14 Time Management Habits Of Top Performers

time management habits

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Look, I get it.

Being productive is hard. Not complicated, just hard.

You won’t be productive if you download time management apps and watch motivational videos. But productive habits can change your life.

Today, I’ll show you 10 of the most effective.

1.Plan each day in advance:

Do you feel like you don’t have any control over your life?

Well, it’s because you don’t plan your day. At least, not in the right way. Make sure you know exactly what to do and when before you wake up.

Plan everything one evening before, not during the morning.

Sit down with a blank piece of paper and decide what will make your next day highly successful.  

Don’t create 20 random tasks to keep you busy.

What can you accomplish that will further your goals and allow you to leave at the end feeling like you’ve been productive? Write those things down.

Don’t use a to-do list.

Put everything in your calendar:

  • Time block your tasks
  • Use colors to prioritize
  • Use reminders

Commit to follow your schedule. If you do that, you’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish.

2.Plan multitasking:

Multitasking is a myth.

Research has shown that multitasking takes as much as 40 percent more time than focusing on one task at a time(and even more for difficult tasks).

However, it doesn’t matter what studies say.

Sometimes one task at a time it’s not enough.

So, what should you do about that? Plan your sessions of multitasking. Look at your schedule and see if you can match 2 activities. Match them when the day ends, so you won’t waste so much energy.

Make sure it’s something easy.

Staying in phone calls and writing emails at the same time isn’t a great multitasking pair because it’s just too hard to split your brain across those two things.

But listening to a podcast while you walk or go to the gym is an efficient way of multitasking.

Why?

Because these tasks complement each other.

I know this habit isn’t for everyone. But if you have a ton of things to do, it can save you time.

3.Practice an evening routine:

The more decisions you take during the day, the more your productivity goes down.

Steve Jobs wore the same outfit for years.

He knew something about decision making that most people don’t.

Every day we make a bunch of choices.

Do you hit the snooze button? It’s a choice. Do you eat vegetables? It’s a choice. Do you wear a blue shirt? It’s a choice.

Technically, there’s nothing wrong with that.

But if you make too many choices in a short time, you significantly reduce your decision-making ability. That leads to decision fatigue.

And decision fatigue affects your willpower.

Willpower is not about resisting, forcing, or controlling — it’s about choosing. — Penney Peirce


When you take too many decisions, you lose motivation to do anything.

So, take decisions one night before:

  • choose your clothes
  • cook your meals
  • Put the alarm on your desk

…and so on.

In fact, do anything you can to avoid effort and don’t waste your time:

  • Keep your clothes in the same place
  • keep your keys in the same place
  • Take a shower

Keep your willpower for your business. You’ll need it anyway.

4.Review your week on Sunday:

If you’re anything like me, you probably pay attention to what you’re doing today but don’t give a damn about what you did yesterday.

However, what you don’t measure you can’t improve.

If you don’t do a time audit, you won’t be aware of your real capabilities to get things done. Adjust your calendar during the day with the things you did.

And be brutally honest about it. If you binged-watched Netflix all night, don’t be afraid to write that down.

Review your week each Sunday and see what could improve.

  • What went well this week?
  • What didn’t go as planned?
  • How can you improve in the future?

Take a blank piece of paper and create a strategy to do things in a different way next week. Then, follow that strategy and repeat the process until you’re happy with your results.

5.Do the hard tasks first:

You heard it a million times before….

Eat the frog! Do your MIT first thing! Start your day with the hardest task.

The idea is the same: Spend at least 45 minutes—preferably 1 hour—working without distractions on your most important task.

You probably do this. But did you noticed I said ‘’tasks’’ in the subheading?

I want you to do all the important work, not just your MIT.

Why? It’s all about energy. If you’re not a night owl, you probably have a ton of energy during the morning.

Something that could take you 2 hours later in the day, you can finish early in 30 minutes. And you’ll feel more motivated to continue working when you finished what’s hard.

6.Give yourself constraints:

A constraint is a limitation or restriction that you put on yourself intentionally.

You create a rule in an area of your life. The reason you do this is to simplify everything and create amazing results.

You already use constraints in your life.

Maybe you never borrow money to buy things. Maybe you wear just black and white. Maybe you go out just to a specific club in your town.

All of this help you live the way you want. You can give yourself constraints with your time as well.

For instance, you might:

  • Eat the same food each day
  • Never work during the weekend
  • Spend only 1 hour in the gym
  • Use social media only after 3 PM

Do you like these ideas? You don’t need to give yourself too many constraints. But a couple of them could be really helpful.

7.Time batching:

Time batching it’s probably one of the simple, yet most effective time management technique you will ever use.

It means to group a bunch of similar tasks together and doing them all before doing something different.

When you don’t use time batching, things are more complicated to do.

Think about your business.

Let’s say today you:

  • Write an article
  • Create 3 images for Facebook
  • Write an email
  • Create 3 pins for Pinterest
  • Write 3 Pinterest descriptions

If you take your tasks in this order, your attention spread itself.

With time batching it’s much easier:

  • Write an article
  • Write an email
  • Write 3 Pinterest descriptions
  • Create 3 images for Facebook
  • Create 3 pins for Pinterest

Do you see how efficient this could be? Time batching along with time blocking is a killer combination.

8.Block distractions:

Having your phone nearby (even if it’s not buzzing or ringing) can hurt your performance.

According to a study, it affects your productivity even if it’s turned off.

How about other distractions?

You know you shouldn’t scroll Instagram. You know you shouldn’t click on ads you see on blogs. You know you shouldn’t watch Youtube videos.

Yet, you do all of these and set yourself up for failure.

Guess what? Successful people set themselves up to succeed. And you can do the same.  Block all your distractions while you work.

Turn off your phone and leave it in another room. Block the websites you love with a software.  Stop email’s notifications. Log out on the apps. Work on full-screen. Close the door and tell your family members to not interrupt you.

Do this each day and I guarantee you’ll see a difference in the quality of your work.

9.Say No:

Let me guess.

You care too much about what others think of you. And you always say ‘’yes’’ when they want something.

You’re a people pleaser and your life sucks because of that. And you need to do something about it.

Your friends are a waste of time.

Sure, you still need them. You can’t live being alone.

On the other hand, you don’t need to be available to others all the time. You don’t need to answer their calls. You don’t need to hang out each week.

Definitely, you don’t need to do them favors if you don’t have the time or willingness.

Say ‘’no’’ to your friends. And don’t come up with excuses. Tell them the truth. If you don’t have time or you don’t want to do something, be honest.

You might say that’s hard. And it is. But you need to do it at one point or another.

If you have too much time for the others, you won’t have time for yourself.

10.Put all the action items on the calendar as a result:

I told you to do a weekly review of your performance. But you need to do that the right way.

The key is that you always should schedule the result you expect to accomplish during a task.

For example, if you write a new article, you can schedule “write 1,000 words” from 12pm to 1pm.

And if you write just 500 words or get another result, adjust your calendar when you finish.

Just don’t schedule the activity, like “writing” from 12pm to 1pm.

Let’s take another example: You create a new website.

You can schedule ‘’register domain name’’ from 10am to 10:30am. Don’t schedule ‘’website’’ from 10am to 10:30am.

There’s no way to measure what you actually produced during this time if you schedule the activity. I schedule the exact results I expect for every single part of my day.

This is a total game changer.

11.Schedule more in less time:

If you want to work faster, schedule more to do in less time.

It might sound counterintuitive but it works.

You probably think you’ll be more motivated if you have fewer things to do.

However, that’s not always the case. In fact, Parkinson’s law states that ‘’work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.

The truth is, you take way too long to do things you could finish faster.

It’s a completely different energy when you have a tight deadline.

I used to make the mistake of giving myself too much time for writing. I’d spend all day writing an article of 2,000 words because I thought that’s how much time I need.

When I changed my process to schedule more ahead of time, I had so much to get done in a very short time that I finished my writing in only 4 hours (maintaining the same quality).

That’s because I took it very seriously. It felt better because I was focused on getting done what I needed to.

Now, don’t get me wrong. You don’t need to overschedule. But you schedule a little more and see if this strategy works for you.

12.Schedule downtime:

I’m not the type of person that hustle. I never liked the idea of working 14-16 hours/day.

There’s nothing wrong if you want to do that. But you should schedule some free time to recharge your batteries and keep you enthusiastic.

Life as an entrepreneur isn’t as glamorous as people say.

You might love the freedom to make your own rules, making an impact and helping people.

But it can become overwhelming after a while.

Entrepreneur burnout it’s a real problem and it happens to all of us. If you want to prevent that, make sure you take regular breaks while you work and schedule free time.

You hear it right. Schedule time to do nothing.

Even if it sounds useless, it helps you become more productive.

13.Spend more time on important activities

It doesn’t matter how much you do. Neither how busy you are.

Productivity is all about getting results. Maximum results in minimum time.

And results are not equal with hard work. So, don’t work too much on something if you know it doesn’t matter.  Do what’s important.

Use the Pareto Principle and focus your time on 20% of your work that produces 80% of your results.

Think about it.

If you can do one big change in your website and grow your business, you’re much more productive than the guy who did 10 small changes and got no results.

This is called disproportionate impact and it works better than you imagine.

14.Live minimalist:

Minimalism is all about living with less.

For many minimalists, the philosophy is about getting rid of excess stuff and living life based on experiences rather than possessions.

But you don’t need to be minimalist just with the things you have.

You can be minimalist with your time.

The best way to do this is to forget about 99% of the things you want to do and choose just one thing.

Don’t start 3 projects at the same time. Forget about setting 7 goals. Avoid shiny object syndrome.

Set one goal, follow a strategy and commit to make that goal come true.

Give all your resources for that. And you’ll get results much faster.

Conclusion:

If you want to be productive, you need to do 2 things.

First off, plan everything the right way.

If you wake up knowing exactly what to do and create systems to avoid distractions, you set yourself up to succeed.

Secondly, work on your mindset. Make sure what you do it’s important, schedule free time and track your progress.

Ok, here we finished.

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