What's your best time management strategy

Advice: A Foolproof Time Management Strategy For Work - The Muse - 2021

If you're anything like me, it might take you an hour or two a day. Well, I'm not a wizard to pull the clock back, unfortunately, but I have a strategy that will make you feel like you have more time: discover your most productive hours of the day and protect them with your life.

Jodi Wehling calls them your "golden hours" in an article for People Matters. In other words, those hours of the day when you are most alert, motivated, and inspired to dive into your to-do list or inbox and get things done. If you think about it, your golden hours are likely to get you done twice as much as other times of the day.

For example, I usually feel like I have some superhuman ability in the morning as I start fighting around 3pm. Let's say I need to write an article and have a brainstorming meeting with my team. The brainstorming takes an hour. The article can be an hour if I take it out in the morning or two hours if I try to get it under control in the afternoon. So if I plan my schedule accordingly - that is, hold the meeting later - I am essentially saving time in my day.

Not sure what your golden hours are like? Inc. writer Damon Brown suggests spending a day at work without a meeting. When your schedule is not dictated by others, you can take into account your natural patterns of productivity peaks and troughs.

As soon as you are aware of them, Wehling writes: “... protect them with your life. Block the time and mark it as busy. Avoid the temptation to book a meeting this time. This is your time It's worth twice what you can accomplish. "

Now I know this can be tricky, especially when you are not in complete control of your schedule. And you may need to make adjustments based on what works best for your role or team. (I occasionally schedule morning interviews for candidates who can only come before work.)

In that case, I still recommend speaking to your co-workers or supervisors to see if you have at least an hour or two each day to just do your most important tasks. See if you can talk to the rest of the team about the golden hours. If your permanent staff meeting is at 10 a.m. but several people are doing their best in the morning, shifting the schedule can improve productivity for everyone.

But overall, you shouldn't feel guilty about protecting your prime working hours. It makes you a more productive employee - and likely a happier person. And which boss doesn't want that?