One of our blog readers reached out to us recently with a problem and a request. His problem was one that many people of all industries face on a day-to-day basis: time management. His request? That we take a look at what helps us manage our time at TACK10 and craft a post around just that.
It seems there’s never enough time in a day to accomplish all the things you need or want to. To-do lists build up as the day goes on and you end up suspicious, feeling like your 10-hour day actually only lasted four. So what’s the solution? It depends on your unique working skills, but this is what we’ve found works the most universally.
1) Limit your to-do list only to what you absolutely need to do that day.
Keep a separate schedule of your weekly tasks but each day, write out only what deadlines you need to meet or which projects you absolutely have to start that day. Keeping one single to-do list full of all the week’s tasks gets daunting and you may find yourself spending more time worrying about the length of the list than actually working on it. It feels way more satisfying scratching off a complete set of to-dos, plus you can throw in some extra tasks from your weekly list if you finish early.
2) Set time limits for each daily project.
If you know you have two major projects to work on, each with similar time commitments, don’t allow yourself to choose one over the other on any given day. Dedicate half of your day to one of them and half of your day to the other. Set an alarm between the two so that you can take a quick brain-refreshing break before getting back to work. This ensures you’re spending a fair amount of time on both, and won’t sacrifice good work on one of your projects because you spent too much time on another. This is especially important for client work – you want to be able to focus 100% of your energy on the current client, without pushing any others to the back burner.
3) Make use of productivity apps.
As we’ve written in the past, there are a number of computer and smartphone apps with the sole purpose of keeping you more productive throughout the day. To ensure you’re performing tip #2 with accuracy, try a time-tracking app like Timer+ for Apple products, which allows you to set multiple timers in sequence so you know for sure that you’re spending the correct amount of time on each item, including your breaks. Timer+ is also compatible with the Apple Watch, so if you own that device and are the type of person who gets too distracted by your phone, set up the app on your watch instead.
Do you have a problem you’ve been facing in the workplace, in the beginning stages of a project, with your work-life balance, etc? Let us know in the comment section below or on social media at @TACK10Strategy. We may just be able to help you solve that problem in a future blog post.