Let’s be honest here! There is always a time when you feel so overwhelmed with the loads of work you have to do in the office that you just don’t know how to manage it all. And, so many things distract you from concentrating on what needs to get done. Suddenly, you notice the time have passed by too quickly for you, and you hang in there not knowing what to do or how to do it all. Well, you are not alone. Many people struggle with time management in the workspace, and they all try using different tactics to cope with it.
In reality, to control and manage time, the average person uses 13 different methods. Yet, we are here to tell you the 5 most effective strategies of time management at work. All 5 of them are proven to be the most effective tips in handling situations where time is short and work is long. Let’s get to them now!
Control Your Use of Technology to Waste No Time
Nowadays, technology has the power to eat up our productivity by consuming most of our attention and time during a working day. Phone calls, emails, messages and attractive news feeds on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc., you name it. Technological distractions can do serious harm to your daily time management at work. According to a CareerBuilder Study, personal use of technology is the top reason behind employee’s wasted time. Moreover, talking on the phone and texting takes up 50% of the activities that result in substantial wasted time.
Yet, if you learn how to tame your use of technology, you will waste no time. Consider turning off your email notifications, as well as banner notifications from your mobile. You can check them once in the morning, once after lunch and once again before leaving the office. That way, you will allocate time to respond or take any other action on the important matters. And, you will waste no time on things that are not worth a second. Also, don’t forget to send your calls to voicemail. You don’t need to answer the phone every time it rings.
Make Notes to Never Forget What Needs to Get Done
In the clatter of your daily thoughts, conversations and actions, you should realize how essential it is to remember all the little details. Especially, it is essential to remember the things that you need to get back on later, with the purpose to act upon them in some way. In other words, remember the things to do, my dear! You are responsible for all of it together! And, you wouldn’t want to miss any of them, as a responsible and mature professional.
Be smart, and make notes. Even if you think you will remember that one, you won’t! Be it a sticky note, an Excel sheet, a productivity or time management software or any other method, you are free to choose your own tools. Just make sure to write down what you have got on your mind and what you have got to do to get back to all of it with no forgetting. When things need to get done, things need to get done! No excuses!
Schedule Your Day Beforehand to Stay Ahead of Time
The first thing to do when starting a brand new working day is to plan it beforehand. Whether you have a few things to do or too many, plan when you will start doing each of them and how much time each one of them will take. That way, you will have an organized and balanced schedule in hand to make you feel less stressed and be more productive throughout the day. As a matter of fact, according to Brian Tracy in “Eat The Frog”, “10-12 minutes invested in planning your day will save at least 2 hours of wasted time and effort throughout the day.”
Just as we have mentioned earlier, making notes is essential in your daily time management routine. Now, take those notes and to-do lists and actually plan on getting each of them on a specific timeframe. Many people like writing those notes a lot, but never actually have the time to reflect on them. You be smart! Don’t be like them! Schedule your day and to-do’s beforehand!
Shut Your Door to Minimize Distractions
Whenever you feel it difficult to concentrate and absolutely have to get your work done, go ahead and shut your door. Interruptions from drop-in visitors or noises coming across the hallway can disturb you with no good, can’t they? In fact, every interruption takes on average 10-15 minutes to return to the train of thoughts afterwards. Therefore, only 4 interruptions in a day is able to take an hour of concentration from you. So, don’t be shy. It is OK to shut your door for an hour or 2 and make time serve your working purposes. You can even put up a “Do not disturb” sign, if you would like, to ensure no distractions at all. Smart, huh?
Then, whenever done with the work, making yourself available for the office again will be logical. Make sure not to lock yourself from people all the time. Just, use this tip to get the kind of work done that cannot afford even a minute wasted.
Prioritize Work to Achieve Greater Productivity
Having a hell of a lot of work to do, not all of them can be of equal importance. Some may be of critical importance, yet others can just consume too much of your time with not that of exceptional value in anticipated results. Here, the key to effective time management is prioritizing!
Always ask yourself, “Is this the best way I can spend my time at the moment?” That’s right! Take some time to ask that to yourself and analyze the answer in your head. It is better to do that beforehand, than get caught up in a load of unnecessary work that will end up consuming your valuable time. This is actually a great productivity hack that is a lot like scheduling your day beforehand. Only, you need to think about work priorities before deciding on that actual schedule, right? Right! Now, as soon as you prioritize the work according to its criticalness, urgency and value in terms of resources invested, greater productivity will be guaranteed.