It seems like time management would naturally increase productivity. However, many of us have experienced the pitfalls of being productive with poorly managed time. You can walk away from a day of work feeling like you got a lot done, however you were disorganized about it. This means there is so much more opportunity for productivity that isn’t being used!
Don’t worry! Whether you’re leading a team, training individuals to improve their own performance, or just focusing on developing yourself we have the tried-and-true time management techniques here!
Build Your Focus
So, properly managing your time doesn’t always mean an increase in focus. We all have those tasks which are difficult to concentrate on. If you’re a leader you may see your team struggle with keeping a focus on any given task even if they are properly managing their time.
How do we bring the two together? These two time management tips can help build a greater sense of focus through effective time management.
Eating the frog. A long known, but a little-practiced method of time management is to just do the most grueling work fist. If you know when you get to the gym you hate cardio workouts the most, why not just do them first and get them out of the way? Teachers are very familiar with this method and often will place the most difficult subject as the first thing they approach that morning.
Why does it work? Because after the job you wanted to take on the least is done, everything else is a cakewalk. You are also catching yourself at what may not be your most effective time of day, but is almost always your most alert part of the day. The more awake you are the more productive you can be. First thing in the morning or at the start of practice or the first ten minutes in the gym means you’ve already mentally prepared for what you are about to do.
Success appreciation isn’t only for the people who need a boost at the end of the day. Technique’s like the 18 minute workday can build your focus and productivity because you are properly managing your time.
Throughout the day take 60 seconds or less to acknowledge what was done well. People in leadership positions can particularly benefit as they can boost their team’s confidence and awareness; making the whole team more productive for the next few hours.
Turn Everyday Tasks into Challenges
This is one struggle that nearly everyone experiences at some point in time. The effort to take on a task that you know needs to be done daily but is so easy to set aside.
Who do we look to for inspiration here? Sports coaches! That’s right; we’ve seen tons of coaches build lifelong habits in players that follow them into their careers, personal lives, and business ventures. But how do they build such sustaining productivity?
The miracle of the word: hustle.
For most sports when a practice starts there is a routine and it is not permitted to be accomplished in a halfhearted manner. To build a strong foundation of productivity, start your day with a time limit and challenge yourself.
- I need to get out the door in 15 minutes.
- I need to have my meeting notes ready in 5 minutes.
- Nothing gets done before one mile on the treadmill.
- Yesterday it took me 7 minutes to get everything I needed to go to work, can I beat that today?
Using these Methods
The key takeaway here is to be really aware of not only how you’re spending your time, but that you’re spending it with intent. By turning a task into a challenge you place the focus on beating an invisible force instead of daily life. Through eating the frog you can ensure that the hard part of every day is done no matter what else might come up. Finally, in appreciating your success and the success of those around you, you create a feel-good association in using time management and increasing productivity.