5 Time Saving Hacks to Maximize Productivity
By Katy Reid Posted March 4, 2021
Time is the one thing that we can’t control—that also controls us. There is simply not enough time in the day so the key to saving time is to maximize it! Below, we will go over five ways you can maximize your time, to save time.
Group similar tasks together
Take a few minutes to go over the whole list rather than starting at the top and making your way down. Then choose the tasks that are comparable and put them in a group. Calls and emails, finances, networking, administrative tasks, and artistic practices are all possible categories.
Your brain does not have to switch from one method of thought to another when batching tasks that are identical in nature. This makes transitioning from one thing to another on your to-do list more fluid. When you complete similar activities, you gain traction and, in some cases, even fly through them!
Don’t multitask – focus on the task at hand
Commonly, people love multitasking, and the thought of not multitasking goes against everything they stand for. It is thought that people can give their minds a break by switching from one activity to another constantly. However, this ultimately makes for a slower completion time as well as counterproductivity.
According to a study from Stanford, multitasking can actually slow down your brain. When you're used to working on many tasks at once, your brain goes into overdrive. Continuously using this method also trains your brain to perform this way. So when you eventually sit down to work one task to completion, it is way more challenging for you to stay focused on the one thing.
The study concluded that the minds of people who multitask perform way less efficiently. Not saying that multitasking is all bad, it is just of equal importance to teach your brain to focus on one thing at a time as well to keep your mind sharp.
Once you are able (or are already able) to concentrate on a sole task until it is completed, use it to your advantage! Being able to focus is a considerable skill. This will help you save time by sitting down and knocking out one task at a time until, before you know it, you've tackles your whole to-do list.
Use waiting time
The average person spends six months of their lives waiting for things. Whether it be in traffic, a doctor visit, on the phone for customer service, you name it. So you can imagine how many hours of your week is allotted to be wasted on waiting. Time away from your job allows you to critically assess your progress and results, as well as ensure that you're doing work that has meaning and excites you.
Downtime should be seen as a valuable resource to be used rather than squandered. If there's one thing that truly successful individuals have in common, it's that they've discovered the importance of high-quality downtime, spare time that they use to not only relax but also to contribute to their success in significant ways.
Don't just sulk in the thought of how much valuable time you're throwing away for another commitment—utilize it! When you're making your morning commute on the train, check your emails. When you're sitting in the doctor's office, make that call. We spend so much time each day doing small tasks that may seem like they're not wasting your time, but little things add up. Make sure you're constantly thinking, "what can I get out of the way now so that I don't have to worry about it later?" This mindset promotes productive habits to ensure that you don't waste more time waiting than you need to.
Schedule blocking is a time management strategy in which you block a set amount of time to complete a specific task. Carving out adequate time will help to control and accomplish our priority tasks in a time-efficient manner.
Scheduling time on our calendars motivates us to focus on a single activity at a time. Going hand-in-hand with vetoing multitasking, you are no longer bouncing back and forth from various tasks in order to remain focused on a single task for a set amount of time. This allows you to escape the tension and dissatisfaction that came with poor time management in the past, and it will also help you stay fruitful.
Time blocking will help structure your day to avoid the temptation to multi-task, focusing all of your energy and concentration on one task for the duration of the time allotted. Instead of checking your emails as they come in, which disrupts productivity, wait until after the schedule block so that you can stay concentrated and save time!
Question yourself – why am I doing this? Is it useful? Beneficial?
It is common to feel like what you're working on has no real advantage to your organization or role. Sometimes, it can be accurate, but other times it still is a beneficial task but with low priority. Possessing the ability to recognize this and continuously question yourself on a day-to-day basis can have time-saving profits.
Regularly asking yourself "why?" is crucial to time management—it gives you the ability to weigh out urgency versus importance. Something urgent and important should be the first thing on your schedule, whereas something that isn't urgent or important can be pushed back to save time. Questioning every move you make will help your brain curate through what tasks are actually necessary or just a habit.
Prioritization is critical, and figuring out how to prioritize requires a mental conversation with yourself. If you don't ask yourself why you're doing certain tasks or what advantages they will bring you, it is easy for you to lose sight of what's important and easy for monotonous tasks to become a habit that bring no value to your efforts. So before embarking on that dreaded project you've put off for days, ask yourself why! There might be a reason it's of low priority to you that others, like your supervisor, can't see.
To Sum it Up…
Time-saving is not only possible but also easy. Easy time-saving techniques, on the other hand, might not always be so evident. Time is always of the essence which doesn't make it simple to take a step back and see the habits you've collected that hinder your productivity. Practicing and maintaining time management skills are vital to maximizing time that none of us seem to have, and will ultimately help you achieve more with less effort.
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