Time management tools -5 time management tools you need for productivity
The world we live in today is always on the go, one minute you glance at your watch it’s 10 am, you take a sip of coffee and glance back only to realize it’s 6 pm and the popular expression “Time flies” becomes way too relatable.
You attempt a mental rundown totally if you’ve accomplished everything you set out to do at the beginning of the day and find out a lot of the boxes are left unchecked. Sadly, this is the reality for a lot of people, we desperately lack the tools and skills for time management.
Let me tell you a short story; A lecturer once went to class with a bucket, some big rocks, a bag of sand and also a bag of pebbles he requested that a student come forward and put everything in the bucket. The student who volunteered starts with the sand, the pebbles and rocks respectively and realizes that they do not all fit in.
I bet you’re wondering how does this have anything to do with time management?
What the student attempted was a poor example of time management and here is why; when you have a list of things to do and you begin with the smaller tasks you leave little or no room for the bigger or medium-sized tasks. The lecturer from the story rearranges the bucket by putting the rocks in first, then the pebbles followed by the sand and everything fits perfectly.
Just like the lecturer we should always plan for our biggest issues before anything else. How do we do this? What are the necessary tools you need for time management to ensure maximum productivity?
Time management tools for effectiveness
There are five vital time management tools which any individual looking to increase productivity should have:
- A calendar: Time management and the calendar work hand in hand it is impossible to achieve one without the other therefore it is very necessary for anyone trying to improve productivity to not just have one but be able to use it properly. Which can be done by allocating time to the events and things in your calendar, making sure to leave free spaces in case an emergency pops up, avoid keeping more than one calendar, integrate, and always review often. The calendar gives you an overview and some sort of control over your weeks, it also helps with scheduling, tracking and planning your time.
- A notebook or note-taking app: If your aim is to improve productivity you definitely do not want to waste time looking or trying to retrieve a piece of information. A notebook or note-taking app narrows down your search when looking for information it also helps you keep to your schedule and can be used to write down your goals both long and short-term, It also safe keeps meeting minutes and tracks your progress. If the notebook is a little too old fashioned for you there are various note taking app available for use.
- To-do list: This is often referred to as the key to efficiency, it is the building block of any productivity system. The to-do list helps you prioritize the tasks you need to carryout. Your to-do list should be your best friend and should never be far from you, this will help you become more reliable and focus your time on high value tasks hence increasing your productivity. The to-do list can also be automated enabling you to share it with others in the event of group type project. There are many software programs available that make things easier.
- Time tracker: There are various benefits to having a good time tracker, it gently nudges you to be very productive. You can only manage what you measure so keeping a record of how your time is being spent helps you scrutinize and reflect on what you do with your hours, it also offers transparency into work processes which is considered a key to productivity and healthy workflow.
- Address book: The concept of the address book might seem a bit archaic at first but think about this; in a scenario where you’re put on the spot or desperately in need of an address would you rather start scheming through hundreds of messages or emails trying to find it or would you prefer to simply take a look at your address book and retrieve it? The latter is most efficient and there are various software available to automate the process. They help you sync contact data from all sources, make things easier and overall increase productivity.
Most at times when the conversation on how to be successful arises, time management is always lurking around, it is extremely important in our society today to be able to make the most of our time. So hopefully these tools are able to help set you on the path to increased productivity and success.