Time management is an essential skill that everyone should learn to boost their productivity. When you’ve good proper time management strategies, it’s much easier to complete and achieve goals. In definition, time management is how we use our time to finish tasks effectively.

We live in a time when distractions are everywhere, and staying focused is challenging. Whether you’re hoping to increase how fast and well you get work done or just want to waste less time, these time management strategies will make a big difference.

If you work smarter, you won’t have to work harder. This article will show you 12 time management strategies that will help you save time and get your tasks done efficiently.

12 Time Management Strategies to Get Things Done Efficiently

1. The 4D Rule

There are four basic principles you can stick to that will help you manage your time efficiently. They are:

  • Do
  • Delay
  • Delegate
  • Drop

Examine your planned tasks closer, and list them under these four headings. Focus on the tasks that are most urgent and doable. 

Which task can you afford to do later? Which are most pressing. Be careful not to deliberately undervalue a task you aren’t keen to do. Sometimes, we have to finish work we don’t enjoy.

You can divide almost anything you need to do – at work and home – under these principles and get more done.

Using this strategy, you identify the most essential or time-consuming tasks and focus on getting them done first.

This approach also helps you to make a habit of making decisions to help yourself become more organized. You will also have a clearer idea of which tasks can be delegated or wholly ignored.

2. Take Breaks

Even the most determined and hard-working person should take a break when things get too much. Or, preferably, before things get too much.

It is a good habit to take small breaks during your working day to give yourself some breathing time

Of course, you should take your breaks in a productive way and not allow yourself to become unmotivated or lazy.

Ensure that when you pause your work, you detach completely. Instead of sitting at your desk during your break, stand up and get a glass of water. Or just look out the window or eat your lunch outside.

Getting your blood flowing again with this minor activity can help ‘wake up your brain again. When you sit down to get back to work, you’ll feel a bit more refreshed and can continue working hard.

Do your best to take 5 to 10-minute breaks every few hours, and don’t spend more than that allocated time being unproductive.

Regular breaks are necessary for productivity. (Source: Stapleton Consulting)

3. Monotask

Contrary to what many would have you believe, you should not try and be a master at multitasking.

Although often praised by employers, multitaskers are more likely to find it challenging to concentrate on complicated work. It also causes mental fatigue and is a sure-fire way to decrease the effectiveness of your work approach.

It is better to focus on one task at a time and finish it before moving on to the next one. You will be able to get more sustainable results as well.

Using online timesheets, time cards, and time reporting can go a long way towards enhancing how well you’re tracking time.

4. Leverage To-Do Lists

Having to-do lists is quite simple but highly effective as long as you stick to them. Create a list of all the tasks or goals you have for your day. Then arrange them in order of importance or time consumption so you can take on the most exhaustive work first. 

When you have completed all your tasks, you will feel accomplished and more inspired to do the less intense items on your list.

To-do lists are without frills but effective at keeping people motivated throughout the day.

However, it would be best to place a limit on how many items you put on your list. If you have too many, you’ll feel exhausted even before starting.

The number of items you have on your to-do list will depend on your unique schedule and work situation. But try your best not to overwhelm yourself, or none of these time management strategies will be very effective.

Task managers are great for this purpose. Implementing tools to help you with your time management strategies can make things a lot less complicated. It will also avoid stressing over missing tasks or spending too long on them.

Consider using a task management tool to plan your work and feel more motivated to not stray from it during the day.

How to Make a To-do List:

  1. Decide whether you want to make your list on paper or electronically, and consider the time period. Are you making it just for the day? Or for the month?
  2. Randomly write down all the tasks that come to mind that you need to do. Don’t think about importance, just “free-write” all of the things you have to do.
  3. Write down how long you think each task will take. By knowing the approximate amount od time each task will take, it may be a little easier to figure out how to prioritize.
  4. Rearrange the list and put the most important items on top. Differenciate important tasks by time. It may be helpful to get the more time-consuming items out of the way first.
  5. Cross things off as you go. It may feel rewarding to delete or check off completed tasks. Eventually, things will get done and you can make a new list.
  6. Leave the list visible all day. By having your to-do list in front of you, it may reinforce the sense of urgency and ensure that you continue to work on your tasks throughout the day.

[Source: Infographic Facts]

5. Use the ALPS Method

The ALPS Method is another time management strategy that uses acronyms to keep you on track with your work.

  • A – Activity
  • L – Length
  • P – Plan
  • S – Supervision

The ALPS method is based on the German ALPEN (Aufgaben, Länge, Pufferzeiten Entscheidungen, Nachkontrolle) method, but even when translated, it remains the same in principle. The aim is to increase performance and reduce stress.

Professor Lothar J. Seiwert, a time management expert, introduced the method, and it has been embraced by many.

The method suggests that people follow four steps to help manage their time better.

Build your time around declaring the activity, determining its duration (the length), planning the activity’s performance, and monitoring how it goes through supervision.

You can use the ALPS Method as a time management strategy either at home or work, and it will help you have more focus and achieve more with your time.

According to this method, when you’ve planned your work, you’re likely to find that you feel more personally rewarded upon completing tasks.

This method improves the effectiveness of your time management and can be used in many different scenarios. You can be working in a bustling office or quiet space at home; the method will remain helpful and relevant. 

6. Leverage Bullet Journals

If you’re not one to itemize the tasks you plan for your day, you may find bullet journals more attractive.

You should have an index, future log, monthly log, and daily log in your bullet journal. The future log is for an at-a-glance look at your planned future events. Your monthly log can keep you updated on plans for the month, such as birthdays and holidays.

The daily log is more detailed and focuses on the tasks for each day. If you like really organized time management strategies, you can consider using symbols for your bullet journal.

Ideas, tasks, events, and even insights can be marked with different symbols to make them stand out more. 

7. Learn to Say “No”

One of the hardest things for many of us is simply ‘saying no.’ But if you can say no to taking on more than you can handle, you’ll be able to follow your time management strategy with more success.

Saying no also applies to not allowing yourself to get distracted or procrastinate when you should be getting something done.

Build your time management strategies around how much work you know you can handle. Then, do your utmost to strictly follow only your plans and add nothing to them.

You should also resist taking tasks off your list if you know they’re essential. Saying no means coming up with a strategy and following it with disciplined determination. 

8. Block out Distractions

In general, life is full of distractions, but if you want to nail time management, you need to get rid of them.

Many things can distract you during the day, from the dogs barking down the street to your phone buzzing with notifications. 

Even co-workers can be distracting, and you’ll have to let them know you’re busy or risk not finishing your work.

Every distraction wastes time because you need to refocus again, and that can often be challenging.

Set boundaries with those around you and make it clear that when you’re working, they should avoid socializing with you unless it’s urgent. You should also do your best to have your mind focused, so there are no internal distractions.

Getting rid of distractions takes time to master but is well worth the effort.

A lot of time at work is wasted on interruptions and distractions. (Source: Atlassian)

9. Batch Similar Tasks Together

It’s a good idea to batch tasks that are similar to each other together. That way, you can get into the right frame of mind for one task and move onto a similar one with the same focus and get it done faster.

For example, if your work consists of writing, editing, team management, and work environment management, you can batch the writing and editing together and do the remaining tasks together.

Put tasks together in such a way that there is synergy for the most effective results. 

If you are in charge of bigger tasks that are more complicated, you can use project management software. This kind of tool can help improve your time management strategies and help you achieve your goals with more success.

10. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

This is one of the simplest yet effective ways to manage your time effectively. Placing a clock somewhere that you will see all the time can help you stay focused on your work.

Sometimes, we get so busy that we lose track of time. If you have a big, highly visible clock in front of you, you’ll find it easier to stay in the moment.

Some people also find the rhythmic ticking of the clock relaxing. Just make sure that you don’t get in the habit of checking the clock too often, leading to unnecessary distractions.

11. Deal With Stress

Stress is a huge problem in modern society, and it’s not only bad for your health but can also distract you from your work.

People experience stress in different ways and for various reasons. It can lead to tired bodies and minds, which profoundly affect productivity. 

Although handling stress calls for more than one solution (especially if you’re stressed about multiple things), you can take a simplistic approach.

One way to combat stress is to try and get enough sleep. It sounds too easy, but a good night’s rest can make a big difference. Your body will be better prepared for the day, and your mind will be more rested.

You can also do more regular exercises and spend time outside, taking in the serenity of nature. Yoga is a great way to relax and unwind as well, and listening to music can do wonders for a stressed mind and soul.

Find whatever works best for you and go with that. Practice stress-relieving habits often to make the most of your time management strategies.

12. Delegate Smartly

It is not uncommon for people to take on more than they can genuinely handle when they want to be productive. But biting off more than you can chew will affect your productivity and hamper your time management strategies.

Often, it is wiser to delegate work to others rather than spending your time on it. It may happen that someone else can do a specific task faster or better than you, then there is no point in wasting your time trying to do it.

Delegating some of your work will take a load off you, and you can focus on getting other work done. Of course, you should not abuse this ability and instead only delegate when necessary.

Here’s a pro tip for managers working remotely due to the pandemic and in need of delegating work: check the performance of remote employees.

All employees need to be assessed to ensure optimum productivity. If you don’t know how your employees are doing work-wise, you can’t delegate more work to them. 

Manage Your Time More Effectively

The time management strategies discussed here can work well for anyone, whether they need it for work or at home. You can choose the strategies that appeal most to you and develop ideas for implementing them daily. Once you’ve got a battle plan, time management won’t be a challenge for you anymore.


About the author:

Mark Quadros is a SaaS content marketer that helps brands create and distribute rad content.  On a similar note, Mark loves content and contributes to several authoritative blogs like HubSpot, CoSchedule, Foundr, etc. Connect with him via LinkedIn or Twitter.


12 time management strategies to get things done efficiently

  1. The 4D rule

    There are four basic principles you can stick to that will help you manage your time efficiently: Do, Delay, Delegate, and Drop.

  2. Take breaks

    It is a good habit to take small breaks during your working day to give yourself some breathing time. 

  3. Monotask

    It is better to focus on one task at a time and finish it before moving on to the next one. You will be able to get more sustainable results as well.

  4. Leverage to-do lists

    To-do lists are without frills but effective at keeping people motivated throughout the day.

  5. Use the ALPS method

    The method suggests that people follow four steps to help manage their time better.

  6. Leverage bullet journals

    If you’re not one to itemize the tasks you plan for your day, you may find bullet journals more attractive.

  7. Learn to say “No”

    If you can say no to taking on more than you can handle, you’ll be able to follow your time management strategy with more success.

  8. Block out distractions

    Every distraction wastes time because you need to refocus again, and that can often be challenging.

  9. 9. Batch similar tasks together

    Put tasks together in such a way that there is synergy for the most effective results. 

  10. Have a clock visibly placed before you

    Placing a clock somewhere that you will see all the time can help you stay focused on your work.

  11. Deal with stress

    Stress is a huge problem in modern society, and it’s not only bad for your health but can also distract you from your work.

  12. Delegate smartly

    Biting off more than you can chew will affect your productivity and hamper your time management strategies.


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