Some people earn more money in one day than an average person during his/her entire life.
Therefore, time management is not about achieving X number of tasks. Rather, it is about prioritizing your most important and productive ones and concentrating on completing them.
In this article, you will learn ‘9 Time Management Activities’ that is backed by real-life proof. These activities will help you in eliminating unnecessary clutter and concentrating on the ones that really matter.
What’s more, you’ll be able to achieve more, while working less!
#1: Check e-mails ONCE a day, on working days only!
It was identified that 66% of people read their email 7 days a week, and multiple times a day.
Here’s an interesting study –
“In 2005, a psychiatrist at King’s College in London administered IQ tests to 3 groups of participants:
- The 1st did nothing but perform the IQ test.
- The 2nd was distracted by e-mails and ringing phones.
- The 3rd was high on marijuana.
It’s no big surprise that the 1st group did better than the other two by an average of 10 points. The 2nd group, on the other hand, did worse than the 3rd group of stoners by an average of 6 points.” – (Tim Ferriss, The Four Hour Work Week)
The above study just goes to show that regularly checking emails can be a BIG distraction and hindrance to your productivity.
Therefore, schedule a specific time during the day, to check your emails.
Also, do not check your emails on weekends. Only do it on working days.
#2: Turn Off Social Media App Alerts.
Each day, a typical office employee checks emails 50 times and uses instant messaging 77 times! – (RescueTime)
Checking and answering your social media notifications might just take a minute. However, getting back to the task you were doing before and returning to full focus, can take about 15 additional minutes.
In fact, management experts are increasingly identifying Twitter as a silent ‘productivity killer.’ Tweeting costs the US $112 billions per year. – (Moving Targets, Wall Street Journal)
Make sure that you are not contributing to this statistic.
#3: Don’t Answer The Phone Just Because It’s Ringing.
This is similar to time management activity #2 – do not allow others to determine your actions through gadgets.
If you are not expecting a critical call, then finish your current task(s), and only then give a ring back.
#4: Eliminate Meetings, Unless They Are Absolutely Necessary.
Most of the time, meetings are a sheer waste of time and resources – they do not yield tangible gains or results.
More often than not, meetings do not affect the business processes or the bottom-line. In fact, unnecessary meetings cost U.S. businesses approximately $37 billion every year. – (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2005)
Therefore, before arranging a meeting, think about whether it is really necessary. Ask yourself, “Is there a faster way to resolve the task at hand instead of calling for a meeting?”
#5: Do Not Work On More Than 1 Task At A Time.
Researchers found that productivity dropped by more than 40% when subjects tried to do 2 or more things at once. – (University of Michigan)
#6: Eliminate Clutter
Studies have determined that clutter in our working environment results in loss of focus. As we discussed earlier, distractions reduce our productivity drastically.
Therefore, clutter might not seem to affect your life that much, but it has a HUGE impact on your productivity.
#7: Do Not Work More Than 40 Hours A Week.
70% of employees work beyond scheduled time and on weekends. More than half cited "self-imposed pressure" as the reason for doing so. – (Society for Human Resource Management, Spring 2009)
This is actually counter-productive.
Workplace research on productivity (5 decades of research that was started way back in the early 1900’s) found that ‘the maximum productivity occurs at no more than 40 hours a week and 8 hours a day.’
#8: Eliminate Work In Non-Working Time.
80% of a survey of 1000 people stated that after leaving the office they worked at home for an average of 7 hours per week.
38% routinely checked work emails at the dinner table. – (Good Technology, 2012)
We know now that multi-tasking decreases your productivity by at least 40%.
So, if you mix work with play (free time), you will do badly in both.
You are not productive at work.
You are not enjoying your free time.
It is a lot better to follow this old saying –
#9: Use ALL your vacation days.
A research found that only 38% of U.S. employees take all of their earned vacation days. – (Expedia.com, 2010)
Another research found that men who take vacations every year had 20% lower risk of heart disease. – (State University of New York research).
Women who vacationed more than once a year had lesser chances of depression and greater marital satisfaction. – (Wisconsin's Marshfield Clinic study)
Only after you eliminate the unimportant clutter, you will truly be able to focus your energy and efforts on more important personal and professional goals.
Work Less, And Achieve More!
P.S. What is the 1 thing, from this list, would you implement in your life?