There’s a danger of professionals especially those in small teams, feeling pressured to be all things to all people. But simply having enough hours in the day to get everything done can be a problem, unless you possess excellent time management skills.
Therefore being able to effectively prioritise and knowing when to delegate is crucial and being time-poor can be an issue. You need to know what’s going to add the most value. So with any activity or project you really need to think it through – then the challenge is deciding what is going to add the most value.
There will always be circumstances beyond your control, but the key is understanding what circumstances you can control and how to do so.
Here are 10 ways to manage your time more effectively:
1. Start a time diary
Make a record of exactly how you are spending your time and figure out how you can better use the time you’re currently wasting. Most people will spend significant parts of their day waiting for appointments, meetings and phone calls. Have a task that you can do while you wait.
2. Plan ahead
Don’t just organise your day, extend that to your week and month so you have a clear view of the tasks you need to complete and the deadlines you need to meet.
3. Organise your correspondence
Don’t let your inbox get out of hand. File emails into the appropriate folders as they come in to avoid clutter. Creating a template response for common emails can also save time. Organise mail by what needs to be dealt with immediately and what can be followed up later.
4. Know when you do your best work
If you work best in the morning, that’s the time to schedule the bulk of your workload - likewise if you’re an afternoon person. Try and get as much done during your peak productivity time.
5. Set aside time to get things done
Minimise distractions when you have priority tasks to tackle. Close your door, switch your phone to voicemail and ignore your emails for an hour and see how much you can get done when you just focus on the job at hand.
6. Learn to delegate or say no
When you’re busy, learn to turn down non-essential tasks or delegate them to other employees. If you become overloaded, the tasks will just end up at the bottom of your to-do list, when they could be completed by someone else.
7. Know what you need for routine tasks
For routine processes - writing down the steps you need to complete the task saves you time in looking for necessary items and will make sure you do the task accurately. Written procedures are also helpful when delegating.
8. Do one thing at a time
Don’t always multitask – the projects you’re juggling will end up being done to a lesser standard. Focusing on one at a time is faster in the long run and jobs will be done more thoroughly.
9. Take a break
Remember to leave your desk and take time out during the day. Breaks will refresh you and make you more alert.
10. Keep work and home separate
Don’t let personal life distractions impact on your work day and vice versa. The more you achieve at work, the more you’ll enjoy leaving it behind to go home.
J Smith HR Online