Tired of the same old tips for how to manage time? We asked productivity experts to weigh in with what they consider their ‘weirdest’ tips.
Want to be more productive? Get up earlier, work in small bursts, exercise, and drink water. If I had a dollar for every article on the internet telling me to do these, I’d be richer than a Kardashian.
What about the things that you don’t hear constantly: the experiments, and the personal discoveries? The Eureka moments when those of us desperate to eke more time out of our day realize if I do this small thing I work so much better!
Employing some lesser-known hacks might be what you need to transition from stress-preneur to entrepreneur. Don’t worry, though, we’re only advocating legal techniques, unlike micro-dosing LSD which is currently the trending productivity hack in Silicon Valley.
To find some brand new productivity hacks, we asked some experts what they do to get the most from their day. Think you know it all already? You’re about to find out.Read More…
There’s a new craze on the block called micro-progress, to help you just get stuff done and feel happier while you do so.
I’m about to say something you’ll hate.
You are not short of time. You have time. If you really wanted to, you could fit everything into your day. Exercise, work, a social life, healthy eating — all of it.
What was your reaction? Did you make an excuse, or start formulating ‘reasons’, for why you legitimately have no time? If so, then you need to take that excuse out of your vocabulary. Now. It’s as much of a procrastination aid as cat videos … but with more guilt, and less fluff.
If you want to procrastinate less — and do more — then you don’t need a grand master plan of how to manage your time. Actually, you need the opposite. It’s tempting to try and set yourself grand, unachievable goals, and then either never start of give up early on. Because changing enough to fulfil these lofty goals requires too many lifestyle changes.
It’s not that you don’t have time. It’s that it’s not a priority to change your entire schedule and current set of habits to create the time. Or as entrepreneur coach Peter Shankman puts it:
“If you want something to be a priority in your life, you make the time for it at the expense of something you deem not as important. It’s truly that simple.”
Which is great, but again, what if that’s too much friction? What if you still procrastinate and don’t have time? How do you get out of this loop?
If you’re thinking that this is just another article to guilt you into feeling bad about not doing enough with your day, then don’t worry. Micro-progress is a feel good method of becoming more productive, and using your time better. Better still, it’s something you can accomplish easily with a Mac productivity app — so no fancy equipment is required.
Whether you want to develop a new app, launch a new business, get fitter, or just do more with your day, tracking what you’re doing in terms of micro-progress is bound to change how you’re managing your time.Read More…
When I used to work as a marketing consultant for a digital marketing company, I would talk to dozens of freelancers and SMEs every week. The main reason I heard constantly for not buying services was: “I just don’t have the money right now, I’m just starting out/short on funds.”
Often, they would promise to ring me back the moment they had a few sales, or had found that investor, or the moment high season began.
You won’t be shocked when I tell you that call rarely came, and I didn’t wait for it.
Does that sound familiar? If you’re just starting out as a freelancer, every cent you make is to put food on your table — so investing it back in yourself and your new business might be the furthest thing from your mind. The key thing is, it’s just that — an investment.
Take timekeeping software for your Mac, for instance. You could just use a clock, but you won’t get the same benefits of knowing where your time has gone. When money is so limited, though, you have to be extremely careful about just how you invest it… and just using a clock seems more appealing, but could cost you money in the long run. Whether it’s thousands of dollars on paid advertising, or fifty dollars on a time tracking app, the decision about where to put your money for the best return on investment is never an easy one.
With years of experience of marketing, tools and apps, we’re here to break down what you should invest in, why, and when’s the right time to do so.Read More…
To celebrate May being mental health awareness month, we’re looking at the challenges faced by freelancers… and how to survive them.
When you’re looking into the life of a freelancer from the outside, it can seem idyllic. No boss breathing down your neck, flexible hours, and the ability to make your own schedule. Who wouldn’t want to do that? So when you quit your job to finally work on the project or career you’ve been planning for years, there normally follows an intense period of euphoria… by the crash. You might put too much pressure on yourself and burn out or feel like you’re being ruled by Murphy’s Law.
Freelancers are predicted to make up to 50% of the workforce by 2020, so it’s vitally important that awareness is raised about the mental health challenges that we face by taking our employment into our own hands. As a 2004 Australian study put it, “overall, self-employment was found to be associated with relatively few mental health benefits,” but why is that? What are the biggest challenges as a freelancer, and how do you make it a success while, most importantly, staying sane?
As someone who’s been through possibly more than my fair share of mental health challenges, here are three of the biggest issues to be aware of when you’re considering going down the freelance route. If you’re already a freelancer, then now’s a good time to check in with yourself. Are your habits healthy, or are you heading towards a breakdown?Read More…
The best argument for why you should be using an automated time tracker: because life’s too short for being unproductive.
If you’re even at all nerdy about how to improve your life skills, you’ve read articles saying that time tracking is how super-busy entrepreneurs stay sane, balanced, and become successful. It’s kind of a chicken-and-egg thing though, isn’t it? Which came first, the personality of that really successful person you’re aspiring to be, or their organizational skills? Have you found yourself reading about one of your business idols, and their morning routines, and thinking you will never have the discipline to be that strict with your time management?
If you’ve been following along with our articles recently, you’ll have noticed a theme of time management skills. We started with goal setting and deciding your motivation behind tracking your time, then structuring your day effectively, and lastly how to turn these new skills into habits. One of the pieces of advice in the last article is that removing friction is one of the best ways to keep your new habits rolling. Time tracking apps are an integral part in effective time management skills, so why are they a source of so much anguish? If you’re not yet automating this part of the process, here’s why you should be.Read More…
You’ve been tracking your day and your time management skills are improving… now what? It’s time to make this new you stick, with scientifically proven methods to build new habits.
Building and maintaining habits is hard. In fact, it’s so hard that Stephen Covey’s book on creating them is the number one bestseller in self-help on Amazon. It seems like the world badly wants more willpower — to get fit, rich, and more productive. That building habits is hard is the bad news, but the good news is that you no longer have to go off guesswork when trying to develop them. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by our last article on creating routines that work to structure your day, and be more productive, then you need to know the science behind creating habits.
For decades, researchers have been looking into habits, willpower, and productivity. We can finally say that there are techniques that are scientifically proven to build new habits. We have information at our fingertips that makes this a simpler and less painful process than ever before. But what’s myth, and what’s tried and tested? Don’t just be another statistic of someone who failed to keep your new routines: turn them into habits that will last a lifetime.Read More…
Want to be more productive, have a better work-life balance, and reduce your stress levels? You need to start structuring your day.
Getting real structure into your day, and sticking to it, isn’t something that comes easily. At least, not for most people out there. Without a doubt, though, structure is something we need more of. From entrepreneurs to studies in childhood development, we know the importance of self-discipline when it comes to delayed gratification. Without structured time management, hitting goals in our personal and professional lives can be near-impossible, something we looked at in more detail in our recent article on effective goal setting.
If you’ve read that article already, you’ll know that it finished with some actionable tasks regarding why you want to time track, and what you hope to achieve from it. Now we’re going to talk about ways you can structure your day. Not one for long blocks of time? Need lots of play? Focus better when you’re tackling something large? Don’t worry, this isn’t a cookie-cutter plan for you to follow; it’s a way to create structure for your day in a way that is effective for who you are.Read More…
Goal setting and time management go hand in hand, so how can you make sure your goal setting is effective, and your time management is successful?
How do you set goals? Are you a Grant Cardone goal setter — setting big goals and taking massive action, or do you set S.M.A.R.T goals, making them all manageable and realistic? With so many different theories out there about which goals you should be setting, and how you should be going about it, it’s easy to lose track of why we set goals in the first place. We set goals to get more done, in less time. Essentially, goals are the foundation for time management — whether it’s managing a busy week, or achieving a five year plan.
Today, we’re going back to basics and talking about how to set goals for your work day, that you can track in a specific, measurable way. This is the first part of a comprehensive set of articles about time management. By the end of the month, you’ll be tracking your time like a pro.Read More…
Billions of dollars are being stolen each year, so how do you protect yourself against the threats to your online security?
We live in a time with more awareness, more techniques, and more tools for staying safe online than ever before. Yet last year in 2017, there were 16.7 million victims of identity fraud in the U.S. alone, according to a study by Javelin Security. That’s 1.3 million victims more than in 2016, and amounts to $16.8 billion dollars being stolen — an average of around $1000 dollars per person. Most of the time, fraud costs you a couple of dollars, amounts that the fraudulent companies think consumers won’t notice or check. At worst, you could find your accounts completely maxed out before you have time to retaliate. As if this isn’t bad enough, everyone is gathering data on us through ads, trackers, cookies. Our footsteps across the web are emblazoned clearly, for all companies to see.
We’re living in the most complex era for fraud and privacy prevention, and the technological advances constantly taking place around us are only increasing this complexity. The question is, how do we protect ourselves from trackers, hackers, and those collecting data? This month at Timing we’ve been focusing on privacy, starting with our article specifically about time tracking apps and privacy. We’re kicking it up a notch this comprehensive guide to protecting your data when using the internet. With the minefield of misinformation out there, this guide aims to simplify things and bring you only the facts.Read More…
Big Brother is watching you. Or at least your employer, your clients, and countless strangers on the Internet are watching you. In 2018, no part of our lives seems to be private anymore — but at least there are attempts being made to regain our ‘right to be forgotten’. We’re three months away from the EU imposing their new data protection regulations, which means the spotlight is on what’s being done with our information. It’s a law which seems to be being treated alarmingly calmly by the majority of organizations, two-thirds of which reportedly aren’t prepared. Essentially, companies need to take better care of consumer information — or risk facing colossal fines.
This is the first of two articles we’re publishing this month focusing on data protection and online privacy. If you’re concerned about time tracking apps tracking your personal information — not to mention Internet activity — we’re going to answer some of those questions. We’ll also tell you how (and why) to protect what you want to remain private. Because detail about what you’ve been doing is great… until it’s detail you don’t want, or simply too much. Whether you’re an employee using time tracking software, or a freelancer invoicing your clients, it’s your right to know where your information is going.Read More…