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3 Steps to Managing Your Time and Maximizing Your Workday

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If you’d like to learn how to manage your time better so you can maximize your success, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.


Modern technology has transformed when and how we work. It’s created a way for people around the world to work together, but it’s also redefined the workday. The traditional 9-to-5 no longer exists — we all have constant access to our work.

The ability to connect with people globally is incredible. My company has a team in Ukraine, which is in a time zone six hours ahead of where our main office is located. We also work with a number of freelance designers and web developers who set their own schedules. Using technology that didn’t exist 10 years ago, we easily assign tasks, communicate, and triage any issues that come up on a day-to-day basis — and all for people working in different times and places.

Integrating separate workflows means we’re not tethered to a set workday. However, this flexibility comes at a price. Many people with “flexible” hours end up working more hours, as the boundaries between home and work blur. A 2017 study determined that, on average, employees spend eight hours each week answering work emails after they leave the office. Even when we leave the office and head home, it seems, our devices make us perpetually available.

Finding Time to Get More Done

Our increased ability to work anytime, anywhere can make time management a challenge. For those who set their own schedules, it can be even harder to wake up focused and ready to work, but mornings are a critical part of setting a productive tone for the day. 

Research shows that we’re sharper in the late morning. We complete tasks with enhanced speed and increased accuracy. This may not be true for everyone, but it’s compelling evidence that prioritizing those first few hours after you wake up will result in higher productivity and better results.

No matter what time of day it is, finding your best time to work and the best way to work is a huge part of being productive. Nontraditional workdays increase the risk of distraction or procrastination, so it’s critical to form habits that help make the most of your time. 

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee

Here are three ways to use the time-management tools needed to address your “always on” obligations effectively:

1. Filter Tasks by Importance

Organizing your workload into smaller tasks and ranking them by importance helps reduce your chances of feeling overwhelmed and identify which jobs are urgent and which can wait. As you filter tasks, consider why your contribution to the company matters and what passions are driving your work.

This will help you determine priorities and renew your motivation. There are always new challenges to overcome with a business, but staying focused on your purpose can keep you motivated to rise early and get to work.

As you organize tasks, plan to tackle the most important work in the morning and leave more straightforward tasks for the afternoon when you’re not quite as sharp. You’ll make the most progress early in the day, which will feel great and let you relax more as the day wears on.

2. Start With the Big Projects

When you have the power to control your own schedule, don’t push important client meetings or more difficult tasks off to the afternoon. Preparing for a meeting earlier in the day will give you more motivation to get up and move with purpose.

Establish uninterrupted time to get certain tasks done during the day, too. Maybe this means blocking off time from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. or 10 a.m. to noon on your calendar. Regularly setting aside time early in the day can free you up to work on projects that need special attention. Then, move on to things that require slightly less attention in the afternoon.

Your clients or team members are also more likely to be happy in the early hours before they’ve been bombarded with massive amounts of work. People tend to wear out as the day goes on, especially if they’re working long hours in startups or trying to finish a project before a major deadline.

“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.” – Dale Carnegie

3. Outline Rules for How You’ll Work

With a flexible workday, it’s helpful to set boundaries around how you’ll work. Start by setting a time each night to turn off your computer and mute notifications. It’s almost impossible to unwind if you’re constantly being Slacked and emailed in your downtime. Blocking off parts of your schedule so others know not to disturb you during certain times allows you to focus all your energy on maximizing productivity during your peak hours.

As the CEO, it can be hard to ensure that I’m available to people when I need to be. I have to be flexible enough with my own schedule to fit in everyone else’s schedules. When I’m not scheduling client meetings in the morning, I’ll often work from home in those early hours to get work done.

Then, I will spend collaborative time with my team members in the office later in the day. Realizing where, not just when, you are most productive will help you determine the boundaries you should set to do your best work.

Whatever time limits you set, communicate them to your team members, as well as any freelancers or partners who might need to get in touch with you. When you’re working with teams overseas and the time difference is drastic, let them know that you won’t see the communications until working hours. That way, they can still send an email or message you on an app when it’s convenient for them without disturbing you in the process.

If you’re looking to make your workdays productive and your time balanced, you have the power to do it. Be willing to commit to these simple changes, and enjoy the benefits of a well-managed day, no matter your schedule.

What’s your biggest productivity hack? Share your ideas with us below!

John Furneaux is the CEO and co-founder of Hive, a collaboration hub and project management tool that powers companies like Uber, Starbucks, Google, and Netflix. He has spent his entire career as a specialist in tools that help teams work together most effectively, acting as everything from strategy consultant to lead on implementing SharePoint for the U.K. Department of Education to creator of Hive.

Success Advice

5 Things You Can Learn From The 5am Club by Robin Sharma

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It has been said by Robin Sharma, “5 AM is the time of least distraction, highest human glory, and greatest peace.” This also happens to be the central idea or the core value he has discussed in his book, ‘The 5 Am Club.’ Speaking of early mornings, at what time do you wake up? Are you annoyed by the fact that you wake up on the edge of time and then rush to work in haste? 

The life lessons put forth by The 5 AM Club are exactly the learning and motivation you need to challenge your complacency. In your race against time, you may not have the time to read this fabulous book. So, we have summed up the key book’s takeaways for your convenience.

1. The vigor of waking up early

This is what the book’s most fundamental advice to everyone is. Waking up at 5 am every day can work wonders to avert failures and make success a natural habit. When we wake up at 5 am, we have more time on our hands than others. Besides, this is when we have minimum interruptions and maximum powerfulness of the mind. 

To add, the early morning peace is priceless! You can schedule your most important tasks of the day between 5am, and 8am. This book teaches us in the simplest way, how we can train our mind and strengthen it to deliver the highest productivity by waking up early. This energy that you have when you wake up in the morning and the few additional hours in your day are what serve as perfect ingredients for success.

“The secret to productivity is simplicity.” – Robin Sharma

2. The power of finding the right balance in life

The book talks about a precious lesson of finding the right balance within. We often talk about the need for mindfulness and achieving the right mindset to perceive things. But this book goes a few steps ahead of our usual approach to life. It highlights the vitality of mindset and introduces the concepts of heartset, healthset, and soulset.

These terms may seem new, but they are self-explanatory. The idea of heartset endorses the essentialness of emotional stability and well-being. Next, the perspective of healthset indicates the need to look after physical health. At last, soulset is an attribute of spirituality. As explained in this book, success prospects can be enhanced big time by achieving the right balance between these internal virtues.

3. The iconic 20/20/20 modus operandi

What is the first thing you will do if you start waking up at 5 am every day? Did you ever spare a thought about it? This book has the answer to this question, and you will be convinced that it is a great way to begin your day!. The author suggests that you should split the first hour of the day into three equal parts of 20 minutes each.

In the first 20 minutes of the day, you should prioritize your physical fitness and exercise. In the next 20 minutes, you should energize your soul and spirit via self-reflection and soulful meditation. This will prepare you for the rest of the day and will enable you to bolster your commitment and focus. In the last 20 minutes of the first hour, you should read and learn. But what are you going to read about in those 20 minutes? Read about successful people and their inspiring journeys to the pinnacle of success.

4. The significance of a proper sleep schedule

In this book, there is a mention of ‘a ferocious global sleep recession’, which is intriguing and enlightening. It hints at the state of sleep deprivation that this world is sinking into gradually. We often associate success and hard work with the notion of staying up all night and testing our endurance beyond limits. But that is not the right approach to accomplishing success, or rather, it is a flawed methodology.

Sometimes even if we do not have any critical work, we keep whiling our night time on social media or television. What are we gaining from it is the real question, and I am afraid the answer is nothing! We learn from this book that it is critical to look after your sleep cycle and start your day at 5 am afresh. Sleep and rest are indispensable for mental and physical well-being, or your productivity will decline.

“If you want to have the results only 5% have, you must be willing to do and think like only 5% do and think.” – Robin Sharma

5. The art of evolving

The book sheds light on the need to be spiritual and master self-reflection. However, do you realize the purpose that the routine of reflection each morning serves? The idea is to keep learning, keep reflecting on the mistakes and keep evolution an ongoing process. You should evolve every day and strive to be a better version of yourself every day. So, one of your primary goals after waking up should be to reflect on your actions and missed opportunities of the previous day.

To recapitulate, The 5 AM Club is a must-read book if you are a passionate reader. It has the prowess and charm to refurbish your perception of life altogether. Even if you cannot read the book for some reason, make sure you incorporate the above key takeaways into your life. By starting your day at 5 am, you can rediscover your lost soul and enthusiasm, and you would not have complaints to make about the lack of time. If you can own your mornings, you can go places on the ladder of success, for excuses are only for those who are not committed to their goals.

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Success Advice

Prepare Yourself for Prosperity With These 6 Success Habits

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Success stories don’t come from naturally successful people. They come from ordinary people with starry eyes and big dreams who stayed true to their end goal and consistently put in the work. They are just like you and me. What sets them apart is their mindset — a success mindset. (more…)

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Success Advice

How to Overcome the Emotional Rollercoaster of Success

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If you’re reading this, I’ll let you in on a little secret: you’re a human being. You have feelings, emotions, beliefs, complexity, and a mind that’s always racing. Your feelings at any given moment in your life have the power to affect what you do and how consistently you do it. (more…)

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Success Advice

5 Important Choices that Make Life Worth Living and Success Taste Sweeter

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As we start another year, you’re probably thinking about your life goals, dreams, aspirations, and what you want to accomplish. We know that New Year’s resolutions have gotten a bad reputation because most people lose focus after the first few months and the first signs of resistance. (more…)

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