How to complete any task in the most time efficient manner

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5 Time Management Techniques

That Will Help You Reduce Stress!

These days, the levels of stress and stress-related illnesses are continually rising.

In fact, 55% of Americans report feeling stressed on a daily basis. This is an undoubtedly staggering number, especially if we consider the physical and emotional toll that stress can take on people.

Recent data shows that 77% of people experience stress-related issues with their physical health, while 73% of people experience stress-related mental health issues.

While the sources of stress vary among demographic and age-range, one of the most common sources of stress among adults is work-related. With 83% of Americans reporting work-related stress, it’s no wonder that stress levels continue to rise.

No matter the source for your stress, the following time management techniques can be a big help in reducing the amount of stress you experience on a daily basis.

1. Break it Down

This is one of the simplest ways to manage your time effectively and reduce your stress. But what exactly are you supposed to break down? The answer is simple: any task, project, or responsibility that overwhelms you.

For example, if one of your main stressors is a big project at work, the source of stress might be coming from the idea of having to tackle something so complex and important. To successfully break the task down you will need to:

Get a good understanding of what you need to do. How complex is the task? What is your deadline?

Divide the task into smaller pieces. How small they need to be will depend on how overwhelmed you feel by the task and how much you can manage at a time.

Turn the small pieces into a plan of action.

Complete the task step by step.

By learning everything you can about the task you need to complete, you can effectively break the task down into manageable pieces. By turning the small steps into a whole plan, you remove some of the overwhelm that the task initially caused. This saves you valuable time and allows you to efficiently (and peacefully) complete your task, one simple step at a time.

2. Prioritize

In order to manage your time and reduce your stress, you must need to understand what is important. Whether it’s a deadline at work or a meaningful activity you do on your own time, prioritizing your desired and assigned tasks is as important as breaking them down into manageable steps.

Why? Because the more meaningful and important a task is, the more stress it will likely cause you. People don’t normally get stressed over things they don’t care about. If you want to manage your time efficiently, your step-by-step plan needs to be organized by level of priority.

To do this, consider the factors that make a task or project a priority. If it’s a personal task, how meaningful a task is to you might prove more important than anything else. The same goes for objective projects and responsibilities. If it’s a work-related task, a close deadline might take higher-priority than a task without a deadline

This technique works because tasks that hold no priority can be removed from your to-do list, allowing you to focus only on what matters. As you continue with your step-by-step plan, you build a momentum that will increase your efficiency and save you time.

3. Work in Chunks

Did you break down your tasks and arrange them by order of importance? Great! Now it’s time to determine how you’re going to tackle your plan. Specifically, how and for how long you will work on your tasks.

One of the best ways to do this is by dividing your day in time chunks. Also referred to as the Pomodoro technique, time chunking teaches you to focus on a single task for a predetermined amount of time.

While the Pomodoro technique consists in 25-minute sessions, you can modify the length of your sessions to fit your needs. The idea is to increase productivity by getting you to complete a single task without distractions. It also helps you take control of the time you have and reduce your stress levels.

To start, pick the length of time you want to dedicate to your task. Next, ensure that everything in your physical and digital space is clutter and distraction-free. This will help you increase focus. Once you turn on the timer, your sole focus should be the task at hand. When the timer goes off, take a break and move on to a different task.

4. Set Boundaries

For some, setting boundaries can seem like selfish behavior. But this is not true. In fact, without setting healthy boundaries, you expose yourself into taking on more responsibilities than you can (or want to) handle.

Boundaries are a way to set healthy limits between what matters to you, and what doesn’t. Implementing boundaries could be as simple as not staying at work past a certain time because your family time is important to you.

Boundaries give you control over your life and help you focus on what matters to you. They help you nurture and grow where it most counts for you. As a result, you end up reducing stress and having more time for the things you care about.

5. Take Breaks

This is the simplest, yet the most important part of managing your time effectively and reducing stress. It might seem counterintuitive to take a break when you have a lot on your plate, but it works.

Think of it this way: how effective can you be at completing your tasks if you’re physically and emotionally exhausted? You can’t, because everyone has their limits.

If you’re well-rested and refreshed, your stress levels will naturally reduce, allowing you to achieve higher focus and get work done more effectively. Follow the previous techniques and get work done in a timely, stress-free manner. But always remember to take a step back and rest.

Stress is a natural part of life. That much is clear. What many people don’t realize is that constant high levels of stress can take a toll, robbing you of your time, peace, and happiness. If your goal is to reduce stress, look to these techniques. Applying them can bring you the much-needed relief you’re looking for.

How to complete any task in the most time efficient manner

In a job interview, a potential employer might ask you how you handle a situation when you are in the middle of working on a singular task, and you are asked to jump on something else at the same time. This probe is geared toward assessing your ability to multitask.

How you answer this question really depends on the job you are applying for, as well as the qualities the potential employer is looking for in an ideal new hire. For example, a television producer or registered nurse must be able to multitask, like a juggler in a circus ring. However, if you are applying to be a copywriter or massage therapist, multitasking is not as much of a concern.

What the Interviewer Really Wants to Know

In most situations, a hiring manager is asking if you can juggle a few things at once. It’s a fair question, especially with the sheer number of phone calls, emails, and meetings that can come up on a given day. However, in some lines of work, multitasking is not the ideal. It can mean that your attention is drawn away from your main task, which has a few risks. It may take longer to accomplish a task, and the task may be prone to errors. A person is usually more efficient when allowed to focus on one task at a time.

In work, something usually comes up that will derail your concentration on your primary task. Interviewers know that time management can sometimes suffer at the hands of multitasking.

How to Answer Job Interview Questions About Multitasking

As you’re preparing an answer, consider the job description. Would multitasking help in this role, or would it seem like a sign that you can’t focus on one thing at a time?

Once you’ve figured out what the interviewer is looking for, match your qualifications to the job and emphasize those skills that are most valuable to the employer. For example, if you’re applying for a job as graphic designer on a busy design team, come to the interview with anecdotes about how you handle multiple deadlines, tasks, and requests. Then, be sure to mention your hard skills, like software programs that are essential to the job.

Examples of the Best Answers

I like to multitask, in my personal as well as my professional life. I prefer to have many things going on at once. It keeps me interested and moving forward.

Why It Works: Assuming the job for which you’re interviewing involves many different tasks and types of work, this answer shows that you’re a good fit. You come across like someone who’s excited by having a lot of projects, not stressed by dividing their attention.

If you want something done, ask a busy person! I find gratification in accomplishing more than less, so I prefer to take on a little more. It’s better than handling only one issue at a time. I’ve learned to batch tasks so that I’m focusing on similar activities at the same time. That way, I don’t lose time and focus when I switch tasks.

Why It Works: Task-switching is expensive in terms of time and energy, so if you’re going to claim to be a successful multitasker, it’s a good idea to show that you understand the potential pitfalls and can navigate them.

I am best when I am multitasking. When I tackle one problem at a time, I tend to dwell on the solution. Meanwhile, when I have multiple things to accomplish, I am able to focus on the most accurate solution right away.

Why It Works: This answer shows that you’re focused on quality, not just quantity. Even in jobs where the ability to multitask is prized, being able to produce good work is important.

I prefer to handle one project at a time. It allows me to focus on the task at hand. However, in business, while that would be ideal, the reality is that I need to be able to adjust to outside forces. When a lot of things come at me at once, I create a checklist, which helps me to prioritize and guides me to work on the most pressing needs first.

Why It Works: If you’re not great at multitasking – and that skill isn’t a requirement for the job – being up front is your best bet. This response also shows that you can adapt to your environment and develop coping mechanisms that allow you to excel.

Tips for Giving the Best Answer

Determine whether multitasking is a job requirement. Carefully read the job advertisement, paying close attention to the requirements section. It should be fairly obvious whether this job requires multitasking or singular focus. Emphasize your skills that fit the job description.

Show that you can develop mechanisms to cope with challenges. Let’s say you’re not a natural multitasker, but the ability to juggle multiple projects is a requirement of the job. In this case, talk about what you’ve done to enable yourself to succeed in that type of environment.

What Not to Say

Don’t stretch the truth. You’re likely to get caught, losing the offer or the job once you’re hired. But even if you manage to fake your way into the position, you’re unlikely to be happy in your new role. Why? Because you’re not a good fit – no matter what you’ve convinced the hiring manager.

Avoid appearing scattered. Multitasking effectively means being able to switch focus with efficiency. Make sure that your answer demonstrates that you can complete tasks and achieve goals, not just work on multiple things at once.

Possible Follow-Up Questions

  • What is your greatest weakness? – Best Answers
  • What is your greatest strength? – Best Answers
  • How would you describe your work style? – Best Answers
  • Do you work well with other people? – Best Answers
  • How would you describe the pace at which you work? – Best Answers

Key Takeaways

REVIEW THE JOB DESCRIPTION: Look for indications that multitasking (or focusing on one thing) might be valued.

PREPARE TO EXPLAIN YOUR PROCESS: Not a natural multitasker? Explain how you’ve learned to task-switch effectively.

BE TRUTHFUL IN YOUR RESPONSE: Don’t claim to have skills you don’t possess. Instead, look for opportunities to emphasize your skills.

Small businesses and freelancers need to maximize the time they have available to grow their business and proper time management skills can help do that. Time management is important for busy companies so they can prioritize all their work tasks and achieve their goals faster. When you better manage your time, you’ll be able to take on new opportunities and grow your business in a sustainable manner.

These topics explore the importance of time management and offer tips for improving your productivity at work:

What Is Time Management?

Time management is the strategy of planning out your available time and controlling the amount of time you spend on specific tasks in order to work more efficiently. Effective time management comes easier to some people than to others, but everyone can develop habits to improve their time management skills. Without strong time management, your work and wellbeing can suffer, and it can lead to:

  • Producing poor quality work
  • Missing deadlines
  • Increasing your stress levels
  • Ruining your work-life balance
  • Harming your professional reputation

Why Is Time Management Important?

Time management is important because it helps you control your workday so you can build your business without compromising your work-life balance. Here are seven benefits of proper time management:

Improve Your Performance

When you learn to block time out of your day for all your important tasks, you’ll have a better idea of everything you need to accomplish and how long each task should take. When you have a schedule to follow, you’ll likely find that you spend less time deciding what to work on or procrastinating and more time getting down to important work. Time management can help you focus on just the essential tasks ahead of you and avoid time-consuming distractions.

Produce Better Work

When you’re not constantly racing to meet a deadline, you can put more effort and thought into your work. Time management helps you prioritize your tasks so that you ensure you have enough time available to complete every project. The quality of your work increases when you’re not rushing to complete it ahead of a fast approaching deadline.

Deliver Work on Time

Properly managing your time involves assigning every task on your list to a specific blocks of time. Many people use time management to allow themselves several days to complete a project, or finish it ahead of the due date to provide a buffer for any challenges that might arise. If you properly schedule the time needed to complete your work, you’ll be able to hit your deadlines every time.

Reduce Your Stress

It’s easy to become anxious when you have a full list of tasks to accomplish both for work and in your personal life. Good time management can help you prioritize your to-do list and set aside the time needed for your most important tasks, so you know exactly what you need to do and how much time you have available to complete everything. Prioritizing your tasks and giving yourself enough time to accomplish them can help reduce your stress levels.

Improved Career Opportunities

Time management can help you become a more reliable employee who always submits high-quality work by your due dates. This in turn will make you more valuable as a worker and improve your professional reputation, which can help you find new opportunities to expand your career.

Boost Your Confidence

When you manage your time properly and successfully meet your deadlines, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and confidence in your abilities. Consistently finishing your daily to-do list is a huge motivator that can drive people to further improve their time management skills and take on new work opportunities.

Become More Efficient

When you understand how to manage your time effectively, you’ll become more focused at work which allows you to accomplish more with less time available. For example, instead of trying to work on a big project when you have fifteen minutes free before a meeting, you can accomplish a few small tasks in that time and save the bigger tasks that require more brain power for when you have a large block of time free. You’ll be able to work more efficiently to achieve more with less time.

The Basics of Time Management

Improving your time management skills can make you more productive and less stressed. Here are five easy steps to improve your time management:

Plan Ahead

Planning out your time in advance is the most important element of good time management. Understand when you’re most productive: maybe you’re most alert first thing in the morning, or perhaps you hit your stride at night. Save your most important and challenging tasks for when your productivity is highest. Schedule simpler or smaller tasks for times when you’re less alert. Get a good sense before you start each day of how much time you’ll spend working on everything on your task list.

Prioritize Tasks

Evaluate every project you need to work on to determine what tasks are the most urgent and important and make those your top priority for the day. Leave less important tasks or projects that haven’t yet become urgent for later, when you have more time available to focus on those less crucial projects.

Eliminate Distraction

Distractions are one of the biggest productivity killers. Social media sites, smartphones and disruptive coworkers can all distract you from your priorities and derail your schedule. According to a study by Think Money, a third of employees are distracted for as much as three hours of the workday. If you find certain distractions are too much of a temptation, consider leaving your smartphone locked in a desk drawer during the day, or using a browser extension to block the websites that are most distracting to you.

Don’t Multitask

Multitasking may seem like a good way of getting extra work done, but in reality, it actually decreases your productivity. Instead of completing multiple projects, you end up starting but not finishing any of them. The best way to manage your time is to focus on a single task at a time and give it your full attention while you’re working on it, to avoid mistakes.

Reward Yourself for Good Work

Rewards can be a great motivator for good time management. Give yourself a small reward for every task you accomplish in the day. For instance, you could celebrate finishing up a report by taking a 15-minute walk outside. Rewards keep you motivated on the job and can help you achieve a better work-life balance.

Looking for more in-depth tips on how to improve your time management skills? This article can help you become an expert at time management.

Dr. Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard have identified four primary leadership styles that are implemented in personal and professional circumstances.

  • Telling. This type of leader tends to tell their direct reports what to do and how the task needs to be completed with specificity.
  • Selling. This leader engages in a back-and-forth interaction between the leaders in their group and the followers. The ideas are sold to the group as a way to get the entire team to “buy-in” for the process which needs to be completed.
  • Participating. This type of leader offers less direction to their direct reports, allowing the individuals on their team to take on an active problem-solving role. These leaders help the team to brainstorm ideas, make their own decisions, and oversee the process to ensure its completion.
  • Delegating. This leader takes a hands-off approach to their direct reports. Members of the team are generally asked to make a majority of the decisions and are responsible for the outcomes which occur. The role of the leader is to take tasks that are given and then distribute them to appropriate team members.

The Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership theory suggests that there is a fifth type of leader: one that can adapt their style based on the situation that they encounter. In some situations, they may need to have a telling style. In others, they may need to be a participating leader. By being adaptive, the situational leader can lead their direct reports in the most efficient manner possible because they’ve been able to identify the team’s current needs.

How Maturity Affects the Leadership Style Chosen

Hersey and Blanchard suggest with their leadership theory that individuals choose what type of leader they plan to be. One of the key identification markers which leaders use to determine the type of leader they will be is the maturity level of their direct reports.

In general terms, teams that are less mature are going to require more hands-on leadership from the person who is designated to be in charge. The situational leadership theory identifies 4 general types of maturity that are recognized.

  • Level 1. The direct reports lack the knowledge needed to complete the job. They may not have the skills which are necessary or a willingness to complete a task.
  • Level 2. A team with this maturity level is willing to complete a task, but do not have the necessary skills to get the job done.
  • Level 3. Direct reports with this maturity level have the capability and skills to complete a task, but they do not wish to take responsibility for the decisions that may need to be made.
  • Level 4: This team is highly skilled, willing to complete any task, and willing to accept the responsibility for the outcomes which are achieved.

These levels are not static. People develop new skills every day. Situational leaders can recognize this fact and adapt their leadership style to the changing maturity levels of their direct reports. A new job may require a telling style of leadership because there isn’t any knowledge or skill available to complete a task. As time passes and team members become qualified, the leader may transition to a participating style so that the team can develop their problem-solving skills next.

By being adaptable, leaders can then avoid the pitfalls which occur when someone is locked into a specific style. A team that is very mature will struggle with a leader who wants to take a telling approach because they already have developed the necessary skills to work independently. The same is true for the opposite type of team. Taking a delegating leadership approach to an unskilled team will make it difficult to complete an assigned task.

Behavior and Situational Leaders

Individuals must also be addressed by situational leaders because a team-only approach does not account for enough variables. Some team members may have high commitment levels, but low competence levels. Some people are self-reliant achievers, with a commitment to the cause and a high commitment level.

There may also be disillusioned workers on a team, who have an average level of competence, but have low levels of commitment because of setbacks that have happened to them. Some may be cautious with their commitment levels, waiting to see what leadership style is going to be employed.

The Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership theory makes it possible for today’s leaders to recognize the skills, maturity, and behaviors of their direct reports and adjust their leadership style to meet specific needs. In doing so, it becomes possible to lead any team to a successful outcome.

Managing your time well can help you improve in your career. Organizing each day helps you to complete work on time, stay engaged during important meetings and give you space to be creative and proactive in your tasks. Having strong time-management skills can ultimately lead to accomplishing key goals and advancing in your position.

In this guide, we discuss the meaning of time management, why it is important and how you can both improve upon and showcase your skills during the job search.

What are time management skills?

Time management skills include a variety of skills that will help you manage your time well. Some of the most important time management skills include:

Organization

Staying organized can help you maintain a clear picture of what you need to complete and when. Being well-organized might mean maintaining an up-to-date calendar, being able to locate certain documents easily, having a tidy environment and taking detailed, diligent notes.

Prioritization

Assessing each of your responsibilities for priority is key in being a good time manager. There are many ways to prioritize what you need to accomplish. You might decide to complete fast, simple items followed by longer, more involved ones. Alternatively, you might prioritize your tasks starting with the most time-sensitive, or a combination of both.

Goal-setting

Setting goals is the first step to becoming a good time manager. Goal-setting allows you to clearly understand your end goal and what exactly you need to prioritize to accomplish it. Setting both short and long-term goals can lead to success in your career.

Communication

Developing strong communication skills can allow you to make your plans and goals clear to people you work with. It also allows you to delegate, which lets you focus on completing the most important, relevant tasks that align with your goals.

Planning

A fundamental part of time management is planning. Being efficient in planning out your day, meetings and how you will accomplish things will help you stick to your schedule.

Delegation

Being a good time manager means only completing work that will help you and your company accomplish goals. While this skill is most often done by managers, you can also practice delegating tasks if you are managing a project. While it can often be difficult to say “no” when someone asks you to do something at work, it is important to practice having boundaries to manage your time well and ultimately accomplish your goals.

Stress management

When practicing good time management, you should also be attentive to your mental health. Handling stress in a positive way can help you stay motivated and perform well when going through your schedule. You might do this by including small breaks throughout your day, or by rewarding yourself in small ways as you accomplish tasks.

Taking time to develop each of these skills will help you organize your daily work, whether you are in a job, searching for a job or trying to develop a new competency.

Why are time management skills important?

Time management skills are important because they help you structure your work in a way that allows you to accomplish goals. For example, if your goal is to get a job, you need time to update your resume, search for openings, apply, research companies and prepare for interviews. Setting aside specific amounts of time per day will help you complete the necessary steps to getting a job.

Alternatively, if you already have a job, you likely have a variety of responsibilities to help the company achieve certain goals. Maintaining your calendar, meetings and tasks is necessary to be successful in your role.

Being fully present and focused results from strong time management skills. For example, if you are running late to a meeting and must work on a project you forgot was due while people are speaking, you might miss important information that could help you be better at your job.

Managing your time well also allows you to have space to be creative and proactive with your goals. When you have a specific time set aside to complete your tasks, you can also allow for time to think about the big picture for yourself and your company.

How to improve time management skills

Working on your time management skills can help you be a better employee and strong candidate when you apply for new opportunities. Here are a few ways you can improve your time management skills:

1. Set short and long-term goals

Practicing regular goal-setting can help you clearly understand exactly what you need to accomplish to achieve certain results. To hit larger, long-term goals, identify smaller milestone goals along the way. For example, if you have a goal to be promoted within six months, you might need to set smaller goals to improve on certain skills. Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. For more on setting goals, visit SMART Goals: Definition and Examples.

2. Manage your calendar

Setting time aside to complete the most important tasks on your list is important for managing your time. You might consider blocking off certain brackets of time on your calendar on a regular basis so you are guaranteed to have time in your schedule without distractions or meetings. You should also consider whether or not attending certain meetings is beneficial. If you feel you will not add value or contribute in any certain way, you should feel empowered to decline certain meetings. If you do this, use discretion and be polite–you might consider sending the meeting owner an email letting them know why you have declined.

3. Prioritize your assignments

Prioritization is a difficult skill but gets easier with practice. You can practice prioritization by making to-do lists. Writing or typing out everything you need to get done can help you physically prioritize the tasks that are most urgent or easy to get out of the way. If you need help, you might consider asking your manager or a colleague who is good at prioritizing how they would complete work. Understanding due dates and how the task affects others and business goals can help you to get certain things done ahead of others.

Improving time management skills can help you be a better worker and have the ability to focus fully as you go about your day. You can be a better time manager by being organized, setting goals and prioritizing your to-do list.

Small businesses and freelancers need to maximize the time they have available to grow their business and proper time management skills can help do that. Time management is important for busy companies so they can prioritize all their work tasks and achieve their goals faster. When you better manage your time, you’ll be able to take on new opportunities and grow your business in a sustainable manner.

These topics explore the importance of time management and offer tips for improving your productivity at work:

What Is Time Management?

Time management is the strategy of planning out your available time and controlling the amount of time you spend on specific tasks in order to work more efficiently. Effective time management comes easier to some people than to others, but everyone can develop habits to improve their time management skills. Without strong time management, your work and wellbeing can suffer, and it can lead to:

  • Producing poor quality work
  • Missing deadlines
  • Increasing your stress levels
  • Ruining your work-life balance
  • Harming your professional reputation

Why Is Time Management Important?

Time management is important because it helps you control your workday so you can build your business without compromising your work-life balance. Here are seven benefits of proper time management:

Improve Your Performance

When you learn to block time out of your day for all your important tasks, you’ll have a better idea of everything you need to accomplish and how long each task should take. When you have a schedule to follow, you’ll likely find that you spend less time deciding what to work on or procrastinating and more time getting down to important work. Time management can help you focus on just the essential tasks ahead of you and avoid time-consuming distractions.

Produce Better Work

When you’re not constantly racing to meet a deadline, you can put more effort and thought into your work. Time management helps you prioritize your tasks so that you ensure you have enough time available to complete every project. The quality of your work increases when you’re not rushing to complete it ahead of a fast approaching deadline.

Deliver Work on Time

Properly managing your time involves assigning every task on your list to a specific blocks of time. Many people use time management to allow themselves several days to complete a project, or finish it ahead of the due date to provide a buffer for any challenges that might arise. If you properly schedule the time needed to complete your work, you’ll be able to hit your deadlines every time.

Reduce Your Stress

It’s easy to become anxious when you have a full list of tasks to accomplish both for work and in your personal life. Good time management can help you prioritize your to-do list and set aside the time needed for your most important tasks, so you know exactly what you need to do and how much time you have available to complete everything. Prioritizing your tasks and giving yourself enough time to accomplish them can help reduce your stress levels.

Improved Career Opportunities

Time management can help you become a more reliable employee who always submits high-quality work by your due dates. This in turn will make you more valuable as a worker and improve your professional reputation, which can help you find new opportunities to expand your career.

Boost Your Confidence

When you manage your time properly and successfully meet your deadlines, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and confidence in your abilities. Consistently finishing your daily to-do list is a huge motivator that can drive people to further improve their time management skills and take on new work opportunities.

Become More Efficient

When you understand how to manage your time effectively, you’ll become more focused at work which allows you to accomplish more with less time available. For example, instead of trying to work on a big project when you have fifteen minutes free before a meeting, you can accomplish a few small tasks in that time and save the bigger tasks that require more brain power for when you have a large block of time free. You’ll be able to work more efficiently to achieve more with less time.

The Basics of Time Management

Improving your time management skills can make you more productive and less stressed. Here are five easy steps to improve your time management:

Plan Ahead

Planning out your time in advance is the most important element of good time management. Understand when you’re most productive: maybe you’re most alert first thing in the morning, or perhaps you hit your stride at night. Save your most important and challenging tasks for when your productivity is highest. Schedule simpler or smaller tasks for times when you’re less alert. Get a good sense before you start each day of how much time you’ll spend working on everything on your task list.

Prioritize Tasks

Evaluate every project you need to work on to determine what tasks are the most urgent and important and make those your top priority for the day. Leave less important tasks or projects that haven’t yet become urgent for later, when you have more time available to focus on those less crucial projects.

Eliminate Distraction

Distractions are one of the biggest productivity killers. Social media sites, smartphones and disruptive coworkers can all distract you from your priorities and derail your schedule. According to a study by Think Money, a third of employees are distracted for as much as three hours of the workday. If you find certain distractions are too much of a temptation, consider leaving your smartphone locked in a desk drawer during the day, or using a browser extension to block the websites that are most distracting to you.

Don’t Multitask

Multitasking may seem like a good way of getting extra work done, but in reality, it actually decreases your productivity. Instead of completing multiple projects, you end up starting but not finishing any of them. The best way to manage your time is to focus on a single task at a time and give it your full attention while you’re working on it, to avoid mistakes.

Reward Yourself for Good Work

Rewards can be a great motivator for good time management. Give yourself a small reward for every task you accomplish in the day. For instance, you could celebrate finishing up a report by taking a 15-minute walk outside. Rewards keep you motivated on the job and can help you achieve a better work-life balance.

Looking for more in-depth tips on how to improve your time management skills? This article can help you become an expert at time management.

How to complete any task in the most time efficient manner

Improve How Efficiently You Write Exercise Programs with These 4 Tips

Whether you want to spend more time on the floor, with your family, or working on your business, most coaches want more time in the day. Thankfully there is a way to find that time and for most fitness coaches it is as simple as becoming more efficient at writing your client’s exercise programs.

During a recent Mastermind for OPEX Gym Owners, OPEX COO, Carl Hardwick, shared these four tips for improving your program design efficiency. When executed these tips will help you become more efficient and free up more time in your day.

(Coach’s Resource: Learn how to become a more efficient and professional coach with this free Coach’s Toolkit)

4 Tips to Become a More Efficient Coach:

Improve Your Competency:

The first tip is to improve competency. Before you can become efficient at any task there is a base level of competency you must possess. Writing exercise programs is no different.

To improve how efficiently you write exercise programs, you must understand core strength and conditioning principles like the six essential movement patterns, the strength continuum, how to plan and periodize, and the basics of energy system training. Start improving your competency and get a refresher on the OPEX System of Coaching in this free course.

Create an Environment for Success:

The second tip is to create an environment for success.

Have you ever tried to write an exercise program on the gym floor? It’s not that easy. Why? Because there are hundreds of things to distract you. To become more efficient you need to minimize distractions and work in a productive environment.

Ask yourself where do you feel most productive? For some, it’s a coffee shop and others it’s their home. Once you know your spot, designate it as sacred and only go there when it’s time to work.

Find Your Rhythm, Then Schedule It:

The third tip is to understand your rhythm.

Just like reaching optimal health, to become a more efficient coach you need to pay attention to your rhythm. How does your energy flow throughout the day? When are you the most productive and creative, and when are you the most tired?

Analyze your day for the times that you are the most productive and then block out that time for your most important tasks. In this case, it would be programming. An example would be blocking out your calendar from 9 am to 10 am after your floor shift just for programming.

Maximize Your Time:

The fourth tip is to maximize your time.

Maximizing your time is the key to scaling your coaching business and maximizing your dollars per hour. A way to make the most of your time is to write programs for similar clients back to back. This is called chunking.

This could look like writing programs for health and vitality on Monday, fat loss Wednesday, and sport on Friday. Tip: Become ultra-efficient and use chunking during your scheduled programming time.

Programming Efficiency Takes Time

When used together these four tips will help you improve how efficiently you write exercise programs. But, out of all the tips provided the one that yields the best returns is improving your competency.

As a coach, you “cannot fake it until you make it.” Your clients are expecting results and if you don’t deliver they will go elsewhere. Thankfully, improving your competency is totally within your control. Take the first step towards improving your competency today and download our free Coach’s Toolkit.

Everyday life doesn’t have to be such a grind!

Posted Dec 09, 2016

ADHD or not, lots of us have trouble engaging with boring everyday chores—those never-ending tasks that hold our lives together. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Use these 9 simple strategies to turn dreary into fun.

1.) Add music and dance. I admit it—the inspiration for this post was this morning’s laundry folding session. Ear buds and a great play list found me dancing around the laundry room while folding sheets, shirts and more. Other tasks that lend itself to adding music include doing dinner dishes (why not blast Radio Paradise and dance together?) and carpooling to school with the kids. Put some tunes on and sing your way to school!

2.) Chunk it up. The overwhelming nature of big projects can make them feel particularly unapproachable. To make them easier and more rewarding, chunk them into smaller tasks. Clean one drawer in your dresser a week; sort bills for taxes one day then record each pile separately over time; rework your website one or two pages at a time.

3.) Race the clock. This is a particularly good trick for those with ADHD who benefit from the additional adrenaline boost of a race. Set your timer for 10 or 15 minutes, then do something you hate as fast as possible. This is a great trick for picking up the house. Make it even easier by using bins for storage rather than little spaces. The large muscle gestures needed to toss stuff into bins add to the ‘fun’ factor.

4.) Go ahead—reward yourself! I save this one for particularly big or physical projects…those “I know I really have to do this, but really don’t want to” tasks such as planting bushes in the spring. As part of my project I make sure to leave time for my reward after planning, that might be a long soak in a hot bath. You might celebrate completing a long exam period with a special candlelight dinner out or a party…anything that is out of the ordinary for you, but special.

5.) Do it as partners. Done the right way, partnering around tasks can provide a sense of companionship and accomplishment. In our house that means a nightly kitchen routine in which my husband cleans all the dishes and I’m responsible for putting away the food and cleaning the counters. Our well-defined, discreet tasks mean we have equal status (no one person is in charge, dictating to the other!) and we can be efficient. As an added bonus, we get to talk to each other…or crank up the tunes and dance around the kitchen (see #1!) Other tasks that lend themselves to partnering include prepping for a party and shopping for holiday gifts.

6.) Do it with friends. Go ahead, egg each other on! Want to lose 5 pounds? Get a group of friends to set weight-loss goals and follow your progress together. Need to keep exercising? Register for a class with a friend so you are both more likely to go. You might even have time for coffee afterwards (see #4, “rewards”!)

7.) Make it a special ritual. Some everyday tasks can be made more fun by increasing their importance as part of your relationship. Don’t love getting out of bed in the morning? Create a ritual around making and delivering coffee to your partner (with an “I love you,” of course—it’s a happy way to start the day!) Couples also use this idea to improve the sometimes contentious task of coordinating chores —by doing it on their morning walk with their dogs, or over drinks or coffee once a week.

8.) Use nature as an ally. Do you know that physical movement improves focus? Coordinating tasks while walking the dogs, mentioned above, is an example of using nature to make something more fun, as well as more productive. Setting aside an hour on a particularly beautiful spring day can turn the chore of weeding into a pleasure.

9.) Listen to a story. Perhaps nothing helps you pass the time more quickly than getting engrossed in a good story. Put an audiobook on your headset when you clean out the garage, or on the radio for that 9-hour drive (assuming you don’t find it too distracting!) Pay bills electronically while you are watching a movie. Before you know it, you’re done!

  • Personal Success
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This is a wonderful time to be alive. There have never been more possibilities and opportunities for you to become action oriented and achieve more of your goals than ever. In fact, there are so many good things that you can do that your time management skills and ability to decide among them may be the critical determinant of what you accomplish in life.

If you are like most people today, you are overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time.

As you struggle to get caught up, new tasks and responsibilities just keep rolling in, like the waves of the ocean…

Because of this, you will never be able to do everything you have to do. You will never be caught up. You will always be behind in some of your tasks and responsibilities, and probably in many of them.

The Need to Be Selective

Time management is essential to developing good habits for success. Your ability to select your most important task at each moment, get started on that task and to get it done both quickly and well, will probably have more of an impact on your success than any other quality or skill you can develop.

An average person who develops the habit of being action oriented and getting important tasks completed quickly will run circles around a genius who talks a lot and makes wonderful plans but who gets very little done.

Develop Good Habits of Success and Become Action Oriented

Your success in life and work will be determined by the kinds of habits that you develop over time. The habit of setting priorities, overcoming procrastination, being action-oriented and getting on with your most important task is a mental and physical skill.

As such, this habit is learnable through practice and repetition, over and over again, until it locks into your subconscious mind and becomes a permanent part of your behavior.

Once it becomes a habit, it becomes both automatic and easy to do.

Through time management the habit of and starting and completing important tasks has an immediate and continuous payoff. You are designed mentally and emotionally in such a way that task completion gives you a positive feeling. It makes you happy. It makes you feel like a winner.

Whenever you complete a task, of any size or importance, you feel a surge of energy, enthusiasm, and self-esteem. The more important the completed task, the happier, more confident and powerful you feel about yourself and your world.

Important task completion triggers the release of endorphins in your brain. These endorphins give you a natural “high.” The endorphin rush that follows successful completion of any task makes you feel more positive, personable, creative and confident.

The Three D’s of New Habit Formation and Time Management

You need three key qualities to develop good habits of focus and concentration. They are all learnable.

They are decision, discipline, and determination.

First, make a decision to develop the habit of becoming action oriented. Second, discipline yourself to practice the principles you are about to learn over and over until they become automatic. And third, back everything you do with determination until the habit is locked in and becomes a permanent part of your personality.

Visualize Yourself As You Want to Be

There is a special way that you can accelerate your progress toward becoming the highly productive, effective, action-oriented, efficient person that you want to be. It consists of your thinking continually about the rewards and benefits of being an action-oriented, fast-moving, and focused person. See yourself as the kind of person who gets important jobs done quickly and well on a consistent basis through effective time management.

Your mental picture of yourself has a powerful effect on your behavior. Visualize yourself as the person you intend to be in the future. Your self-image, the way you see yourself on the inside, largely determines your performance on the outside. All improvement in your outer life begins with improvements in your mental pictures, on the inside.

You have a virtually unlimited ability to learn and develop new skills, habits, and abilities.

When you train yourself, through repetition and practice, to overcome procrastination and get your most important tasks completed quickly, you will move onto the fast track in your life and career and step on the accelerator. Thank you for reading this article on time management and good habits.

Please share and comment below. Do you want to learn how to develop excellent habits? Click the button below to get my free Power of Habit PDF .