Five expert hacks for better time management
The following tips will help you stay productive and help keep your employees working at their peak, as well.
When it comes to time, the playing field is as even as it gets. No matter how important a project is or how far behind you get, you can’t add hours to your day (aside from delegation, but more on that later). And while a healthy work/life balance is important, you only have 24 hours each day to eat, sleep, work, and play.
That’s why it’s so important to squeeze every ounce of productivity you can get from each hour. The following tips will help you stay productive and help keep your employees working at their peak, as well.
Take Baseline Measurements
The first step is to find out where you and your crew currently stand. After all, you can’t fix a problem that you can’t see.
While there are plenty of ways to manually measure performance levels, it’s a good idea to find a high-quality time tracking app to help you out.
Time tracking apps come with several benefits:
- Apps work faster. Time tracking apps work faster than you. In this day and age, speed is crucial. But speed alone isn’t enough. You also need accuracy.
- Apps are more accurate. Time tracking apps are more accurate than people. Computers don’t make many mistakes when it comes to basic accounting.
- Apps often do more than track time. If you find a great time tracking app, it’ll come with additional features other than time tracking.
If you’re in the market for a time tracking app, Track.ly checks all three of these boxes. It’s fast, it’s accurate, and it does much more than just track time.
It comes with Online Timesheets, Project Management Solutions, Payroll Integration, Employee Monitoring, and much more. Check out the full list of features and learn more about their 30-day trial.
Set Hard Deadlines
Whenever you’re planning an upcoming project, it’s a good idea to make sure that each employee understands their tasks and the deadlines associated with them.
Setting deadlines is important for several reasons. Not only does it give your employees a target to aim for, but it increases productivity. What’s more, you’d be surprised how much faster your employees can get certain tasks finished.
While each employee is different, in most cases, they’ll use up almost all the time allotted for each task, whether it’s just enough time or more than enough. Next time you’re handing out deadlines or setting one for yourself, shave off 10-15% and watch productivity skyrocket.
Create the “Perfect Day”
Many people shy away from to-do lists because they never get everything done. They feel like they’re setting themselves up for failure just by creating the list. In the workplace, however, to-do lists are powerful tools that can keep your employees focused all day.
Before the start of each day, sit down and write out a to-do list. The “Perfect Day” to-do list includes every task that, if completed, would result in a perfect day. The trick is to accept that it’s unlikely every task will get done. You accept this because that’s the point of this list.
The point of the Perfect Day list is to guide you and your employees through the day. It’s a roadmap, if you will, that keeps everyone moving forward and in their correct lanes.
With this approach, you’re setting yourself up for success as the goal is not to complete the entire list, but to stay on track. And, if the list happens to be completed in full, you’ll have even more cause for celebration!
The Task Snowball Effect
Many people argue that you should tackle your most daunting tasks first, but this doesn’t always work for everyone.
The success of your day depends on motivation. Motivation is what gets you through the day and your employees are no different. Motivation not only boosts productivity, but a motivated group of employees produces better quality work.
Tackling your most daunting tasks at the start of each day might be good for some of your employees, but others need to get a few smaller wins under their belts before they step up to the plate.
By strategically organizing your Perfect Day to-do list, you can position several smaller, motivating tasks to start with and then, once your team is motivated and the juices are flowing, you can send them in to attack the biggest tasks of the day.
Delegate and Let it Go
Delegation or outsources isn’t always easy. This is especially true if you’re a manager or business owner who needs to feel like they’re always in control. Sometimes it’s scary to put important tasks in the hands of someone else.
It’s also hard to train someone new when you’re constantly working to stay ahead of schedule. But even if you lose some time training and promoting an employee, the process more than pays for itself. Once that employee takes over, you’re free to handle more important tasks.
By delegating certain tasks, you can add hours to your day. If your team is capable, just pick one or two qualified employees to promote. Tack on a little raise and everyone walks away happy.
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