7 Tricks to Better Manage Your Time – Part 2

7 Tricks to Better Manage Your Time By Erinn Bucklan –

5.  Use Technology to Your Advantage

Contrary to how busy we feel, “we’ve actually gained extra time,” McKinnon says. ”The emergence of new technologies has created vast efficiencies in our productivity and reduced the actual amount of time and effort it takes to do many of our tasks and jobs.”

For example, for organizing your files and documents, McKinnon recommends Evernote, a free online tool. Evernote makes it easy to keep your projects, ideas and even images together. Plus, the software allows you to record meetings or speeches to cut down on your note taking and the means to share your new and improved files with colleagues, taking efficiency to a new level.

6.  Use Music to Help You Focus

Get the most out of your working time by listening to music. Then cut down on the time you’d waste figuring out which tunes to play by checking out Focus@Will, a cool site and app that offers specially selected music “optimized to boost your concentration and focus.”

This is no Pandora. Using scientific research to back up its selection, the site contends, “When choosing music for a workplace, it is best to use music that workers neither like or dislike.” To find out what tunes this could possibly include (hint: there’s a lot of classical instrumentals), sign up for a 30-day free trial or pay a monthly fee of $5.99.

7.  Use an App to Track Time

“Don’t be a clock watcher,” says Rachelle Isip, an organization, time management, and productivity consultant for The Order Expert. “Try setting an alarm or timer as you work. This way you can pay more attention to what you’re doing without interruptions to check the clock. You may even find you’ll finish your work faster using this method.”

For freelancers or business owners, Isip recommends Harvest, a website and app set up to track billable hours on various projects. Plus, you can add staff members to your membership and send out invoices to clients. Harvest offers a 30-day free trial and, if you like what you see, you can pay a monthly fee starting at $12. At that price, it’s still a lot cheaper than hiring a personal assistant.

Rise and Shine

If after all these changes you’re still not finding the time to add something to your life, Vanderkam suggests getting up earlier. “Mornings are a great time for getting stuff done, particularly personal priorities that life has a way of crowding out.”

Vanderkam should know: Besides being a journalist and author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, she’s also a mother of four. Getting up at the crack of dawn doesn’t mean depriving you of sleep, either. “Most people spend a lot of time puttering around awake before bed. So go to bed earlier and turn those unproductive evening hours into productive morning ones.”