How is Time Management Related to Productivity?


It doesn't matter what industry you're in - everyone is looking for ways to be more productive on the job. However, excessive amounts of coffee and list-making won't get you any closer to reaching peak productivity.

So, why are we all so obsessed with productivity? Our guess, we're stuck in the digital age, and staying on track and avoiding distractions is harder to accomplish some days than your actual work.

The search for a more productive workday has led to certain misconceptions about productivity, as it's a lot more than just checking off boxes.

To find out the secret to a more productive workday, we recently read, Not Today by Erica and Mike Schultz. This book provided us with some excellent insights into "the productivity code" and what hacks and habits could be applied to our daily lives to get the one thing back one valuable asset - time.

Consider the following, the average adult spends:

• 5.5 days per year, 132 hours total, deciding what to eat

• 250 hours per year, or 41 minutes per day, on Facebook

• 171 minutes per day checking their smartphones

On average, we waste per day is 4.3 hours, half of an 8-hour workday. So, how do we get back on track? How can we be more productive in our workday or our life?

Take T, Increase I, Minimize M, Eliminate E

Most management styles focus on the traditional aspect of getting things done instead of a reason for being. However, if you focus on the reason for being as you plan your day, you'll find that the time you're wasting isn't as significant as you thought it was.

Treasured Time: This is time you hold dear doing the things you love. Ikigai. This is where we all want to be.

Investment Time: This is time that generates an outsized return.

Mandatory Time: Time you feel you must spend.

Empty Time: Time you waste.

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While each category is essential, they will equate to different things for different people. The important thing to remember is that time is dynamic. If you need a YouTube break during the day, use it. But forty-five minutes later, did you need to watch another cute cat video? Is it bringing you as much joy as the first couple?

Highly productive people try to avoid dwelling in the mandatory and empty time zones; however, many still struggle. Getting the right balance matters.

Each day you burn energy, and while energy is renewable, as long as you’re using it, you’re losing it. So, think about your day and plan ahead. If you have something important to do, odds are you’ll want to complete that first thing, as research shows energy, memory, and concentration are better in the morning for most people. Once these have been completed, you’re free to be a little more leisurely with your time.

Changing your daily habits can be tricky. We get it; change can be challenging, especially when you’ve done it the same way for years. However, to gain the time you need to understand where your time is going. The book suggests keeping a time log; here you will jot down what time you start and finish an activity, such as checking email or drafting a proposal. While this may sound dreadful, it can actually be very informative. Try keeping a time log for a week, after seven days review, and note how you felt after each task. What category did each task fall under? Did you find yourself getting sucked down a rabbit hole?

The benefits of time tracking include learning where your time goes and understanding how you feel about each task. Once you recognize your habits, you’ll be compelled to do better. There is no doubt that you have to understand where it's going if you want to optimize your time.

Four Tips for TIME Tracking

  1. Set T.I.M.E and activity goals. Know what you want to accomplish for the day and then define the activities that will get you there.

  2. Track activity and T.I.M.E level. Always note the activity and T.I.M.E level - this can be as simple as a spreadsheet or time tracking app. By tracking both time and activity, you’ll know what you’re spending time on and what needs to change.

  3. Use technology. Find something that works for you. Toggl, RescueTime, Everhour, TimeCamp, and TSheets just to name a few. It’s recommended not to use your phone as the act of looking at your stopwatch could distract you from what you are doing.

  4. Track in periodic, obsessed daily chunks. You must be meticulous with your tracking. Start with a two-day tracking experiment.

Remember, the first step to finding more time is to start tracking. The sooner you can figure out where your time is going, the sooner you can get it back.

Proper management of time will increase your productivity. Following the above steps will help you focus on the most important aspects of your schedule and you will be better able to manage your time so that you will be more productive than ever.

To learn more about the Productivity Code and the 9 Habits of Extreme Productivity purchase Not Today. “Get your copy on Amazon or purchase a signed copy here