Time management is among the greatest challenges for busy professionals and entrepreneurs. With only a limited number of work hours available in a day, professionals often find it difficult to handle multiple projects, particularly when clients and superiors each see their own projects as top priority. Ineffective time management can lead to stress and burnout because professionals commonly feel that they are overwhelmed with projects and tasks. Fortunately, you can take advantage of several simple time management tools to increase productivity and reduce the stress of a heavy workload.
One of the most critical elements of project management is efficient organization. As you progress through your project, you will almost invariably jot down notes, find online references, and even discover images and videos that are relevant to project development; however, you might find it difficult to locate notes and references when you need them. Evernote provides a simple way to collect all of your references and notes in a single place and organize them to meet your needs. The search tool allows you to find saved information quickly, so that you won’t waste time looking for the notes and references you need. Evernote even offers an Android app, which allows you to save and access notes and information on your phone or tablet.
How much time do you spend during the average week locating files, folders, programs, and applications on your tablet or computer? If you have thousands of files and programs, finding the one you need for your project can be time-consuming and frustrating. Launchy is a simple Windows-based program that allows you to launch programs, locate and open documents, and access stored video and audio files with just a few keystrokes. Having quick access to the files and programs you need can go a long way toward time management. Learning resources such as the Master Your Time course can provide additional tips for reducing wasted time.
3. Rescue Time
Thanks to portable devices such as tablets, laptops, and smartphones, professionals today have access to software and Internet resources virtually anywhere. The downside of perpetual access, though, is that it increases the availability of distracting websites, games, and other time-wasters. You can easily lose track of how much time you spend on unproductive activities. Rescue Time can help by gathering information about your computer usage and generating detailed reports to identify inefficiencies. Because Rescue Time automatically runs in the background, you don’t have to actively participate in data collection. By helping you make better choices about how you spend your time, this program and learning resources such as Time Mastery can give you the power to make effective time management decisions.
4. Google Calendar
Although managing the time you spend in front of your computer or mobile device is important, you probably don’t spend all of your work time at the keyboard or touchscreen. Google Calendar is a simple scheduling tool you can use to keep track of meetings, appointments, and other offline activities. Adding your appointments and meetings to Google Calendar prevents schedule conflicts and can help you make the most of your work day. Automatic reminders ensure that you never miss an important event. You can even sync entries across multiple devices, which allows you to keep track of your schedule wherever you go.
Whether you are an entrepreneur or you work for a traditional employer, efficient time management is essential for keeping projects on track and getting work done with minimal stress. These four simple tools are easy to use and can go a long way toward helping you stay productive.
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Do you have a favorite time management tool? Share it in the comments below!