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8 Smart Time Management Strategies to Boost Productivity

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If you always find yourself behind your schedule, despite how much effort and work you put in, you might be facing time management issues.

It's time you work on this problem and create a work-life balance. Unfortunately, it's easier said than done, which is why we gathered eight great ways to keep you organized and run on time.

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1. Give Away Perfectionism

You can act like a professional by only spending the assigned time on tasks, preventing delays, and spending the rest of the time as you wish. People who want everything to be perfect spend too much time fixing and redoing the same things and missing so much in their lives. Because the work is still being improved, unfortunately.

As a result, the failure of multiple tasks to be completed within a limited timeframe makes all the difference. Even worse, much of their time is wasted doing things that may not even make any substantial difference in their lives. For instance, a novel writer is continuously deleting and replacing words to make their writing piece perfect. If they continue doing it, it'll take them an eternity to complete their novel. Or, perhaps, they may never finish it at all.

So if you have this habit, try setting multiple but realistic milestones for everything you do. You should set a realistic deadline for completing the task and ask a friend or colleague to monitor your progress. If you're still working on the project after the deadline, they'll remind you to check just the necessary things and move on.

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2. Change Your Working Positions

Person sitting on his desk and watching time

Another big mistake that most people make is sitting in one place until their work finishes. Well, you should know that it can make you lazy and unproductive. You should keep changing your physical position, like sitting, standing, or taking short walks to your colleagues to keep the momentum going.

It doesn't let your energy die and helps you complete your projects at a better speed. However, it doesn't mean you start taking unnecessary breaks just to take a walk around the office. Instead, when taking a small break, try moving from your desk than just using your phone sitting in your chair.

3. Discipline Yourself to Be More Productive

And by discipline, we don't mean you need to wake up at 3 a.m., run 10 miles (16.09 km), and stay on a strict routine. But do little things consistently to help you in the long run.

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For example, try waking up just one hour before you usually do and complete the tasks resting on your to-do list for longer than you can remember.

Similarly, you can take out an hour daily to read in your industry-related subject, spend extra time with your children, or volunteer somewhere. Tasks like these keep you going in your life and eventually make you more productive.

4. Listen to the White Noise

White noise is basically a constant rhythm that continues without a change in the beat or tone. It helps in increasing your focus.

Most professionals who finish their work on time listen to it. You should give it a try if you keep getting distracted from small things, and as a result, spend longer than required on one task.

5. Plan Ahead of Time

Two women planning about something

Preparation is the key to getting the most out of your time. Make your calendar for the upcoming week every weekend. Likewise, divide your time into four sections:

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  • The time you get paid for.
  • The time you learn new skills to stay at the top of your industry.
  • Time for the unknown.
  • Time for miscellaneous activities like cooking, playing, exercising, etc.

It'll help you stay on track and finish things just at the right hour.

6. Improve Your Decision-Making Process

The biggest time-waster is the poor decision-making process. If you fall short on choosing the right thing instantly, it'll fail you.

Here's an example to give you an idea. Let's say that you planned to work on a certain project for two hours. Suddenly, your senior/family member/friend sent you some work.

Now, you know this isn't urgent, and you can easily complete it within an hour. However, instead of saying, “I'll do it later,” you accept their offer, leave what you were doing, and begin working on it. Or just add it to your to-do list of the day, which already has 10 other tasks to be done.

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These are the moments when you have to make a decision the right way. This could ruin your entire schedule, and you will end up running late. Here's what you can do about it. To quickly make good decisions, always prioritize the bigger tasks having a more significant impact on your life, followed by the small ones.

7. Complete Work in Batches

Most of the time, we get too many similar tasks to work on altogether—for instance, editing three articles in a day.

Now instead of doing these tasks at different times, try grouping all of them together. It keeps your momentum consistent, and you complete more work in a comparatively less amount of time without losing any focus.

8. Try the Pomodoro Technique

An alarm clock showing 7 o'clock

There's a famous quote that says, “how do you eat an elephant? The answer is one bite at a time.” Well, that's exactly how this method works.

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The Pomodoro technique is when you set a 25 minutes timer (called one Pomodoro) for any task you're working on. And you take 5 minutes of break after every Pomodoro.

You continue working this way until you reach at least four 25 minutes milestones, then you take a big break of 20 minutes. It helps you keep track of time and complete your task without it feeling like a burden.

Will You Start Managing Your Time?

Everyone should have the luxury of having some time to spare. Yet, some people keep working day and night and can't find some hours for themselves.

But it won't be the case with you. At least not anymore. After all, now you know what essential measures you can take to manage your time better. With consistent and more deliberate practice, you'll soon find yourself more productive than ever.

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