I’m sure the phrase time management isn’t new to you. Managing time is certainly one of the biggest challenges for web workers and freelancers and it’s something we think of all the time. If we don’t do it effectively, we find it hard to meet deadlines and accomplish tasks.
The concept is quite simple.It’s about finding ways to do the same task in less time while maintaining and/or increasing, the quality standards. It also implies getting things done without stressing yourself, being more productive, taking time out for yourself and enjoying life. And if you are web worker, I’m sure you know how important it is to be more productive and enjoy life.
Here are some good tips to help you manage your time more efficiently as a web worker. If there are other ways you know about or use in your daily life to manage time and get things done then do talk about them in the comments.
- Work at your peak hours
I’ve borrowed this tip straight from Ali’s recent article. I think it is really important to figure out what are the times during the day when you feel most energetic and love to work. Because that’s when you can do more in less time and do it better.
- Prioritize work
This is something which I’ve talked about before. Prioritizing work is important, especially if you are working online. Otherwise you’ll find yourself trapped in doing all sorts of things without achieving anything.
So how to prioritize work ? Simple. Define work as something which makes you money, or will make you money in the long term. And then arrange them in the order of their importance, money making potential and deadlines. These are the things which require your utmost attention. Accomplish them accordingly.
- Manage email
Email could become the ultimate distraction for a web worker. And the funny thing is that we don’t realize the time we waste in checking our mail multiple times during the day. So learn to do it less. And learn to manage it like an expert.
- Manage information
The information which we are exposed to on the web is just incredible. And each source of information on the web has an uncanny ability to get us hooked. We just can’t seem to get enough of it. And that is the exact problem.
So make sure you consume information in a way that it doesn’t hamper your main work. Be it RSS feeds, news sites, youtube or any other way you consume information. Just learn to manage them.
- Automate routine tasks
Whether they are routine tasks on your computer, like opening an application everyday, or they are your routine household chores like getting bread from the grocery store nearby, try to discover ways to automate them.
For example, you could use automation tools on your computer to get things done. And for your household tasks, you could hire someone. That would help you focus your energies on the things that are more important.
- Don’t multi-task
The more you try to multi-task, the more you end up producing mediocre work. And as I mentioned, time management isn’t about degrading the quality of work.
So focus on one thing at a time. That would also help you managing your time in a better way.
- Learn the tricks
Talk to people who are more experienced than you in your field and learn the tricks of the trade from them. Learn how they manage their time, what methods they use to accomplish more in less time and get better results.
- Get an office
Getting an office could skyrocket your productivity as a web worker. A home office which is kind of isolated from the hustles and bustles of the household is good. A separate office ?… better. Believe me.
- Make your to-do list doable
Yes, please be sensible while making a to-do list. Instead of loading it with tasks which you probably can’t complete in a day, just start with a few important tasks and then include other tasks in the list once you complete the previous ones.
- Get the right tools
The exposure to unlimited information means the access to unlimited tools for getting things done. There are thousands of great tools which can help you manage time but how do you know which of them of really good ? Of course you can keep trying and testing but that doesn’t save you time, does it ?
So talk to your friends and colleagues and take advice. And wait for my next post where I’ll discuss some cool tools which help us in organizing tasks and managing time effectively.
- Stick to a schedule
Following a routine and sticking to a schedule always helps. It helps you to get out of ‘ I am my own boss and can do work whenever I want ‘ mindset and makes you more productive.
I know it’s easier said than done. It becomes really difficult to stick to a routine if you work from home and live with your family. Hence, as I suggested earlier, getting an office or an isolated room could be the first step in this direction.
- Slow down
Time management isn’t always about working more in less time. It’s also about relieving yourself from the stress. Sometimes slowing down could be the best bet.
“There is more to life than just increasing its speed” – Mahatma Gandhi.
- Take time out
Taking time out for yourself is an important part of time management for web workers. That’s because most of the web workers are extremely enthusiastic initially when they quit their jobs and take the plunge. They think they are now on their own and hence would have more time for themselves.
This myth is busted soon when they find themselves sitting at their computers for hours and hours without taking time out. And that’s when they hunt for articles like this to find how they can manage time more efficiently and take time outs.
So, once you are able to get more time for yourself after you apply the aforementioned 12 tips, remember the last but by no means least point – take time out, relax and enjoy !