Modern life is full of time thieves. Whether it’s your phone buzzing in your pocket with the latest tweet, a colleague interrupting you in the middle of an important task or the daily barrage of emails, your time is constantly being stolen from you, minute by minute, hour by hour. And once you’ve lost that time you can never get it back again.
To remain focused and make sure these time thieves don’t get the upper hand, you need to keep a few tricks up your sleeve. This post will get you started with the tips below.

– Why the number 1,440 is so important. The number is 1,440, and it represents the number of minutes there are in a day. If used as a reminder at the right time, this number will help you stop wasting time and increase your productivity. Amazingly, it can do the same for your employees and fellow members of your team. There are 1,440 minutes in a day, each of which should be invested wisely. A good way to monitor this precious resource is by breaking it down. But why use minutes? Why not think about the 86,400 seconds that every day offers? Well, there are a bunch of daily tasks you can actually do in a minute, like knocking out 30 sit-ups, reading a poem or watering a plant. This fact makes minutes key to monitoring your time.

– About the 321-Zero system. How can you cut the time spent on emails in half? How can you get to “inbox zero” every single day? It had been years since I last had an empty Inbox. Now I achieve zero inbox three times a day. I feel truly liberated and hugely more productive. It is all thanks to the simple principles of the 321zero system:
• Check your In Box 3 times a day
• Take 21 minutes to clear it to zero
• Ignore your In Box at all other times

Be clear on this. This does not say “take 21 minutes to deal with as many emails as possible”. It is specific: clear the In Box to zero, 3 times a day.

– Always have a notebook with you. Have you ever had an incredible idea while shopping for groceries or walking the dog? Wouldn’t it be great if, instead of training to remember it later, you could just jot it down right then and there? Writing down your ideas and limiting trips to your inbox will clear your mind and boost your productivity.

– Regain control over your time by avoiding meetings and saying no. If you’ve never had an office job, you know how incredibly boring meetings can be. But that’s not the only problem with meetings. Some meetings can be inefficient, and you should only schedule them as a last resort. In fact, a 2015 survey found that 35 per cent of respondents considered weekly status meetings to be a waste of time.

– The 80/20 rule and a few self-reflective questions will increase your efficiency and satisfaction. The 80-20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, is an aphorism which asserts that 80% of outcomes (or outputs) result from 20% of all causes (or inputs) for any given event. In business, a goal of the 80-20 rule is to identify inputs that are potentially the most productive and make them the priority. You can accomplish more by critically assessing the tasks in front of you. Leveraging your skills and delegating work will increase your productivity. By simply training employees to slow down and ask themselves a few questions you will be able to identify important tasks and free up extra hours. The first question employees should ask is, “How important is this task to the company? Then, “Is there anyone else who can complete it”, and finally, “How could this task be accomplished if I had half as much time?”.

– Theming each day and immediately completing short tasks will boost your efficiency. For instance, on Mondays, you would focus on management; Wednesday would be dedicated to marketing; and Sundays would be reserved for reflection, feedback and strategy for the next week.

In conclusion…

Effective time management skills can have a positive impact on your work and life in general. When you learn to take control of your time on a daily basis, you improve your ability to get things done, make better decisions and most importantly, gain ultimate control of your key priorities.