26 Time Management Hacks

Clock and Telephone, Rufino Tamayo, 1925

Clock and Telephone, Rufino Tamayo, 1925

from Etienne Garbugli: 26 Time Management Hacks I Wish I'd Known at 20

  • Only plan for 4-5 hours of real work per day
  • It's normal to have days where you just can't work and days where you'll work 12 hours straight
    • work more when you're in the zone. Relax when you're not.
  • Your time is $1000/hour, respect your time and act accordingly
  • Stop multi-tasking, it only kills your focus
  • Set up a work routine and stick to it, your body will adapt
  • Time block: You're more focused and productive with limited time
  • Work is the best way to get working. Start with short and small tasks.
  • Work iteratively. don't expect to do things perfectly

    "Doing is better than perfect" – Facebook motto

  • More work hours != more productivity.
  • Separate brainless and strategic tasks

    "Separate thinking and execution to execute faster and think better" – Sol Tanguay

  • Put important meetings early in the day so you can focus on other work after
  • Group meetings and communication (email or phone) to create blocks of uninterrupted work
  • Avoid context switching: keep the same context throughout the day.
  • Work around procrastination. Procrastinate between sprints of work (Pomodoro)
  • break things down

    Break the unreasonable down into little reasonable chunks. A big goal is only achieved when every little thing that you do everyday, gets you closer to that goal – Maren Kate, Escaping the 9 to 5

  • Always prioritize: No 2 task holds the same importance. sort/group your to-do list by importance
  • Always know the one thing you need to get done during the day that has the biggest impact
  • Break tasks into hour increments. Long tasks are hard to get into.
  • Delegate and learn to make use of other people.

    "If something can be done 80% as well by someone else, delegate!" – John C. Maxwell

  • Only think about today and tomorrow.

    "Yesterday's home runs don't win today's games" – Babe Ruth

  • Set deadlines for everything. Don't let tasks run indefinitely.
  • Set end dates for intense or stressful activities
  • Always take notes and set reminders. Your brain is fallible and your memory cannot be trusted
  • Write down anything that distracts you – random thoughts, new ideas, emotions. Once you write them down, they'll stop bothering you when you try to focus
  • Take breaks. Sometimes.