Last Update: 12th April 2019
Reading Time: 30 minutes
To our Kick-Ass Guide to Boosting Productivity. Below you will find a collection of some of our best tips and tricks for being more productive, managing time more efficiently, staying organized, and more!
There’s nothing better than ending the day knowing that you’ve been productive all day and are on track with all your projects, and there’s nothing worse than ending the day with a mountain of work left, wondering where the hours went and worrying about tomorrow. Increasing productivity can be as simple as changing your habits, implementing new routines, and using tools like project management software to stay organized. Once you make some changes and implement new strategies to increase your productivity, you’ll notice how much more you get done, and feel like you can handle so much more on a day-to-day basis.
Making to-do lists is an easy way to visualize your tasks and help you decide what order to tackle them in. Develop a strategy for increasing productivity by making to-do lists. You can break up large tasks into multiple smaller tasks, and tackle them one-by-one to knock things off your list.
It’s also a good idea to spend a few minutes each day creating a list of the tasks you have for the next day to prepare ahead of time; so you know exactly what you have to get started on the next morning. Figure out your own style of to-do list that works best for you. You’ll not only be more productive, but you’ll have the satisfaction of checking things off the list when they are done.
Let’s be honest, we’ve all been in meetings where we spend the whole time thinking about how many more productive things we could be doing during that meeting. If someone requests a meeting about something that you can take care of via phone or email, say no. If you have a schedule meeting, but nothing vital to discuss, cancel it.
Of course, some meetings will be unavoidable, or absolutely necessary, but make sure to evaluate the worth of every meeting and make sure it will be a productive use of your time. If you have something important to do at the same time as a meeting that you think might be important, ask someone to send you meeting notes so you don’t lose valuable time, but still receive any important updates.
Knowing when to delegate tasks to divide up the work for large projects is vital to increasing your productivity. Delegating is also one of the most important personal skills to develop as a project manager to stay organized and manage teams. You need to learn how to delegate tasks to the right people, and how to provide them with all the resources they need to get the work done.
Once you get comfortable with asking people to help you on tasks, you will noticeably increase your productivity. Trying to do everything on your own to get a project done can actually be counterproductive. Trust your team and empower them to help you get things done.
Stop trying to multitask all the time. Contrary to what you may believe, it has been shown that trying to do multiple tasks at once can actually decrease productivity and waste time. Instead, focus on getting one task done at a time before you move on to the next one. This is where those to-do lists come in handy!
Try to cut down on as many distractions as possible while you work. Make a habit of avoiding social media as you work, set a designated time to check emails instead of at random, and turn off the TV if you work from home. If you really have trouble avoiding social media or spending time on certain apps that are detracting from your productivity, then uninstall the apps to avoid the temptation. Turning off non-vital notifications on your phone and desktop can also exponentially decrease the amount of distractions you have throughout the day. Saving all the cumulative time you spend on distractions will greatly increase your productivity.
Give yourself regular breaks, ether after a certain amount of time being productive, or every time you get done with a specific task. Get up and walk around, breathe some fresh air, have some water, do whatever helps you reset a little bit before you tackle the next task. Breaks will help you refocus, concentrate better on the next task, and increase your productivity. Working for a long time on a single task with no breaks will decrease your productivity and the quality of your work.
You know that feeling in the morning, when you’re somewhere between awake and asleep, and not being very productive. Make a habit of getting to bed early enough to get the right amount of sleep (7-9 hours for adults). Instead of lying in bed hitting snooze in the morning, get up 15 minutes earlier and see how much it increases your productivity for the day.
Exercise is proven to increase your productivity, alertness, and overall wellness. Incorporate regular exercise in your daily routine, whether it’s just a walk at lunch time or a daily trip to the gym. Getting your blood pumping will help you focus and be more productive throughout the day. Exercise in the morning can even wake you up better than coffee!
Give yourself things to look forward to at the end of a productive day, week, or month. They can be as simple as a nice dinner at the end of the day, a Friday night out with friends, or an end-of-the-month vacation. Either way, having a reward system for yourself will help you feel the fruits of your labors and increase your productivity.
Project management software can help you organize better and be more productive. You can even use it to create those to-do lists and delegate tasks to split up larger pieces of work. Whether you are a project management professional, or you just want a tool to increase your productivity, project management software is sure to help.
With project management software, you can not only create easy to-do lists, but choose from other methodologies like Gantt charts to increase your productivity by visually representing complex information about projects. Using project management software is proven to increase productivity and improve your project success rate!
When it comes to calculating productivity in your projects, it’s important to use the right techniques. When you use the right method or combination of methods to track productivity, you will get insightful measurements that you can use to improve productivity on your teams. Whether you manage projects in a straightforward manufacturing company, or a more complex service-based company, here are some different methods you can start using right away to measure productivity.
A productivity output formula is the most basic measure of productivity and the easiest way to measure productivity in your projects by numbers. The formula works best in projects where the outputs are all equal, such as in a factory-type setting, and does not work as well in complex projects where the outputs are more complicated to measure.
In order to measure productivity with a productivity output formula, you must first choose the output you will measure. For example, this can be units of a product made, or certain types of jobs completed. After you have chosen the output to measure, then you must divide the output number by the number of hours put into production to determine your productivity.
You should always measure outputs in dollars in non-manufacturing settings where units do not make sense. For example, if your company produced $50,000 worth of goods or services with 1000 hours of labor, then divide $50,000 by 1000 to calculate that your labor productivity output was $50 an hour worth of goods.
As mentioned before, this technique of measuring productivity works best in projects where the outputs are easily quantifiable. It’s always a good idea to use more than one measure of productivity in all your projects to get the best results and insights.
This is another simple way to track productivity in your projects. In business, profit is almost always the final goal, so measuring your productivity by profit is a no-brainer. This method also works very well to measure productivity in more complex or abstract service-based projects.
For example, this is a good technique to use at an advertising agency where some of the employees’ time is naturally spent on creative tasks, as opposed to actual producing “products” that you can quantify. At the end of the day, productivity is determined by the amount of revenue generated for the company. This can be summed up as: Profit=Productivity.
Project management software is an extremely useful tool for calculating productivity, especially when you use features like a time tracker. Project management software with a time tracking tool allows you to see exactly how much time employees and teams are spending on each task and project.
It’s important to note that although you can precisely measure the number of hours put into a project with this method, it does not take into account other factors for complex projects. This technique is a good way to ensure that your employees are contributing, but should be used in conjunction with other metrics of productivity to get more detailed insights into the productivity of your projects.
This is another way to track productivity instead of measuring the specific amount of time put into tasks and projects. Rather than looking at time spent, focus on what tasks, and how many of them, are completed to measure productivity. You can even do this with project management software, like Workep, by looking at the completed tasks of your team.
In order to use this method to calculate your team’s productivity, you need to break each project down into smaller tasks and assign those tasks to individuals. Then, make sure each individual has personal key performance indicators and goals for how many of those tasks they should complete within a certain timeframe.
You can use peer feedback to evaluate the productivity of team members on your project teams. With this technique, you would have each team member evaluate all of their coworkers’ performance on a project.
Note that this method only works if everyone on the team understands the specific responsibilities of others on the team in order to effectively comment on their performance. You also need to make sure that each individual understands the proper format for providing feedback, so it’s a good idea to implement some brief training, and even use templates that employees can fill out with their evaluations of others.
This method works well when you are less concerned with numbers, and more focused on keeping your team and projects on track. Hold a daily check-in meeting in person, via conference call, or even in chat channel in an app such as Slack.
During the meeting, have each team provide a brief update on what they have recently completed and what they have in progress. You could even incorporate a Kanban board into your meetings where each team can visually show the tasks they have to-do, in progress, and completed.
Tip: Be careful not to let a daily update meeting turn into micromanaging. Let team leads and individuals retain ownership of tasks and deadlines.
In a customer service project, it is more difficult to measure productivity. You should track productivity both by the number of customers served (e.g. support tickets handled), as well as the customers’ satisfaction with the service. Provide customers with some sort of brief survey that they can fill out to qualify the customer service they received so you can use this to help measure the productivity of individuals.
Depending on the type of customer service project, you may choose to measure productivity by quality over quantity, or try to balance them both. Either way, it’s important to set some standards that all of your team members can follow to track their productivity performance. This will allow everyone to understand where their strengths and weaknesses are in order to improve.
Gantt charts are a powerful project management tool that can greatly increase the productivity of individuals and teams. Gantt charts help managers perform important functions such as set the baseline scope, budget, and schedule of a project, as well as track the progress while it is underway. Using project management software can contribute to the productivity of an organization.
One of the biggest advantages of Gantt charts is that they allow you to see important project management information at a glance. The visual nature of Gantt charts makes it easier to manage complex information about tasks including who is going to complete the task, when they are going to complete it, and how the task is related to the entire project. With project management software, tasks are displayed as color-coded horizontal lines across a timeline that represent individuals or teams.
Since all team members can see who tasks are assigned to and their progress, Gantt charts keep everyone held accountable. Team productivity is increased because individuals can stay on top of their own work, their team’s work, and see the progress of tasks assigned to others that may affect their work. In project management software, alerts can be set to notify both the responsible persons and managers when a task is far from completion and is approaching a deadline so that time and resources can be redistributed if needed.
Project managers can use Gantt charts to see active and future projects and distribute workloads more efficiently. Project management software helps managers to see when projects will start for their departments and visualize the distribution of resources. Then they can more effectively plan and evenly divide work among individuals and teams.
Gantt charts are an effective tool for summarizing project data to keep different stakeholders informed. Users of project management software can sort Gantt charts to display only the information that is most crucial for them, or to see the progress of the project as a whole. This allows all stakeholders to stay on top of project progress and changes.
Individuals are better able to see how their tasks relate to a whole project and more clearly understand their responsibilities. Gantt charts help everyone involved in a project see milestones of a project and how they are going to achieve the end result. This also helps stakeholders and managers see exactly what is required from individuals and teams in order to better plan the scope, timeline, and budget for a project.
As a project manager, you are basically a helicopter hovering above your project team and trying to see everything from a birds-eye view. With so many variables such as project schedules, tasks, budgets, and more, it can be hard to stay organized. However, if you follow these 7 pieces of advice, you will be able to organize better and be a better project manager in no time!
Before you begin a project, make sure that the expectations for the project are clear to everyone involved. This includes things like the quality of work you expect from your project team, which team members are responsible for which tasks, and how team members should communicate with you and each other. When you set these expectations early, your project is much more likely to stay organized through to its delivery.
Communication is key to keeping a project organized and on track. Make sure that your project team is in constant communication with you, and that you are communicating frequently with stakeholders. Communicate information about project updates, changes, and issues right away.
Take daily notes on project progress to help you write your weekly (or how ever often they are required) project management reports. This will not only save you time on reporting, but help you keep your thoughts organized and see how the project is advancing day by day. This way you can review your notes every day and at the end of the week, instead of trying to remember everything, and you’ll be able to provide updates to whoever needs them right away.
Set a schedule that works for everyone involved in your project to meet regularly. This helps facilitate communication and keeps everyone informed about project progress and updates. Make sure to set a placeholder on everyone’s calendars for your regular meetings, but cancel them if there are no updates or important talking points. Time is valuable, so make sure you are really using it when you hold meetings and not just meeting for the sake of it.
Break up work into smaller tasks with manageable deadlines. Make sure that whoever you assign tasks to will actually be able to complete them in the allotted amount of time, or you risk project delays and the whole project can become unorganized. When ensure that time limits are reasonable, your team will be less stressed, more organized, and more productive. If you do face any delays, make sure to communicate schedule delays to the team and stakeholders right away.
The ability to delegate tasks is one of the most valuable and necessary skills a project manager can develop. Dividing up tasks among project team members will reduce the pressure on any one individual. Make sure you know the strengths and weaknesses of your project team members and delegate tasks accordingly, so they get done efficiently.
Project management software is a powerful tool to help any project manager organize better. With project management software, you can centralize your teams in one place, easily set timelines, delegate tasks, and communicate quickly. You can also see a project’s progress right in front of you at a glance by using methodologies like a Gantt chart, Kanban board, or to-do list. You can even export information directly from project management software to use in your PM reports. It is highly recommended to add PM software to your arsenal of project management weaponry to stay organized and get more projects done on time and under budget!
Learning effective time management skills is one of the most important ways to be more productive and successful. When we look at some of the world’s most successful people who have accomplished a lot in their lives, we can see that they all know about time management. Let’s take a look at some of the best examples of time management from both the past and present, and see what lessons we can learn from them.
Benjamin Franklin, in addition to being a founding father of the USA, has often been referred to as the father of productivity. He left behind many great examples of time management and productivity that still apply today.
Benjamin Franklin was a man of routine with a strict daily schedule; getting up at the same time every day, working at the same time, and going to bed at the same time each night are just some of the examples of time management we can learn from him. He also decided on a purpose each morning for that day, and in the evening he asking himself what he had accomplished that day.
Creating a personal schedule is one of the best ways to manage your time and increase your productivity. If you haven’t already created a daily schedule in your life as a time management tool, then now is the time to start!
Thomas Jefferson was another founding father of the United States from whom we can learn more examples of time management. Similar to Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson was a man of routine and schedules who got up and went to bed at the same time each day to get plenty of rest.
He arose every morning to eat a large breakfast, after which he would sit down to write letters for the rest of the morning. It’s believed that Jefferson wrote more than 20,000 letters throughout his life!
Although you may not be sending too many handwritten letters these days, you can apply this example of time management by setting a dedicated time to deal with emails each day. Having a set routine will allow you to avoid distractions by getting necessary things like emails out of the way at an allotted time each day, so you can then focus all of your energy on getting your important projects done.
As a lifelong entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson knows a thing or two about time management. He also advocates checking and responding to emails at certain times throughout the day, as your schedule allows, to minimize distractions. In addition, Branson is an early riser, who gets up at 5:00 am each day to exercise before working.
Exercise is another one of the best productivity hacks you can use to increase your productivity and get more done. When you include regular exercise in your daily routine, both your body and mind function better throughout the day, and Richard Branson claims it allows him to get twice as much done as he would without exercise.
Elon Musk is one of the world’s most productive entrepreneurs and best examples of time management in the world today. As the founder and head of both Tesla Motors and SpaceX, Elon Musk has a lot to oversee, so managing time effectively is crucial.
Musk maintains a tight weekly schedule, splitting time between both Tesla and SpaceX, and reserves weekends for time with family. He also famously breaks his day into 5-minute chunks to split up his schedule. Elon Musk combines this strict schedule with a focus on optimizing productivity, by constantly thinking about what he is doing and how he could do it better.
This example of time management shows us the importance not only of keeping a personal schedule, but also constantly working on self-improvement and doing things better. Find ways in your life to optimize your productivity. These could include making to-do lists, automating tasks, and even using project management software to centralize your tasks.
One of the other greatest examples of time management is today’s world is Bill Gates. He didn’t found Microsoft and become a billionaire philanthropist by not managing time well, after all! Like the other examples of time management above, Gates schedules his days precisely so that no time is wasted.
Bill Gates has said that time is the only commodity which money can’t buy, and makes sure that he uses all of it efficiently. Like Elon Musk, Gates also breaks his time down into small chunks, sometimes even into 5-minute chunks as well. Breaking your time down into small, manageable sections allows you to minimize wasted time and increase your productivity.
When you schedule your time to get things done more efficiently during the day, you will actually find you have a better work-life balance because you will waste less time on distractions such as social media or other things that waste time you could dedicate to being productive. In other words, when you're at work you should be working, so that when you are at home you can dedicate all of that time to your home life and being with your family or whatever else makes you happy.
Now that you’ve read about some of the best people who we can look at as examples of time management, you’ve probably noticed that they all have one major thing in common: a strict schedule and daily routine. To sum up the lessons we can learn from these individuals, here are some tips for creating a personal schedule in order to manage your time more effectively and be more productive:
Effective time management is the reason some people get twice as much done in half the time. We all have the same number of hours in our day, so why is it that we never seem to have enough time? Keep reading to learn from these 16 time management quotes about using your time wisely, setting priorities, and procrastination. Most of these quotes come from individuals who set examples of effective time management in their lives, so pay attention!
We are all playing the game of life with the same amount of time in each day, week, and year. The key to getting ahead in life is using your time wisely. Here are some powerful quotes about wise time management.
“He who every morning plans the transactions of that day and follows that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.” - Victor Hugo
“Time=life; therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life.” - Alan Lakein
“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” - Stephen R. Covey
“Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much can be done if we are always doing.” - Thomas Jefferson
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have 24-hour days.” - Zig Ziglar
“The most efficient way to live reasonably is every morning to make a plan of one’s day and every night to examine the results obtained.”- Alexis Carrel
“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” - Benjamin Franklin
Setting priorities is a huge part of effective time management. When you multitask or get distracted by things that aren’t important, you waste valuable time that you could be using to be more productive. Here are some time management quotes about the importance of priorities.
“If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.” - Lee Iacocca
“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” - Bruce Lee
“I do know that when I am 60, I should be attempting to achieve different personal goals than those which had priority at age 20.” - Warren Buffett
“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” - Henry David Thoreau
Even when you have your priorities set, it’s easy to procrastinate and leave things until the last minute. Here are some insightful time management quotes about procrastination.
“You may delay, but time will not.” - Benjamin Franklin
“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday and avoiding today.” - Wayne Dyer
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” - Charles Dickens
“A day can really slip by when you're deliberately avoiding what you're supposed to do.” - Bill Watterson
“I am definitely going to take a course on time management… just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.” - Louis E. Boone