Workdays are crazy busy, and we don’t have to say that as you already know it! You may want to get some time out of your workday to maybe hit the gym or engage in a hobby, but that just ends up being a dream. Does this seem like your usual days?
Yes, we do realize that no matter how much you plan your day and maintain a schedule, life happens and throws everything out of order. However, isn’t there anything that can be done to better manage your day?
There is one thing that you can focus on to complete every task on time and that little thing is ‘time management.’
We at lensa.com regard time management as the key to efficiently utilize your time so that you are able to complete each task in the office well within deadlines.
Our top time management tips for work are:
1. Wake up early
A day consists of 24 hours and unfortunately, we can’t get additional hours in a day. So how can we get more out of a day? This can be done by waking up earlier. Most leaders are usually early risers and this very fact may have given you a hint why?
When you wake up early you have more time in a day to plan ahead and perhaps squeeze in a little yoga session. Waking up early gives you more time in your hands to complete your tasks.
2. Analyze your typical workday
It’s simple you cannot improve your time management skills if you do not understand where you are going wrong. To detect where your time is getting wasted we suggest tracking your workday for an entire week.
This audit will enable you to judge:
- Your unproductive activities at work
- Time-consuming tasks
- Tell you how much work you can do in a day
Once you discover the answers to the above-mentioned points you can begin to make the necessary changes.
3. Draft a schedule and follow it
Time management can’t be achieved if there isn’t a proper schedule and plan in place. Therefore, never skip this step. Always make a schedule and always have a to-do list.
Make a to-do list when you leave for office. In this way, you can start your work immediately when you reach the office the next day. If for any reason you fail to create the list, do it the first thing in the morning the next day.
Remember, it is not sufficient to just make a list. You also have to follow it!
4. Know how to prioritize
Many people lag behind in their work or take longer than others to complete because they lack prioritizing skills. You have to understand which tasks to do first and which can be saved for later.
In the morning you should do the tasks which are important. Important tasks give you recognition. Completion of these will give you peace of mind that you have completed the essentials.
Urgent tasks usually do not give recognition but they need to be wrapped up soon. You should delegate them if you can or else do them after completing the important tasks.
5. Keep the most important tasks for mornings
Usually, mornings are the time when we are full of energy and are ready for a challenge. Therefore, this is the time when you should work upon the most challenging, time taking, and important projects.
When you take the toughest tasks first thing in the morning it will get your fresh mind and undivided attention. This will allow you to complete the task sooner.
6. Do not multitask
Contrary to popular belief, multitasking does not help you in time management. However, it may hamper your quality of work. Multi-tasking involves switching between tasks. This not only disrupts your focus but it may also lead to extra time during the switching. Hence, we recommend sticking to one task at a time.
7. Set time limits for each task
While following your to-do list see that you don’t just keep on working on a given task for too long. This is not a good method of managing time. Before starting a task you must assign a time limit for completion.
You can follow the two famous methods for this – The the Pomodoro technique or the Timeboxing technique.
In the Pomodoro technique, you assign a time limit of 25 minutes to complete a task. After 25 minutes you can take a short break. When you have completed 4 tasks you can take a long break.
If you are not comfortable with this technique you can try Timeboxing. In Timeboxing, you allot your own time for each task.
8. Find your most optimum time
Each of us is different. While some work their best in the mornings, others are their most productive in the late evenings. You have to discover for yourself when is the time that you work your optimum. When you have discovered it, try to take up important, challenging, and big projects at that time.
9. Take small breaks
This may seem contradictory to what we are trying to achieve here, but believe us taking small breaks is an integral part of time management.
Let us take 2 scenarios to understand this:
- 1st scenario: A team member works for 6 hours at a stretch on a project
- 2nd scenario: A team member works for 6 hours on the same project but takes frequent breaks.
Which team member will have higher productivity? Of course, it would the team member in the 2nd scenario.
Taking frequent short breaks refreshes our mind and rejuvenates us.
10. Get rid of distractions
There are limitless distractions in work from emails, talking colleagues, text messages, web browsing, social media, etc. If you want to better manage your time and be productive you need to start eliminating these distractions.
Try to eliminate 1-2 major distractions of yours for a week, and then start with the other ones in the list. With each passing week, you will witness better productivity at work.
If you are always busy and not getting time to complete important tasks then you may have poor time management skills. Follow the above-mentioned tips to get a firm handle over your time on a workday.