3 Time Management Strategies Which Could Change Your Working Life

5/5 - (1 vote)
Time is a resource which is more precious than money. Once used up there’s no getting it back. Despite this overwhelming truth, workers continue to use their time unwisely, perhaps without even knowing. There are always more productive ways of doing things, which can be realized by taking a deep dive into your daily duties. Life goes by so fast we rarely take a moment to stop and think about what we’re doing. If we did, we’d perhaps discover new and better ways of doing things. This can help us utilize the time we have, adopting more effective time management strategies along the way. Procrastination eats into productivity, and though we often have great intentions our practical application can leave a lot to be desired. One reason it’s difficult to implement new time management strategies is because we’re creatures of habit. We settle into the status quo with very little urge to change, where old habits die hard. Rather than letting old habits set in, why not engage your team from the onboarding stage onward? This way they’ll embrace practices conducive to high performance. There is however scope to free yourself from mindsets that hold you back. Embrace room for improvement, even when it throws you out of your comfort zone. But the complexity of time means things aren’t always that simple. There are many time management strategies that have a resounding impact on life, so If you’re intrigued to learn some read on for some great insight.

1. When You’re Done You’re Done

Avoid covering old ground. If you’ve sufficiently covered a topic or resolved an issue, it’s probably time you moved onto something else. If you labor over tasks which no longer require your attention, this will become a time-wasting practice. There are many contexts for this form of non-productive behavior, including phone calls and email. How often do bosses continue a phone call when they’ve already addressed everything they needed to? Or how many times will a worker extend an email despite answering the question within the first sentence? It’s difficult to know whether you’re doing this, especially if you’ve grown used to your own way of doing things. Self-evaluation can help you configure whether you’re done in any given situation. When companies incorporate a training 101 approach, staff will be educated to understand when a task requires no further attention. To help you along, make a conscious effort to ask yourself ‘Am I finished?’. You can better answer this question by considering your original goals. You’ll soon begin to realize a cut off point for each activity you engage in. When you’ve fulfilled your objectives, you can advance to the next stage.

2. The 15-Minute Rule

Your working day will be more productive when it’s separated into more manageable chunks. This is one of the oldest time management strategies in the book. If you’ve scheduled a one hour task with no breaks, you’ll feel there’s an insurmountable mountain to climb before you reach your target. This counterproductive approach can eat into your time, partly due to psychological barriers that impede progress. Instead, you should focus on 15-minute chunks. Each individual task will be so much easier as a result, and you’ll fly through your work. An eight hour work day offers 32 15 minute chunks, providing plentiful opportunity to fulfill your core competencies. Ticking items off your to-do-list will incentivize you to maintain this approach, where with each slot there is sufficient time for accomplishment.

3. Reduce Distractions

Distractions are a common time killer, so you’d be wise to focus on eliminating them if you’re to unlock your true potential. Some distractions can take significant time from your schedule, like a ten minute conversation with a staff member. It’s important to consider whether conversations, or any behaviors for that matter, bring value to your job. If they don’t they probably don’t serve much purpose. However, there are positive distractions which can serve as a break from mundane activities. If you engage in a ten minute conversation and return to work refreshed, what’s to say you haven’t benefited from this? Alternatively, there are persistent distractions which piece by piece eat away at your schedule. These are more destructive, because not only do they not add value, but they become ingrained in our work life in ways we’re oblivious too. These type of distraction have become more prominent in recent years, especially with the influx of smartphone use. Attention spans have diminished, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be rectified by practicing good habits. It’s advisable to avoid specific distractions, like that niggling coworker who constantly seeks your attention. If management is often on your case, why not be proactive and approach them first? This way you’ll have more control over your interaction, keeping things short and sweet. Avoid getting caught up in drawn out conversations, and if necessary be direct with your coworkers. Being nice and embracing distractions will make your life more difficult. Inform your coworkers of your working intentions, and communicate small windows of opportunity for people who want to discuss pressing issues. This will free you of time consuming interruptions.
Jason is the Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog. Jason established the Training Station blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to training, learning and development.