Maximizing your time at work is a challenge, especially considering the overwhelming pressures to meet strict deadlines.
Too often employees settle into routines where they’re not using their time as efficiently as they could be. Rather than addressing the issue, employees settle into a state of averageness, as opposed to pushing the boundaries of achievement.
Settling for second rate time management can dramatically reduce performance, and restrict staff from reaching their full potential. There are various distractions at work, some which hold us back more than others.
Anything that doesn’t contribute to fulfilling objectives should be curtailed, but what time management methods will help you optimize performance?
Remember you’re never alone, because leaders will be on hand to motivate you. It is their responsibility to ensure employees get their work done effectively, while teaching others how to manage their time.
There are however self-sufficient time management methods, which are best utilized by those who feel as if time is never on their side! If you’re keen to learn about these, read on to discover some great approaches.
Tackle Short Tasks First
One of the most common time management methods is to get small tasks out of the way early. This will clear your headspace and allow you to sink your teeth into big projects. If you’ve ever dedicated too much time to one task when you have other things to do, you’ll appreciate the importance of task ordering.
Additionally, doing small tasks first will prevent them getting in the way later. Eliminating small tasks can provide a sense of achievement, offering positive reinforcement that motivates you to tackle bigger jobs.
Completing a big task with other jobs looming can be demoralizing, but with a list that’s ordered in terms of priority and ease of completion, you’ll alleviate your workload considerably. This will make you more productive, thus contributing to better time management.
If you’re someone who’s easily distracted, you should address your sources of distraction. Do you get drawn away from your work by external variables, or does the lure of the internet put you off? By identifying distractions, you can control those which hinder productivity.
You might want to think about the way your office is configured, especially if it’s positioned close to people you’re naturally drawn to. It’s great to have healthy working relationships, but not if they detract from your work.
Noise levels are common causes of distraction, but once you’ve acclimated to your work environment, you might fail to notice its negative impact.
Devise a simple list of the things that distract you, and focus on reducing their negative impact. Identifying daily bottlenecks will bring multiple benefits, where you’ll learn things about yourself you hadn’t considered previously.
Break Big Tasks Into Smaller Chunks
When big tasks are looming, it can be feel as if you have a huge mountain to climb. When there’s no end in sight, you’ll be left feeling dejected. Instead of working competently, the perceived difficulty of the task ahead can impact productivity.
This is often a psychological dilemma, which can be addressed by breaking big tasks into small chunks. Though your workload will remain the same, you’ll be incentivized by hitting short-term targets, and feel a greater sense you’re making progress. Also, your stress levels will reduce, forming more manageable deadlines and improving time management.
Create a To-Do List
If you’ve used effective time management methods, you’ll have enough time at the end of each day to formulate a to-do list for the following day. This will provide clarity, and ensure your working day starts with aplomb.
How often do you get into work and stall for the first 30 minutes or so, configuring what you need to do. This eats into your time, which would be much better spent getting stuck in.
When preparing your list, you should include anything you didn’t manage to accomplish during the day, and prioritize them for tomorrow.
Creating a list reduces stress, and allows you to work competently towards your objectives. Better time management will result in you becoming better at your job, and more likely to personally progress on route to great achievements.
Understand What’s Expected
It’s the leader’s responsibility to provide clear direction, but if you don’t clearly understand what’s expected of you, there’s no harm in asking. You might discover you don’t have to do as much as anticipated, or that certain tasks are higher priority than others.
This will allow you to allocate time more effectively, with clarity on the importance of different tasks and their due dates. When specific goals are communicated, you can coordinate your daily duties accordingly.
An enhanced understanding of what you need to do brings added structure to your job, and you’ll get more done as a result.