Ever finished a work day, went on auto-pilot for 8 or 12 hours, and felt like it was all a big blur. Do you feel like it could have been more productive if only you were able to manage your time better? But wait… WILL time management really help make your business feel less overwhelming? Don’t worry, I got you. In this post, I’ll share my 4 fail-proof time management hacks using ClickUp and how it’ll get you back on track!
What is time management?
Time management can go by different names: time blocking, time theming, time crafting, time this, and time that. The gist of it all, however, is that much like any resource, TIME is limited, and thus needs to be managed as efficiently as possible in order to avoid indiscriminate ‘spending.’
- If you want to do Activity A, you need to set time to pursue Activity A.
- If you want to do Activity B, you need to set time to pursue Activity B.
- If you want to do Activity A and B, then you need to either allocate enough time to participate in both activities OR pick whichever brings you the most benefit, so that you don’t undermine your efforts (by doing both with limited focus) and waste time.
“Time management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity.”– Wikipedia
Time Management + ClickUp
So, in case you don’t already know, ClickUp is a cloud-based project and task management tool that can be used by ANYONE. It’s a powerful productivity tool that helps business people and non-business people manage what needs to be done, set the goals, and track their progress.
Now, ClickUp has a lot of features that can help you practice better time management. From dashboards to custom fields, task summary emails to app notifications, there’s so much in there that you can use to make your day a lot more streamlined and avoid energy-draining, time-sucking distractions.
You can read more about what ClickUp is and why you need it here.
Time Management Basics:
(a.k.a the 4 Core Habits to Stay Productive in ClickUp)
Oh ho ho ho ho! Even though I haven’t been in this industry as long as some of my peers, I can tell you that not everyone is created equal when it comes to time management.
ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU’RE RUNNING A BUSINESS, among other things!
There will be fire. There will be projects that run late. People can get sick and miss work. Your apps might crash. A whole assortment of ‘OH GOD WHY NOW’ stuff.
Imagine running an (insert here)-figure business and suddenly 999,999,999 things beg your urgent attention… and if you’re a parent, it does get extra frickin’ hard to stay focused and your time can easily get hijacked when you’re not careful.
Here’s the thing though. It’s normal that things won’t go your way 100% of the time. Such is the beauty of human life! But regardless of these shortcomings, you can still create some safety measures to help you through the tough times.
So, let’s talk about the four (4) core time management habits that you need to develop to get back on track when you get derailed!
Core Habit #1: Planning
The first core habit that you need to use when it comes to time management is planning.
Planning is crucial for proper time management because it helps you understand your business better. In planning, you get to unravel the obstacles, pitfalls, and other issues that you might have overlooked to make your business as productive as possible. It helps you gain insight on where you should focus your time in order to get the best results.
Let’s talk about how you can plan your week and days to stay on track using ClickUp!
ClickUp Features for Effective Planning
There are three features that you can use inside ClickUp. If you recall my Inbox ZERO post, I mentioned that I often take some time every Sunday to write a master list of all of my priority tasks for the week, and then I schedule them out using ClickUp.
This not only allows me to see a weekly overview, but also provides me a daily summary of what needs to get done.
- The first feature is the new calendar and event linking inside ClickUp.
In this YouTube video (fast forward to 2:07), you’ll see that I have a lot of purple block events that are on my Google calendar that are synched inside ClickUp. Next to each of these events, I actually have tasks that are scheduled out next to them. So, essentially the events in my Google calendar act as static containers, then the tasks that I’m doing go next to them to make sure that they’re on track for each of those containers.
- Next is Home v2.0 inside ClickUp.
In the same YouTube video (fast forward to 2:42), you’ll find that you have the option to show your calendar on your home area – not just from the action button. From there, you can also see your trending tasks, the lineup, and the comment section. This makes it a lot easier to see a general overview of things, enough to help you get started with the planning phase.
- The third feature (that’s my absolute favorite inside ClickUp) is your daily due date summary email. The concept is super simple! You just turn on the email notification system to get all of your tasks once a day at a specific time. It will send you everything that’s due for the day, then what’s due tomorrow, along with whatever is potentially overdue. This allows you to keep track of your week, broken down into bite-sized segments (e.g. Today, Tomorrow, Overdue).
If you’re not sure how to write a good project plan. Don’t forget to go check out my project management basics post. It shows how to make a simple project plan inside ClickUp!
Core Habit #2: Limit Distractions
Your time management hack core habit number two: LIMIT YOUR DISTRACTIONS.
Limiting distractions often vary depending on the person and on the objective, but one thing you need to remember is that you NEED TO STICK TO THE PLAN.
Sticking to the plan may mean…
- focusing on the tasks at hand!
- not checking your Facebook notifications every time you see it pop up (unless, of course, you’re a social media manager or a community manager, then you probably need to check it in a timely manner).
- setting your chat status (e.g. Slack, Voxer, etc.) to ‘AWAY’ or pausing your chat notifications when you’re doing focused work.
- letting people (e.g. your family, team, or other people who might need your help/participation) know that you’re working on time-sensitive tasks and that it would be super helpful if you could check with them at specific intervals throughout the day.
Core Habit #3: Know Your Priorities (and Non-Negotiables)
Knowing your priorities and your non-negotiables is what will help you run a successful business AND keep your sanity. This means when you add something into your calendar, when you set an appointment or schedule an itinerary, YOU MUST DO YOUR BEST TO FOLLOW THROUGH.
Your schedule is not a suggestion. Your schedule is there to help you stay organized, avoid mental overwhelm, and not waste time (yours and whoever else is involved).
Once you identify your non-negotiables, plan around them. These can be things as your morning routines, your regular lunch breaks, the behind the scenes of work you do for clients, or when you’re on your client calls. This is where you’re going to practice your boundaries and live by your calendar.
Core Habit #4: Reporting
Let’s talk about core habit number four, this is super easy, reporting.
You need to regularly check-in with yourself and your team, this can be on a daily or weekly basis. There’s three ways that you can can do this inside ClickUp:
- The first way you can do this is with a daily accomplishments dashboard.
This allows me to see where my time was spent during the day, how many things I’ve completed, where are the majority of my activity was. I can compare my estimated time versus my time actually tracked and I can calculate my workspace points. This is super helpful to keep your team on track and to create some incentives for the rest of the team members.
I like to view this dashboard at the end of every day, especially when I’m having a very busy day and I feel like I’m putting out fires all day long and I’m wondering, “what did I actually do all day?” If you add the rest of these core habits in like your time tracking, you’ll actually see that you’re more productive than you originally thought.
2. The next thing you can do is to have monthly and quarterly reviews using the box view inside ClickUp.
When you first load this box view inside ClickUp, it’s probably going to select a number of tasks. My hack here is take the workload and go by time estimate. This way you can see how much time was actually spent versus time estimated. You can do this for everyone that’s included inside your workspace. If you don’t like using time estimates, you can just do number of tests and this gives you an idea of the workload throughout your workspace.
3. Lastly, you should reflect on things that may, may not be, and somewhat working for your business.
This is handy for when you’re looking at your project management overview dashboard. You can see here with time bar charts and graphs, you can see tasks, statuses, project, health, and tasks by priority over time. This helps give you an idea as to where people are actually spending most of their time in ClickUp!
Swipe right for ClickUp TIME MANAGEMENT Pro Tips!
There are 4 core habits when it comes to time management:
- Limiting distractions
- Knowing your priorities
People have varying levels of success with time management, but as with anything else, it gets better through practice. When you keep these 4 core habits in mind and practice each one with mindfulness, then you won’t have that much trouble following through with client expectations, projects, and other commitments.
Regardless of your career path, time management is an essential part of being an efficient and dependable member of an organization.
Still struggling and need help with getting your time back to push the needle forward using ClickUp?
Let me show you how to get more out of ClickUp to improve your business efficiency, boost team accountability, streamline communication efforts, and fast track platform implementation. Click the button below to get started!