Time management is one of those things I know I'm not very good at. My talent for getting distracted and excited about random things that come my way is probably even considered notorious.
So all the more reason to use time management tools?
1. Pen and paper
Exciting right? Despite all the shiny apps and software out there, many people I talk to still prefer the old school pen and paper method of time management. Even the most avid time managers use pen and paper to organise their day.
There is something about physically writing it down that makes the task seem much more real. It would be also advisable to keep it together in a planner or diary of some sort so you don't start losing your scrap pieces of paper like I do.
2. Time tables and Calendars
Another method of time management I've been introduced to is simply using your calender such as outlook or google calendar as a timetable. Throw back to the good old school days where you had your week planned out into little blocks of time, you can still use this method to plan your days, at least you grew up with it so it should be fairly easy to adopt.
I usually like to block out repetitive tasks in the morning such as checking emails, facebook, twitter as well as block out some time during the end of the day to do the same things.
The great thing about using a timetable is you can visually see how much more you can fit into the day, or whether you need to revisit it another day.
3. Web apps and phone apps
Since time management is huge for small business owners and service based agencies, there are so many apps out there that promise to help you solve the age old problem of time. They are great tools, but without discipline it wont create any miracles.
Some of my favourite apps are:
- Remember the milk - Great task program that also has an iPhone app. The great thing about this is you can push back tasks that aren't completed and is simple to organise on your phone.
- Teux Deux - This is a very simple to do list laid out into a weekly format - designers will love this.
- Rescue time - This tool tracks how much time you spend on certain activities, also shows your productivity as well and lets you categorise programs and website into productive time and unproductive time.
- toggle - Lets you track your time with one click and works online and offline as well.
- 1 day later - this is super comprehensive for small businesses and can track time, money and milage as well as spit out some comprehensive reports.
Ironically the main tip is simply make time to track your time. Without making it a priority for you to track time it will defiantly be something that will be hard to master.
Share your time tracking tips with me in the comments below, I'd love to hear from you.
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