We all live busy, busy lives. We have so many responsibilities and tasks that must be accomplished, both in our professional and personal lives. And we want to have time to do the things that we’d like to do. The ones that are truly important to us. How do we find more time? How do we make the most of our time and use it as efficiently as we can? These 10+ time organization and productivity tips will be sure to provide tools that will work for you. These tips will support you in your goal to find the space and time for what’s really important to you.
We all have limited time and endless numbers of tasks that need to be done. There are no magic wands to make more time. But there are tried and true time organization tips that will help you increase your productivity. Increased productivity will allow you to do more in less time, so that you can then use the “extra” time for things you want to do.
Time Organization and Productivity Tips
The only way to efficiently accomplish your tasks is to know exactly what needs to be done and when. Using a planer is the best way to keep track of appointments and tasks. There is no one planner that will work for everyone nor is there one planner that will work for you in all times in your life. What does that mean for you? You may need to try several different planners to find one that works best for you. Don’t get discouraged. Every planner you try, provides you with information on what you’re looking for in your perfect planner.
I’ve tried many planners over the years. Here are some that I’ve personally used and can recommend.
- Free Printable Calendar and Planner – This would be a great place to start since it’s free. You can download it, print it out and get started right now.
- Dated Calendar and Planner Available in Two Different Color Combinations – These planners are available in my shop for a nominal fee. These are also available immediately, so there’s no delay in getting organized.
- Bullet Journal – You can create a planner that works perfectly for your unique needs by using just a notebook and a pen. You can create complex, artistic bullet journals, but you can also have a highly useful bullet journal that is simple to create and use.
- Clever Fox Planner – This planner offers you the best of a calendar and planner with a bullet journal influence.
- My Agenda – This planner is perfect if you need to track different areas of your life separately, such as personal, business and family.
- Mom Agenda – This planner is a version of My Agenda designed for busy moms that allows you to track multiple family members in one planner.
- Erin Condren – This is a hugely popular planner, especially with teachers, that allows you many personalization options.
- Happy Planner – Another very popular planner that has many sticker and add-on options available.
Schedule Around Your Personal Productivity
Let’s be honest, we all have times of day that we are at our best and other times when we’re not at our best. You know when those times are for you. Schedule your most challenging tasks to be tackled during your best times. Work with your body, not against it. It’s simple, but powerful.
Running To Do List
A Running To Do List keeps all your many to dos in one organized spot. It allows you to get all those responsibilities out of your brain and down on paper. What happens when you have too many windows or apps open? Yep, it slows down your device’s speed and operation. It’s the same with your brain. If you’re remembering a bunch of to dos in the back of your mind, it impacts the functioning of your brain.
I’ve shared a free printable Running To Do List and how to make it work in your busy life. It’s a great stand alone productivity tool and also works great in conjunction with a calendar or planner.
Not all tasks or responsibilities are equally important. Determine priorities for your tasks and to dos. This allows you to allocate your time first to the highest priority tasks. Knowing what needs to be done first means you won’t spend time on other, less important, tasks and then suddenly realize you have to stay late to complete the high priority task you had forgotten.
Tackle 3-4 Must Dos a Day
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and frozen if you focus on too many high priority tasks. Everything can’t be top priority, or nothing is. Select three to four tasks that must be accomplished and focus on those. If you are able to accomplish more, great, but you start out knowing where your priorities are.
Loop Scheduling Tasks
When you have reoccurring tasks that need to be done but don’t have a set due date, then consider using loop scheduling. Simply make a list of those tasks and work your way down the list. When you reach the bottom of the list, then return to the top and start again. Loop scheduling works great for home cleaning tasks.
Break projects and tasks down into bite-sized tasks. This allows you to fit these tasks into small pockets of time. Bite-sized tasks also keeps you from being overwhelmed and paralyzed by a project that just seems to large or overwhelming. You’ll find more opportunities to accomplish bite-sized tasks in your day and will accomplish more than waiting for one perfect span of time to complete an entire project.
Use Found Time
Found time are those little pockets of time that are not otherwise occupied. They’re often less than 15 minutes long. Rather than wasting that time on your device, harness that chunk of time to complete a bite-sized tasks you’ve identified. I’ve shared a list of more than 10 5-minute Organizing Tasks you can complete while waiting.
This is another so-simple-but-we-just-don’t-do-it time management tip. When you are working, put away the distractions (cough, the phone, cough, Facebook). You know what your distractions are – eliminate or minimize them. Consider whether you need to establish an hour or two a day to keep your office door closed or that you don’t accept calls. When it’s work time – focus on work.
Group similar tasks together so that you can accomplish them more efficiently. For example, group all errands in one part of town together and accomplish them on the same day in one trip. Iron all items that need to be ironed at the same time. This saves you the time it takes to set up and put away the equipment since you will only do it once.
Task batching allows you to stay in the zone as you work on a task so you are more efficient in completing all of them.
Find What Works for You
Not every time organizational tip will work for every person or in every situation. Try different tools and tips to find the ones that work best for your unique personality and situation. Realize that situations change so tips that once worked for you may need to be reevaluated and replaced if they stop working as well for you.
- Daily To Do Cards – You may find that carrying a Daily To Do Card easier than carrying a planner and To Do List.
- Daily To Do List Printable for Sticky Notes – A Daily To Do List may work better for you when used in conjunction with a Running To Do List.
- Organized 31 Tickler File System – The Tickler File System is a simple, concrete visual way to track and complete tasks, paperwork, bills and more.
Organize your physical space so that you don’t waste time and energy searching for items you need. Time that you spend searching for items is time that you can’t use productively or on activities you’d like to do. Don’t allow disorganization and clutter to waste your precious and limited time. Start by decluttering, even just 10-minutes a day. Then get organized so that you can find exactly what you need in your space and not waste time looking for items.
Put these time organization and productivity tips to use to create more time for yourself. What would you do with that extra time in your day?