The Best Tips to Save Time at Work

Learn the importance of time management and how to improve your time management with these 12 time-saving tips.

By Hannah Ross  •   March 8, 2023  •   7 min read

Knowing how to effectively manage your time is a superpower. Unfortunately, time management doesn’t come easily to everyone. Those who lack time management skills will produce poor quality work, miss deadlines, and fail to strike the perfect balance between work and home life. In contrast, those who are capable of managing their time effectively will be able to manage their professional and personal priorities with ease, resulting in less stress, a greater reputation at work, and a happier life. In this article, we’ll dive into the importance of effective time management and cover tips and tricks for saving time at work. 

The importance of effective time management

Time management is important because it empowers you to take back control of your schedule so you can focus on work during working hours and prioritize your personal life when it matters most. Learning to manage your time effectively at work will help you meet deadlines, improve efficiency, and ultimately deliver better work. All of these benefits come together to increase job satisfaction, decrease stress, and create a happier, healthier home life. 

The benefits of time management include greater clarity, greater capability, and greater confidence. When you get clear on where you should be expending your energy, you become more focused and productive. This level of clarity reduces procrastination, increases productivity, and helps you move the needle closer to bigger and better goals. 

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How to save time at work

1Plan your day

Being able to effectively manage your time is the key to sustaining success and happiness long term. Learning how to plan your workday will not only help you keep distractions at bay, but it will also increase your productivity, help you save time, and reduce your stress. Planning your day and organizing your time makes it possible for you to schedule time for deep work while prioritizing important tasks that require your undivided attention. This means having more time for things you value and not being stressed because you failed to manage your time appropriately. 

2Use a meeting agenda

Building a great meeting agenda can be a game changer for your productivity, and tools like Fellow make it easier than ever to create thorough and collaborative agendas. Fellow enables you to build collaborative meeting agendas, record decisions, and keep your teammates accountable before, during, and after every meeting so you can host effective meetings that help you save time and energy. The more time you spend in effective meetings, the less time you have to spend tracking down important details, following up on loose ends, and keeping your teammates accountable.

3Remove distractions

Distractions can be detrimental to your productivity. From checking Instagram to chatting with a coworker, you may not even realize how much time you spend being distracted daily. Distractions don’t just eat up your time when you’re distracted, they also derail your mental progress for up to half an hour after the initial distraction! This loss of focus disrupts workflow, creativity, and productivity, leading to stress and in the worst-case scenario, burnout

4Identify priorities 

Identifying your priorities is the key to saving time at work. Getting clear on your priorities will provide you with the guidance and motivation necessary to move forward with conviction so you can zero in on important tasks that require your undivided attention. To quote Rob Zuber, a 5x CTO, in episode 123 of our Supermanagers podcast:

“What’s really important is that the people on the team know their priorities and know what matters. If someone comes out of the blue and says, ‘Hey, I need you to drop everything you’re doing and do this.’ They should be in a position to say, ‘That seems odd, because I feel like as an organization, we’re aligned around these priorities. And that feels like it’s not lined up with that, can you give me a little more information?’”

5Group similar tasks

Grouping similar tasks is an excellent time saver. Grouping similar tasks or task batching is a productivity hack that involves grouping similar tasks together to complete them all at once. This technique can help you avoid multitasking and increase the amount of time you have to focus on one task. You can take task batching one step further by time blocking. This means that you would dedicate a specific block of time to your grouped tasks so you can focus without losing time or energy to multitasking or procrastinating. 

6Leverage technology

The use of emerging technologies in the workplace is becoming increasingly prevalent, and for good reason. Leveraging technology can help you increase productivity, organization, and efficiency. If you’re looking to put some time back into your calendar, Fellow’s Time Saver automation will help remove unproductive meetings with no agenda from your calendar and give you the time back to use more productively. This simple automation could end up saving you hours of wasted time every week!

7Take breaks 

No one is capable of working 24/7. While you may feel invincible from time to time, the reality is that everybody needs to take breaks to sustain a healthy work-life balance. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that encourages people to work within the time they have—rather than against it. The Pomodoro Technique works by breaking your workday into manageable 25-minute focus periods followed by 5-minute breaks. 

The basic steps to follow when embracing the Pomodoro Technique are: 

  1. Choose a single task to focus on.
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work only on your selected task. 
  3. After 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break. 
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 four times. 
  5. Take a longer break of about 15 to 30 minutes.

8Time your tasks

It’s now more difficult than ever to track your time, especially because the lines between home and work life can be blurred. If you’re unsure when your workday starts and ends, try tracking your time. If you’re someone who works more efficiently under a time crunch, consider blocking your time and focusing on one core task at a time. 

Time audits are also a great tool you can use to improve your time management skills, and therefore increase productivity. Timing your tasks will give you a more appropriate idea of how long it takes you to complete certain tasks. This means you can create a schedule that empowers you to optimize your time and plan your schedule accordingly.

9Communicate regularly 

Regular communication with your team is important for several reasons—including boosting employee morale, engagement, productivity, and satisfaction, which all lead to better collaboration and cooperation. Strong verbal and written communication also aids in relaying company messages, goals, objectives, and responsibilities clearly and efficiently. By not wasting time on redoing misunderstood tasks or clarifying miscommunications, you and your employees can devote more time to important tasks. 

10Allocate time to plan 

The greatest managers and leaders schedule time for planning. Whether it be your new Sunday night ritual or an hour you block off on your Google calendar on Friday afternoons, planning for the future should be part of your routine. Scheduling time for planning will ensure you don’t forget any tasks or important deadlines. When you plan effectively for the future, you set yourself up for success and eliminate the added stress that comes with being unorganized or ill-prepared. 

11Manage your notifications 

Notifications are a major distraction that ultimately end up sucking tons of valuable time out of your day. Whether it be an email with an enticing subject line, a last-minute meeting invite from one of your colleagues, or a pop-up from Twitter, there’s never going to be a shortage of distracting notifications that draw your attention away from work. Taking a proactive stance is crucial. If you know you’re carving out an hour or two of time for deep work, mute your notifications! This means being upfront and setting boundaries with your colleagues when necessary. Update your Slack status, go offline, or do whatever it takes to let your teammates know you’re setting a boundary and won’t be available. 

12Delegate tasks 

No one can take on everything by themselves, which is why delegation is so important. Delegating tasks to those who may have a larger work capacity or more experience is a great way to free up your schedule to work on more pressing tasks that require your immediate attention. 

Are you ready to use these time-saving tips? 

You’re officially ready to take back control of your calendar! Implementing these time-saving best practices will ensure you have what you need to effectively manage your time in the workplace so you can begin to save time for high-value tasks that are worthy of your time.

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