create project-specific calendars and share them with co-workers. If you are considering purchasing a calendar app, look for must-have features like simple navigation, easy scheduling and sharing, collaboration and syncing features, and cross-platform availability.
Learn more about time management at work here: 12 tips to improve your time management at work.
All-in-one project tools
For some businesses, an all-in-one project tool will be the best option to help you manage your time. It will depend on your business activities and budget, but you shouldn’t compromise on technical features. The app should allow you to create to-do lists, boards, prioritize tasks, set alerts and streamline team efforts and communications. For IT development, more specific tools will be required which allow you to create grids, set milestones, integrate time tracking tools, and more.
Vault is an all-in-one tool that combines projects and time management. Vault will help you to get organized, stay on top of tasks and provide you with in-depth information about your projects and time management. Get in touch to find out how Vault can help.