Top 13 Time Management Strategies for Increased Productivity.

Top 13 time management strategies for increased productivity

Do you know that you need good time management strategies to increase your productivity?

It is possible to borrow money when you are short of fund, but that doesn’t apply to time. Time can’t be borrowed, it can’t be reserved, you can only use it as it comes. It is ever moving, it doesn’t wait for anybody. Our existence is measure in time, and as time passes, it tells on our look and physical strength.

To do whatever we want to do, all we need is time. Time is a gift of nature that is evenly distributed. Everyone all over the world, whether short or tall, thin or fat, a labourer or an executive all have 24 hours every day to be used for the activity of that day.

If we must make a remarkable achievement within the time allotted to each and everyone one of us in this life, we must know how to properly utilize our time to avoid wastage. Bruce Lee said “if you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” The reward for proper time management is increased productivity.

Here are the 13 magical time management strategies that can help you to increase your productivity.

1. Have a Strong Reason Why you Need to Manage your Time

To effectively manage your time, what is needed is the ability to manage yourself. For this reason, it is vital you have a strong personal reason why you need to make maximum use of your time. When you don’t have a reason to manage your time, then time wasting would mean nothing to you. Until you have a reason for doing something, you will never give your best to it. Since you cannot manage time, but can only manage yourself, it is important you have a personal reason for deciding to creatively use your time.
What are your reasons for time management?  Linus Okorie, a Nigerian motivational speaker said;

‘’If you don’t have reason for waking up, sleeping becomes interesting.”

2. Set Goal

The first step to getting any result in life is to first decide the kind of result you want to get. Goal is defined as "a dream with a deadline." As an individual, your life can never be meaningful until you have a goal you are striving for. Humans are designed to be creative and productive. We are designed to live on purpose. When you don’t have a reason for living, life will become boring to you.
If you must manage your time well, you need to have a goal. You must sit down and decided what you want in life. Create your goals, both short-term and long-term goals. Goals make your life meaningful and give it direction. Goals help you to know what to do and when to do it.

3. Take Time to Make Plan

It is not enough to just have goals, you must make plan. Planning involves coming up with strategies that will help you achieve your goal. It involves the identification of various activities you will need to carry out for your goal to become a reality. The essence of planning is to help you identify your priorities. It enables you to focus on what really matters in the pursuit of your goals. On the necessity of planning , Benjamin Franklin said,

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

4. Focus Only on the Things that Matter

So many activities will call your attention, both the ones you planned for and the ones you didn’t plan for. When you spend time on activities that don’t matter, you will only end up wasting your time, as engagement in such activities will contribute nothing to the achievement of your goal. 
As part of your planning, you should be able to identify those activities that will play the biggest role in making your goal a reality. Vilfredo Pareto’s 80/20 rules states that,
 “80% of the reward comes from 20% of the effort.” 
It is essential that you know and focus your time on those activities with the greatest amount of reward.

5. Use the Daily Six Formula

This is a form of To-do list. Every night before you go bed or when you wake up in the morning, get your organizer or jotter and make a list of six activities you want to do for that day or the following . As soon as it is day break, start working on them. If it happens you can’t finish the items on your list for a particular day, add the remainder to the next day list, beginning with the previous day uncompleted task. Do this on daily basis, and you will begin to see magical increase in your productivity.

6. Prepare for Uncertainties

Some times, things don’t go as planned. However, many of those events that are unplanned for can easily be predicted. For example, you are to be in a meeting by On your way, it is possible to experience traffic hold up. If you have it in mind that there is a possibility for a hold up, that will prompt you to leave home early so that the time wasted in the traffic won’t affect your early arrival to the venue, but if you didn’t prepare for hold up, and you leave late only to meet hold up, your goal to arrive early will be thwarted. In your plans, always create time for those predictable uncertainties.

7. Take Advantage of your Prime Time  

 According to Dorothy Cudaback, family life extension specialist, 
“Your prime time is that time of the day when you are most likely to be alert, enthusiastic and creative.” 
This is the time of the day when you feel most alive. It is important you know your own prime time. To some it is early in the morning; to some it is late in the afternoon, while others perform best at night. If it is possible, fix your most important and difficult task in your prime time and make sure they are done.
What type of the day is your prime time? If you don’t know, try to identify it.

8. Do not Procrastinate

Procrastination is an act of postponing what ought to be done at a given time to another time without any genuine reason or for the sake of convenience. “Procrastination” they say “is the thief of time.” One of the biggest enemies of productivity is procrastination. Procrastination is a subtle act. You start by saying you will do it later, and later, until you have no more later to get it done. When you put too many  activities off  for  later,  a time will come when the only choice you have is to do what you have been procrastinating or face the consequence of not doing them. By then, all the tasks you have been postponing will be staring at you in the face. Before you know what is happening, you will start feeling overwhelmed. To do more with a limited time, you must form the habit of doing the right thing at the right time, and doing it right.

9. Choose Mediocrity Over Perfection

Most times, because we want something to be done perfectly, we end up postponing them until all the resources that will help us arrive at perfection are in place. By so doing, the task that ought to have been completed and forgotten are left undone, thus limits our productivity.  Instead of waiting for when things will be right to do something perfectly, it is better to do it in a mediocre way, and later fine-tune it into a perfect piece.  A mediocre task completed, is better than a perfect job left undone. For example, let assume you want to write a book, you may not have all the information to write a master piece when you got the inspiration, and thus be tempted to wait until when you have all the information you need at your fingertips. If you wait until everything is ready, your book may never be a reality. Instead of waiting for perfection, you could have written an imperfect copy, which can easily be edited or improved upon. Never allow the need for perfection to prevent you from doing what you need to do.

10. Say No to Distractions

Now with so many technologies in our disposal, the possibility to easily be distracted is always there. To overcome distractions, you must always be conscious and be aware of what you ought to be doing at every single time.. When you set out to do the things that matter, learn to say no to every other thing that are not important to you. They are meant to distract you. Distraction is a time waster. It takes so much of your time and leave you with very little time which will not be enough to tackle your important tasks. To avoid distractions, Alan Lakein, time management expert suggested that you should always ask yourself this question,
 “What is the most important thing I can be doing with my time right now?”

11. Reward Yourself

There is a popular adage in my native language which says, ‘’An Agama lizard that jump down from the Iroko tree said to itself,  if nobody praises me, I will praise myself, and it begins to nod its head.”
When you do a good job, learn to reward yourself with something good. That is one of the ways you can lead your life. When you set out do a very important task, promise yourself a reward in advance, and as soon as you complete the task, give yourself that reward. That will encourage you to be up and doing next time.

12. Fix a Deadline for Every Task you Want to Do 

There is one wonderful thing about our ability to get things done. When we fix our minds to get something done within a given time, we always do everything within our power to get it done within the deadline.
Parkinson’s Law says, “Work expands to fill the time allotted to it.”  In other word “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” To avoid wasting time unnecessarily, it is vital that you fix a deadline for all your task, by fixing a deadline, you will achieve more within a short time than when you just allow your task to be completed anytime you wish. If you want to get something done on time, identify the task, and give yourself a reasonable amount of time frame to get it done.
 Do everything possible to complete the task within the time frame you allotted to it.

13. Delegate Task to Others

 If you have people around you who can assist, it is important you delegate some of your task to them, so that you can focus on the task you can do best. Delegating task to others will help you to achieve more within a short period of time. It will afford you the opportunity to focus on those tasks that are very important to you.

Over to You

Which of the above tips have you been applying? What other time management strategies do you use beside the one in this list? Please feel free to share in the comment section.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  1. As I have said many times, a reward is always my motivation. It can be something as simple as sitting down with coffee after a task, but it always motivates me and helps me to manage my time.

    Enjoy the journey!

  2. Hi Mandy,
    Reward is one of the best ways to encourage oneself to get things done.

  3. Hi inspiring article, Its important that people should know how to manage there time effectively. Procrastination is one thing every individual should avoid. There are now tomorrows, now or never.

    1. Hi Siddharth,
      You are very correct. We should all learn to do away with procrastination. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Very good, Taiwo. I think procrastination is a huge killer of time. Sometimes we just have to make ourselves take care of a task we've been procrastinating. When we get it done, it feels so good we wonder why on earth we were procrastinating! Thanks for an awesome post.

    1. Hi Deedee,
      I can related with that feeling. There is a kind of joy we experience when we do what we ought to do at the right time.
      Thanks for your comment.

  5. Getting tasks done is a reward for me. I always feel better about myself if I haven't procrastinated.

    1. Hi Sue,
      I can relate with your experience. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Hello Tiawo, All your tips are spot on my friend! I think the one that really stuck out for me was procrastination.. I am getting a better handle on this one though.. LOL

    Thanks for sharing
    Chery :))

    1. Hi Chery,
      We all struggle with procrastination. I think is part of our human frailties. I believe with self-discipline, we can do better.
      Thanks for your comment.

  7. My biggest time trap is perfectionism. Everything has to be just so for me to consider the task done. They say that perfectionism is just another form of procrastination and I'm inclined to believe that. And I'm working on teaching myself that good enough is good enough. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Hi Ruth,
      You are so on point. Perfectionism is a form of procrastination.We just have to deal with for increased productivity.
      Thanks for commenting.

  8. Excellent tips Taiwo for the best ways to manage your time :) Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hi Tiawo,
    Very well written article. I enjoyed it.
    What I got from it was to write down 6 things you want to do for the day. I use
    an online to do list but don't really like it so I will put my day timer next to my bed so I can write my to do lists that way. And I liked 12 fix a deadline. Great tip for me.
    Will share this great article on one of my facebook pages. Thanks for the 12 tips.

  10. Hi Kathryn,
    The daily six is a very fantastic too for increased productivity if we can consistently use it.
    Thanks for your comment.

  11. Hi Taiwo,
    Like you list of strategies!
    We all need to keep an eye on our tasks, it's really easy to get distracted :)
    Thank you for sharing!

  12. Hi Taiwo,

    I do many of the things you suggest, but there is one piece that I have not yet mastered - delegating. I make my lists and cross off the items completed. I do get distracted but during an important project I don't let anything stop me. There is also a point when there is really too much to get done and not enough time. That's when I focus on only the most immediate and let the other things stay undone a little longer.
    Dr. Erica

    1. Hi Dr Erica,
      Judging from your comment, I can see you are a great time manager. Keep it up Ma, and thanks for your comment.

  13. Great advice. Personally, I've never been a fan of working for rewards. My background is in corporate sales and marketing and I have just seen too many people get to the point the effort they put into a job is in direct proportion to the reward - little reward, little effort. For me doing a good job and achieving my goals IS the reward, and or that reason I strive for excellence regardless of the job. :-) Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Hi Marquita,
      Great contribution. I like the idea of making the achievement of your goal your reward.
      Thanks for commenting.

  14. Excellent, comprehensive post, Taiwo! Another one I need to bookmark and come back and review over and over! My obligations have just increased, due to taking on some more freelance work (this is a GOOD thing), so I really need to implement many of your tips here that I'm not currently using. Most importantly, #5, #8, and #10! I also like your line that a goal is a "dream with a deadline." Good to remember!

  15. informative post! I really like and appreciate your work, thank you for sharing such a useful facts and information about reward strategies, keep updating the blog, hear i prefer some more information about jobs for your career hr jobs in hyderabad .