Do you find the work tasks are getting bigger? Is time management becoming an issue? Most often time management is poor when there is no plan, or goals are not clear. With no plan in place, procrastination can set in and lead to frustration at the end of a busy week. Long-term, the effects will most likely cause stress, anxiety or at worst suffering symptoms of burnout.
Most workers have a limit on their time to complete tasks. This may be higher some weeks due to impending deadlines, extra workload pressure, training new staff or returning back to work after a bank holiday weekend. Common downfalls in time management include allocating too little time to high priority tasks, poor delegation skills or allowing distractions take over limited time. Although it takes time to set this new plan in place, it will be time well spent in the long run!
15 Tips for Successful Time Management at Work
- Complete a time audit to understand how you are currently spending your time at work
- Develop a weekly schedule planner
- Prioritise tasks – schedule high priority tasks at the start of the day
- Assign realistic time limits for each task
- Group similar tasks together
- Prioritise the most difficult task at the start of the day
- Learn to say no, when needed
- Be aware of distractions and hold boundaries
- Build in buffer times to allow for extra time on larger tasks or for work meetings
- Use the 4 D’s – Do, Defer, Delegate and Delete when scheduling your weekly tasks
- Be flexible – although it is ideal to stay focused, allow for inevitable delays
- Set SMART goals, particularly for larger tasks
- Colour code the schedule if you enjoy working with bright colours
- Choose a smart schedule layout – one that you can easily read and enjoy working with
- Up-skill with a refresher course to improve decision making or organisational skills
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot” – Michael Altshuler. Managing limited time at work will help you to stay focused and work more effectively. The benefits can change your work-life for the better! You will find that you get a lot more done in less time, reduce stress levels and the new schedule will boost your confidence and organisational skills.