The best tips to save time and get things done
Have you ever felt like you don’t have enough time to get everything done in your day? Between work, family, house chores, and leisure activities, you might often think, “I wish my day had 48h!”.
If you identify with this scenario, keep reading and discover the best tips to save time and get everything done with time to spare!
The 20 ultimate tips to save time
1. Schedule your work around your peak hours
This is one of the best tips to save time. We all have that time of the day when we know we are most productive. For some people, it can be right when they wake up. For others, right before going to bed.
Regardless of the one with which you identify the most, you should try to schedule your work or most difficult tasks around that time. This way, you’ll guarantee that your productivity levels are higher, allowing you to spend less time doing the same amount of work.
2. Get away from distractions
This is one of the best tips to save time that you can follow: get away from distractions.
An Instagram notification. A call from your mom. An email from that annoying salesperson who is trying to get you to upgrade your mobile plan. These small things can disturb your workflow and make you lose work time.
According to a study conducted by the University of California, it takes almost 30 minutes to refocus after you get distracted. These 30 minutes, multiplied by several distractions you get throughout the day, can culminate in several hours of time lost.
To avoid this situation, avoid all types of distractions you might have around you. Take your phone to another room and turn it to silent mode, don’t turn on the TV, and disable all your computer notifications. This will help to save time and be more productive.
3. Digitize your life
We live in a digital world. And the tendency is for it to become increasingly digital. So, why not take advantage of it?
Nowadays, there are several things you can do on your mobile phone or computer that will allow you to save precious time in your day.
For example, why not order groceries online instead of going grocery shopping? Instead of going to the bank, why not use the home banking app and avoid a long line?
All these choices can help you save time, allowing you to focus on more important tasks.
4. Schedule your breaks
Taking breaks is essential to keep productivity levels high. However, these moments are sometimes underrated. Because if you just keep working, you are not losing time, right? This might not be true.
According to some studies and surveys, breaks can help you prevent decision fatigue, restore motivation for long-term goals, boost productivity and improve creativity. All these benefits will certainly lead to time saved in a working day.
And which is the best technique to schedule breaks? About this topic, the opinions diverge:
- a study by the University of Illinois states that you should take a break once every hour;
- the Pomodoro Technique advises working for a 25-minute period, followed by a 3-5 minute break;
- an article by Inc. Magazine advises breaks every 60 to 90 minutes.
So, which one is the best technique? It all comes up to what works best for you. Try them out and discover it by yourself.
5. Prepare your day, week, or month in advance
One of the most important time-saving tips is to prepare things in advance. And it’s obvious why.
By preparing your days, weeks, or months in advance, you’re saving precious time in decision-making moments because the decisions were previously made.
Some of the things you can prepare and plan in advance are:
- meetings: prepare a meeting is one of the best tips to avoid leading wasteful meetings;
- work tasks for the day and the week;
- workout days;
- vacation itineraries;
6. Learn to say “No”
It might be hard to “digest”, but saying “No” is one of the best ways to save time.
Saying yes to everything might seem easy to maintain good social and work relationships. However, it can also lead to burnout syndrome and spending time on things you don’t want to do.
We can all agree that spending time on unnecessary things is time poorly spent. Your time is a valuable thing, and you should treat it likewise.
Of course, you can’t say no in all circumstances, especially at work. But there are several moments when you can – and should! Try to understand what is important to you and what is worth your time.
When you have this figured out, it’ll be easier to say no to less important tasks and save time on what really matters.
7. Delegate work
This tip is gold for all managers, project managers, or team leaders looking for an answer to how to save time!
If you’re having problems managing your workload and if you have the opportunity to delegate some tasks: just do it!
You need to trust your team and give them more responsibilities. Otherwise, what’s the advantage of leading a team? You just need to empower them. Otherwise, you’re going to end ask yourself, “why am I so unproductive?“.
8. Solve problems right away
One of the most effective time-saving techniques is to address problems as soon as you’re faced with them. Waiting to solve a problem won’t make it go away – on the contrary.
Delaying the resolution can have a snowball effect, where the problem goes bigger, taking even more time to solve.
So now you know: when you are faced with an issue, try to solve it right away. It’ll save you time and keep you less stressed out.
9. Track your time
You know how chaotic a day can get. “Surprise” meetings and calls, more time than usual spent on traffic, and so on.
All these unforeseen events can make you lose track of the time you’re spending on certain tasks. And how can you prevent that from happening? Through time tracking, of course.
When you organize your schedule around time, you’re eliminating almost any chance of wasting time, increasing your productivity levels, and optimizing your work.
There are two ways you can track your time: manually, through a watch or a notebook, or digitally, by using a time tracking app, for example.
Even though the manual technique is simple, it’s not as effective as the digital one. By using time tracking apps, you can identify gaps in your schedule, see how much time you’re spending on each task, and use this information to make better use of your time in the future.
Tracking your time is one of the best ways to save your time because you’re going to know where you’re spending and wasting it.
10. Use helpful templates
Using templates can be a big time saver. Imagine you have a big presentation coming up, where you have to show the results of the last trimester.
You need to do a PowerPoint presentation, of course. What do you think will be the fastest: creating a presentation from scratch or using a template previously created which can be adapted to several occasions? We think you know the answer to this one.
Not only PowerPoint presentations but also emails, Word documents, and Excel files: these can all be time optimizers if you have the right template to use.
Spend a little bit of your time creating templates for your daily tasks and see the magic of timesaving happen.
11. Use time management techniques
Having the right knowledge in time management techniques will help you achieve more with less time spent. Some of the techniques you can use are:
- setting goals;
- dividing your work into smaller tasks;
- time blocking or timeboxing;
- prioritize tasks for more efficient working. You can use the time management matrix quadrants to do it;
- set deadlines for each task you need to perform.
Time management is one of the most important soft skills you can have. So, make sure you’re spending your time wisely. How? Using the right method to manage your time.
There are several methods out there, you can know the best time management techniques in our blog.
12. Decide when you should multitask (and when you shouldn’t do it)
Most of the time, multitasking is a productivity enemy. When you try to focus on multiple important tasks at once, you might end up making bad decisions, overworking yourself, or even making serious mistakes.
This will all lead to extra time spent on those same tasks. However, multitasking is not always bad. You just need to choose the right tasks to pair up to avoid having too much to handle simultaneously.
For example, you can listen to a productivity podcast or a project management podcast, or any other type of podcast, while answering emails. Or even listen to an audiobook while you organize your computer.
These pairings won’t compromise the quality of your work and will allow you to engage in two productive activities at the same time.
13. Limit the number of decisions you make
Making decisions takes time (and, let’s be honest, energy). And we need to make them every day, multiple times a day.
A simple way to save time is to just simply minimize the number of decisions we need to make.
Create routines, so you know what your next step will be at most times. Create go-to outfits in advance so you don’t lose too much deciding what to wear every morning.
Create lists when you go shopping, so you know what to buy and don’t waste time wandering in the supermarket hails.
These are simple techniques that can save several hours each day or week. Doing this saves time and energy to make quick decisions in the most important moments.
14. Reduce your social media consumption
This one is a given: endless scrolling on social media is a big time waster. Social media was created to be addictive, and we all easily fall for that trap.
Whether it be for the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), the desire to learn what our friends are up to, or just because we have nothing else to do. But it’s important to minimize these behaviors.
Here are a few tips you can follow to achieve this:
- turn off your notifications: seeing a notification creates a rush in our brains, where we just need to know who sent what and why. If you turn off your notifications, this rush is “deactivated”, and the need to access social media decreases;
- put your phone in another room: like the saying states – out of sight, out of mind. When you don’t have visual contact with your phone, you end up almost forgetting about it. This will help you limit your time on social media;
- set rules and goals for yourself: this is a great technique to achieve bigger levels of productivity. You need to make a personal agreement with yourself, where you promise you won’t access social media until you finish a certain task. Do this throughout the day and be surprised with how much you can get done!
15. Batch similar tasks together
Instead of getting up to print one document, batch all the documents you need to print and print them all at once.
If you need to leave your house to go to the supermarket, post office, and hairdresser, why not schedule all these activities for the same morning and afternoon and do them all at once?
By batching similar tasks together, you’ll end up spending less time on each one of them. Easy, right?
16. Create a personal workspace
We can all agree that it’s much easier to work in a space where we feel comfortable. And this becomes even more important when you work from home.
Creating a personal workspace will eliminate the time spent deciding where you should work and it can increase productivity and motivation levels. Besides that, you can have the chance to personalize it to your own personal taste – it’s a win-win situation!
17. Hire someone to help you
Do you have tasks on your daily schedule that don’t need your personal touch or input? If so, why not hire someone to perform them for you?
Hiring an assistant (or a virtual assistant) can give you time to focus on more important tasks or just relax (equally important). Given the chance to do it, we ask: why not?
18. Create a system to deal with your emails
Creating a process for sorting out your emails can save you precious time every day, as this is a daily task that most of us need to face. And how can you do this? There are a few ways:
- check your inbox every day, two or three times a day, at the same time;
- define a time limit for this task. 20-30 minutes, for example;
- automate replies when you have the possibility to do it;
- use a template to answer your emails;
- always delete unnecessary emails.
By implementing these techniques and creating a routine out of them (making fewer decisions, remember number 12?), you’ll be saving time for more important tasks every day.
19. Work on your procrastinating habits
Statistics show that 15-20% of adults procrastinate regularly. This means that 15-20% of adults regularly delay their important tasks and waste their free time doing basically… nothing.
As we previously said, your time is precious, and you should always try to spend it in the best way possible. If you identify with this issue, here are a few tips you can use to stop procrastinating:
- make sure your workplace is free of distractions;
- make up a reward system for when you accomplish a specific task;
- break down complex tasks into small steps;
- have breaks throughout your day.
20. Choose remote work when possible
Last but not least, we have another precious tip to save you time: remote working.
Remote work became a reality for most of the world in 2020, and it has become a preferred working regime for many workers nowadays.
One of the biggest pros of remote work is the time saved on commuting. By working at home, you save time you would’ve spent in traffic and can allocate it to house chores, for example, or to just simply prepare your workday with more tranquility.
There are reasons why some managers fear the remote working future. But, if your company allows you to work remotely, our only advice is to do it!
Time is important: start saving it today!
Now, you know how to save your time, and it’s important to do it.
As you can see, there are many examples of how saving time increases your productivity, whether in your workday or daily life.
Improving your time management habits is crucial for time-saving, and by following our tips, you’ll be able to achieve those goals in no time.
Don’t waste any more time and start saving time today.
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