Managing your time better
Time management may sound like a gateway into micro-management – and everyone knows that’s no good for any corporate culture. But taking the opportunity to perfect your own time management can make all the difference for your productivity, motivation and well-being. Plus, with so many time management apps and programs readily available – many of them seamlessly integrating into Dropbox – it’s easier than you might think.
How can I improve time management?
Even if you’re the type of person who never falls victim to procrastination, a little time management can still help you make the most of your day. Before you start looking at timetables and calendars though, there are some time management tips to consider:
Poor time management leads to high stress levels, but so does expecting too much of yourself, or simply doing too much. A bit of mindfulness at work can really help you understand your personal habits and the way you approach situations. When you’re allocating yourself tasks throughout the day, think about your work-life balance and the hours when you know you are most productive, and give yourself enough time for breaks to mitigate burnout.
Time management is personal to each individual, but you’ll be amazed at what a bit of team spirit can achieve. Before you go imposing what you think are effective time management techniques, make sure you know your team’s habits, strengths and weaknesses. Getting to know your team through face to face or virtual team building helps to align individual goals. SMART goals can help here, after all, there’s no point adopting a time management technique if you have nothing meaningful to work on. After goal-setting, you can create a work timetable that not only works for you, but brings out the best in your whole team.
Be prepared for setbacks
This should be true for every workplace, time managed or not. Things don’t always go to plan. Don’t expect a bit of time management to work miracles. Sure, you may end up moving through your critical path quicker than you thought, but that doesn’t mean things won’t go wrong, or take longer than expected. Some of the world’s most successful businesses foster a culture of failure and the unique learning this triggers. Setting aside time to reflect on how processes can be improved is vital for any business and will inevitably save time in the future.
What are the best time management apps?
From the humble to-do list to a fully-fledged app, there are plenty of time management software solutions and other tools to help you take control of your time. Whether you’re running them from an Android or iOS device, these tracking apps can help you start to organise the time in your day a little more effectively.
Time tracking is a key part of time management, letting you better understand your habits and the demand of your daily tasks. With this information, you can form the perfect timetable that assigns sufficient time for your tasks. Getting that information is easier said than done, though, so it’s good that Toggl makes it easy. Not only does it function as a personal time tracker and timesheet, this productivity app can assist with project management and budget allocation too.
Remember the Milk
A to-do list made smarter, Remember the Milk works with other apps like your email inbox to create a succinct task list for your day. Shareable lists and automatic reminders will keep you on track to reach your daily, weekly or monthly goals. Reminders aren’t just push notifications you can easily dismiss either. You can choose to have them sent as email, text, tweet or even an instant message over Skype.
Tapping into the idea of flow, creativity and focus, time management app Forest lets you set time aside to get on with those important tasks. When you get started on a task, you plant a tree in the app. The longer you concentrate, the bigger the tree grows, until you eventually have a whole little forest. It’s a novel and fun way to help keep yourself on track, adding a little more accountability, even if that is only over a virtual hedge.
What time management tools can I use?
When you’re managing a whole team, a simple app isn’t going to solve your time management needs. If you’re struggling to keep team members on track with deadlines and tasks, it may be time to invest in fully fledged time management software. One thing to bear in mind when you start equipping either yourself or your team with all these extras, is that not all time management tools are labelled as such.
For example, Slack can help you save those precious minutes it would take to otherwise email or physically go looking for a colleague, but you wouldn’t think of it as a time management tool. So, think outside the box, really come to terms with the time-wasters that eat up your day, and decide what’s needed to fix them.
Time management with Dropbox integrations
From safe file storage to easy collaboration, Dropbox helps you streamline and organise your work. Whether you’re organising all your files immaculately in shared folders, or using Dropbox Paper as a task manager, Dropbox can help you organise your team members’ work and time. And with app integrations that let you make the most of your time, Dropbox makes for better collaborations, quicker turnaround times and more efficient organisation.
Here are just some of the apps that work seamlessly with Dropbox on both Windows and Mac to help you save and manage your time.
Instant messaging can help you save vital minutes throughout the day. More than that, though, the knowledge that anyone you need to contact is just a click away is very enabling and has a positive effect, especially for new employees. These real-time conversations allow ground to be covered quickly and provide a more personal and informal setting for work to be discussed. Working within Dropbox, you can start a Zoom meeting or Slack conversation right from your Dropbox Paper document and remove the need to move between platforms. Having your content and conversations together in one place can help you stay focused and in flow, making collaboration seamless even when teams are separated.
Like a to-do list for the whole team, these tools can help everyone have a clear view of not just their task but also everyone else’s. This can help foster accountability, create a stronger sense of purpose and drive, as well as being a real focus booster. Project and time management tools can help everyone see what needs to be done in one place, especially when those tools are working in sync. For example, Monday seamlessly links to your Dropbox documents directly from your workflow, while you can take any Dropbox file and attach it to a Trello card. Asana also works in effortless integration with Dropbox – just attach a Dropbox file to your project and it’ll update automatically across both channels.
No matter how organised you think you are, there’s no harm in being even more on top of things – and with Dropbox on your side, your whole team can work towards the perfect workflow.