So often we find ourselves saying “I don’t have time for that.” What we should be saying is “I am not going to prioritize my time for that.”
The majority of us have hours of free time during the day that go unused due to poor time management or prioritization. Time management can be a tricky balance between accomplishing tasks, planning, and personal free time.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution that works for everyone. Know yourself and be realistic. Try a few methods out, giving each one a solid month of effort, to see which helps you boost your productivity. Remember, work smarter—not harder.
Determining Urgency and Importance
This method comes straight from Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It suggests categorizing tasks into four sections: urgent and important, urgent and unimportant, non-urgent and important, and non-urgent and unimportant. It looks something like this:
Begin each day by writing your tasks in the matrix above. Your top priority should be urgent and important tasks, followed by non-urgent and important, then urgent and unimportant, and lastly non-urgent and unimportant. Ideally, you will become consumed by the first two categories that you rarely make it to the unimportant tasks. This is a great way to see visually how you should be prioritizing your time.
A, B, C
Entrepreneur’s Steve Tobak recommends categorizing your tasks into three groups: critical, business as usual, and everything else. Critical can be any task that needs to be done immediately or something important will go terribly wrong. It can be anything from making client meetings to reading a contract. Business as usual encompasses tasks that are needed to meet long-term and short-term business and career goals. Everything else includes “busy work, organizing, wants (as opposed to needs), nice-to-haves, and goofing off online.
Time Management Tools
If a kick in the ass is what you need, then a time management software might be your best bet. There are countless apps and tools you can use to track your time, prioritize tasks, and even keep from spending too much time on your phone.
Rescue Time: If you need to see exactly where your time is being spent, this app gives you weekly reports.
MyLifeOrganized: Target your weak points by setting long-term goals. This app creates to-do lists while prioritizing tasks and tracking progress.
Focus at Will: This app claims to increase focus time using music and neuroscience.
Balanced: If you’re looking for a to-do list with a simple user interface, Balanced is the app for you.
What methods do you use to boost productivity and time management? Let us know!
President and founder of DVI, Aaron Boerger realized early in life that he had a unique combination of x-ray vision and business acumen for seeing the weaknesses that held businesses back – and the ability to define the right tools, technology and strategy to make them stronger.
From founding a successful technology support business in his early teens, to serving as Chief Operating Officer for several companies in the financial, technology and marketing industries, Aaron has developed a reputation for reinventing technology implementation tactics – and the willingness to tell people not what they want to hear, but what they need to hear, in order to achieve success without overwhelm.
Aaron will always go the extra mile to provide the accountability and support his clients need to achieve their goals, yet isn’t afraid to tell them when they are doing something wrong.