Everyone has 168 hours in a week, the same amount of time, to get things done. So how is it that some people can accomplish more than us in the same amount of time? It all comes down to time management and organization. In this post, I’m going to highlight the five time management tips that I use to maximize my productivity both at work and at home.
Time management is not something that I’m naturally good at. Being productive requires intent, focus, and discipline -and I had to systematize by life in order to be successful. ~ Professor Rayce Rollins
Tip #1 – Use Google Calendars to Track Your Time
If it’s not on my calendar, it doesn’t exist. I literally log everything into my Google Calendars -everything from work meetings to date night with my wife. For me, it’s the only way to stay on top of things and keep up with all of my responsibilities. As a full-time Professor at Temple University, CEO of Grow Small Analytics, and a family man, I am always pressed for time. If I don’t write in down on my digital calendar so that I can get reminders and notifications, I’ll forget something. Google Calenders keeps me organized and prepared for the next thing one the agenda.
Tip #2 – Use Google Task to Define Productivity
Every night before I hit the sack, I take a few minutes to plan out the following day. Google calendars tells me ‘where I need to be, most’ but Google Tasks tells me ‘what I need to get done.’ Every night I identify the 5-7 things that I absolutely, positively, have to get done to have a productive day. If I don’t get these things done, then I don’t go to sleep. My to-do list is scared because my time is valuable. I try and focus on the most difficult tasks first because I’m fresh and energized in the morning. Honestly, Google tasks is probably the most critical productivity hack that I’ve come across because it keeps me focused on the most important stuff.
Tip #3 – Audit Your Time
Just like an accountant can audit your financials and tell you everything that’s important to you based on where you spend your money, I can audit your calendar and tell you everything that’s important to you based on how you based on how you spend your time. You can’t say that you love your family if you don’t spend time trying to build and connect with them. Your time is the ultimate sacrifice because it cannot be bought or delegated. A time audit will reflect your priorities, and sometimes, you might not like the results of the audit.
My work-life balance is a struggle for me. As you can see in the video, I work way too much. While I can try and justify it with rationalizing statements like, “I’m just trying to put food on the table” (or “My family knows that I love them) sometimes “enough is enough.” Sometimes my 3-year-old daughter just needs to dance with her dad and sometimes my wife with needs to laugh with her husband. I’d be surprised if anyone on their sick bed ever said, “I wish that I spent more time working.”
Tip #4 – Identify Your Time Wasters
Do you spend a lot of time watching TV, or browsing through photos on Instagram? Over the next few days, I want you to record all your time on a time sheet or calendar. You’d probably be mortified if you knew how much time you spent on social media. According to a Telegraph Article titled, “Is your daily social media usage higher than average?, Most people in the United States spend about an hour and 40 minutes on social media every day! That’s about 12 hours a week. Social media consumes way too much of our time, and for what? What’s the payoff? Time management is just as much about “NOT-Doing” as it is about “To-Doing.”
Tip #5 – Set Daily Time Goals
My last time audit revealed that I spent less than 2 hours reading the Bible over the last 3 days. That’ a cause for concern in my life. I want to spend at least 12 hours a week in the WORD -praying, and beefing up my spiritual life. 12 hours a week breaks down to about an hour and 40 minutes per day (the same about of time that most people spend on social media).
I have family time goals and allotted times to study. Everything that I want to accomplish has a SMART Goal tied to it. Goals keep you accountable and on track to accomplish great things in life.