Let’s be real. There are way too many generic time management techniques out there.
And forgive our French, but researching for ones that work can be tres boring!
But hey, the better your time management skills are, the more time you have to plan that dream vacation to Paris!
Do we hear ‘oui?’ Great!
In this article, we’ll discuss the ten different time management techniques you can employ and a tool that can help make your life a little less stressful. 🍹
- Top 10 Effective Time Management Techniques
- ClickUp: Your Time Management Expert
Let’s make time management our new friend, oui?
Top 10 Effective Time Management Techniques
Here’s the good news:
Time management is an acquired skill. This means you can always get better at it.
And why shouldn’t you?
It’s a pretty handy skill to have!
So let’s choose a time management technique that will work wonders for you.
Take a look at these 10 time management tips for help right away!
1. Set SMART goals
Don’t know where or how to start?
That’s because you’re not setting goals.
Begin by creating SMART goals for some direction.
You’re probably wondering, “What’s with the caps?”
Well, SMART stands for:
- Specific: you must know what goal or outcome you want to achieve
- Measurable: you should be able to track the goal’s progress
- Attainable: you should be able to hit the goal with the available resources
- Relevant: your short term goal must add up to achieving your long term goals
- Time-bound: you know the deadline for when you can accomplish the goal
How do you set goals that tick off all these criteria?
Here’s a smart way to hit SMART goals: Use ClickUp!
It’s a powerful project management tool for SMART goal setting.
You can determine your Specific Goals and add them to your project Space.
Then, make your Goals Measurable with targets such as:
- Currency: budget spends, revenue, etc.
- Numbers: increase and decrease between ranges of numbers
- True or false: whether something is done or not
And when you complete your Targets, you can visualize the overall progress percentage and measure your success.
Keep Goals Relevant to the big picture as you can track it all the way to project completion on our Dashboard.
And finally, set Time-bound Goals by adding due dates to complex and even smaller tasks. This way, there are no missed deadlines ever.
2. Eat that frog 🐸
No, not literally.
Unless you’re in France ordering Cuisses de Grenouille off the menu.
Heads up: that’s gourmet for frog legs.
Haute cuisine aside, eating the frog in time management is all about prioritizing.
The frog is your most important task. Or the task you absolutely don’t want to do.
And ‘eat that’ means tackling it first thing in the morning.
Once you’ve eaten the frog, you can move on to the less urgent tasks.
The easiest way to prioritize tasks is to use ClickUp’s Priorities.
Each time you create a task, just add the Priority.
Once you’ve added the Priorities, you can always sort the task by it.
This should make it super easy to find your frog. *ribbit-ribbit*
Take help from this easy guide on how to prioritize work.
3. Apply the Pareto principle
The Pareto principle, aka the 80-20 rule, says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.
But how do you know you’re putting 80% of your efforts into the right thing?
Start with a to-do checklist.
Look at it, pick out the five most important things to do for the day, and get cracking!
If you can complete the entire task list before the day’s end, you’re clearly awesome 😎 and can take on more work.
You can also create task checklists on ClickUp to apply the Pareto principle.
Check them off as you continue on your to do list and taste that sweet sense of accomplishment!
I mean, who doesn’t like checking things off, right?
If you find yourself repeating a to-do checklist, then just template it.
Saves a ton of time that you can use to find the cheapest tickets to Paris. ✈️
Related: Workload Management
4. Use a calendar 📅
Sounds simple and obvious, but it actually helps.
An online calendar is pretty much a must-have time management tool today.
And how else will you count down to the day you’re in a Paris cafe, sipping coffee peacefully and –
We hope your vacation is not set in a dream within a dream and has fewer explosions.
But you can have the project of your dreams if you use ClickUp’s Calendar view.
It’s the only multipurpose calendar you need. Use it to:
- Schedule tasks
- Manage resources
- Plan projects
- Time blocking
- Preview future recurring tasks
- And more!
You also get to choose what you want to view on your calendar.
The options include:
- Day: a full day of scheduled tasks
- 4-Days: rolling four-day span
- Week: an entire week of scheduled tasks
- Month: birds-eye view of an entire month’s work
- Work Week (in mobile app): view Monday to Friday only
- Schedule (in mobile app): view a multi-day continuous layout
Check out this simple guide on what a project calendar is for help.
And don’t forget to set reminders, so you never miss task dates, time, and requirements!
We also offer you two more reminders types:
- Recurring Reminders: make reminders repeat on a schedule or at specific times
- Comment Reminders: turn any comment into a reminder
We don’t let things slip through the cracks here!
5. Try the Kanban approach
So you’re in France, traveling by train.
Now imagine passing by train stations not knowing their names.
How do you know where you are or going? And how far are you from your destination?
Similarly, when it comes to project time management, you must know what stage your task is in and where it has to reach.
This is best visualized on a Kanban board.
Can you find one in ClickUp?
Yes, it’s called the Board view.
Here you can create Custom Task Statuses (stations for your tasks 🚉) like ‘open,’ ‘work-in-progress,’ ‘in-approval,’ ‘done,’ etc., depending on your organization or type of work.
Once that’s done, you can visualize and move your tasks from one station to the next with a drag and drop functionality.
Enjoy the task’s journey till it reaches the final destination ‘Done!’
All aboard? 🚄
6. Set a time limit for every task
As bad habits go, procrastination almost always tops the list.
It’s often one of the top causes of stress and anxiety.
But how can you focus on work with a long list of ‘best sights in Paris’ blogs to get through?
A simple trick is to set a time limit for every task in hand.
Try this time management strategy with ClickUp’s Time Estimates.
It’s a great way to stop procrastination or social media distraction since you can see you’re time-bound. ⌚
The Time Estimates will sum up all tasks’ total time so you can see how long it’ll take to complete the entire project.
You can also enable Rollup Time Estimates to view the sum of time on all the subtasks and tasks.
7. Getting Things Done (GTD)
This time management technique does what it says.
It gets things done using five simple steps.
- Step 1: Capture ideas and tasks that come to mind
- Step 2: Clarify and process if your captured items are actionable
- Step 3: Organize both actionable and non-actionable items. Group similar tasks
- Step 4: Reflect to ensure everything on your list is still important and up to date
- Step 5: Engage with the to-do list and start getting things done!
You can employ the GTD time management method right here on ClickUp using the Notepad.
Start by capturing all your tasks and ideas on our Notepad with rich text editing features like headers, fonts, numeric lists, and more.
If you want, you can convert any of your notes into a task as well.
Just open the Notepad, click + on the note options, and make the necessary adjustments.
However, that’s not it!
You can use ClickUp to employ Getting Things Done to the fullest.
- To create tasks with tags for organization
- Lists and other views to reflect on tasks and their statuses
- Task statuses and priorities to get things done
Want to learn how? Check out our guide on how to use the getting things done methodology in ClickUp.
8. Track your task time
One of the best ways to figure out if you and your team are managing time well is by tracking it.
There are many ways to calculate employees’ work hours, (e.g., by using paper timesheets or swipe cards), but businesses looking to automate the process should consider using dedicated software to reduce errors and save time.
Now you can track time manually, but how convenient is that?
Should you focus on work and also track every minute, you spend on a task or specific activity?
Just focus on your tasks and let ClickUp’s Native Time Tracker take care of the tracking.
Start and stop the timer to jump between different tasks throughout your work hours.
Oh wait, you forgot to hit the start button? No worries.
You can always manually log time as well.
The fun bit is, you can pause the Native Time Tracker on your desktop and hit start on your phone to continue tracking time.
Note: we also support integrations with your favorite time tracking apps, including Everhour, Harvest, Toggle, etc.
Another way to track task or activity time is Time in Status. It tells you how long a specific task has been in any status.
For example, you spot your croissant delivery for a party in the ‘in-approval’ status for three hours. However, it had to be delivered two hours back.
This Time in Status information will help you make the right steps to ensure the croissants get delivered on time. 🚚
9. Employ the Pomodoro technique
Pomodoro is simply Spanish for tomato.
And if you think the technique is a recipe for cold tomato soup, you’re kinda close.
In this time management technique, you work for 25 minutes continuously (one Pomodoro) and then take a quick three to five-minute break.
Maybe to have a tomato-based dish?
And when you’ve done this four times (four Pomodori), you take a more extended break of 15-30 minutes to revive yourself or go for that leftover ratatouille…
This gives you enough time to recover from stretches of work and improve productivity.
Luckily, ClickUp integrates with PomoDone to make your time management efforts a success.
All you have to do is install the PomoDoneApp extension, create an account, and start tracking time on ClickUp tasks.
Need a good productivity app for your remote work? Check out this list of 32 awesome options.
10. Learn to say ‘No’
Everyone has limits.
Not when it comes to macarons, though, because there’s always space for dessert. 😋
But your capacity for work and energy level isn’t an unlimited resource.
Overworking can hamper your health, cause stress, and drastically reduce efficiency.
And sometimes multitasking doesn’t help either.
So learn to say no if you can’t fit a task in your schedule.
Instead, try delegating tasks to someone with less on their plate. They can complete the tasks on time and properly utilize your resources.
In ClickUp, you can assign tasks to one or more people using Multiple assignees and even an entire team.
In addition to that, don’t forget to use the Workload view for better work distribution and time management across your team.
ClickUp: Your Time Management Expert
Time management is hard.
And it doesn’t get easier when you have deadlines looming over you.
But increasing your number of work hours is not a solution.
In fact, successful people count on effective time management skills rather than overworking to get better results.
Regardless of your time management style, the important thing is that you pick a tool that supports and reduces the load of work on you.
And that’s only possible with a project management app like ClickUp.
It can be your time tracker, note taker, calendar, task manager, and reminder tool – all rolled into one delicious and productive crepe!
So what are you waiting for?
Say Bonjour to efficient time management and au revoir to procrastination. 😉
Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.