You Have a Time Management Plan, But It’s Not Working – Why?

You wake up in the morning, come to work early, follow a time management plan to assist you—you’re unable to complete work—then leave for the night.

It’s clear your time management plan, strategy, mantra or whatever you call it, is NOT working!

There are times you are not able to complete your work. And at most times, you’re leaving late, despite coming in early.

So, why is your time management plan not working?

Maybe you’re making these mistakes…

Mistake #1: Multitask to Get More Work Done in Lesser Time

Forget it – it won’t work!

Multitasking means continuously switching between two tasks at the same time. When you keep switching from task A to B and B to A, you are not able to give your brain enough time to recover and adapt before moving on to the other task. Your quality of work suffers, your efficiency fails and your productivity suffers.

You see, even Mike Cannon-Brookes is against multitasking.

Mistake #2: The Time Management Plan That Does NOT Accommodate Work Breaks

Work breaks are important—not only vacations but those mini breaks that you should take frequently during working hours. Research suggests that a 17-minute break is a must for every 53 minutes of work you do.

Make space for microbreaks in your time management plan—it will do wonders for you.

Mistake #3: Focusing on the Secondary

You need to plan your day as such, so that you get the ‘real work’ done in early hours of the day. Because that is when you are most upbeat and high on energy. Leave meetings, reading and replying to emails, organizing your desk and other secondary tasks later for the day.

Mistake #4: Not Keeping Track of the Time Each Activity Takes

A successful time management plan is a simple one. It is free of complexities and free of all those activities that are not optimized for time savings. But until or unless you don’t keep track of the time each activity is taking, how are you going to eliminate the complexities and work towards optimization?

Therefore, to make your time management a success, it’s important that you track time.

Review your time management strategy, and if you find any of these mistakes being a part of it, restructure the strategy for effective execution.

Looking for a Time Tracking Tool?

Chrometa has been designed to serve as an effective time tracking solution that can be installed on any device and can be used to track time for all types of activities—including your emails. Trial it for free.

The Temporary Knock-out: That Email Just Cost You 23 Minutes!

How can you improve your time management skills?

You are busy working. You know you have to get this file ready in the next couple of hours for it to be delivered to the client, without violating the deadline.

Suddenly, something pops up on your computer screen:

It’s an email notification.

For the time being, your instincts take over.

You click on the notification to see who has sent you the email. And while you’re at it, you click on the email to open it and read its contents.

That little pop of distraction has now turned into an interruption!

Naturally, after reading the email, you’re obliged to reply to it—that is, if it’s an important email.

Soon you realize, there are other unread emails in your inbox as well.

The interruption turns into a complete—albeit temporary—dissociation from work.

And yes, in the end you were able to sort it all out, getting back to work…

… getting back to work

You don’t remember where you were.

You have been temporarily knocked out!

The Actual Cost of Workplace Distractions

Situations like these characterize our routine office life. Sometimes, these distractions are in the form of email, a call or a message on your mobile, while at other times a gentle tap on your shoulder from your colleague – asking you to join in for a 5-minute microbreak.

But the promised spans of these distractions, hardly ever prove to be so—the actual cost of workplace distractions is so much more.

In fact, according to a study conducted by a group of researchers from the University of California Irvine, the cost of a single workplace distraction amounts to a total of 23 minutes and 15 seconds on average.

This includes the time served in the corresponding activity and the time taken to recover from the after-effects of the distraction.

You had to deliver the file to your client in the next 2 hours. You are now only left with 1 hour, 36 minutes and 45 seconds.

Tips to Minimize Workplace Distractions

Obviously, you cannot eliminate workplace distractions but you can take steps to minimize them. Here are few tips:

  • Re-set your email refresh rate to at least 30 minutes. It can be varied depending on the nature of your job.
  • Keep your mobile phone at silent.
  • Maintain a microbreaks schedule and let your colleagues know about it.
  • If possible, wear headsets to keep background noise to bare minimum.
  • Use a time tracker app, like Chrometa, to monitor how much time you spend on the various daily activities. This would help you to identify the sources of distractions and then strategize accordingly.

For every employee, effective time management skills are very important to be productive and efficient at work. It also helps to keep off work related stress, thus making sure, you remain in good health.

Take that first step towards productive, efficient and work related stress free life, with our 30-day free Chrometa trial.

A Billion Dollar Advice: Effective Time Management Skills from Richard Branson et al.

As business professionals, we respect them, look up to them and some of us even worship them.

We are talking about the self-made billionaires—Richard Branson, Nathan Blecharczyk, Mike Cannon and others.

They are our inspirations

And when they say something, we listen closely. For their words serve as a billion-dollar advice.

Today, through this post, we would like to serve our readers with such golden nuggets of information—bringing you the time management tips that these successful people implement in their own lives to accomplish and excel.

So, let’s learn!

How Richard Branson Makes Most of the 1440 Minutes in a Day?

By being physically active!

Richard Branson talks about the standing and walking meetings, labelling it as one of his “favorite” tricks. In an interview to Kevin Kruse, which was later published in the book, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, Richard Branson says that stand up meetings help him to get his work done more quickly. It helps him to make a faster decision.

Expanding on the established theme further, in an exclusive interview to FourHourBodyPress, Richard Branson says:

“By working out and exercise. It keeps me going, it keeps my brain functioning well and I end up achieving twice as much in a day…”

How Nathan Blecharczyk Effectively Manages His Time?

By swimming against the current—not literally!

Nathan Blecharczyk adopts a very interesting approach to managing his day to day tasks effectively and productively. He fills his calendar in a reverse order, i.e., the tasks that many of us perform in the morning—such as meetings—he reserves them for later hours in the day. This allows him to focus his early day energy in tasks that are “real work”, and get them out of the way quickly.

How Marcus Lemonis Gets Everything Done in the Space of 24 Hours?

By staying organized and prioritizing the important stuff.

Every morning when he gets up, the first thing Marcus Lemonis does is, he writes down the five most important things that he wants to get done on that particular day.  He calls it “My knockout list”.

This allows him to channel his time and efforts towards getting the most important things done for the day, and if there is any time left he then focuses on the secondary.

How Mike Cannon-Brookes Manages to Do Everything So Smoothly?

By focusing on just one task at a time.

Mike Cannon-Brookes believes that multitasking makes us less productive. In theory, this makes sense as multitasking in essence can prove to be a source of interruption. Where the practical proof is considered, Mike Cannon’s success supports the practicality of the theory.

Let’s implement!

Shape Effective Time Management Strategies with the Help of Chrometa

Chrometa allows you to automatically track the time spent by you while performing your daily activities. This way, you can remain organized, streamlined and where there is scope for time saving, you can shape effective time management strategies on the basis of generated time sheet. Start your free trial today!

Deployment of Time Tracking System: Getting the Creative on Your Side

If your company is implementing time tracking for employees for the first time, be prepared for some resistance.

It’s no surprise that people often aren’t used to change. Some might find it disrespectful that companies don’t trust their employees. Others might take offense at time tracking, calling it just another method of surveillance..

But if are to improve your staff efficiency while maintaining visibility for your projects, there are some steps you can take to bring your staff on bored. So at the very least, they are willing to try a new system of tracking their work progress.

How to Make Time Tracking Easier for Employees

Talk to Your Managers First

It’s always best to implement a new system gradually. Start off with your managers and have them use the software so they understand its workings and benefits. Once they’ve become used to the software, introduce time tracking to the rest of your employees. Your managers need to support the idea first. With their help, you’ll have a much easier time integrating the software’s use.

Justify the Solution

Everyone needs answers so do your prep work beforehand. When introducing time tracking solutions to your employees, explain why you decided to do so. How it can help you work more efficiently, and how it can benefit your workers as well. Your employees need to know that there’s something in it for them as well.

Give Them an Incentive to Use it

Using such software makes life much easier for employees as well. Companies using such apps can offer remote work options, work bonuses based on the hours their employees put in and paid leaves. Such apps also allow employees to prove their worth and dedication since they are able to show just how much time they spend working.

Show its Shared Vision

Time tracking apps such as Chrometa are so successful because they allow companies to practice three major components of their work system; transparency, efficiency and honesty.

The company strives to be more efficient with seamless tracking systems. The app offers insight into how a project is going and by doing so, explains the structure of the team as well. And finally, it holds everyone accountable for their hard work. This helps improve leadership skills for the talented many.

Find an Easier Tool

The time tracking app you choose for your employees must work seamlessly. It should be usable on multiple operating systems and mobile devices. It should not take up too much memory and should be easy to integrate with different project management tools. It should accurately collect all data and should work even if the employees are offline from the network. Of course, Chrometa satisfies all such demands.

Enforcing the Policy

Although it may be tough at first, be steadfast when enforcing this new time tracking policy. The system should be implemented for everyone, so don’t be lax with senior employees that might be against the new system. Make it clear that they must use this new software so they can be paid on time.

These tips will surely make it much easier for you to implement a time tracking system without facing any workplace challenges!