Everybody has experienced difficulties with time management at work at some point in their lives. You wake up optimistic that not only will all your deadlines at work impress your higher-ups, but you will hit the gym on time, later make healthy food and eat it with your family.
Then life happens. You wake up late, leave late for the office, are annoyed by irritating traffic, and arrive at your office late and frustrated with the world you live in.
When you finally begin working on a project that has been sitting idle for weeks, you realize that you must attend meetings to manage the project and explain its delay to higher-ups. You begin to doubt your skills because you are worn out and bruised. Yes, I just summarised 80% of working people’s lives.
You cannot control traffic or anyone else doubting you or questioning you for greater good or bad, but there are ways to reclaim those seemingly elusive lost hours of the day. Your time management is the root of all your issues, and if you can take control of it rather than letting it control you, you will succeed in life.
Here are a few time management tips for work.
1. Understand How You are Currently Spending Your Time
Understanding the “Whys” behind your issue will make it simpler to pinpoint the “How.” To optimize your time management, you must determine where the time is lost. For a week, try to keep track of your activities and the amount of time it takes you to complete each one. This activity will help you:
- Determine how much you can feasibly accomplish in a day.
- Focus on activities that require more time
- Identify the activities that do not require your time and reduce or eliminate it.
As you go through this exercise, you’ll quickly realize how much of your time is wasted on unproductive thoughts, conversations, and activities. This exercise helps you identify the time of day when you are most productive so you can schedule when to work on tasks that require the most concentration and creativity. This is first-time management advice that is guaranteed to be effective.
2. Create a Daily Schedule
This step is easiest part of time management advice for the workplace because it’s crucial to develop time management skills. Consider beginning your day with a well-organized to-do list. Don’t just say, “I have 9 hours to finish ABC tasks,” as that won’t help. The secret to success is to set up a daily schedule with time blocks for various tasks and follow it.
So how do you create a realistic daily schedule?
- Have a realistic approach: A phenomenon known as the “planning fallacy” is when you overestimate your ability to complete tasks. This typically results in overly optimistic delivery estimates. Adding time buffers in between tasks and allowing yourself to take rest is recommended.
- Give your undivided attention: You have to be disciplined to such a level that you should not visit any non-working site. Avoid using smartphones while at work. Self-discipline eis your best friend, and if you can give your undivided attention to get the task done, you can get the job done easier.
3. Complete the Most Difficult Task First
You sit at your desk aiming to complete the work without delay, and before you know it, you are distracted by friends, a phone call or the constant chatting of people around you. The next thing you know, the day is gone, and you start questioning your decisions.
Therefore, start with the task that is the biggest, toughest, and most crucial. You are likely to skip that one task and add it to the later list. Complete the task that frightens you the most, as doing so will give you a sense of pride and allow you to complete the other task more easily.
4. Group Similar Tasks Together
If there are similar tasks that can be grouped based on goal or function, it will help you finish those tasks without wasting time on them individually.
For example, tasks based on research and analysis
- Client expectation of the product on Wednesday and Thursday
- Get the research done on competitors as per clients’ request
- Do a complete competitive analysis of competitors and prepare a final report.
- Email the final report for further verifications.
5. Avoid Multitasking
Avoiding Multitasking is one of the simplest Time management tips for work, yet it can also be one of the hardest to follow. Multitasking is completely different from grouping similar tasks, as the latter involves different tasks having the same end goal.
Focus on the task at hand and block out all distractions. It can be fun and intriguing to multitask, but let me tell you that you will lose your time and decrease productivity when you switch from one task to another.
6. Dont be a ‘Yes’ person and learn to say ‘No.’
All we have is 24 hours a day, and you have committed to giving the company’s service 9 hours of your day. In these 9 hours, the organization expects you to be the best at what you do. To avoid half-baked work, know your limits and be willing to say no. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on what you are good at and, if possible, delegate what can be done more effectively and quickly by others. Don’t take on responsibility for tasks to please your boss or earn a raise.
In the end, if you don’t have a solid foundation of time management skills, no pro tip or technique will magically make your time management worries go away. Awareness, organization, and adaptation are the three key abilities that distinguish successful time management from unsuccessful time management. Consider your time realistically, set goals, plans, and tasks around the time you have available, and last but not least, regularly track how you spend your time while engaging in activities.