How to Effectively Manage Your Time
Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? Or that you never get everything accomplished that you wanted to? These feelings might have something to do with how you manage your time.
When it comes to being your most productive and efficientself in the workplace, learning how to maximize and manage your time is key. Employees who can meet time demands while producing quality work are more likely to stand out. They likely focus on time-sensitive tasks and limit time spent on non-essential work activities. If you are looking to improve your performance as an employee, it starts with time management. Understanding what this skill is, why it’s important, and familiarizing yourself with different tips to help you improve will be a good start.
What is time management?
Time management is the practice of effectively planning and organizing your time in order to accomplish tasks or goals by the end of the day. This often involves planning out your daily activities and being actively conscious of how you are using your time.
Time management skills can be applied within your professional and personal life. But it is particularly important for employees to develop this skill if they want to succeed at their job.
Why is it important?
When your list of tasks and responsibilities begins piling up throughout the week, your time management skills will be there to save the day. It is important to continuously develop these skills for those moments when you are in a time crunch and are working to meet a deadline.
Developing time management skills will help you get more done, in less time. It will help you develop an awareness of how much time you have to spend on certain tasks. We will go over strategies and tips on how to build this awareness in a moment, but it will overall help you become more productive and less distracted.
Developing time management skills will help you feel more fulfilled in the workplace and will free up more personal time on your schedule! When these healthy habits continue to grow, you will no longer worry about missing a meeting, or forgetting a deadline -- you’ve already planned out the time!
Now that you know why this skill is so important, let’s go over these 5 simple time management habits you can easily incorporate into your life:
1. CREATE A DAILY TASK LIST
Start every day with a general list of tasks you hope to accomplish. When you get to work, create a to-do list of tasks and decide how much time you should spend on each one. As you complete tasks, don’t forget to check them off! Relish in that feeling of accomplishment!
There are many useful apps that can assist you in making a task list, or you can do it the old fashion way with pen and paper! Find whatever suits you best and what will get the job done!
2. PRIORITIZE TASKS
While you are creating your task sheet, it is important to prioritizecertain tasks over others. Tasks that are time-sensitive should receive your immediate attention. Likewise, if you are working on a big project, breaking it up into smaller tasks could help you get it done more quickly. Whereas, tasks that are more flexible, without harsher deadlines, can be dealt with later in the week.
There are many strategies that are helpful as you decide how to prioritize your tasks. One method is the four Ds (do, delete, defer, or delegate). This strategy can help you figure out which tasks can be done later, deleted, completed, or delegated to other coworkers to finish. Finding a method that works best for you is the most important thing.
3. TRACK YOUR TIME
The key to time management is making time work in your favor. Don’t let the seconds, minutes, and hours slip away from you. As you are making your task sheet for the day, figure out how long each task should take and block out a certain amount of time to spend on each. Setting a timer and working for 30 minutes to an hour can be an easy way to monitor your time and get things done.
While tracking your time it is also important to plan for breaks. Working towards a reward can help you get started if you are having a hard time getting motivated. Planning to take a brief walk, have a quick chat with a coworker, or eat a snack can give you an incentive or a reason to work diligently through your time slot.
4. MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS
Procrastination is the enemy of productivity. If you want to accomplish your tasks and goals, you will need to have the self-discipline to say no to other opportunities that may seem more fun at the moment. Like you prioritize your tasks, you will need to prioritize what actions will help you accomplish them. There are many common distractions in the workplace and once you become aware of what often holds you back, you can develop healthy habits to overcome them.
If you are distracted by your technology, try placing it on “do not disturb” or on airplane mode, so you can work more fluently without interruptions. If you get visually distracted by your workspace, try keeping it clean and organized. You could also alert coworkers of your goals so they can help hold you accountable.
5. WORK-LIFE BALANCE
The time you spend away from work can impact howyou spend your time at work. Don’t let these good time management habits go down the drain when you go home. Figure out what leisure activities are important to you, whether it's exercising, spending time with family, cooking, or reading a book! When you’re off the clock, make time for these activities so you can approach the next day's worth of work with a clear mind.
Getting proper sleep will also impact your performance at work. Find a work-life balance that suits you, you won’t be successful if work dominates your entire schedule.
LESS STRESS, MORE CALM
Learning how to effectively manage your time will change the way you work. The benefits are endless, and you will begin to see the fruits of this skill within your job and in your personal life. When you get things done on the clock, you will find you have more time for personal activities, leading to less stress and more calm in your life.
Time is not your enemy, and if you can develop these habits, it will begin to work in your favor. If you are looking for professional help on how to manage your time in the workplace and maximize your performance, reach out to John Costigan for insider business advice, tips, and tricks.