Ultimate Time Management Guide

Time management is a crucial component to a happy, productive, opportunity-filled life - here’s everything you need to know about honing it to your own benefit.

Time tracking methods: timesheet or timer

01.

What is time management?

According to the time management definition, time management is the process of planning, organizing, and controlling the time spent on specific activities - it is the ability to use the time you have in a day productively and effectively.

A vital subtype of time management is organizational time management - it involves organizing your time and activities in such a way that helps you identify time wastage, evaluate it, and reduce it.

Overall, time management is crucial for your success at work, but it’s also crucial for helping you find time for your family, friends, hobbies, as well as personal commitments and interests.

The most important concept of time management are priorities - time management centers around:

However, despite the term being “time management”, strictly speaking, time itself cannot be managed because it is a fixed component - you cannot prolong 2 hours in a day, but you can maximize the number of priority activities you finish during said 2 hours.

So, in order to practice successful time management, you’ll need to possess and nurture the right set of skills - examples of time management skills include:

02.

The advantages of time management

Time management, when done right, has a number of prominent advantages:

Relieves stress

Proper time management involves following a schedule and checking off items in a to-do list - this way, you feel like you have everything under control, so you feel much less stressed about your work.

time management guide reduce stress

Gives you more time

Proper time management involves blocking time in your schedule for important activities, and timeboxing your errands so that you avoid spending too much time on them - all this saves time, and provides more opportunity to socialize with friends, spend some quality time with your family, practice a hobby, or pursue other personal interests.

Helps you reach your goals

Proper time management involves sorting out priorities and other errands in a way that leaves you with enough time to consider, find, and pursue the right goals.

time management guide reach goals

Makes you more confident

Proper time management involves finishing your work on time, and leading an organized life - people around you start to admire you because of these qualities, which helps boost your morale and confidence, resulting in a resolution to continue with such an organized lifestyle.

Helps you procrastinate less

Proper time management involves clear schedules that leave no or little room for being idle - you’ll feel encouraged to stick to your planned daily activities and procrastinate less as a result.

03.

The importance of time management

As we’ve seen in the “The advantages of time management” section, proper time management helps you gain and maintain control over your life on a whole.

Without proper time management, you’ll probably waste hours on trivial activities and neglect your priorities. Then, you’ll likely skip meals or reduce sleep time, all in an effort to save some of the lost time for work activities - however, you’ll still get little done because it’s impossible to focus properly when you’re hungry or tired.

So, time management is important because it helps you:

Moreover, time management also helps you reduce stress as a result of having quality work finished before the deadline, with plenty of time for hobbies and friends.

In the end, you’ll be more likely to enjoy success in life, but also learn from your losses, as well as understand what steps to undertake to minimize these losses in the future.

04.

How do average people manage time? (Statistics)

According to time management facts and figures and time tracking statistics, people spend:

As evident, a lot of time during the day gets wasted, mismanaged, or miscalculated - here are the signs that you too are a part of the statistical sample who manages their time poorly.

05.

Signs you have poor time management skills

There are several giveaway signs that indicate you have poor time management skills:

You’re always late

You’re always late to meetings and constantly breaching deadlines on projects.

Reason? You take on many tasks, make many promises, and, in the end, you simply can’t follow them through.

You’re slow with your work

It takes you 2 hours to finish a task most other people would finish in under an hour.

Reason? Your work lacks the organization that would help you structure your work better and finish your assignments faster.

You waste a lot of time

You spend 3 hours on an easy task - 2 hours more than it’s really necessary.

Reason? You don’t have a strict schedule saying when you should start and when you should stop working on a task - you work on tasks in random order, and have no clear organizational system for work.

You often experience a lack of energy

You feel exhausted all the time - like you have no time to eat, sleep, or rest.

Reason? You’re constantly procrastination and falling behind with your assignments, so you spend extra hours after work trying to catch up.

You’re often indecisive

You’re constantly confused about your priorities and you spend extra time unable to decide what to tackle next.

Reason? You lack a clear agenda that shows your daily priorities and how they relate to your goals.

You take on too much work

You’re always taking on requests from others, until you have no time for your own assignments.

Reason? You don’t understand what your priorities are, how to define them, and how to make sure you do them first.

The reason behind severe time management problems...

If the listed reasons for poor time management are sporadic, you can likely solve them yourself after some time and practice.

However, chronic problems with time management, including difficulties getting started with a task, organizing and following your schedule, as well as following through with your tasks, may indicate Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

This disorder involves:

Most importantly, ADHD affects your ability to mark the passage of time and make plans accordingly - so proper time management becomes difficult.

For more information about ADHD disorder, consult the National Institute of Mental Health website.

06.

Time management skills to have

In order to overcome poor time management skills and other difficulties in your work you’ll need to possess the right time management skills - here are the 10 must-have skills you need to nurture if you want to make the most of your time:

The ability to define SMART goals

Why it’s useful?

Smart goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound - you should always ask whether your goals live up to these parameters before deciding to pursue them.

Time management problems it solves?

How?

The ability to plan and organize your day

Why it’s useful?

Planning your priorities and organizing your day around them helps you save time and finish what you need.

Time management problems it solves? 

How?

The ability to manage your stress

Why it’s useful?

High stress levels hinder your ability to perform well at work.

Time management problems it solves?

How? 

The ability to delegate tasks

Why it’s useful?

If you delegate tasks you’re not obliged to do you’ll save time for priority and urgent tasks.

Time management problems it solves?

How?

The ability to avoid distractions

Why it’s useful?

Distractions such as your phone, Social Media, and chatty colleagues take away from the time you should be working, so you later invest extra efforts trying to make up for lost time.

Time management problems it solves?

How?

The ability to single-task

Why it’s useful? 

Single-tasking is the new multitasking - you cannot properly focus on several tasks at a time, so it’s best that you work on one task only during a fixed time period.

Time management problems it solves? 

How?

The ability to say “No”

Why it’s useful? 

If you take on every request sent your way, you’ll only be working on other people’s priorities, not your own.

Time management problems it solves?

How?

The ability to put effort into high value work

Why it’s useful? 

If you put 20% of your efforts into the right tasks, you’ll match 80% of your expected results - instead of working on 8 easy tasks that solve only 2 of your problems, work on 2 more difficult tasks that solve 8 of your problems.

Time management problems it solves?

How?

The ability to avoid procrastination

Why it’s useful? 

Building the entire Winterfell castle complete with a teeny-tiny Jon Snow out of matches is fun, but you shouldn’t do that during work hours because you’ll just lose time and double your work for tomorrow.

Problems it solves? 

How? 

For more insight into the mechanisms of procrastination, complete with reasons why it happens and a list of famous procrastinators, check out our Procrastination guide.

The ability to identify priority tasks

Why it’s useful? 

When you know what your most important and most urgent tasks are, you know what you need to do first.

Time management problems it solves?

How?

So, now you’ve learned what time management skills you need to have, but how do you polish them to perfection? Dive into our Detailed guide on how to improve time management skills for answers.

07.

Time management strategies

Average people may rely on 13 different time management strategies in everyday life, but there are even more useful methods you can look into - here are the 18 best time management strategies you can try in business or for handling your personal errands:

Pomodoro

What’s it about? Parse your work into 25-minute work sessions and 5-minute breaks. After 4 such cycles, take a longer, 20-minute break. Rinse and repeat until done for the day.

Key benefits?

Kanban

What’s it about? Visual approach to tracking the progress you make on tasks - add tasks, define progress levels, and move tasks across columns as they change their progress level.

Key benefits?

Getting Things Done

What’s it about? Capture, clarify, organize, reflect and work on tasks in your to do-list.

Key benefits?

Eat That Frog

What’s it about? Prioritize tasks by difficulty, urgency, and importance, and tackle the most significant task first thing in the morning.

Key benefits?

Timeboxing

What’s it about? Allocate specific time to activities in order to limit the time you spend on them.

Key benefits?

Time Blocking

What’s it about? Allocate specific time to activities in order to find a place for them in your calendar.

Key benefits?

Inbox-Zero

What’s it about? An email-centric approach meant to help you manage your inbox.

Key benefits?

Who's Got The Monkey

What’s it about? An approach meant to help you delegate, by recognizing, assigning, insuring, and checking the progress made on tasks.

Key benefits?

Action Method

What’s it about? View all your daily work as separate projects you’ll parse and manage according to clear project management steps.

Key benefits?

The Eisenhower Matrix

What’s it about? Prioritize tasks based on their levels or urgency and importance and then tackle them in the right order.

Key benefits?

Biological Prime Time

What’s it about? Analyze your productivity levels throughout the day, and then work on priority tasks during your productivity peak hours.

Key benefits?

The Productivity Journal

What’s it about? You write about the activities you’ve completed or need to complete in journal-like entries.

Key benefits?

The Seinfeld Method

What’s it about? A calendar-based system that encourages you to work on your professional skills every day.

Key benefits?

The 10-minute Rule

What’s it about? A time-bound approach that lets you ease into your work by only working for 10 minutes, for a start.

Key benefits?

To-Done List

What’s it about? You list tasks you’ve finished so far, for analysis and motivation purposes.

Key benefits?

To-Don't List

What’s it about? You list tasks you need to refrain from doing, such as visiting Instagram during work hours.

Key benefits?

Flowtime Technique

What’s it about? Experiment with the time you’ll allocate to tasks for work - test whether you work best in 10-minute chunks, 90-minute chunks, or anywhere in between.

Key benefits?

Top Goal

What’s it about? You pick a priority goal and allocate time to accomplishing it every day.

Key benefits?

Want to learn more about these time management techniques, their pros and cons, the time management skills they improve, and the issues they solve? Then check out our all-inclusive guide to the 18 best time management techniques.

 

08.

Time management tips for work

Time management strategies have only half of their effect if you don’t follow the right time management tips for work - so, here are the best time management tips for your time before work, at work, after work, as well as tips on how to stay healthy, focused, and everything else in between:

BEFORE WORK TIPS

Create to-do lists

You’ll stay on track with your daily tasks, and feel a boost of morale and motivation each time you check off a new item.

time management guide todo list

Plan your day the night before

Planning your day the night before helps you gain a perspective of your day in peace - you’ll be able to think about your priorities and organize your schedule accordingly, without rushing anything.

Define weekly goals

Clearly defined goals will tell you what you need to do to accomplish them - it’ll be easier for you to define goal-related tasks and then allocate them to a specific day and time of the week, complete with deadlines.

Set deadlines for your work

Deadlines tell you when you need to finish, so you plan your time accordingly - parsing the task into subtasks and assigning a deadline for each serves as a great motivator to help keep you going.

Make your schedule flexible

You never know when something unexpected (but important) will pop up, so make sure you’re prepared - scheduling an extra hour in your calendar will usually do the trick.

WORK TIPS

Work on tasks during fixed time periods

Unless you schedule the exact time you’ll spend on a task, you risk spending too much time on it, leaving little time for anything else - but, if you divide your workday into scheduled work sessions, it’ll be much easier to navigate through your workload.

One efficient variation of this approach is the previously mentioned Pomodoro time management technique:

  1. Parse your work into 25-minute work sessions
  2. Work on a task until the 25 minutes are up, and then take a 5-minute break
  3. Each 25-minute work session + 5-minute break = 1 Pomodoro cycle
  4. After 4 Pomodoro cycles you take a 20-minute work
time management guide pomodoro timer

For the ultimate Pomodoro experience, try the Clockify extensions for Chrome and Firefox - you’ll get a built-in Pomodoro timer that notifies you when your 25-minute work sessions is done, and reminds you when it’s time to resume work after your 5-minute break. You can also define custom time for your work sessions and breaks, and include a recurring longer break.

Do some work during commutes 

We usually think long commutes to work are simply a waste of time- but you can use this time to listen to podcasts, take online classes, or even finish some work before arriving to the office.

Do small tasks first 

Tiresome, but unavoidable mosquito tasks are a real pest - group them together into one time block and enjoy the feeling of having a dozen new, motivating checkmarks in your to-do list in no time.

Work 2-4 hours on weekends

Working for up to 4 hours during the weekends will help you ease the workload for next week, but still leave enough time for fun weekend activities.

Block time for phone calls 

Phone calls can be time consuming and take away from your work - but, if you block time in your calendar just for phone calls and stick to your schedule you’ll make sure you don’t spend too much time on them.

Timebox your inbox

Managing your inbox can also be time-consuming - you may feel the urge to check your inbox every time you receive a new email, and all those interruptions will take away from your focus on real work. But, if you set a strict timebox each day, for example, one hour in the morning, and make sure you stop managing your inbox as soon as the timebox expires, you’ll tame and limit the time you spend on this secondary activity.

AFTER WORK TIPS

Organize your files, folders, and documents

An organized desk and computer saves the time you’d otherwise spend looking for an important document you have no idea where you stored - at the end of each day or workweek, make sure you allocate 1 hour to sorting out your newest files, folders, and documents.

Unwind and relax 

You can’t (or at least shouldn't) think about work all the time - take some time to relax before going to bed every day. You’ll clear your head and give yourself some space - your work will still be waiting for you tomorrow anyway.

Practice a creative hobby

Hobbies such as sculpting, painting, or writing short stories help enhance your creativity - this creativity is later likely to rub off on your work, so it’ll be easier for you to think up solutions to unusual problems.

Make weekly work reviews

At the end of the week, if you review and analyze what you’ve done so far, you’ll gain a better understanding of what you still need to when next week starts.

HEALTH TIPS

Take breaks

Breaks are important for progress - they help you recharge batteries for another work session, so make sure you take at least 5 or 10-minute breaks from time to time. Go out for a short walk, call your best friend for a short coffee session, or do a few short exercises.

time management guide take breaks

Don’t skip meals

Eating healthy and on time is important for your productivity. Trying to power through tasks when you’re hungry won’t help you finish faster, but will only tire you out.

FOCUS TIPS

Use a website blocker

Sometimes, you simply need to fight your own urge to browse endlessly through Social Media - a website blocker will make sure you stay away from time-wasting websites during the time designated for work.

time management guide blocker

Unplug from the Internet 

Sometimes, your urge to procrastinate is so strong that you’ll find yourself reading about tax regulations in Iceland (despite not living there) just to avoid your real work. In such desperate times drastic measures are called for - unplug the Internet and save yourself the temptation.

Practice “deep work”

Cal Newport’s concept of deep work involves concentrating on a cognitively demanding task in such a way that helps you work on it longer, finish it faster, and avoid distractions along the way.

Set reminders before each task

Reminders help you keep track of the work you have to perform - if you set an alarm at least 15 minutes before it’s time to go to a meeting or hold a presentation, you’ll give yourself enough time to prepare.

EXTRA TIPS

Find your most productive time

The entire day simply isn’t optimal for work - and you’ll need to analyze your time usage to find your own ideal Biological Prime Time.

You can turn to Clockify to track the time you spend on tasks, for later analysis:

If it takes you 2 hours for this type of tasks in the morning, and an hour in the afternoon, you’re just not a morning person and should handle your priorities later in the day.

time management guide find productive time

Give yourself enough time to finish...

If you rush a task, you likely won’t finish it in a quality way - you’ll aim to finish faster, but you’ll likely just spend even more time trying to fix the mistakes you’ve made. It’s better to take breaks when you feel like you’re losing patience with a task, and then return to it with a clear head.

...But, also, don’t be a perfectionist

Tweaking a task to perfection is essentially a whole new level of wasting your time - nothing will ever be perfect in the eye of a perfectionist, so you’d be better of if you were to stop working on a task once you’re truly done, and then allocate this extra time to the next task.

Make your most important tasks into habits

Creating the outline for new content on your blog can become just as natural and easy as brushing your teeth - you’ll just need to establish the precise steps to crafting an outline, allocate a certain amount of time to it, and then follow the rules and stick to the schedule.

Identify time wasters

Once you identify and list time wasters, track the time you spend on them - you’ll get the exact amount of time you can allocate to more important activities on a different occasion.

For more useful time management tips, check out our extensive list of the 58 time management tips for work.

time management guide identify time wasters

09.

Time management for students

As much as proper time management can prove tricky for the working people, it can prove even trickier for students - so, here are some of the best tips to live by during exam season:

Track study time

Tracking the time it takes you to master a subject helps you keep your focus, and analyzing time tracking data helps you find your productivity peak hours and streamline your study-related time management efforts in the future.

If you track time, the ticking timer encourages you to stay focused on studying during the time you’ve allocated for this subject. It also becomes easier to plan and implement regular breaks.

If you track time, it will be easier to understand when you’re the most efficient with your time, and when you should schedule your most difficult subjects, most tiresome passages in your study notes, or most demanding assignments overall.

If you track time, you’ll have data showing what topics you’ve finished so far, how much time you’ve spent studying in total and by subject, as well as whether there were time periods you’ve wasted.

time management guide dashboard time data

Take study breaks

Studies show that the mind cannot concentrate on a task in one go for more than 90 minutes, so you shouldn’t study for longer than that without taking a break.

So, take 5 minutes at least, and 20 minutes at most in one go - go to the kitchen and have a quick snack, go outside and take a short walk, or initiate a brisk conversation with your roommate.

Make sure you take a break for a nutritious meal when you’re feeling hungry, and go to bed on time - studying for 12 hours each day is possible, but it’d be counterproductive, not to mention unhealthy, if you were to forgo sleep and rest altogether. So, sleep at least 7 hours per day at night (if not more), and don’t refrain from taking naps from time to time - one Harvard study shows that taking a short nap after a study session helps you retain what you’ve just learned.

Motivate yourself with 2-minute study time

If you’re having trouble diving into a subject, start by allocating only 2 minutes to this subject.

Study for 2 minutes, and continue studying pass the 2 minutes only if you feel comfortable enough to continue. Otherwise stop, and try again later.

Despite having a choice, most students will continue studying after the predefined 2 minutes - because it’s usually the most difficult getting started.

Lock your phone during study time

Answering messages, making phone calls, browsing through your Social Media feeds, and taking selfies hashtagged “study mode” is a common time-wasting tactic during exam period. And, it’s usually your phone that’s the problem.

If leaving your phone at the dormroom isn’t an option, then you’ll need to lock yourself out, to avoid online temptations - for this purpose you can enlist the help of an app. For example, Flipd lets you lock your screen during a period of time you choose - you can choose to lock your phone for 1 hour, 4 hours, 8 hours, 12 hours, or a custom period.

You can even use the Full Lock option which automatically hides your apps, feeds, and games from you, until the selected time is up.

Use a calendar

A calendar helps you plan, organize, and schedule your study time.

Mark “deadlines” (exam dates) in your calendar, and then plan your schedule accordingly:

A calendar helps you keep track of your work, and you’ll be guaranteed to pass the exam, if you only stick to your plan.

Learning according to your learning type

Not everyone learns the same - there are 4 different learner types, and each has an optimal study method:

Visual type

This type learns best from visual study materials - they best remember the data they see in infographics, charts, and tables.

Auditory type

This type learns best by listening to information spoken aloud - they best remember the data they hear about in lectures, audiobooks, lessons, and class discussions.

Kinaesthetic type

This type learns best through experience - they best remember the data the infer from experiments, science projects, and practical tests.

Reading/Writing type

This type learns best by taking notes and reading said notes - they best remember the data they’ve written and then re-read a couple of times.

Schedule rewards

If you’ve spent the entire day studying, AND managed to understand a number of difficult concept along the way, it’s high time you reward yourself - rewards serve as a motivator to keep you pushing forward.

It'll be much easier to focus on your work if you know there’s a light at the end of your “study” tunnel in the form of a movie night out with friends.

Want to know more about how to successfully manage your time as a student? Then check out our Student guide to productivity.

10.

How to create an effective time management environment

Effective time management isn’t just about the time management skills you possess and the time management tips and strategies you follow - it’s also about the environment you work in. Here’s how to make your office into a productivity paradise, no matter whether you work from home or at the company office:

Choose the right colors

According to research, predominant colors in your office, such as the color of the walls, have a psychological effect on you - and several colors are a suitable choice:

Red

Great if you’re working in a physically demanding job - its presence in your workspace raises your pulse rate and makes you more alert.

Blue

Great for traditional office workers - its presence soothes you, helps you calm your mind, and aids concentration.

Yellow

Great for entrepreneurs - its presence boosts optimizam about your decisions.

Green

Great for innovators - its presence encourages creative thinking and facilitates a sense of calmness.

In a company office: You can’t decide on the color of the walls in your company’s office, but you can introduce the right colors on a smaller scale - bring moderate art for your desk that’s in the right color, or bring a desk picture with the right color predominant.

In a home office: You have the freedom to decide the color of your walls, and make decisions about the overall color scheme - make the color of your interior design reflect the state of mind you want to pursue in work.

Make sure there’s plenty of light

Bad lighting in your office causes fatigue, and even physical problems such as eyestrain, headaches, and migraines - so, make sure your lighting is optimal.

In a company office: Opening the windows at work usually isn’t an option, and opening the shutters may bother some of your colleagues. So, if your office isn’t light enough by proxy, bring in your own lighting. LED lights have an effect closest to natural lighting, so they’re your best choice for a small, but effective lamp.

In a home office: Once again, you have more options to tweak your environment if you work from home - so, use as many lamps as you want, open as many windows as you need, and open as many shutters as you can.

Make the most of your chair, desk, and computer

Optimal comfort leads to higher productivity and focus at work - so, your chair should be adjustable, and your desk the optimal height:

Most chairs and desks are not ideal, but there are tweaks that will make your workstation more suitable, in accordance with the above listed rules.

In a company office: Most companies nowadays offer adjustable chairs to their employees - you can also bring in some pillows, or anything else meant to help you feel more comfortable. Most companies offer risers meant to help keep your computer screen at an optimal eye-level, but you can also bring your own.

In a home office: Invest in an adjustable chair, and sturdy desk - standing desks are often recommended, but a study shows that there are detrimental cognitive effects of standing while doing computer work. So, you better work while sitting down, and choose a suitable desk for it.

Maintain optimal room temperature

You can’t work properly if it’s too cold, or too hot - although, one study shows that at least women are more productive in warmer offices. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recommends a workplace temperature of 68 - 76 degrees Fahrenheit (20 - 24.5 degrees Celsius), so try to keep it that way:

In a company office: If your office doesn’t have an air conditioner everyone is free to regulate, you’ll need to bring your own fan or space heater. If your colleagues like it colder than you do, you can bring a jacket or sweater to work, to wear when you need to.

In a home office: You can open the window or adjust the air conditioner when it’s hot, or bring in an extra heating body when it’s cold.

Scent the office

Certain smells can boost your productivity, and help you make the most of your schedule - some great choices are:

In a company office: Bringing in a scented candle to work likely won’t be met with approval from your colleagues - so, it’s best that you bring a small scented bag or a bottle of essential oils you can take a whiff of from time to time.

In a home office: You’ll have the freedom to light as many scented candles as you want - another efficient solution is to simmer aromatic herbs in your kitchen, and let the pleasant scent slowly spread throughout your home.

Introduce plants

Green offices are more productive - so, make sure you introduce plants to your work environment.

In a company office: Some company office settings aren’t suitable for a plethora of plants, so you may need to be creative - bring a small plant to your desk (such as a succulent), go to the nearby park during breaks, and put a lush forest as your desktop wallpaper.

In a home office: You’ll likely be able to introduce more plant life while at home - you can even create a green corner with several fragrant herbs, and introduce natural pleasant scents, all while staying green at the same time.

Manage noise

Noise is the No. 1 enemy on your quest to create the optimal work environment - there are several ways you can deal with this problem:

In a company office: If outside noise is the problem, try headphones - you can then listen to productivity-enhancing music. Alternatively, your team can introduce a silent hour each day, when no one is allowed to talk, schedule meetings, or interrupt colleagues - this practice can facilitate focus and concentration, and help you be up to 23% more productive.

In a home office: Sometimes, complete silence you typically find at a home office can be just as distracting as chatty colleagues - to manage the noise of your own thoughts, you can try a noise generator such as Noisli or MyNoise and bring your mind into a focused state by listening to the sounds of nature, purring cats, or a moving train.

Personalize your work area

As previously emphasized, feeling comfortable at your office helps you be more productive - and nothing makes you more comfortable in your office than personalizing your workspace.

In a company office: By proxy, offices are the more impersonal working environment than home offices - but, you can personalize them with desk pictures, small plants, personal gadgets, a screensaver showing your family or friends, or the mug your friends picked out for your birthday.

In a home office: Home is the place where you can personalize your office space to the max - decorate the room as you like, bring your favorite comfy sofa for those quiet moments of rest, and introduce a blackboard where you’ll write checklists or inspirational quotes.

Have refreshments within reach

We’ve already covered how hunger and thirst can make you unproductive and disorganized - so, it’s best that you keep refreshments and snacks within reach at all times.

In a company office: You can bring your lunch from home, or have it delivered directly to the office - you’re also advised to keep chocolate bars and cookies at your desk, in case hunger strikes with no warning. Most companies offer coffee, tea, sparkling and regular water on the spot, so you’ll be covered in this area.

In a home office: While working at home, you’ll be free to go get a cup of coffee or tea whenever you want - which can distract you from your work unless you’re prepared. So, it’s best that you keep refreshments within hands reach, literary - fill up your cup of coffee, put a bottle of water at your desk, and lay out some snacks at a plate nearby.

Facilitate great ideas

Ideas are worth nothing if you don’t note them down - so, make sure your office has efficient outlets for your Eureka moments.

In a company office: Keep a notebook and pen on your table, to scribble down your creative thoughts during the day. Use post-it notes when you find a great link you want to take a look later, or a mind mapping app to capture and analyze your ideas.

In a home office: Notebooks and post-it notes work great at a home office as well, but you can enhance your note-taking efforts even further - considering that you’re the only one physically present at your office, you can freely use a white board to capture all your ideas, and in as much detail as you want.

11.

Best time management tools

To make the most of your time, it’s best that you equip yourself with the right time management tools - you’ll need to streamline your time at work, your communication with colleagues, as well as your daily agenda, all while staying completely focused on priorities. So, here are the promised ultimate tools meant to help you achieve all this:

Clockify

Clockify

An all-inclusive work hours tracker, great for helping you track precise work hours, calculate your billable hours, identify time wasters, and gather payroll data.

Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts

A powerful communication platform, great for conducting audio, textual, and video chats with colleagues, family, and friends.

Remember The Milk

Remember The Milk

A versatile task manager, great for helping you go through business and personal tasks in your daily to-do lists.

Forest

Forest

A green focus app, great for helping you stop procrastinating on your phone by making you responsible for a virtual forest (and even letting you plant real trees, in a way).

Clara

Clara

An email-based meeting scheduler, great for helping you arrange and coordinate meetings with your peers.

Flow

Flow

An efficient project and a team manager, great for helping track the progress you make on tasks, as well as enhance tasks with subtasks, notes, and comments.

My Life Organized

My Life Organized

A robust task manager and organizer, based on the Getting Things Done time management approach, great for helping you manage your tasks and to-do lists.

Rescuetime

Rescuetime

A simple automatic productivity tracker, great for helping you analyze how much time you’ve spent on various websites and software.

My Noise

My Noise

An exhaustive noise generator, great for helping you stay focused on work, while the soothing sound of white noise helps block all outside distracting sounds.

Epic Win

Epic Win

A fun RPG game-style task manager, great for helping you focus on your priorities by practicing your gaming skills.

Kiwake

Kiwake

An unconventional alarm clock, great for helping you wake up by making you prove you’re out of bed (and by having no snooze button at all).

Nimbus Note

Nimbus Note

A simple, yet effective note manager, great for helping you keep and share notes on various topics.

Join.me

Join.me

A collaborative online meeting scheduler, great for helping you set up or join web conferences, and participate in text chats.

Asana

Asana

An all-around team organizer and project management tool, great for helping you prioritize tasks, keep an eye on deadlines, and facilitate teamwork.

Syncback

Syncback

An effortless online backup software, great for helping you save, sync, and restore your data automatically.

Bear

Bear

A simple, cloud-based note-taking app, great for helping you express your ideas and thoughts, and then turn them into practical task lists.

Loop - Habit Tracker

Loop - Habit Tracker

An aptly named open-source mobile habit tracker, great for helping you cultivate good habits and work on reaching your goals.

Focus@will

Focus@will

An energizing collection of neuroscience-based music for productivity, great for helping you stay focused on your work, all to the sound of soothing instrumentals.

Timetree

Timetree

A straightforward shared calendar app, great for helping you schedule, coordinate, and attend events, in agreement with your colleagues, friends, and family.

Mind42

Mind42

A refined mind mapping tool with collaboration features, great for helping you define, visualize, and organize your great ideas during brainstorming sessions.

Taskade

Taskade

A comprehensive task manager and collaboration tool, great for helping you work on your long-term and short-term goals.

Instapaper

Instapaper

An elegant bookmarking service, great for helping you save interesting content you find online for later reading, either during work commutes or while waiting for doctor’s appointments.

Sanebox

Sanebox

A systematic email manager, great for helping keep your inbox decluttered, and your priority conversations organized.

IFTTT

IFTTT

A conditional statements creator, great for helping you define conditional automations between devices, services, and apps.

Learn more about: Best time management apps in 2019